Rudolf Nurejew

Don Quixote

Friday 29. September 2023 19:00 – 22:00 2 Intermissions Main Stage
Ballettcycle: Träume

Ticket information

Season 2023/2024

The performances of the ballet cycles take place in the Vienna State Opera (S) and the Volksoper (V).

29.September 2023: DON QUIXOTE (S)
22. November 2023: THE MOON WEARS A WHITE SHIRT (V)
12. Februar 2024 GISELLE (S)
17. Mai 2024 LES SYLPHIDES (V)



Cast at
29. September 2023

Eine Straßentänzerin

Gala Jovanovic

Die Königin der Dryaden

Claudine Schoch

Erste Brautjungfer

Alice Firenze

Ein »Zigeuner«

Géraud Wielick

Musikalische Leitung

Robert Reimer


Rudolf Nurejew


Ludwig Minkus arrangiert von John Lanchbery

Bühne und Kostüme

Nicholas Georgiadis


Marc Anrochte


Florence Clerc

About the Production

Short Summary

Miguel de Cervantes’s famous epic about the tragic knight who sets off into the world with his servant Sancho Panza to fight the wrongs of society 

and mistook a windmill for a dangerous enemy or dreams of being swept off to a magic garden in the kingdom of the Dryads, was turned into a ballet by Marius Petipa in 1869 at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow.

Don Quixote


Don Quixote’s study

Don Quixote, a country gentleman, believes himself to be a valiant knight straight out of the country romances which are his favourite reading. As he dreams, Dulcinea, the heroine of these stories and his vision of the ideal woman, appears to him. But his neighbour Sancho Panza, chased by servants from whom he has stolen a chicken, enters and disturbs his day-dreams. Don Quixote decides to make Sancho Panza into his knightly companion, and together they leave to take on the world.

A public square in Barcelona

Kitri, the daughter of Lorenzo, the innkeeper, searches in the crowd for her beloved, Basil the barber. Her joyous dancing is interrupted by her father who, wanting her to marry the rich and noble Gamache, repulses Basil. Kitri determinedly refuses this proposed marriage, but the arrival of Don Quixote and Sancho Panza puts an end to their argument. Lorenzo offers his hospitality to the knight and invites him to his inn. Sancho Panza is a little too attentive to the girls and is teased and manhandled by the young people until Don Quixote comes to his rescue. When Don Quixote sees Kitri, he believes her to be his adored Dulcinea. Gallantly, he offers her his arm for a minuet. Gamache is furious. Kitri and Basil take advantage of the confusion to flee.

Scene 1: The gypsy camp

Basil and Kitri refuge in a windmill. They are discovered by a group of gypsies, who try to rob them. However, the gypsies soon realise the poverty of the young people, and decide to help them when they witness the arrival of Lorenzo and Gamache, followed by Don Quixote and Sancho Panza, who eventually find their hiding place. The gypsies try to set Don Quixote against Lorenzo and Gamache. To this end, they install a puppet theatre where the story of the thwarted love of Basil and Kitri is played out. Caught up by the story, Don Quixote tries to come to the puppet lover’s aid, and destroys the theatre. Suddenly, he finds himself facing the windmill, which he attacks, believing him to be a gigantic enemy. He is caught up by the spokes of the windmill and thrown to the ground. The gypsies, disguised as ghosts, attempt to frighten the knight. Basil and Kitri manage once again to escape.

Scene 2: Don Quixote’s dream

Don Quixote, wounded and half fainted, dreams that he is transported to an enchanted garden as a reward for his courage and fidelity. The Queen of the Dryads takes him to Dulcinea, to whom he dares to declare his love. But the dream evaporates.

