Synopsis: Don Quixote


Don Quixote’s Study
Don Quixote is engrossed in a book about ancient chivalry. He falls asleep and dreams that he is a knight defending his ideal woman, Dulcinea. His vision is disrupted when Sancho Panza bursts through the study door. The gluttonous Sancho has stolen a ham and a group of exasperated housewives are pursuing him. Startled by the commotion, Don Quixote turns the angry women out of the room. An idea then comes to Don Quixote. He will make Sancho his squire and together the two will set out on an adventure to defend virtue and punish those who transgress the code of chivalry.

Act I

Scene 1: A Square in Barcelona
Outside her father’s inn, Kitri professes her love for Basilio. But Lorenzo, spying the young lovers in the crowd, forbids his daughter from seeing the young barber ever again. Kitri is horrified when she discovers her father’s plan to marry her to the affected nobleman Gamache. The arrival of Don Quixote and Sancho Panza causes a commotion. Don Quixote sees Kitri and mistakes her for Dulcinea, and the two briefly dance a minuet. At the height of the merriment, Kitri and Basilio sneak off, pursued by Don Quixote and Sancho Panza, and Lorenzo and Gamache.

Act II

Scene 1: A Gypsy Camp
Don Quixote and Sancho Panza, and Lorenzo and Gamache have arrived at a gypsy camp in pursuit of Kitri and Basilio,where a dance is in progress. But Katri and Basilio have already departed. The Gypsies invite Don Quixote to attend a puppet show. Watching the performance, Don Quixote mistakes the heroine for Dulcinea. With sword in hand, he rushes forth to save her and attacks the puppet stage. He then confuses a nearby windmill for a threatening giant. Striking out at the windmill to the point of exhaustion, Don Quixote collapses to the ground and falls into a deep sleep.

Scene 2: The Dream
Don Quixote dreams he is a knight surrounded by beautiful maidens in which Kitri symbolizes Dulcinea. At sunrise, Lorenzo and Gamache interrupt his dream. They continue in their pursuit of Kitri and Basilio, but Don Quixote attempts to lead Lorenzo and Gamache astray.

Scene 3: A Tavern
Lorenzo finally catches up with Kitri and Basilio, and forces her to accept Gamache’s proposal. In response, Basilio fakes his suicide. Kitri begs Don Quixote to persuade Lorenzo to marry her to Basilio: the young man’s final death wish. Don Quixote is now sympathetic to the young lovers’ situation. Lorenzo gives his consent, blesses the lovers, and instantly Basilio comes back to life.


Scene 1: The Wedding
There is much merrymaking as the village celebrates the marriage of Kitri and Basilio. With Don Quixote as the guest of honor, the happy lovers dance for him. He congratulates them, bids farewell to all, and together with Sancho Panza continues on his adventures.