Soprano Danielle de Niese to join British and US TV stars in West End musical

A musical inspired by Miguel de Cervantes’ Spanish Golden Age masterpiece is to be revived for London’s West End this spring. Dale Wasserman’s Man of La Mancha, with score by Mitch Leigh and lyrics by Joe Darion, is a playful twist on Spain’s most famous classical novel, Don Quixote.

A tale of knighthood, chivalry and nonsense, Man of La Mancha follows the fictional adventures of Cervantes and his man servant Sancho Panza, both awaiting trial during the Spanish Inquisition. In Cervantes’ trunk he carries the unfinished novel, Don Quixote – and as prisoners attempt to steal his possessions, Cervantes acts out the novel as his defence, transforming himself into Alonso Quijano, who, imagining he is a ‘knight errant’, renames himself Don Quixote de la Mancha, and sets off on a curious quest with his sidekick Panza.

Danielle de Niese © Chris Dunlop | DECCA
Danielle de Niese © Chris Dunlop | DECCA

Screen stars heading up the bill are Frasier’s Kelsey Grammer and BAFTA award-winning actor Nicholas Lyndhurst. West End star Cassidy Janson and soprano Danielle de Niese will share the roles of Aldonza and Dulcinea, with Niese taking on 33 performances and Cassidy 17.

Directed by Lonny Price, Man of La Mancha will be performed by English National Opera’s  (ENO) 35-piece orchestra, who will belt out hits, including Sinatra favourite The Impossible Dream.

The musical will make its London Coliseum debut 26 April to 8 June and is produced by Michael Linnit and Michael Grade (Chess, Carousel, Sunset Boulevard and Sweeney Todd), in collaboration with ENO. It will be the first London West End production of the multi-Tony award-winning Broadway musical in over 50 years.