Within the Quota

A "Ballet-sketch" in One Act

Music by Cole Porter
Libretto by Gerald Murphy

First performed on October 25, 1923 at the Theatre des Champs-Elysees, Paris
American premiere: November 28, 1923 at the Century Theatre, New York
Tour of the United States followed, ending in March, 1924 with a total of 69 performances

Presented by Les Ballets Suedois
Choreography by Jean Borlin
Scenery and Costumes by Gerald Murphy
Orchestrations by Charles Koechlin


An immigrant lands in America and meets successively a variety of American types — part real, part mythical — with whom he is already familiar through visits to the cinema.  His pleasure in the company of an heiress, a strutting vaudevillian, a jazz baby and a cowboy is interrupted by repeated appearances of the American puritan, who is depicted in turn as social reformer, revenue agent, uplifter, and sheriff.  Finally, he meets the Sweetheart of the World, a Mary Pickford character who embraces him and, to the accompaniment of clicking cameras, oversees his metamorphosis from raw immigrant to movie star. - from Robert Kimball's liner notes for Overtures and Ballet Music

Sections of the Score

  • "Opening"
  • "Heiress"
  • "Heiress Reformer"
  • "Colored Gentleman"
  • "Colored Gentleman Reformer"
  • "Jazz Baby"
  • "Jazz Baby Reformer"
  • "Cowboy"
  • "Sweetheart of the World"
  • "Finale"


Special Occasions: Richard Rodney Bennett Plays the Ballet Music of Cole Porter, Harold Arlen & Richard Rodgers

Two-piano arrangement by Richard Rodney Bennett
Recorded April 25-26 and May 2-3, 1978 at Dick Charles Recording Studios, New York City

  • LP, 1978 [DRG Records 6102]
  • Compact Disc, 1990 [DRG Records 6102]
    [includes "Within the Quota" (11:31)]

Cole Porter: Overtures and Ballet Music / John McGlinn conducts the London Sinfonietta

Orchestrations by Charles Koechlin
Recorded December, 1990 at No. 1 Studio, Abbey Road, London

  • Compact Disc, 1991 [EMI CDC 7 54300 2]
    [includes "Within the Quota" (16:11)]

For more info go to Overtures and Ballet Music

Reconstruction from a fragmentary manuscript of Cole Porter's scoring for three and four pianos
Adapted by William Bolcom
Arranged for concert band by Philip J. Lang

  • Melville NY: E. B. Marks Music Corp., 1977; 47 p.
  • Boca Raton FL: Edwin F. Kalmus 15907-FS 45, 1991; 47 p.

No known recordings of this arrangement

Porter In Order

Previous Project / Next Project