Nutcracker

Synopsis

Act I
Guests are gathering for a Christmas party at the Stahlbaum home. Among them are Drosselmeyer, godfather to Marie and Fritz, the Stahlbaums’ children. He has brought them a wonderful present: a funny Nutcracker.

The children wait with impatience for when at long last they will be shown the Christmas tree and the presents. The long awaited moment comes: the handsomely adorned Christmas tree is presented to the assembled company.

Drosselmeyer suddenly appears disguised as a magician: he is not recognized by the children. Their unknown guest’s 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 dolls which have come alive, but they have already been tidied away. To comfort Marie, Drosselmeyer gives her the Nutcracker-Doll. Marie takes a great liking to this awkward, funny creature.

Marie’s brother Fritz, who is a great tease and very naughty, acci­dentally breaks the doll. With great tenderness, Marie comforts her injured Nutcracker and rocks it backwards and forwards. Fritz and his friends now put on mouse masks and tease poor Marie.

The guests appear from an adjoining room. After the final, ceremonial Grossvater dance, they all leave.
At 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.

Drosselmeyer now appears. But instead of her 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 Nutcracker’s quick wits and bravery save the day: lining up the lead soldiers, he boldly leads them out to do battle with the mice forces.

However, the forces are unequal, the advantage is on the side of the evil mice. The Nutcracker is left alone to face the Mouse King and his suite. Marie is out of her mind with worry over the danger that threatens her doll. At this very moment, Drosselmeyer hands her a lighted candle and she throws it at the mice who scurry away helter-skelter.

The battle field empties. The only person left here is the Nutcracker who lies without moving on the floor. Marie, together with the dolls, hurries to his rescue. And now a miracle occurs...Before Marie stands a handsome youth, the Nutcracker-Prince. He walks forward to meet her.

The walls of the house disappear. Marie and her friends are standing under a star-studded sky, by a fairy-tale Christmas tree. Snowflakes go round in a magical dance. Marie and her Nutcracker-Prince, beckon, as if to a beautiful dream, to the twinkling star at the top of the Christmas tree. They climb into a magic boat and set off for the top of the tree. The dolls follow behind them.

Act II
Marie and Nutcracker-Prince are sailing in their magic boat through the Christmas tree kingdom. There are their friends, the dolls 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 kingdom of their dreams! But it appears all this was just a dream. Christmas Eve is over and with it all wonderful reveries. Marie, still in the thrall of the fabulous dream, is sitting at home by the Christmas tree, with the Nutcracker-Doll on her lap.

Program and cast

Buy tickets
December 2019 Next
Mo
Tu
We
Th
Fr
Sa
Su
Photo gallery

Bolshoi Theatre

On 28 March (17 according to the old style) 1776, Catherine II granted the prosecutor, Prince Pyotr Urusov, the "privilege" of "maintaining" theatre performances of all kinds, including masquerades, balls and other forms of entertainment, for a period of ten years. And it is from this date that Moscow’s Bolshoi Theatre traces its history.

The Bolshoi building, which for many years now has been regarded as one of Moscow’s main sights, was opened on 20 October 1856, on Tsar Alexander II’s coronation day.

On 29 October 2002 the Bolshoi was given a New Stage and it was here it presented its performances during the years the Historic Stage was undergoing massive reconstruction and refurbishment.

The reconstruction project lasted from l July 2005 to 28 October 2011. As a result of this reconstruction, many lost features of the historic building were reinstated and, at the same time, it has joined the ranks of most technically equipped theatre buildings in the world.

The Bolshoi Theatre is a symbol of Russia for all time. It was awarded this honor due to the major contribution it made to the history of the Russian performing arts. This history is on-going and today Bolshoi Theatre artists continue to contribute to it many bright pages.

 

An inherent part of the Theatre’s activities is the presentation of concerts of symphony and chamber works, and of operas in concert performance, thus acquainting the public with works of all music genres. 

Now that the Bolshoi Theatre has two stages at its disposal, one of them its legendary Historic Stage which is at last back in action again, it hopes to fulfill its mission with an even greater degree of success, steadily extending the sphere of its influence at home and throughout the world.

