Mauricio Sotelo: Dulcinea

Mauricio Sotelo Dulcinea

Mauricio Sotelo: Dulcinea

Year of composition:
A children's opera based on "Don Quijote" by Miguel de Cervantes
Mauricio Sotelo
Original language:
Angelica Ammar (01.03.2005)
Andrés Ibáñez (01.10.2004)
(Kinderchor auf dem Tonträger)
cl, perc, pno, vln, vc, sound carrier, live electronics
Instrumentation details:
cl.(Bb) + Bscl.(Bb)
record medium / live electronics
Ein Auftragswerk von Fundación Teatro Lírico – Teatro Real de Madrid in Koproduktion mit Gran Teatre del Liceu de Barcelona, la Asociación de Amigos de la Opera de Bilbao, el Teatro de la Maestranza de Sevilla, la Fundación Opera de Oviedo y el Palau de les Arts de Valencia
a Momito, Pauli y Claudia, así como a todos los niños del mundo
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The complete perusal score (PDF-preview)

Work introduction

Miguel de Cervantes’ adventures of Don Quijote de la Mancha have inspired the enchanting children’s opera by Mauricio Sotelo entitled Dulcinea. The story revolves around the dream of a young boy who has fallen asleep reading the ”old and boring” Don Quijote. The figures of Don Quijote and Sancho Panza, with all their fantasies and adventures, come to life before his very eyes, and Cervantes himself (as “the learned Freston”) and Don Quijote’s imaginary lover Dulcinea also appear as products of his fantasy.

Storyline: The story of Dulcinea is set in a boy’s room at night-time. The room is full of toys and trendy gadgets, all of which will become fundamentally important as the adventure progresses.

The boy has been told in school to read Don Quijote de la Mancha, but reading that “old and tedious” book bores him stiff. His mother uses feeble arguments to try to make him read it, but ultimately the boy throws the book onto the floor and goes to bed.

Don Quijote and Sancho Panza then materialize out of the book, dressed as we always imagine, and approach the boy to talk with him. From this moment until the end of the opera, these three characters – the boy, Don Quijote and Sancho – never leave the stage, the boy assuming the role of a privileged spectator on the course of the following adventures as they unfold before the child’s eyes.

The boy asks Don Quijote and Sancho why they are so determined to convince him that reading the adventures is worth the effort. The two hapless adventurers explain that they are always alive and real only when someone takes up their book and begins to read it. The adventures which now occur happen before the boy’s eyes: the battles with the windmills and the flocks of sheep, Don Quijote’s chimeras in the Sierra Morena, the adventures with the enchanted Dulcinea, in Montesinos’ cave and the enchanted boat.

Exhausted after so many abortive adventures, Don Quijote has one last dream, one which is not in Cervantes’ book; he dreams about Dulcinea’s Island. He dreams that the enchanted boat of his final adventure brings him to an island where Dulcinea reigns as Queen. She appears, describing the island where she lives, and a dialogue with Don Quijote develops which transforms into a love duet.

At that moment, a virtual image appears of Freston, Don Quijote’s arch-enemy, but it is none other than Miguel de Cervantes, the author. He says, very angrily, that Dulcinea does not exist and that the book’s story cannot be altered. But the boy asks them to stop their disputing and tell him instead how the story ends. At his appearance, even the author is obliged to be silent, since the boy, as the reader who, in reading the book, makes the fictional characters and the author alike come alive. Don Quijote and Sancho explain that there is no end, since the story begins anew whenever a reader opens the book. Then the two disappear as mysteriously as they had emerged.

The boy picks up the book from off the floor and begins to read …

Andrés Ibáñez

Special prints


Mauricio Sotelo: Dulcinea

study score
, 50’
Instr.: cl, perc, pno, vln, vc, sound carrier, live electronics


Mauricio Sotelo: Dulcinea

piano reduction
, 50’
Instr.: cl, perc, pno, vln, vc, sound carrier, live electronics

World première

Teatro Real, Madrid (ES)
Orquesta Sinfónica de Madrid
Joan Cerveró
Main soloists:
Arantxa Armentia (Dulcinea)

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