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Boismortier: Don Quichotte chez la Duchesse


Opera in staged version
  • Du vendredi 26 au dimanche 28 janvier 2024
  • Royal Opera
  • 1h50 without intermission
Accueil Boismortier: Don Quichotte chez la Duchesse 2024


  • Mathias Vidal Don Quichotte
  • Chantal Santon Jeffery Altisidore, The Queen of Japan
  • Marc Labonnette Sancho Pança
  • Nicolas Certenais Montesinos Merlin, The Traductor
  • Lucie Edel The Peasant Woman, A Mistress, A Servan
  • Charles Barbier A lover
  • Gilles Benizio The Duke, A Japenese man
  • Corinne Benizio The Spanish Woman
  • Le Concert Spirituel Choir and orchestra
  • Hervé Niquet Conductor
  • Corinne et Gilles Benizio (alias Shirley et Dino) Staging
  • Cie La Feuille d’Automne
  • Philippe Lafeuille Choreography
  • Daniel Bevan Sets
  • Anaïs Heureaux et Charlotte Winter Costumes
  • Jacques Rouveyrollis Lighting
  • Elisabeth Geiger Vocal coach
  • Pauline Jolly Staging asisstant
  • Jessica Duclos Lighting assistant


There were more than just masterpieces in the time of Louis XV – there was also Don Quichotte chez la Duchesse!


In 1743, two years before Rameau created his Platée, Boismortier had an extraordinarily modern and zany “ballet comique” performed at the Académie Royale de Musique. It was called Don Quichotte chez la Duchesse. As the utterly exuberant plot unfurls, the hero encounters monsters, enchanters, princesses, people from Japan and more, making for plenty of offbeat and audacious dances and choruses. Musical beauty rubs shoulders with satirical and irreverent comedy. A choice work for Hervé Niquet and Corinne and Gilles Benizio!

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Though he is little known today, Boismortier was a prolific composer during the reign of Louis XV, producing pieces in all fashionable genres. His first great success was Don Quichotte chez la Duchesse, a comic ballet he invented with Favart, a genius librettist who transformed the subject of Don Quixote into a brilliant and colourful “theatre within the theatre” farce. Boismortier’s writing sparkles in every sentence, in this fantasy where the Duchess makes Don Quixote believe that he is once again meeting Dulcinea and a gallery of characters including Enchanter Merlin or the Infanta of Congo, while he is unknowingly on the stage of the château’s private theatre.


Hervé Niquet discovered this gem in 1988 and, to the audience’s great delight, it is staged with the help of Corinne and Gilles Benizio (the famed French comic duo known as Shirley and Dino), reviving the brilliant trio of King Arthur and Platée. Be warned – baroque madness is guaranteed!


Co-production by the Royal / Château de Versailles Spectacles, Opéra-Théâtre de Metz Métropole
With the support of the Centre de musique baroque de Versailles

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Opera-ballet comique in three acts to a libretto by Charles-Simon Favart after Cervantes, premièred at the Académie Royale de Musique in Paris in 1743.

Show in French with French and English surtitles.


The Royal Opera of the Château de Versailles

More info
And also…

CD Boismortier – Don Quichotte chez la Duchesse

A sparkling comic opera full of baroque madness and good humour! 35 years after their first performance of this work by Boismortier, Hervé Niquet returns to the Concert Spirituel’s roots.
More info

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