Ludwig Minkus’s Don Quixote has held a place in the repertoire since its premiere at the Bolshoi Theater in 1869. The music is charming and well orchestrated, but persistently a little bland. There are plenty of melodies, but none of them are particularly distinctive. This is certainly not Tchaikovsky or Prokofiev. The poor boy meets rich girl love story interwoven with the fantastic adventures of Don Quixote has attracted the biggest names in ballet over the years, with Marius Petipa’s original classical production being followed by Rudolph Nureyev, Mikhail Baryshnikov, and George Balanchine. Now, it is Carlos Acosta’s turn. His choreography is based on Petipa, but he has modernized it with his trademark physicality, and some new unclassical sounds (clapping, vocal exclamations) from the corps de ballet on stage.
Opera superstars Renée Fleming and Rolando Villazón star in the sumptuous 2006 Los Angeles production of Verdi's tragic masterpiece. "Violetta has lately become one of Fleming's signature roles, and she acted the part as compellingly as she sang it, which was warmly, with sparkling top notes and an ease with the vocal line that any singer would envy." (Los Angeles Times)