Don Quixote is one of the signature pieces of La Scala Ballet Company


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Showcasing sparkling choreography and virtuoso performances from an international cast of La Scala’s principal and guest dancers, Don Quixote transports audiences to a bright and enchanting Spain, replete with gypsy dances, fandangos, matadors and windmills.

Based on episodes from Cervantes’ classic novel, Rudolf Nureyev’s version of Don Quixote premiered at the Vienna Opera Ballet in 1966, and has lost none of the charm and passion for which it is adored worldwide.

In the year that marks the 80th anniversary of the birth of Nureyev and the 25th of his death, La Scala Ballet Company pays tribute to his memory in this production, in repertoire at La Scala since 1980 when Nureyev himself danced alongside Carla FracciAs heir to the Russian tradition, Nureyev’s influence is undeniable, from the rigorous symmetry of the ‘white’ act to the now infamous final grand pas de deux.

Set to Ludwig Minkus colourful score, performed live by the Queensland Symphony Orchestra, Don Quixote promises an unforgettable ballet experience boasting one show-stopping performance after another.

“Nicoletta Manni is a Kitri to savour ... there is steel in Manni’s arabesque, but it is her expansive upper body and highly articulate arms that frame the action.” The Australian
“In his Don Quixote, Nureyev reminds us that life is sweet and fun. This is a philosophy that Italy’s top ballet company not only understands but also embraces.” The Australian
“On their first ever visit to Australia, Teatro Alla Scala Ballet Company couldn’t have had a better showpiece than Rudolf Nureyev’s Don Quixote, long a favourite with Australian audiences ... Teatro Alla Scala Ballet Company are an exciting and dynamic company and Don Quixote is an exciting and dynamic production. Bravo to QPAC and their International Series which only keeps getting better and better.” Stage Whispers

Teatro alla Scala Ballet Company

Director Frédéric Olivieri
Choreography Rudolf Nureyev
Music Ludwig Minkus
Orchestration and music arrangement John Lanchbery
Sets Raffaele Del Savio
Costumes Anna Anni
Costumes supervisor Irene Monti
Lights Marco Filibeck
Find out more about La Scala Ballet

Don Quixote Cast Rotation*

Wednesday, 7 November 2018, 7:30pm Nicoletta Manni and Leonid Sarafanov
Thursday, 8 November 2018, 7:30pm Martina Arduino and Timofej Andrijashenko
Friday, 9 November 2018, 7:30pm Nicoletta Manni and Leonid Sarafanov
Saturday, 10 November 2018, 1pm Martina Arduino and Marco Agostino
Saturday, 10 November 2018, 7:30pm Nicoletta Manni and Leonid Sarafanov
Sunday 11 November 2018, 1pm Martina Arduino and Marco Agostino
Saturday 17 November 2018, 1pm Martina Arduino and Marco Agostino
Saturday 17 November 2018, 7:30pm Nicoletta Manni and Leonid Sarafanov
*casting is subject to change without notice.

What to expect

With its sparkling energy and the warm colours, Rudolf Nureyev’s Don Quixote offers choreographic splendor, transporting audiences to a Spain alive with gypsy dances, fandangos, matadors and windmills.

The story of the adventures of Don Quixote acts as a pretext for an evening of sizzling dances and superb technique in the many solos and variations, especially the final grand pas de deux: a true test of the talent of every étoile.

Audiences can expect multiple demonstrations of dazzling technique and eruptions of applause in appreciation of each exceptional solo and pas de deux.


Don Quixote, an eccentric country gentleman, dreams of knighthood and the noble lady Dulcinea. He recruits his neighbour, Sancho Panza, as his squire and the two take off for knightly adventures of love and war.

Meanwhile, Kitri, daughter of the innkeeper Lorenzo, dances joyfully with her lover, the barber Basilio in the village square. Lorenzo wants his daughter to marry the rich and noble Gamache, but Kitri refuses to do so. While the village folk continue to dance happily, Don Quixote admires Kitri and, seeing in her his beloved Dulcinea, invites her to dance with him. The furious Gamache is forced to join in the dance. In the confusion, Kitri and Basilio escape.

What happens next? Read the full synopsis.


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Presented by Queensland Performing Arts Centre
A Teatro alla Scala Production

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