Opera Director & Designer

Don Quichotte

Georg Philipp Telemann (1681–1767)

Stage Director Gilbert Blin prepares to helm Telemann’s Don Quichotte for the Boston Early Music Festival ‘Chamber Opera Series’ in November 2024. Don Quichotte stands as a testament to the enduring legacy of Miguel de Cervantes’ iconic character. Set to music by Telemann in the mid 18th century, this operatic rendition of the classic tale brings to life the adventures and misadventures of the valiant yet delusional knight-errant, Don Quixote, a character that Telemann had already put central in his “Burlesque” orchestral suite.

Collection Gilbert Blin

Don Quixote and Chivalry

Set against the backdrop of Spain’s golden age, Don Quichotte follows the exploits of its titular character as he embarks on a quest to revive the age of chivalry. Armed with idealism and an unwavering sense of duty, Don Quixote sets out to defend the helpless, uphold honor, and win the heart of his beloved Dulcinea. However, his noble intentions often lead to comedic misunderstandings and encounters with windmills mistaken for giants, sheep perceived as armies, and innkeepers perceived as lords.

Boston Early Music Festival

NEC's Jordan Hall, Boston

Opening November 30,  2024

Box office information


Paul O’ Dette & Stephen Stubbs, Musical Directors

Gilbert Blin, Stage Director

Robbert Mealy, Concert Master

Marie-Nathalie Lacoursière, Choreographer

Gwen van den Eijnde, Costume Designer

Kelly Martin, Light Designer

Anna Mansbridge, Assistant Stage Director

Score and Historical context

Telemann’s scores masterfully captures the essence of Cervantes’ novel, blending elements of humor, drama, and romance with his distinctive musical style. From lively dance numbers from the Suite Burlesque to poignant arias of the Serenata, the music serves as a vibrant backdrop to Don Quixote’s adventures, enhancing the emotional depth and theatricality of the story.

The historical context of Don Quichotte‘s score is as rich and complex as the character himself. Telemann composed the suite and the opera during a period of cultural flourishing, decades characterized by ornate musical expression and lavish theatrical productions. Drawing on the traditions of Italian opera seria and French opera comique, Telemann crafted scores that reflect the diverse influences of his time while also showcasing his innovative approach to programmatic music and dramatic composition.

In addition to its artistic significance, Don Quichotte holds a special place in the operatic canon for its portrayal of a quintessentially human protagonist. Don Quichotte‘s blend of idealism and folly resonates with audiences across centuries, serving as a timeless reminder of the power of imagination and the enduring quest for nobility in a world often devoid of it.

Gilbert Blin and Boston Early Music Festival prepare to bring Don Quichotte to the stage once again in order to illuminate both the timeless appeal and the historical context of Telemann’s music.


Boston Early Music Festival about Don Quichotte


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