 

The Bolshoi has to a large extent reacquired its authentic historical appearance, lost during the years of Soviet power. The auditorium and part of its suite of halls now look as they were originally conceived by Bolshoi Theatre architect Alberto Cavos. While the former imperial foyer halls have been given back their 1895 decor, this was the year they were redecorated for Emperor Nicholas II’s coronation celebrations. Each reproduced or restored element of interior decoration was made the object of a special project for which separate documentation was collected based on numerous archival and on-site researches.

In 2010 the auditorium suite of halls were renovated: the Lobby, the Main or the White Foyer, the Choral, Exhibition, Round and Beethoven halls. Muscovites were able to admire the restored facades and the renovated symbol of the Bolshoi Theatre — the famous Apollo quadriga, created by the sculptor Peter Klodt.

The auditorium has regained its original beauty. And, just like the 19th century theatergoer, so each member of the public today will be dazzled by its extravagant and at the same time “light” décor. The bright crimson, scattered with gold, draping of the interiors of the boxes, the different on each level stucco arabesques, the Apollo and the Muses plafond — all this contributes to the auditorium’s breath-taking impact.

Special attention was paid to the restoration of the legendary acoustics. International experts did extensive research work and made sure all their technical recommendations were carried out to the letter.

State of the art machinery has been installed in the stagehouse. The Bolshoi Theatre Historic stage now consists of seven two-tier rising and descending platforms. These platforms can easily change their positions, thus the stage can become horizontal, raked or stepped. The stage and backstage area can be united which creates a stage space of incredible depth.

New upper stage equipment, remotely controlled by computer, makes it possible to derive maximum use from lighting, sound and visual effects. Cutting edge rigs have been installed for the deployment of lanterns, special effects apparatus and acoustics. 

The orchestra pit has been provided with extra space under the forestage. This makes it one of the biggest orchestra pits in the world seating up to 130 musicians, which is necessary for the performance of such large-scale works as, for instance, Wagner operas.

The installation of state of the art stage equipment was a unique world-scale project. The reconstruction has doubled the Theatre’s total floor space. Thanks to the expansion of the Theatre’s existing underground spaces (under stagehouse) and to the construction of new underground space under Theatre Square, this has been achieved without any change to the Theatre’s external appearance.

Thus the Theatre has acquired badly needed new space, including an underground concert and rehearsal room, which has inherited its name from the Beethoven Hall, under the Theatre lobby. This hall is a multi-functional space which can be used in different ways. It consists of five main platforms: the central platform is the stage itself, two platforms to the right and left of it can be used either to increase the size of the stage or as audience space. The two remaining platforms form the main space of the auditorium. All of the platforms can be raised to foyer level to create a space for holding formal, receptions. Apart from this concert hall and its auxiliary premises, the rest of the underground space under Theatre Square accommodates a large number of technical, service and staff rooms.

The Bolshoi Theatre reconstruction project also included the renovation of the Khomyakov House, a protected architectural monument of the first half of the nineteenth century situated immediately behind the Bolshoi, which has been transformed into a service wing. Due to numerous 20th century reconstructions, the historical interiors of the Khomyakov House have been totally lost. While its main walls have been preserved, the interior layout has been redesigned to meet the Theatre’s present-day requirements. Thus the Khomaykov House, which is linked to the main Bolshoi Theatre building by an underground tunnel, is a key element in the gigantic Bolshoi Theatre complex.

The renovation of the country’s main stage was a landmark event in the lives of a large coordinated team of highest-level professionals. Participating in the project were uniquely qualified specialists whose great feat of labor will earn them the undying gratitude of present-day Bolshoi Theatre audiences.

 

Car

Mokhovaya Street

If you are on Mokhovaya Street keep driving straight ahead, not turning off it, till you reach Theatre Square where the Bolshoi Theatre is situated.

Tverskaya Street

If you are moving down Tverskaya, in the direction of the centre, you will automatically find yourself on Teatralnyi Proezd Street leading to the Bolshoi Theatre.

Petrovka Street

If you are on the Petrovka, which is a one-way street, you will be able to drive right up to the Theatre.

Metro

Take the metro to Teatralnaya (Bolshoi Theatre exit) or Okhotnyi ryad (Theatre Square exit).

Related events