Man of La Mancha
Composer: Mitch Leigh
Composer Bio: b. Irwin Mitchnick, 30 January 1928, Brooklyn, New York, USA. A composer, producer and director for the musical theatre and television, Leigh studied music at Yale, graduating with a BA and MA. In the late 50s he formed Music Makers, a company which eventually became the prime source of television and radio jingles in the USA. In the early 60s, Leigh wrote the incidental music for two plays, Too Good To Be True and Never Live Over A Pretzel Factory, before collaborating with lyricist Joe Darion on the musical Man of La Mancha in 1965. It ran for 2,328 performances in New York and won five Tony Awards, and one of its songs, ‘The Impossible Dream’, was awarded the Contemporary Classic Award by the Songwriters Hall of Fame. Leigh never attained anywhere near that degree of success with Broadway shows such as Cry For Us All (1970), Home Sweet Homer (one performance in 1976), Sarava (1979), Chu Chem (1989), and Ain’t Broadway Grand (1993). Indeed, they were all flops, and one or two more of Leigh’s efforts closed out of town. A 25th anniversary production of Man of La Mancha, starring Raul Julia and Sheena Easton, toured the USA, and played 108 performances on Broadway in 1992.
Librettist: Dale Wasserman
Librettist Bio: Dale Wasserman wrote for theater, television and film for more than 50 years and is best known for the musical Man of La Mancha, a multiple Tony Award winner. He also wrote the stage play "One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest," based on Ken Kesey’s novel, which has won several Tony Awards. Both shows continue to be produced nationally and internationally with an estimated 300 productions a year. In January 1979, Dale met Martha Nelly Garza, who became his wife, loyal partner and loving companion, as he quoted in his book, The Impossible Musical (2003). More than once, Dale commented that Martha Nelly was the best thing that ever happened to him (aside from MOLM) and that it was their 30-year partnership that had been the greatest contribution to extending his life and his talents to age 94. Together, they worked on numerous musicals and several new plays.
Premiere Date: November 22, 1965
Description: The story takes place in the late 16th century. Miguel de Cervantes (a tax collector, soldier, and author) and his assistant, Sancho, foreclose on a church that failed to pay its taxes. Thus, the two men are thrown into prison by the Spanish Inquisition. The prisoners then steal Cervantes's possessions. However, he convinces them to allow him to win back a package of papers that would not be of value to other people. Pleading his case, Cervantes gives a dramatic defense by reenacting the story of Don Quixote of La Mancha: the passionate and poignant tale of a noble knight who lives in a world of madness and cannnot see that chivalry has died. His holy quest is a mission of salvation to find compassion not for himself but for others. Don Quixote falls in love with the fair maiden, Aldonza(Dulcina), and convinces her to live a moral life. When Quixote is being knighted, the muleteers brutally assault Aldonza. Quixote and Sancho quickly come to Aldonza's rescue but in the end, Quixote only preaches forgiveness. Next, Quixote fights off his darkest foe, the Enchanter. Moved by the story, the prisoners return Cervantes' manuscript (which turns out to be his unfinished novel about Don Quixote) just before he is called before the Inquisition.
Character List (Major): Don Quixote/Cervantes (baritone)
Sancho Panza (tenor)
Aldonza/Dulcina (soprano)

Character List (Minor): Innkeeper (bass)
Dr. Corrasco (baritone)
Padre/Juan (tenor)
Barber/Prisoner/Muleteer (tenor)
Antonia (mezzo)
Bit Parts: Captain of the Inquisition
The Moor
Length: Length is not available.
Total Acts: 2
Chorus: Guards and Men of Inquisition, Muleteers
Contact: Not Available
Librettist Web Site:
Schedule of Performances Listings
Man of La Mancha (Wasserman)
Saturday, October 24, 2009 - Shreveport Opera
Man of La Mancha (Wasserman)
Friday, September 28, 2007 - Lyric Opera San Diego
Man of La Mancha (Leigh)
Monday, June 26, 2006 - Skylight Music Theatre
Man of La Mancha (Leigh)
Saturday, November 16, 2002 - Townsend Opera Players
Man of La Mancha (Leigh)
Friday, July 26, 2002 - Opera Columbus
Man of La Mancha (Leigh)
Friday, June 21, 2002 - Spokane Opera
Man of La Mancha (Leigh)
Wednesday, April 25, 2001 - Opera Omaha
Man of La Mancha (Leigh)
Thursday, February 8, 2001 - Shepherd College
Man of La Mancha (Leigh)
Saturday, September 19, 1998 - Amarillo Opera
Man of La Mancha (Leigh)
Friday, June 14, 1996 - Opera Cleveland
Man of La Mancha (Leigh)
Saturday, February 19, 1994 - Portland Opera
Man of La Mancha (Leigh)
Friday, November 20, 1992 - Madison Opera
Man of La Mancha (Leigh)
Saturday, March 28, 1992 - Townsend Opera Players
To have your company’s photos included in the header rotation, send photos that are at least 1200px wide and 550px tall to Please note that submission of photos does not guarantee inclusion.
All OPERA America facilities are handicapped accessible. The National Opera Center features ground-level entry with elevators to the venue. All spaces are wheelchair accessible, and modular seating can be arranged to accommodate wheelchair users for all programs and performances. Handicapped accessible restrooms are available on all floors.
330 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001
Tel: 212.796.8620 • Fax: 212.796.8621

Privacy PolicyReturns Policy
2015 Form 990FY16 Audited Financial Statement
© Copyright 1995-2017 OPERA America Inc.

Technical issue with the website? Let us know.