Music with Ease > 19th Century French Opera > Don Quichotte - Massenet
(English title: Don Quixote)
An Opera by Jules Massenet
Opera in five acts by Jules Massenet; text by Henri Cain, after the play by Jacques La Lorrain, based on the romance of Cervantes. Produced, Monte Carlo, 1910.
LA BELLE DULCINEE
TENEBRUN, chief, and other bandits, friends of Dulcinée, and others.
Time: The Middle Ages.
Act 1. Square in front of the house of Dulcinée, whose beauty people praise in song. Into the midst of the throng ride Don Quichotte and his comical companion, Sancho. Night and moonlight. Don Quichotte serenades Dulcinée, arousing the jealousy of Juan, a lover of the professional beauty, who now appears and prevents a duel. She is amused by the avowals of Don Quichotte, and promises to become his beloved if he will recover an necklace stolen from her by brigands.
Act II. On the way to the camp of the brigands. Here occurs the fight with the windmill.
Act III. Camp of the brigands. Don Quichotte attacks them. Sancho retreats. The Knight is captured. He expects to be put to death. But his courage, his grave courtesy, and his love for his Dulcinée, deeply impress the bandits. They free him and give him the necklace.
Act IV. Fête at Dulcinées. To the astonishment of all Don Quichotte and Sancho put in their appearance. Dulcinée, overjoyed at the return of the necklace, embraces the Knight. He entreats her to marry him at once. Touched by his devotion, Dulcinée disillusions him as to the kind of woman she is.
Act V. A forest. Don Quichotte is dying. He tells Sancho that he has given him the island he promised him in their travels; the most beautiful island in the world -- the "Island of Dreams." In his delirium he sees Dulcinée. The lance falls from his hand. The gaunt figure in its rusty suit of armour -- no longer grotesque, but tragic-stiffens in death.