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Don Q libretto

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#1 John-Michael



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Posted 03 October 2003 - 10:33 PM

Hi! I'm interested in finding the libretto of Gorsky's revival of Don Quixote and how this differed from Petipa's 1869/1871 production. Can anyone tell me where I can find either of these libretti? Thakns!

#2 Mel Johnson

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Posted 04 October 2003 - 02:42 AM

Petipa had kept tinkering with Don Q every time it was revived. I believe that the first Gorsky revival (1903?) moved the action of the tavern scene back into the square at Cadiz, but that was about it. This was the production that allegedly led Petipa, in retirement, but watching a stage rehearsal, to say, "Will somebody tell that young feller that I'm still alive?" Later revivals by Gorsky and others shortened the first scene in the Don's hacienda down to a front-of-the-show curtain mini-prologue and added variations from all over. I'm thoroughly convinced that the hornpipe that's sometimes seen in the Gypsy scene is either by Gliére or one of his contemporaries just from the rhythms and harmonies involved. Oddly, Petipa apparently had not had Minkus compose a final scene, but set the end of the ballet to a reprise of the overture! This has led to no end of fiddling and faddling by later stagers, adding music from who-knows-where for a finale.

#3 rg


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Posted 04 October 2003 - 05:57 AM

for a choreog. who seems so prominent in russia during the early 1900s there is not much in english at the moment on gorsky and/or his ballets. elizabeth souritz's book, in russian, BALETMEISTER A.A.GORSKY, gives 1900 as ther first staging by AAG of don quixote. (his first kitri/dulcinea was L.A.Roslavleva; his basil was V.D.Tikhomirov, mercedes was S.V.Fedorova (II))
my halting perusal of e.s's book finds NO libretto/break-down of DON Q. so i suspect mel is accurate here about how 'close' this AAG stagingof DQ was to petipa's. there are for ex. detailed retellings in e.s's text of ESMERALDA (as GUDULE'S DAUGHTER) & LA FILLE DU PHAROAN, both of which AAG likely re-vamped somewhat from the petipa originals.
still if i could read more russian i might be able to tell you what the running text about AAG's DonQ says, alas i cannot.
(do you, btw, know of the translation published some years back now in THE DANCING TIMES, of the Moscow ('69) libretto of petipa's first staging? it reads rather differently as i recall from the libretto that was reworked for st.petersburg in '89.)

#4 Mel Johnson

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Posted 04 October 2003 - 06:49 AM

There is a description of Don Q in Beaumont's Complete Ballets (Short Title), but I'm not sure if it's of the original production or of a later revival, whether the '89 or later Gorskyan varieties.

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