North American Premiere
North American Premiere
Follow the eccentric Don Quixote and his sidekick Sancho Panza on a quest for love in the North American premiere of Carlos Acosta’s Don Quixote, created for The Royal Ballet and remounted for Birmingham Royal Ballet in 2022. Cuban-born Carlos Acosta was one of the great male dancers of his era and Basilio, the young lover from Don Quixote, was a signature role. Don Quixote is a comic romance in the sunny landscape of Spain, set to a musical arrangement of Ludwig Minkus’ score by Hans Vercauteren, featuring original music for guitar.
Based on the epic 17th-century novel by Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote tells the story of a creative old knight who, inspired by a vision, convinces his sidekick Sancho Panza to join him in pursuit of the idealized Dulcinea. Their adventures lead them to Kitri, the daughter of an innkeeper, who is avoiding marriage to the wealthy Gamache in favour of her true love, Basilio, the barber. Ever the romantic, Don Quixote helps to save Kitri from marrying without love.
Born in Havana, Carlos Acosta trained at the Cuban National Ballet School and became the youngest Principal Dancer, at age 18, in the history of English National Ballet, where he was colleagues with Artistic Director Hope Muir. He performed with the Cuban National Ballet, Houston Ballet, The Royal Ballet and as an international guest artist, later founding his own company, Acosta Danza, in Cuba. Acosta was named Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 2014 and appointed Director of Birmingham Royal Ballet in 2020.
Czech composer and violinist Ludwig Minkus wrote the popular ballet scores Don Quixote and La Bayadère. Born in Vienna and based in Russia, he led the Bolshoi Orchestra and was appointed official composer of ballet music at the Imperial Theatres in St. Petersburg in 1870, developing a rich creative partnership with Marius Petipa.
Hans Vercauteren is a Belgian composer, conductor and orchestrator who focuses on writing for theatre and drama. With his partner Lente Verelst, he founded Story Tree, a production company specializing in new music theatre shows. His orchestrations for opera and ballet include commissions from The Royal Swedish Ballet, Royal Ballet of Flanders and The Royal Ballet.
“Carlos Acosta serves up an irresistible, sun-kissed romance” – The Telegraph
“This is a large-scale work, with demanding classical technique and a lavish new production. And it pays off.” – The Independent
“Carlos Acosta’s decades of experience, both dancing and directing Don Quixote, really shone through, making this an unmissable production for any ballet lover.” – Winchester Today
“His choreography responds with intelligence and wit to Minkus’s sparkling score” – Culture Whisperer
Carolas Acosta after Marius Petipa
Ludwig Minkus, arranged by Hans Vercauteren
Set and Costume Design:
Lead philanthropic support for Don Quixote is generously provided by The Producers’ Circle.
The Producers’ Circle: Gail & Mark Appel, John & Claudine Bailey, Inger Bartlett & Marshal Stearns, Laura Dinner & Richard Rooney, Gail Drummond & Bob Dorrance, Ira Gluskin & Maxine Granovsky Gluskin, The William & Nona Heaslip Foundation, Anna McCowan-Johnson & Donald K. Johnson, O.C., Judy Korthals & Peter Irwin, Mona & Harvey Levenstein, Jerry Lozinski, O.C. & Joan Lozinski, O.C., The Honourable Margaret Norrie McCain, C.C., Julie Medland, Sandra Pitblado, C.M. & Jim Pitblado, C.M., The Harry & Lillian Seymour Family Foundation and The Jack Weinbaum Family Foundation.
Premiere: The Royal Ballet, Covent Garden, London, UK, September 30, 2013, restaged for Birmingham Royal Ballet, February 18, 2022
The National Ballet of Canada Premiere: Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, Toronto, June 1, 2024
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