“Only he who attempts the ridiculous may achieve the impossible.”
Miguel de Unamuno
Mitch Leigh’s musical Man of La Mancha is a sparkling amalgam of romance, adventure, humour and tragedy that is based on Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra’s novel Don Quixote. It is a comic tragedy of mankind’s struggle to better both himself and the world in which he lives. Cervantes intended a satirical burlesque of the then fashionable novels of chivalry. Gradually the novel developed into a deep, broad and compassionate account of the adventures of an eccentric idealist in a greedy and cynical world. The reader will reach the conclusion that if Don Quixote is a fool, it is because the world does not live up to his ideals.
Leigh’s music delights with beautiful melodies, the most well-known being Don Quixote’s credo The Impossible Dream. Man of La Mancha was last brought on stage at the Estonian National Opera during the season 1970/71, when the leading character was sung by the legendary Estonian baritone Georg Ots.
The librettist Dale Wasserman has said: “I consider it important that the stage is dominated by great and realistic emotions. I wrote my play in order to protest against the “theatre of cruelty” and the meaninglessness of pop art.”