The Impossible Dream… is over

The Impossible Dream… is over


norman lebrecht

March 17, 2014

Mitch Leigh, who wrote the song for Man of La Mancha (along with the rest of the score, is no more). Mitch was 86.

The song has been covered by every balladeer from Jacques Brel to Placido Domingo.

the impossible dream


  • The greatest musical ever…something hard to explain to contemporary fans of the Flavor of the Month.

  • NYMike says:

    Mitch was also a well-known jingle writer who ran a company known as MusicMakers. One other B’way show he composed was “Cry For Us All,” written in odd meters like ⅞ . It had a short run.

  • I’ve taught this song. I always felt it was the impossible piano-part. I particularly liked it as for most bass-baritones it lay well, encouraged them to sing through the notes, and yet maintain good diction.

  • Diego Theumann says:

    Dear Norman,

    how can you have forgotten the great Richard Kiley who was – if I am not mistaken – the first to sing the Don Quixote role in that musical?!!! Here you have it

  • Jeremy Elliott says:

    Great musical of course.

    Mitch Leigh was also a partner in Smithers and Leigh, a grand multi story record shop on Oxford Street/Marble Arch. His partner was Stanley Symonds and I remember the store was opened by Roger Daltry. Great classical department.

    Shame it all closed after a year………………….

    • Heather says:

      I worked at Smithers and Leigh for the entire time it was open. We started in a basement in Wigmore Street and I have to say it was the best year of my life. I was on a working holiday in London from Adelaide, South Australia. Great memories.

  • Jeremy Elliott says:

    Mitch Leigh was also a partner in Smithers and Laigh, 80’s music superstore on Oxford Street.

    Shame it closed after a year’s trading

  • Martin says:

    Just played the Stones ‘Dirty Work’ album while indulging in a vinyl night – probably only the second time I’ve played it! It still has the original red shrink wrap cover with the Smithers and Leigh price sticker (£5.49). I’d completely forgotten about the shop but the name brought back vague memories so googled it and from it’s location I knew I must have bought it while working in Baker Street. I subsequently recalled the shop opening and just as quickly closing. A great shame – it was a bold and ambitious venture and a pleasure to be in. Maybe if I’d bought a few more albums there…