Scene 1: An Inn

Basil and Kitri, happy to have escaped their pursuers, celebrate their success with friends at an inn. Lorenzo, Gamache, Don Quixote and Sancho Panza lose no time, however, in rejoining them. Lorenzo is absolutely decided that Kitri should marry Gamache. In desperation, Basil resorts to subterfuge and pretends to commit suicide. Kitri implores Don Quixote to help them, and the knight obliges Lorenzo to allow Kitri to marry the “dying” Basil. But as soon as her father has given his blessing, Basil jumps up gaily. Provoked beyond endurance by the trick played upon him, Gamache challenges Don Quixote to a duel, and is beaten.

Scene 2: The Wedding

In the midst of the great rejoicing at the marriage of Kitri and Basil, Don Quixote and his faithful servant leave in search of new adventures.

The ballet remained in the Vienna repertoire for almost 20 years, from its world premiere until 1985, with Nureyev himself regularly taking to role of Basil. In 2011, Manuel Legris, who had danced several roles in the production in Paris, brought it back to where it had been created in a scrupulously worked reconstruction. Now Nureyev’s comedy ballet, which is a calling card for any company with the extreme technical demands it makes of the dancers, can once again be seen with the Vienna State Ballet from 2023.

In 1966, Rudolf Nureyev chose to focus on the turbulent love story of Kitri and Basil – whom Don Quixote helps to unite despite her father’s resistance – in his Don Quixote in Vienna, creating an opulent story ballet with highly demanding dances, precise characterisation and colourful scenes full of Spanish flavour that succeeded in bringing together what were then two competing worlds of ballet: Soviet virtuosity was combined a story that was told in a coherent, dramaturgical form.

Impressions of the Choreography

© Wiener Staatsballett/Ashley Taylor
© Wiener Staatsballett/Ashley Taylor
© Wiener Staatsballett/Ashley Taylor
© Wiener Staatsballett/Ashley Taylor
© Wiener Staatsballett/Ashley Taylor
© Wiener Staatsoper
© Wiener Staatsballett/Ashley Taylor


Tickets for our standing room can be purchased online or at the Bundestheater box office from 10 am on the day of the performance. BundestheaterCard holders can book standing room tickets online the day before the performance.

In addition, a fixed contingent of standing room tickets is available for regular evening performances from 80 minutes before the start of the performance at our standing room box office (Operngasse entrance).

Our operas are sung in the original languages - these vary depending on the work.

At each seat, subtitles in different languages can be switched on or off via a separate subtitle screen. In addition to the original language of the opera, you can choose from up to eight languages: German, English, Italian, French, Russian, Japanese, Spanish, Chinese (Mandarin).

In the event of a change of performance, you can of course return or exchange your tickets.

As changes to the cast cannot be ruled out due to illnesses or other hindrances of artists, there is no entitlement to a refund of the ticket price or exchange in this case.

Tickets cannot be returned or exchanged if you are not admitted to the auditorium due to being late (even after the interval).

About Your Visit


The cloakrooms are located next the the entrances at the Operngasse. You can find additional cloakrooms on the left and right side of the balcony and the gallery and in the boxes. All cloakrooms are free of charge.

Be on Time

We ask you to be on time when attending the performances.
Entry to the auditorium is not allowed after the performance has started. This also applied after the break.

Food and Drink

Our gastronomy opens at the same time entry is permitted. You can enjoy some snacks and drinks before the performance starts or you can book a table for the break.

Practical Information

You can find more practical information regarding your visit (e.g. Dresscode, barrier-free-access, …) here.


Discounts, Subscriptions, Cycles


The Vienna State Opera offers the following discounts:

  • Under 27
  • Children- & Youth-Tickets
  • BundestheaterCard
  • Ballett-Bonus
  • Ö1-Club
  • Culture Pass »Hunger auf Kunst und Kultur«
  • Disability ID
More info


Choose a week-day and your favorite seat and enjoy five performances.

  • 4x Opera, 1x Ballet
  • spread out over the whole season
  • up to 30 % discount compared to the regular ticket price
More info


Buy multiple performances as a package!

  • big selection of different cycles
  • bundled together by composers, artists or topics
  • spread out over the whole season
  • up to 10 % discount compared to the regular ticket price
More info