Opera-ballet comique in three acts to a libretto by Charles-Simon Favart after Cervantes, premièred at the Academie Royale de Musique in Paris in 1743.
Mathias Vidal Don Quichotte
Chantal Santon Jeffery Altisidore, The Queen of Japan
Marc Labonnette Sancho Pança
Nicolas Certenais Montesinos, Merlin, The Translator
Lucie Edel The Farmer, A Lover, A Following
Charles Barbier A Lover
Gilles Benizio The Duke, The Japanese
Corinne Benizio The Spanish
Le Concert Spirituel Choir and Orchestra
Hervé Niquet Director
Corinne and Gilles Benizio (alias Shirley and Dino) Stage direction
Cie La Feuille d'Automne
Philippe Lafeuille Choreography
Daniel Bevan Sets
Anaïs Heureaux and Charlotte Winter Costumes
Jacques Rouveyrollis Lighting
Elisabeth Geiger Chorus Master
Pauline Jolly Assistant Director
Jessica Duclos Lighting Assistant
Performance in French with French and English surtitles
There were more than just masterpieces in the time of Louis XV – there was also Don Quichotte chez la Duchesse!
In 1743, two years before Rameau created his Platée, Boismortier had an extraordinarily modern and zany “ballet comique” performed at the Académie Royale de Musique. It was called Don Quichotte chez la Duchesse. As the utterly exuberant plot unfurls, the hero encounters monsters, enchanters, princesses, people from Japan and more, making for plenty of offbeat and audacious dances and choruses. Musical beauty rubs shoulders with satirical and irreverent comedy. A choice work for Hervé Niquet and Corinne and Gilles Benizio!
Though he is little known today, Boismortier was a prolific composer during the reign of Louis XV, producing pieces in all fashionable genres. His first great success was Don Quichotte chez la Duchesse, a comic ballet he invented with Favart, a genius librettist who transformed the subject of Don Quixote into a brilliant and colourful “theatre within the theatre” farce. Boismortier's writing sparkles in every sentence, in this fantasy where the Duchess makes Don Quixote believe that he is once again meeting Dulcinea and a gallery of characters including Enchanter Merlin or the Infanta of Congo, while he is unknowingly on the stage of the château's private theatre.
Hervé Niquet discovered this gem in 1988 and, to the audience’s great delight, it is staged with the help of Corinne and Gilles Benizio (the famed French comic duo known as Shirley and Dino), reviving the brilliant trio of King Arthur and Platée. Be warned – baroque madness is guaranteed!
Co-production by the Royal / Château de Versailles Spectacles, Opéra-Théâtre de Metz Métropole
With the support of the Centre de musique baroque de Versailles
Friday 26th January " 15 minutes with" at 7.30pm (to be confirmed)
On presentation of your ticket for that evening and subject to availability.
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PRESTIGE VIP CATEGORY: Best seats in house with complimentary glass of champagne and programme.
PRESTIGE CATEGORY: Excellent seats with complimentary glass of champagne and programme.
REDUCED RATE: applicable to under 26s, Chateau de Versailles Spectacles card holders and groups of more than 10 people (excluding special company offer).
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