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Opening night of Carlos Acosta’s Don Quixote was a radiant success. Returning to the Royal Opera House after its debut in 2013, chivalry and romance were the driving forces in Acosta’s reimagined ballet production, brought to life with the stunning stage scenery and costumes designed by Tim Hatley.
Performed in three acts, conductor Martin Yates and the excellent ROH Orchestra transported the audience back in time to seventeenth century Spain, where Don Quixote (Christopher Saunders) and his faithful squire, Sancho Panza (Philip Mosley), set off on an imaginary quest to revive chivalry and set right the wrongs of society by helping those they meet along the way. Star-crossed lovers Kitri (Marianela Nuñez) and Basillio (Vadim Muntagirov) are extraordinary ballet dancers. Nuñez’s elegant lines and technical skill shine in each performance, while Muntagirov’s powerfully controlled leaps elicited audible gasps from the audience. Ryoichi Hirano (Espada) stole the show with his flamboyant portrayal of the famous matador, while Fumi Kaneko (Queen of the Dryads) brought surreal beauty to Don Quixote’s dream sequence in the magical garden.
Don Quixote is a huge production with a diverse cast of talented dancers who command the stage in turn with grace and athleticism. A classic ballet transformed with a modern twist, Don Quixote is a welcome escape from the realities of life and the looming uncertainty of Brexit.
Playing at the Royal Opera House until 4 April 2019