2009-2010 Opera and Ballet Season
The Nutcracker
The great tradition of Russian ballet
Teatro Regio, Friday 11 December 2009 at 8 pm
On Friday 11 December the long-awaited event of The Nutcracker, the ballet with music
by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky on the libretto by Marius Petipa, based on the short story The
Nutcracker and the Mouse King by E. T. A. Hoffmann, will open. Starring at the Regio will be
the Vaganova Ballet Academy of St. Petersburg which will present, for fourteen
performances through 23 December, the 1934 choreography by Vasilij Vajnonen, revived
by Altynaj Asylmuratova, the academy’s director.
This will be the only Italian engagement for the historic ballet school of St. Petersburg –
founded officially in 1738 at the request of Empress Anna Johannovna as the Imperial
Theatrical Institute – which, in its nearly 300 year history, has formed the best dancers in the
world: Anna Pavlova, Vaclav Nižinskij, Rudolf Nureyev, Natalija Makarova, Michail
Baryshnikov and Agrippina Vaganova, who was director and to whom, in 1957, the school
was dedicated. Today it is directed by the former star of the Mariinsky Theatre Altynaj
Asylmuratova. The same Mariinsky Theatre, with its Kirov Ballet, counts among its ranks
the greatest number of Academy graduates. The Torino performances, therefore, provide a
magnificent occasion for seeing ballet stars of the future.
The story of The Nutcracker, set at the beginning of the nineteenth century, takes place on
Christmas Eve, when Drosselmeyer, an eccentric toy maker, much-loved by children, is
invited to Herr Stahlbaum’s home to see the great Christmas tree. There is a succession of
games and dances, during which the imaginative Drosselmeyer also organizes a puppet
show in which the Mouse King intends to kidnap the Princess, but the brave Nutcracker kills
him and saves the Princess, thus becoming little Masha’s favourite toy. In a dream, Herr
Stahlbaum’s daughter imagines the drawing room invaded by mice led by their king, but
the Nutcracker leads a regiment of tin soldiers in an attack, and Masha, overcoming her fear,
follows and saves him by throwing a slipper at the Mouse King, who, defeated, disappears
with his army. Drosselmeyer then transforms the Nutcracker and Masha into a Prince and
Princess and the act concludes with the marvellous Waltz of the Snowflakes. The dream
continues in the last part of the ballet, and the moment of festivities arrives with Masha and
the Nutcracker taking part. There is a series of spirited dances - Spanish, oriental, Chinese,
Russian (trepak) and a Pas de Trois – which ends when the young protagonist wakes up.
Ufficio Stampa Teatro Regio Torino – Tel. 011.8815.229/239/252 - [email protected]
There have been countless versions – and innumerable interpretations – of the ballet
staged by great choreographers up to now. The success of The Nutcracker has been
undoubtedly helped by Tchaikovsky’s music – just consider the popularity of the Suite – that
reveals an inexhaustible fantasy in evoking the magical and enchanted atmosphere
associated with dreams and childhood.
The Orchestra of the Teatro Regio will be conducted for the occasion by Maestro
Aleksandr Vikulov, and Chorus Master of the Children’s Chorus of the Teatro Regio and
the “G. Verdi” conservatory will be Claudio Fenoglio. The staging is by the Mariinsky
Theatre of St. Petersburg, with sets by Simon Virsaladze and costumes by Tat’jana Noginova
and Irina Korovina.
The Nutcracker will be presented to the public by Sergio Trombetta in the get-together to
take place at the Piccolo Regio Puccini on Wednesday 9 December at 5.30 pm.
The Box Office of the Teatro Regio, piazza Castello 215 - Tel. 011.8815.241/242 - e-mail:
[email protected] - www.teatroregio.torino.it.
On the occasion of the first performance of The Nutracker, a photographic exhibition
by Sarah Moon will be inaugurated in the foyer “del Toro”: twelve photographs from the
book Teatro Regio di Torino, published by Contrasto/Delpire/Agarttha Arte and edited
by Adele Re Rebaudengo. The book and exhibition have been realised with the support of:
Regione Piemonte, Compagnia di San Paolo, Fondazione CRT, UniCredit Group and
Bentley S.O.A. S.p.A.
The exhibition can be visited during all of the performances of The Nutcracker (11 - 23
December) and on the occasion of other events taking place in the Theatre through 31
Torino, 20 November 2009
Paola Giunti
Head of the Press Office
Ufficio Stampa Teatro Regio Torino – Tel. 011.8815.229/239/252 - [email protected]

The Nutcracker