cz de fr sp en
Jaroslav Doubrava Jaroslav Doubrava, born in Chrudim (Eastern Bohemia), died in Prague 2.10.1960. After having finished his studies he started his professional career as a secondary school teacher in several towns of the country, inclusive his native town. Concurrently, he studied the composition privately with Otakar Jeremiáš, the famous Prague composer (1936 – 40). Due to his successful composition effort the Czechoslovak Radio invited him as a musical editor in 1945. From 1955 up to his early death he worked as an independent composer. His civic and moral principles raised him to the position of artists, tolerated at best, but not favoured by state control. Nevertheless due to a temporary politicalthawing in the period of so-called “Prague Spring” he was awarded the price for creative work “in memoriam” in 1969.
He finished several compositions for stage performance: operas Midsummer Night’s Dream (after W. Shakespeare), Christening of St Vladimir (unfinished), Ballad on Love (first night in the National Theatre in Prague, 1962), ballets: King Lavra and Don Quijote. He created further compositions: 3 symphonies, from 4th – unfinished- is performed its fragment (first part) titled The Autumn Pastoral, followed by number of chamber music - suites and sonatas (for violin and piano), as well as vocal music compositions (songs and choruses).
Doubrava’s life and work are incorporated in the monograph “Composer in the Clench of Two Totalities” written by Jaromir Havlik (Akademie Muzickych umeni Praha, 2002).
More reference to the author see: “Die Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart”, “Grove’s Dictionary”, “Cs. encyklopedie”, “Cs. hudebni slovnik osob a instituci”.

Ballet tragicomedy Don Quijote, dedicated “to don Quijote in each of us”, J.Doubrava finished in 1955, i.e. in the year of the throughout the world cultural anniversary mentioned by World Peace Council. The composer was awarded the price for the opus in The Great Jubilee Competition in previous Czechoslovakia. The Ballet, with Prologue, 5 scenes, and Epilogue, after M. de Cervantes libretto by J. Bachtik and the author, was firstly staged in the State Theatre in Brno, choreography by J. Nermut, conductor J. Pinkas and by theatre ballet ensemble (first night at 22nd December, 1957). This opus was studied by Volkstheater Rostock in 1961 and met with a great success as at its first night and throughout the whole season performance.
Ballet Don Quijote was put on the stage of the National Theatre in Prague in the frame of the musical festival Prague Spring 1958. The five parts Concert Suite from the ballet (Tobosa Vintage Fete, Wondering in the Fog – Tilt at Windmill, Dance in the Pub, the Flying Horse Ride, Epilogue) is often put on the concerts program. It was also published both in print and sound record (30’).
Doubrava’s Don Quijote is not the only one Czech elaboration of the famous theme. Mainly take us into consideration Viktor Dyk’s drama “Don Quijote’s Mellowing “ (1914-Fr. Zavrel, stage direction, Fr. Kysela stage design), as well as the “Don Quijote’s Head” by Otto Gutfreundsculptured nearly contemporaneuously. (Collection of 31 wood engravings and 2 zincographies made by Quido Manes, visual artist, second part of 19 century, published by “Druzstevni Prace”, 1923.) Statues by the sculptor Jan Kodet were created in 40th, novel illustrations painted by Frantisek Tichy, were made in 50th, the cycle of graphic arts “The Lonely Shepherd“ by Bohuslav Reynek, poet and artist, over and above poetess’ cycle V. Provaznikova “Don Quijote” inspired by Reynek’s graphic arts in 90th of the last century, etc.

1) First night, Janacek’s Theatre, Brno, 22nd December 1957
2) A press response: “Svet v obrazech”, January 1958
3) State Theatre Brno at “Prague Spring 1958”
4) Volkstheater Rostock,, March 1961
5) Prague Spring 1969


Jaroslav Doubrava

Ballet tragicomedy with Prologue, 5 Scenes and Epilogue.
Libretto J. Bachtik and J. Doubrava after M. de Cervantes.

Dedicated: to don Quijote in each of us.

Ballet tragicomedy presents don Quijote as a life story of a man equipped with his faith in justice and his dreams only. These are the hero’s goals; nevertheless his effort turns in vain.
Dulcinea acts as the symbol of don Quijote’s longing. Don Quijote, as a servant of the lady of his dreams, together with his friend Sancho Panza, puts into fighting.
Dulcinea accompanies all the ballet scenes. She presents herself as a maid in a pub where don Quijote is dubbed knight. She reveals between actors and it is due to her that the knight tilts against windmills. Even injured after having fallen from the wing of the windmill he repeatedly fights for Dulcinea against the wineskins at vintage fete in Tobosa. Don Quijote recognizes her at pastoral love game, too. Her unattainability leads him to dance with his own shadow. He leaves human society in the duke’s castle in order to fly through star space. Contemporarily he fights against outlandish masks of human stupidity, hate and envy so as to he could finally defeat the death itself in the fight for immortality. At that moment when Dulcinea and human dream stars crown him the immortality victor with laurels don Quijote find himself in ruins of wooden horse in the duke’s castle.
Don Quijote returns home from his expeditions misunderstood and mocked. In the Epilogue, there is the death that is the winner finally. Dulcinea and Sancho Panza are weeping for the dying knight.

duration: 100“

Contents of the ballet written by composer before its first night in Brno, December 1957