Don Quixote

An adventurous opera about recapturing imagination

Don Quixote

OPERA2DAY and the New European Ensemble take you on a journey to the many realities of The ingenious gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha. This is a brand-new opera based on the well-known Spanish novel by Cervantes with new music including a main role for medieval music from various countries and cultures. This production is the adventurous sequel to the ‘new baroque opera’ Vivaldi – Dangerous Liaisons, which received very positive reviews during its sold-out tour.

Cervantes's novel The ingenious nobleman Don Quixote of La Mancha is one of the best-known works of world literature. A book that has inspired for centuries; we found at least ninety operas starring Don Quixote. But almost all those operas take only one or a few passages from the some 1,000-page book, or reduce the character to a simple fool. But those who look at the book as a whole will see that it is surprisingly modern. The work deals with themes such as the gap between a beautiful dream and harsh reality, the increasing clashes between cultures and striving to find your own place in a globalising world. Don Quixote appears to be a madman, but the question arises: does he not actively seek that role? After all, who has really gone mad: Don Quixote, or the world around him? Time for a new opera. About: the recapture of fantasy.

For this production, the New European Ensemble works together with the Italian La Fonte Musica, which specializes in medieval music. In this joint project, they turn the universe of Don Quixote into sound. Composer Vanni Moretto weaves in enchanting compositions from the Middle Ages into his score for Don Quixote’s medieval fantasies. Stefano Simone Pintor created the concept and the libretto. Both were previously part of the team that produced the highly successful ‘new baroque opera’ Vivaldi – Dangerous Liaisons. “This combination of historicising and innovative opera practice can’t be cheered on loud enough” said a rave review in Dutch national newspaper De Volkskrant. Pintor is now also the stage director of the opera.

With Don Quixote, OPERA2DAY once again puts a main character from the early 17th century into the spotlights – as in their previous operas l'Orfeo, Don Giovanni and Hamlet.


La Mancha Inc, one of the world's largest international holding companies, employs people from all over the planet. Cide Hamete Benengeli, the company's elderly and wealthy Spanish-Arab president, has had enough of his boring and useless life and seeks refuge in reading knightly books from the Middle Ages. Soon his passion becomes pure madness. That is when he becomes convinced that he is the ancient knight Don Quixote, one of the characters in his knight's books, and everything transforms before his eyes into extraordinary worlds of the past, populated by kings, virgins and wizards, who are in fact none other than his colleagues, relatives and friends.

The journey officially begins when Miguel, the company's clumsy archivist, discovers the president's secret library, hidden in the underground archives of La Mancha. Benengeli, aka Don Quixote, adopts Miguel as his squire and calls him Sancho Panza. After making makeshift armour with his help and finding a few questionable horses, the two can search in and around the La Mancha office for adventures and injustices that need to be righted. A few metres outside the building, however, things turn out differently: Don Quixote mistakes a huge air conditioner for two menacing giants with huge arms, and he hurls himself at them, short-circuiting and injuring himself. Sancho then takes him back to the La Mancha canteen in search of refreshment.
Here, Don Quixote confuses Nicola, the canteen cook, with a king, and Dalisay, a cleaning lady, with the noble lady Dulcinea del Toboso: to the former he asks to be given the title of knight, to the latter he promises that he will do any feat he performs in honour of her name. Meanwhile, Sancho, exhausted and tested by hunger, also begins to have his first daydreams: these hallucinations increase when, after they resume their journey out of the palace, he mistakes a rubbish bag for a bag of money and tries to pay a hotdog vendor with it. At the same time, Don Quixote causes further unrest by conspiring with a passing nun and trying to free two pickpockets who have just been arrested by a police officer. The two are immediately arrested and thrown into jail on the spot.

In prison, Miguel, enraged by the follies into which his boss has dragged him, takes off as a squire and insults Don Quixote by calling him 'the Knight of the Sad Face'. The two are rescued by Antonia, Lord Benengeli's niece. While Miguel leaves Benengeli and goes his own way, Antonia, with the help of her companion Samson, takes her uncle back to La Mancha to try to bring him to repentance, but it is all in vain and she is forced to the extreme: burning all his books, the cause of all his ills.



Ten years go by. Miguel had been hired during those years to write a witness report for CEO Mr Freestone's new La Mancha project. It turned the scandals and adventures of ex-president Mr Benengeli, aka Don Quixote, into a global success story. Having published these memoirs, the ex-shieldboy is now extremely famous and rich, but seems bored, with no clear purpose in life. When Miguel hears one day that there are apocryphal stories, unauthorised sequels to the adventures he has written, he goes to the rest home where Mr Benengeli is confined, and 'wakes up' Don Quixote, aiming to make him forget these sequels by writing a new part of their story.

