352. Don Quixote 1965
Ballet in Three Acts
Nicolas Nabokov (commissioned by the New York City Ballet)
George Balanchine
Scenery, costumes, and lighting by Esteban Francés, assisted by Peter Harvey. Scenery executed by Feller Scenery Studios; costumes executed by Karinska. Giant by Kermit Love and Peter Saklin. Masks and armor by Lawrence Vlady
May 28, 1965, New York City Ballet with children from the School of American Ballet, New York State Theater. Conductor: Robert Irving. (Preview: Annual New York City Ballet Gala Benefit, May 27, with George Balanchine as Don Quixote.)
Don Quixote, Richard Rapp; Dulcinea, Suzanne Farrell; Sancho Panza, Deni Lamont.
PROLOGUE (DON QUIXOTE’S STUDY): Don Quixote; Dulcinea; Sancho Panza; Fantasies, 6 children.
ACT I, SCENE 1 (LA MANCHA): Don Quixote; Sancho Panza; A Peasant; A Boy; 6 Slaves; 2 Guards;
SCENE 2 (A VILLAGE SQUARE): 3 Market Vendors; 2 Waitresses; Café Proprietor; Townspeople, 16 women, 8 men; Dead Poet; His Friend; 2 Pallbearers; Marcela, Farrell; 2 Policemen; Organ Grinder; Puppeteer; Puppets (children): 5 Saracens, Christian Girl, Christian Boy; 4 Palace Guards; 2 Ladies in Waiting; 2 Gentlemen in Waiting; Duke, Nicholas Magallanes; Duchess, Jillana.
ACT II (THE PALACE): Don Quixote; Sancho Panza; Vision of Dulcinea; Duke; Duchess; 2 Ladies in Waiting; Major Domo; Ladies and Gentlemen of the Court, 8 couples; Merlin, Francisco Moncion;
DIVERTISSEMENTS: DANZA DE LA CACCIA: Patricia Neary, Conrad Ludlow, Kent Stowell;
PAS DE DEUX MAURESQUE: Suki Schorer, John Prinz;
COURANTE SICILIENNE: Sara Leland, Kay Mazzo, Carol Sumner, Frank Ohman, Robert Rodham, Earle Sieveling;
RIGAUDON FLAMENCO: Gloria Govrin, Arthur Mitchell;
RITORNEL: Patricia McBride, child.
ACT III, SCENE 1 (A GARDEN OF THE PALACE): Don Quixote; Sancho Panza;
PAS D’ACTION: Knight of the Silver Moon, Ludlow; Maidens, Marnee Morris, Mimi Paul, 16 women; Cavaliers, Anthony Blum, Ohman;
VARIATION IV: Farrell; Merlin; Night Spirit, Govrin;
SCENE 2 (LA MANCHA): Don Quixote; Sancho Panza; Pigs; 4 Bearers;
SCENE 3 (DON QUIXOTE’S STUDY): Don Quixote; Sancho Panza; Housekeeper; Priest; entire cast.
Prologue and Act I: In which Don Quixote reads-Dreams and fantasies-Vision of Dulcinea-The attainment of knighthood and beginning of the quest-Incident of the boy and the peasant-Adventure of the slaves-Sancho’s adventure in the market place-Marcela and the murdered poet-Performance at the puppet theater-Arrival of the Duke and Duchess.
Act II: In which Don Quixote and Sancho Panza come to Court-Entertainment at Court-A Masque and other diversions-Merlin makes magic-Vision of Dulcinea.
Act III: Of knights, ladies, and sorcery-Further adventures and a stampede-How Don Quixote comes home-Apotheosis and death.
Performance Type
The Balanchine-Nabokov full-length production is an original work without reference to nineteenth-century Russian versions. The ballet depicts episodes in the hero’s search for perfection, and for his ideal woman, Dulcinea, who appears as housemaid, shepherdess, the Virgin Mary, and in other guises. Balanchine performed the role of Don Quixote on several occasions. Before his death he spoke of reconceiving the ballet in two acts with cuts, and he wanted the scenery to be redesigned in less elaborate manner so the ballet could be given in repertory rather than requiring a separate block of performances. These changes did not take place.
Additional Productions

2005   Suzanne Farrell Ballet
2007   National Ballet of Canada

Recorded Performances
2001, Winstar TV & Video, Suzanne Farrell: Elusive Muse (excerpts, including Balanchine in performance)
1996, Seahorse Films, Suzanne Farrell: Elusive Muse (excerpts, including Balanchine in performance)

Information about new Act III solo with scarf provided by David Daniels, corroborated by Rosemary Dunleavy. Information about Balanchine’s idea for shortened version provided by Barbara Horgan.