This Broadway musical, with music from Mitch Leigh (1928-2014), is based on Dale Wasserman’s teleplay I, Don Quixote. It takes the form of a play within a play, with the author Miguel de Cervantes having been thrown in prison. The recital concludes with the best known selections from this ever-popular example of musical theatre.
In “I, Don Quixote”, the elderly knight sings of his duty: “I am I, Don Quixote the Lord of La Mancha; my destiny calls and I go…” In “Aldonza”, the object of Don Quixote’s chivalric affections protests that “I am not your lady! I am not any kind of a lady! I was spawned in a ditch by a mother who left me there…”
In “Dulcinea”, Don Quixote sings to Aldonza, who is still trying to convince him of her true identity: “Dulcinea… Dulcinea… I see heaven when I see thee, Dulcinea…” She protests in “What Do You Want Of Me?” and asks Don Quixote “Why try to be what nobody can be?”
And no concert would be complete without “The Impossible Dream”. Aldonza asks “Why do you do these things?” and Don Quixote famously replies “To dream the impossible dream, to fight the unbeatable foe, to bear with unbearable sorrow, to run where the brave dare not go…”
The set ends with the duet, “Odi l’aura che dolce sospira” from the azione teatrale, La pace fra la virtù e la bellezza (theatrical action: The Peace brtween Virtue and Beauty) of 1738. Here, Beethoven exquisitely depicts the rustling breezes and roaring waves in the piano. Against this backdrop, the singers echo one another of the delight and sorrow brought by love.