To La Monnaie earlier this evening to see an excellent production of Massenet’s Don Quichotte. We did not get to see José van Dam in his swansong role, but (no offence, José) we didn’t really miss him because Vincent Le Texier was brilliant as the tragi-comic Don. In the fourth act Dulcinée agrees that ‘Oui, peut-être est-il fou, mais c’est un fou sublime!’ And that is exactly how Le Texier sings/plays the role; the Don as a sublime fool. There was another star of the show; Laurent Pelly’s set, which is constructed of countless pages from the books that have sent Don Quichotte mad. Lionel Lhote’s Sancho Panchez gave a moving and thought-provoking portrait of loyalty. I left the theatre vowing that I would find the time this summer to read Cervantes’s novel. By chance, we noticed that the première of this opera at La Monnaie was on 14 May 1910 – almost precisely 100 years ago!