On Sunday, December 18, 1892 in St. Petersburg at the Mariinsky Theatre, The Nutcracker premiered on a double bill with Tchaikovsky’s opera, Iolanta. They performed the libretto which was choreographed by Marius Petipa.
Alexandre Dumas most notable for his works, The Count of Monte Cristo and The Three Musketeers in 1844 made a revision of E.T.A. Hoffmann‘s story The Nutcracker and the Mouse King, which was adapted for ballet for Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. Dumas wrote took many of the stories he wrote and adapted them into plays and opened the Théâtre Historique. Tchaikovsky was commission by Ivan Vsevolozhsky to compose the Nutcracker and he worked with Petipa in cooperation in creation of the ballet.
The players included the Sugar Plum Fairy, Prince Coqueluche, Nutcracker-Prince, Drosselmeyer and Clara. The children’s roles were performed by real children. Now the roles of often performed by adults.
Tchaikovsky’s music is wonderful in the telling of the story, and if you haven’t seen the performance of the Nutcracker on stage, you should try to make it a point, it is of sheer delight. The performance of ballet is elegant and beautiful. Ballerina’s can move across the stage as if they were butterflies.
Here is The Nutcracker at the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg, thankfully not in 1892. Enjoy the show!