Massenet : Don Quichotte

Torino, 2003 (Audio)

Director: Patrick Fournillier



  • Paolo Rumetz (Sancho)
  • Barbara di Castri (Garcia)
  • Alain Vernhes (Don Quichotte)
  • Elswa Maurus (Dulcinee)
  • Maria Cioppi (Pedro)Archivos para descarga:
    1. – Don Quichotte_ 2003 Fourmillier.mp3



Complete cast:
Don Quichotte: Alain Vernhes
Sancho: Paolo Rumetz
Dulcinée: Elsa Maurus
Pedro: Maria Cioppi
Garcias: Barbara di Castri
Rodriguez: Leonard Pezzino
Juan: Iorio Zennaro
Capo dei banditi: Vladimir Jurlin / Nanni Tormen
Primo bandito: Mauro Ginestrone
Secondo bandito: Nanni Tormen / Boris Vecchio
Primo servitore: Marco Tognozzi
Secondo servitore: Paolo Lovera
Danzatori: Monica Artino, Mariano Brancaccio

Conceiving originally Don Quichotte to be a three-act opera, Massenet started to compose it in 1909 at a time when he, suffering from acute rheumatic pains, spent more of his time in bed than out of it, and composition of Don Quichotte became, in his words, a sort of “soothing balm.” In order to concentrate on that new work, he interrupted composition of his other opera, Bacchus.
Despite its five acts, there is under two hours of music in the opera.

Massenet identified personally with his comic-heroic protagonist, as he was in love with Lucy Arbell who sang Dulcinée at the first performance. He was then 67 and died just two years later. The role of Don Quichotte was one of the most notable achievements of the Russian bass Feodor Chaliapin, for whom the role was specifically conceived. The opera was one of six commissioned from Massenet by Raoul Gunsbourg for the Opéra de Monte Carlo, and was premiered there on 19 February 1910.

Immediately after the world premiere at Monte Carlo, the opera was staged in Brussels, Marseille and Paris (all in 1910). Then, on 27 January 1912 it was presented at the French Opera House in New Orleans, on 15 November 1913 in Philadelphia, and on 18 May 1912 the London Opera House performed it as well. The Chicago premiere of the work (by the Chicago Grand Opera Company) took place at the Auditorium Theatre on 27 January 1914 and featured Vanni Marcoux and Mary Garden in the lead roles.[3] Vanni Marcoux reprised the title role in Chicago with Coe Glade during the inaugural season of the Chicago Civic Opera House in December 1929.

After World War I Don Quichotte received its premiere in Budapest in 1917, and the Opéra-Comique in Paris presented it in 1924 with Vanni Marcoux in the title role, Arbell and Fugère; Chaliapin sang it there in 1934.
The Metropolitan Opera in New York City performed it only 9 times in 1926. After devastating reviews of those performances in particular, and criticisms of Massenet’s music in general, by Lawrence Gilman in the Herald Tribune, the opera has never been revived at the Met., however the opera was revived by the New York City Opera in 1986.

Besides frequent and periodic revivals of it at Monte Carlo and in France, it was also shown with great success in Italy (Catania in 1928, Turin in 1933 (Teatro Regio), Bologna in 1952, Venice in 1982, Florence in 1992). The Polish premiere was at the Kraków Opera in 1962, and Baltic State Opera premiere was in 1969. Nicolai Ghiaurov sang the title role to great acclaim at Lyric Opera of Chicago in 1974 and again in 1981. Lyric Opera of Chicago mounted the work again in 1993 with Samuel Ramey, Jean-Philippe Lafont, and Susanne Mentzer.

More recently, it was staged in Paris in 2000 (with Samuel Ramey in the title role), in San Diego in 2009, starring Ferruccio Furlanetto and Denyce Graves and in 2010 in Brussels with José van Dam and in Palermo with Ferruccio Furlanetto and Arutjun Kotchinian. The opera was performed at Seattle Opera in February/March 2011 with John Relyea in the title role.