Astana Opera to premiere Don Quixote ballet

Astana Opera to premiere Don Quixote ballet

Astana Opera Theater is preparing to stage a new premiere. The ballet dancers of the troupe will present a new performance - the immortal masterpiece to the music of Ludwig Minkus, Don Quixote. This year, the ballet marks its 147th anniversary.


Compared to the immortal novel by Miguel de Cervantes, where the Knight of the Sorrowful Countenance is in the spotlight, in the ballet, staged by Marius Petipa in 1869 at the Bolshoi Theatre, the key characters are the innkeeper’s daughter Kitri and the barber Basilio. These two have been overcoming obstacles for half century and stay together because of the wandering romantic Don Quixote. Now for half a century, audiences around the world are impressed by their virtuoso jumps, spins and beauty and depth of their love. 



I tried to study the character and add some nuances, my own facial expressions.


Bakhtiyar Adamzhan plays Basilio in Don Quixote. To study the character, he has done a lot of research and reading. The character is very lively and bright, the ballet dancer believes. At different times, the world’s most talented dancers had played the parts of Basilio and Kitri, including fascinating Maya Plisetskaya and Mikhail Baryshnikov. As the Astana ballet dancers say, a pas de deux in this ballet is a kind of career peak for any ballet artist. Altynai Assylmuratova considers the production a landmark event for her career. In the theater world, Don Quixote along with San Lake is considered a repertoire must for any esteemed theater.  Don Quixote is a charming ballet exuberating optimism and cheerfulness.



Humor is a very delicate genre; the balance must be sustained not to turn it into kitsch. Keeping it fun and understandable is the key. This will depend on the artists, the characters.


And of course, much depends on the costumes and decorations. Great masters, Italian artists Franca Squarciapino and Ezio Frigerio have been involved in the production in this regard. Previously, they had already worked for other productions at Astana Opera.



Don Quixote is a traditional Spain. It has an intense color palette, rich shades of red, black and other colors. In total, there are about 200 costumes.


The preparation work is well underway at the theater. Inspiring, flowing and joyful music by Minkus can be heard in the rehearsal hall. This music has been igniting the hearts of the spectators for many decades.