The Nutcracker (Kraków Opera)

Classical music

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Kraków Opera presents the charming ballet telling the story of young Clara’s adventures in a fairytale land where her toys come to life, including her beloved nutcracker.

The dazzling music glitters like snow in the winter sun, recalling Christmas – even if you’re somewhere not usually blessed with frost at this time of year. The play is a true classic, enchanting, delighting and entertaining audiences for well over a century. The Kraków Opera gets into the festive spirit with one of the most popular and enduring ballets: Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker.

“On Christmas Eve, the children of Doctor Stahlbaum were not allowed into the family room, let alone the adjoining living room,” opens the story written by the German poet, author and musician E.T.A. Hoffmann. Its French version, penned by Alexandre Dumas, père, was adapted by Marius Petipa, maître de ballet of the St Petersburg Imperial Theatres. He entrusted the musical illustration of the fairytale to Pyotr Tchaikovsky, providing him with a list of requirements, from the desired number of bars to the atmosphere and sound. For example, in the Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy, Petipa wanted to hear water droplets falling from a fountain; the composer achieved this by using a recently invented instrument: the celesta.

Tchaikovsky’s melodies have been an inspiration for generations of artists. The Cracovian production has been prepared by Emil Wesołowski, the eminent Polish choreographer, author and director of many operas and ballets, who has long worked with the Grand Theatre – National Opera in Warsaw. Musical direction comes from Grzegorz Berniak. “We are taken through the fairytale land among sets designed by Marek Grabowski, employing contemporary techniques of composing paintings; tailors prepared around two hundred fabulous costumes designed by Maria Balcerek with her usual poetic flair,” says the Kraków Opera.

The Nutcracker features tin soldiers battling a mouse army, the nutcracker turning into a handsome prince, snowflakes and flowers performing elaborate dances, and the Sugar Plum Fairy tempting us into her sweet world. The tale is as enchanting for young viewers as for those whose days of toy soldiers and dolls are far behind them… (Barbara Skowrońska)

The Nutcracker Pyotr Tchaikovsky
ballet-féerie in two acts
libretto by Marius Petipa and Ivan Vsevolozhsky based on a story by E.T.A. Hoffmann

Adaptation and choreography: Emil Wesołowski
Set design: Marek Grabowski
Costumes: Maria Balcerek



Kraków Travel
Kids in Kraków
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