Live Cinema Season

The Nutcracker

Recorded | Ballet

Running time: The performance lasts about 2 hours 20 minutes, including one interval

The Nutcracker

A young girl’s enchanted present leads her on a wonderful Christmas adventure in this beautiful classical ballet, danced to Tchaikovsky’s magnificent score.

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The story

The young Clara creeps downstairs on Christmas Eve to play with her favourite present – a Nutcracker. But the mysterious magician Drosselmeyer is waiting to sweep her off on a magical adventure.

After defeating the Mouse King, the Nutcracker and Clara travel through the Land of Snow to the Kingdom of Sweets, where the Sugar Plum Fairy treats them to a wonderful display of dances. Back home, Clara thinks she must have been dreaming – but doesn’t she recognize Drosselmeyer’s nephew?

Background

Peter Wright’s nigh-on definitive production for The Royal Ballet ranks as one of the most enduring and enchanting versions of The Nutcracker. With its festive period setting, dancing snowflakes and enchanting stage magic, Lev Ivanov’s 1892 ballet has become the perfect Christmas entertainment, with Tchaikovsky’s sumptuous, sugar-spun music the most recognizable of all ballet scores.

Loosely based on the story by E.T.A. Hoffmann, the ballet opens with the lively Christmas party that is hosted by the Stahlbaum family, its Victorian setting captured in opulent detail by Julia Trevelyan Oman’s designs. Wright’s choreography ingeniously incorporates surviving fragments of the ballet’s original material, including the sublime pas de deux for the Sugar Plum Fairy and her Prince. But in emphasizing the relationship between Clara and the Nutcracker Prince, the production also gains a touching subtext of first love.

Credits

Choreography
Peter Wright
after Lev Ivanov
Music
Pyotr Il’yich Tchaikovsky
Original scenario
Marius Petipa
Production and scenario
Peter Wright
Designer
Julia Trevelyan Oman
Lighting designer
Mark Henderson
Production consultant
Roland John Wiley
Performed by
The Royal Ballet

Performers

Conductor
Barry Wordsworth
The Sugar Plum Fairy
Sarah Lamb
The Prince
Steven McRae
Clara
Francesca Hayward
Hans-Peter/The Nutcracker
Alexander Campbell
Herr Drosselmeyer
Gary Avis
Choir
London Oratory Junior Choir
and
Schola Cantorum of The London Oratory School
Concert Master
Peter Manning
Orchestra
Orchestra of the Royal Opera House

The Nutcracker Digital Programme

The Nutcracker Digital Programme
£2.99

Digital Programmes bring together a range of specially selected films, audio clips, pictures, articles, features, news and information, as well as exclusives and updates, and highlights from the Royal Opera House website, YouTube, SoundCloud and Flickr pages. Features are added as the performances approach, to enhance your experience of a production.

Cast sheets

Cast sheets are available as PDFs

News and features

To find out more visit the The Nutcracker production page.