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The Nutcracker

ballet in two acts
music by Pyotr Tchaikovsky
choreography and staging by Yuri Grigorovich

Credits

Music by Pyotr Tchaikovsky
Libretto by Yuri Grigorovich after the fairy-tale by Ernst Theodor Amadeus Hoffmann, ideas from the scenario by Marius Petipa used

Music Director and Conductor: Karen Durgaryan
Production Choreographer: Yuri Grigorovich
Production Designer (set design and costumes): Simon Virsaladze
Lighting Designer: Mikhail Sokolov

Assistants to Production Choreographer: Regina Nikiforova, Alexander Volchkov, Marianna Ryzhkina, Alexander Petukhov, Sofya Lyubimova

Renewal Artist for the scenery: Mikhail Sapozhnikov
Renewal Artist for the costumes: Elena Netsvetaeva-Dolgaleva
Assistant Lighting Designer: Anatoly Rumyantsev
Decorator, Consultant for the production of pictural scenery: Zhanna Valyaeva
Technical Consultant on the machinery decorative part: Soslan Margiev

Choirmaster of the children's choir: Margarita Mezentseva
The performance engages: ballet, orchestra, supernumeraries, children's choir of the Novosibirsk State Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre.

*The personal cast of the performers will be published additionally

2 hours 15 minutes

one intermission

The fairy-tale plot by E.T.A. Hoffman served as the source of Tchaikovsky's brilliant Russian ballet The Nutcracker. Academician B. Asafyev wrote that The Nutcracker is "the most perfect artistic phenomenon: a symphony about childhood; no, rather about that time when childhood is at a turning point, when the hopes of an unknown youth are already worrying, and children's skills, children's fears have not yet gone away, when dolls seem alive, and games of war - "it's a vision of being courageous and brave."

The ballet begins in the cozy German burgher house of Mr. Stahlbaum, on Christmas night. And then it develops as a kind of fabulous "journey" at the Christmas tree to a mysterious star twinkling in the sky. This dream journey is the goal of the heroes: Marie, the Nutcracker and their friends funny dolls. But on the way they are watched by evil mice led by the Mouse King; a decisive battle between the Nutcracker and the mouse army happens, and it ends with the victory of the Nutcracker. At the climax of the dream, Marie sees her betrothed, beloved one and fiance in the Nutcracker.

In the ballet, the ratio of the grotesque and everyday life, naive puppetry and deep humanity, the measure of the "Hoffmanniana" are reinterpreted through the bright worldview of P. Tchaikovsky's music.

The premiere of The Nutcracker by Yuri Grigorovich took place in 1966, on the stage of the Bolshoi Theatre. Since then, the ballet in his version has been preserved in the repertoire. It has been also staged by the choreographer in various theatres of Russia and the world: Vienna, Helsinki, Prague, Istanbul, Seoul, Ufa, Tbilisi, Chisinau, Krasnodar, Astana.

The premiere of The Nutcracker by Yuri Grigorovich at the Novosibirsk ballet stage is scheduled for October 2023.

Act I

Guests are gathering for a Christmas party at the Stahlbaum home. Drosselmeyer, godfather to Marie and Fritz, the Stahlbaums children, is also among them. He has brought them a wonderful present: a funny Nutcracker. The children are looking forward to finally being shown a Christmas tree and holiday gifts. The desired moment comes: the finely decorated Christmas tree is presented to the assembled company.

Drosselmeyer suddenly appears disguised as a magician: he is not recognized by the children. The unknown guests ability to make their toys come alive delights the children but, as everything that is clad in mystery, it involuntarily arouses their fear. In order to calm them down, Drosselmeyer takes off his mask and the children now recognize their beloved godfather.

Marie wants to play with the wonderful animated dolls, but they have already been taken away. To comfort Marie, Drosselmeyer gives her the Nutcracker-Doll. Marie takes a great liking to this awkward, funny manikin. Maries brother Fritz, who is a great tease and very naughty, accidentally breaks the doll. With great tenderness, Marie comforts her injured Nutcracker gently rocking him. Fritz and his friends, wearing mouse masks, tease poor Marie. The guests come back from an adjoining room. After the final ceremonial Grossvater dance they all leave.

Its night. The room where the Christmas tree stands is bathed in moonlight. It looks mysterious and full of magical secrets. Overcoming her fears, Marie has come to the room to visit her sick Nutcracker-Doll. She kisses the doll and rocks it.

And at this time Drosselmeyer appears. But instead of the kind godfather, he has turned into a wizard. At a wave of his hand everything around them is transformed: the walls of the room slide back, the Christmas tree starts to grow. And all the toys come alive and grow together with the tree.

Suddenly, mice creep out from under the floorboards, led by the Mouse King. The dolls are panic-stricken and thrown into confusion. The Nutcrackers quickwittedness and bravery save the day: lining up the lead soldiers, he boldly leads them out to do battle with the mouse host.

However, the forces are unequal. The Nutcracker is left alone to face the Mouse King and his retinue. Marie is in despair at the danger threatening her favourite. At this very moment, Drosselmeyer is handing her a lighted candle and she throws it at the mice who scatter in fright. The battlefield empties. Only the Nutcracker lies motionless on the floor. Marie, together with the dolls, hurries to his rescue.

And a miracle happens... A handsome young man, the Nutcracker-Prince stands before Marie. He walks forward to meet her. The walls of the house disappear. Marie and her friends find themselves under the dome of the starry sky, near the fabulous Christmas tree.

Snowflakes go round in a magical dance. A star twinkling on the top of the Christmas tree, like a beautiful dream, beckons Marie and the Nutcracker-Prince to her. They get into a magic boat and set off for the top of the tree. The dolls follow them.

Act II

Marie and the Nutcracker-Prince are sailing in their magic boat through the Christmas tree realm. Their friends, the dolls, are with them. The shining star is getting closer and closer. They are just about to reach the top of the tree when they are suddenly attacked by the mice and the Mouse King who have crept up behind them. Once again, the Nutcracker-Prince goes boldly into battle. Horribly frightened, Marie and the dolls watch the fight. The Nutcracker-Prince vanquishes the enemy.

Joyous victory celebrations are underway. The dolls dance, the candles burn even brighter, the Christmas tree comes alive. The evil mice have been defeated. Marie and the Nutcracker-Prince are radiant with happiness they have reached the realm of their dreams!

But all this appears to be just a dream. Christmas Eve has passed, and wonderful dreams are disappearing with it... Marie, who has felt the breath of a fairy-tale dream, is sitting near her Christmas tree, at home, with a Nutcracker doll on her lap.