The two leave again on their pairs. Immediately Miguel tries to write down Don Quixote's new exploits, but they all turn out to be pathetic and unsatisfactory in his eyes. Don Quixote also notices that something is wrong when, faced with a woman whom his squire calls Sancho Dulcinea del Toboso, he does not recognise either of them as such, but sees only a complete stranger and a cleaning woman. Don Quixote then begins to doubt the authenticity of the world around him, which seems completely different to him than before. It is as if all the enchantment of the story he knew has vanished forever before his eyes and only its empty skeleton still vaguely reminds him. He feels trapped by a terrible spell and decides then to descend into the deep Cave of Montesinos, a hellish place where no mortal may descend because it is the repository of the essence of all things. Miguel, troubled by this thought, tries to stop him, but Don Quixote succeeds thanks to mysterious help.

In the cave, Don Quixote realises that he is nothing but the protagonist of a story Miguel himself invented to save himself from the emptiness of reality, and all of humanity from its madness, which has led it to trade dreams for material success. 

Faced with this truth, Don Quixote tries to escape and free himself from his fate, which he simply recognises as a new prison, namely the one an author has created for his character. Always appearing in different worlds and leaping out and back into the story, Don Quixote's final epic struggle thus begins. It is the struggle of a character who, by really existing, causes the author to question all his certainties. A struggle that can only be resolved with the mysterious and unpredictable help of one person: the reader.

Don Quixote is a co-production from OPERA2DAY and the New European Ensemble

Artistic team

Stage director and librettist Stefano Simone Pintor
Music Vanni Moretto
Conductor Hernán Schvartzman
Scenography Herbert Janse
Costumes Mirjam Pater
Hair & make-up Nienke Algra
Technical production Ronald Tebra
Light design Uri Rapaport
Sound design Arne Bock


Mr. Benengeli / Don Quichot Mattijs van de Woerd
Miguel / Sancho Panza Manuel Nunez-Camelino
Mr. Freestone / Friston the Sorcerer Jeremiah Fleming
Dalisay / Dulcinea & Others Alena Dantcheva / Sandra Sinivälli (4 Feb and 3 Mar)
Antonia / The Nun & Others Michaela Riener / Femke Hulsman (4 Feb and 3 Mar) 
Samson / The Knight of the White Moon & Others Max Bruins / Carlos Negrín López
Nicola / The Hot Dog Vendor & Others Massimo Altieri
A man / The Delivery Man & Others Samar Qahtan
Employees / Passers-by & Others Participants


New European Ensemble
la fonte musica

Trailer The ingenious gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha.


Scene photos The ingenious edelman Don Quixote of La Mancha


Teaser The ingenious gentleman Don Quichot of La Mancha

No current calendar dates found for this production.

