Hans Zender (1936–2019) Don Quijote de la Mancha
31 Theatric Adventures 1989-91/1994 duration: 165' Text: Hans Zender
11 soloists – 1(picc).1.1(A-sax).1(dble bsn) – 0.1.1.1. – perc(4) – guit – cym.pno.synthesizer(sampler) – str: 184.108.40.206. – live electronic
World première: Stuttgart, October 3, 1993
World première of the new version: Heidelberg, January 23, 1999
Duration: full evening
Text by the composer after Cervantes' novel of the same name
Place and time: Spain, early 17th Century
Characters: Don Quijote (baritone) - Sancho Panza (tenor) - Niece / Lucinde / Duchess / Dulcinea I / Dame I (soprano) - Neighbor / Dorothea / Dulcinea II / Dame II / (Lady-in-waiting I) / (Angel) (mezzo-soprano) - Housekeeper / Oracle / Dulcinea III / Dame III / (Lady-in-waiting II) / (Queen) (alto) - Boy (metallic childs voice / speaking part) - Barber I / Lector I / Henchman I / (Devil) / (Don Pedro) (tenor) - Cardenio / Lions keeper / (Soldier) / (1. Courtier) / (Sexton) / (Lector IV) (tenor) - Administrator / Barber II / Lector II / (Death) / (Swineherd) (baritone) - Lector III / Henchman II / 2. Courtier (bass baritone) - Don Fernando / Duke / (The Shadow) / (Notary (silent part)) (baritone) - Parish Priest / Landlord / Merlin / (Kaiser) / (3. Courtier) / (Lector V, "Der Chef") (bass)
Further singers, supernumeraries, actors, Pantomimes, Doubles ad lib
The double casts in brackets can also be played by additional singers
Some of the pieces played by the live electronics can be produced before and performed on tape recording. The single pieces can be theoretically be played single or in an own assembled partial choice of pieces.
In this work, the composer has extended his structural concept to embrace the staging aspects as well. The form ensues from five basic elements, which he calls song (G), language (S), instrumental performance (I), stage setting (B) and action (A). Each of the 31 separate pieces is built from a varying combination of these five basic components; only one contains all five elements. Stage setting and action are incorporated into the musical form; they are temporally organized similarly to the traditionally "musical elements. "Stage setting here means a static scene as in the "tableaux vivants that were so popular in Goethes day. Action, in its turn, signifies a situation on stage where everything is in motion, including props and "stage setting. Stage setting and action means that both elements are integrated in a way that is newly defined each time. If neither stage setting nor action are intended, there is no scene. All decisions regarding spatial organization are left up to the stage director or set designer.
Ermen, Reinhard: Versuchsanordnungen des Musiktheaters. Hans Zenders Opern, in: Programmheft der Inszenierung Frankfurt, 6. Dezember 2016 (Ensemble Modern@Frankfurt LAB), pp. 19-21.
Hiekel, Jörn Peter: Form-Abenteuer als Spiegel. Hans Zenders Musiktheaterwerke „Don Quijote de la Mancha“, in: Programmheft der Inszenierung Frankfurt, 6. Dezember 2016 (Ensemble Modern@Frankfurt LAB), pp. 14-17.
Schmidt, Dörte: Die Bilder werden neu entdeckt, aber als Zeichen, die der Vergangenheit angehören. Zenders Musiktheater und die Instanz der Geschichte, in: Hans Zender. Vielstimmig in sich, hrsg. von Werner Grünzweig, Jörn Peter Hiekel und Anouk Jeschke (= Archive zur Musik des 20. und 21. Jahrhunderts, Band 12), Hofheim: Wolke 2008, pp. 77-89.