The Nutcracker - Michigan Opera Theatre

Overview

BalletMet’s Production Back by Popular Demand!
Create everlasting memories for you and yours with the magical return of The Nutcracker. Sparkling snow, charming characters, and wonderful surprises come to life as Clara and her Nutcracker Prince travel through the luminous Land of the Sugar Plum Fairy!

NEW: Toy Drive with COTS (Coalition on Temporary Shelter): Patrons are invited to bring an unwrapped gift for children ages 2-12 for any performance of The Nutcracker. Toys will go to local homeless children who would otherwise go without this season. Join us on our goal to collect 300 toys!

Detroit’s only Nutcracker with a live orchestra

Matinee Activities

  • Live Reindeer: On Broadway Street 1:00 p.m. to curtain time
  • Photos with Santa: In the Frankel Lounge on the box level (2nd floor) Madison Street side 1:00 p.m. through intermission
  • Photos with The Nutcracker: In the Frankel Lounge on the box level (2nd floor) Madison Street side 1:00 p.m. through intermission
  • Treat Dreams Ice Cream: Free holiday samples while quantities last Allesee Lounge (2nd floor) Madison Street side 1:00 p.m. to curtain time
  • Arts & Scraps: Craft-making for the holidays! Smith Lobby (1st floor) Madison Street side 1:00 p.m. through intermission
  • Customized Holiday Ornaments: For sale in the Grand Lobby 1:00p.m. through intermission
  • Local High School & College Choirs: Atop the Grand Staircase during intermission

Fast Facts

The Nutcracker
Ballet in two acts
Story adapted from E. T. A. Hoffmann’s “The Nutcracker and the Mouse King”
Original choreography by Marius Petipa
Music composed by Peter Ilyitch Tchaikovsky

This Production
Conceived and created by Gerard Charles and Robert Post
Scenery designed by Peter Horne and Dan Gray
Costumes Designed by Rebecca Baygents Turk, Aimee Greer, Lynn Holbrook
MOT Orchestra conducted by Peter Stafford Wilson
Running time: 110 minutes
Location: Detroit Opera House

Synopsis

Act I
It is Christmas Eve, a night of magic, when anything can happen. The newly fallen snow glistens on the rooftops and excitement is in the air. Herr Drosselmeyer, a very old friend of the Stahlbaum family, passes by their house and leaves an early present for the family. Inside the Stahlbaum house, Clara and Fritz wait as their family makes sure everything is ready for that evening’s grand party. The guests arrive and the fun begins. Of course, there is lots of dancing and many presents.

When Herr Drosselmeyer, who is also Clara’s godfather, comes to the house, magical things always happen. Every year he creates delightful toys unlike anything else in the world. This year he has some very special surprises for Clara and her family. Although Clara loves the lifelike Spanish doll, and Fritz the exciting Chinese doll, they cannot be left for the children to play with. Instead, Drosselmeyer has another very special and unusual gift, a remarkable nutcracker that he gives to Clara. Angered that he too cannot crack nuts with his teeth, Fritz regrettably breaks the nutcracker. Drosselmeyer is quick to repair the nutcracker for Clara, but Fritz is still looking for trouble and finds a rat with which to tease Clara.

Once all the guests leave the party, the Stahlbaums go to bed. Clara is awakened by a strange sound. Worried that her nutcracker is alone downstairs, she goes to find him and falls asleep on the couch. Suddenly, mice surround her. Drosselmeyer is acting very strangely and her nightmare continues as the whole house transforms around her. A menacing Mouse King orders his minions to steal the nutcracker from Clara. The Spanish and Chinese dolls come to help her, but the marauding mice carry them off. Just when Clara thinks all is lost, her nutcracker suddenly comes to life and temporarily scares the mice away. A huge battle between the toy soldiers and the mice follows. The Mouse King is about to defeat the nutcracker, but Clara saves the day. She discovers that by defeating the Mouse King, she has freed the Prince, who had been trapped in the nutcracker, and she understands that Drosselmeyer had a purpose in all the strange things he had done that night. Clara and her Prince pass through a wondrous snowy land as they begin their journey together to his home in the land of the Sugar Plum Fairy.

Act II
News that the Prince is finally returning home reaches the land of the Sugar Plum Fairy, where people from all corners of the world — and the world of the imagination — come to greet Clara and her Nutcracker Prince. After hearing the story of Clara rescuing the Prince, the Sugar Plum Fairy arranges a grand celebration in Clara’s honor, filled with many wondrous surprises, including being reunited with the Spanish doll. “This must be what it’s like,” Clara thinks, “to be inside one of Godfather’s inventions.”

Sadly, the night comes to an end. Even though Clara wants to stay, it is time to leave this enchanted land. Like a wonderful dream, this magical night will stay with her forever.

Videos

Images

Additional Resources

View Program

Sponsors

View All

Related Stories

Reviews: The Nutcracker

“Incredible production – the choreography, dancers, sets, music … everything was exquisite.”

Read More
The classic ‘Nutcracker’ is back, for three shows

A rite of passage for children and adults alike, this iconic ballet is destined to create lasting memories.

Read More

Fast Facts

The Nutcracker
Ballet in two acts
Story adapted from E. T. A. Hoffmann’s “The Nutcracker and the Mouse King”
Original choreography by Marius Petipa
Music composed by Peter Ilyitch Tchaikovsky

This Production
Conceived and created by Gerard Charles and Robert Post
Scenery designed by Peter Horne and Dan Gray
Costumes Designed by Rebecca Baygents Turk, Aimee Greer, Lynn Holbrook
MOT Orchestra conducted by Peter Stafford Wilson
Running time: 110 minutes
Location: Detroit Opera House

Sponsors

Additional Resources

View Program