Saturday 18 Mar 2023 - 20:00 HOUR

Koninklijke Schouwburg, Den Haag

Koninklijke Schouwburg

Addres: Korte Voorhout 3
City: 2511 CW Den Haag
Phone: 088 356 5 356

Friday 17 Mar 2023 - 20:00 HOUR

Koninklijke Schouwburg, Den Haag

Koninklijke Schouwburg

Addres: Korte Voorhout 3
City: 2511 CW Den Haag
Phone: 088 356 5 356

Thursday 16 Mar 2023 - 20:00 HOUR

Koninklijke Schouwburg, Den Haag

Koninklijke Schouwburg

Addres: Korte Voorhout 3
City: 2511 CW Den Haag
Phone: 088 356 5 356

Tuesday 14 Mar 2023 - 20:00 HOUR

Parktheater, Eindhoven


Addres: Elzentlaan 50
City: 5615 CN Eindhoven
Phone: 040 - 2111122

Thursday 09 Mar 2023 - 20:00 HOUR

Stadsschouwburg Utrecht, Utrecht

Addres: Lucasbolwerk 24
City: 3512 EJ Utrecht
Phone: 030-23 02 023

Tuesday 07 Mar 2023 - 20:15 HOUR

Flint, Amersfoort

Addres: Coninckstraat 60
City: 3811 WK Amersfoort
Phone: 033 4229 229

Friday 03 Mar 2023 - 20:15 HOUR

Kunstlinie, Almere

Saturday 25 Feb 2023 - 20:00 HOUR

Theater Rotterdam (Schouwburg), Rotterdam

Addres: Schouwburgplein 25
City: 3012 CL Rotterdam
Phone: 010 - 40 44 111

Wednesday 22 Feb 2023 - 20:00 HOUR

Koninklijke Schouwburg, Den Haag

Koninklijke Schouwburg

Addres: Korte Voorhout 3
City: 2511 CW Den Haag
Phone: 088 356 5 356

Tuesday 21 Feb 2023 - 20:00 HOUR

Koninklijke Schouwburg, Den Haag

Koninklijke Schouwburg

Addres: Korte Voorhout 3
City: 2511 CW Den Haag
Phone: 088 356 5 356

Friday 17 Feb 2023 - 20:15 HOUR

TAQA Theater De Vest, Alkmaar

Addres: Canadaplein 2
City: 1811 KE Alkmaar
Phone: 072-5489999

Wednesday 15 Feb 2023 - 20:00 HOUR

Stadsschouwburg De Harmonie, Leeuwarden

Addres: Ruiterskwartier 4
City: 8911 BP Leeuwarden

Saturday 11 Feb 2023 - 20:00 HOUR

De Goudse Schouwburg, Gouda

Addres: Boelekade 67
City: 2806 AE Gouda
Phone: 0182 - 513 750

Thursday 09 Feb 2023 - 20:00 HOUR

Koninklijk Theater Carré, Amsterdam

Koninklijk Theater Carré

Addres: Amstel 115-125
City: 1018 EM Amsterdam
Phone: 0900 - 25 25 255 (€ 0,45 p/m)

Tuesday 07 Feb 2023 - 20:00 HOUR

Stadsschouwburg Nijmegen, Nijmegen

Addres: Keizer Karelplein 32h
City: 6511 NH Nijmegen
Phone: 024-3221100

Saturday 04 Feb 2023 - 20:00 HOUR

Deventer Schouwburg, Deventer

Deventer Schouwburg

Addres: Leeuwenbrug 2
City: 7411 TJ Deventer
Phone: 0900 3000 200

Tuesday 31 Jan 2023 - 20:15 HOUR

SPOT Groningen (Stadsschouwburg), Groningen

Addres: Turfsingel 86
City: 9711 VX Groningen
Phone: 050-3680368

Sunday 29 Jan 2023 - 20:00 HOUR

Stadsschouwburg Haarlem, Haarlem

Addres: Wilsonsplein 23
City: 2011 VG Haarlem
Phone: 023 - 512 12 12 (keuze 1)

Friday 27 Jan 2023 - 19:00 HOUR

Schouwburg Kunstmin, Dordrecht

Addres: Sint Jorisweg 76
City: 3311 PL Dordrecht
Phone: 078 639 79 79

Thursday 26 Jan 2023 - 20:15 HOUR

Theaters Tilburg, Tilburg

Addres: Louis Bouwmeesterplein 1
City: 5038 TN Tilburg
Phone: 013 543 22 20

Sunday 22 Jan 2023 - 15:00 HOUR

Koninklijke Schouwburg, Den Haag

Koninklijke Schouwburg

Addres: Korte Voorhout 3
City: 2511 CW Den Haag
Phone: 088 356 5 356

Saturday 21 Jan 2023 - 20:00 HOUR

Koninklijke Schouwburg, Den Haag

Koninklijke Schouwburg

Addres: Korte Voorhout 3
City: 2511 CW Den Haag
Phone: 088 356 5 356

Sunday 15 Jan 2023 - 15:00 HOUR

Theater aan de Schie, Schiedam

Addres: Stadserf 1
City: 3112 DZ Schiedam
Phone: 010-2467467


Book I: 80 minutes
Book II: 60 minutes


The opera is surtitled in Dutch and English

Blind interpreter

The performance on 22 February at Het Nationale Theater is suitable for people who are blind or visually impaired. Foundation 'Komt het Zien!' enables theater experience for people who are blind or visually impaired by means of live audio description. Through headphones, an interpreter can be heard during the performance describing the visual aspects. In addition, there is a special meet & feel beforehand to get acquainted with the set, costumes and singers.
For more information, visit the website of Stichting Komt het Zien!


The performance on 18 March at Het Nationale Theater is suitable for people with a high sensitivity to stimuli. The performance itself will not be modified, but the theater will provide a sensory-friendly reception. It is also possible to leave the auditorium during the performance.
For more information, visit the HNT Onbeperkt website.

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