The Nutcracker by Patrice Bart after Marius Petipa, music by Tchaikovsky

Daniel Barenboim (conductor) – Staatsoper Berlin

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Patrice Bart — Choreographer

Marius Petipa — Choreographer

Luisa Spinatelli — Set designer, costumes

Maurizio Montobbio — Lighting

Nadja Saidakova — Marie

Olivier Matz — Drosselmeyer

Vladimir Malakhov — Le Prince

Béatrice Knop — La Grande Duchesse

Viara Natcheva — La Reine des neiges

Törsten Händler — Le Père

Barbara Schroeder — La Mère

Kira Kirillova

Steffen Neumann

Soloists and Ballet of the Deutsche Staatsoper Berlin

Staatskapelle Berlin

Program notes

Patrice Bart and the dancers of the Deutsche Staatsoper Berlin revisit Tchaikovsky and Marius Petipa's masterwork The Nutcracker.

Following the success of The Sleeping Beauty in 1890, Tchaikovsky received a commission for a new ballet from the director of the Imperial Theatres, Ivan Vsevolozhsky. Tchaikovsky decided to partner up once again with the great choreographer Marius Petipa, an artistic partnership that gave birth to a genuine masterpiece: The Nutcracker. This ballet is rightly one of the most popular ballets in the repertoire, a work revisited by successive generations of dancers and choreographers. The exceptional marriage of music and choreography is combined with the irresistable charm of The Nutcracker's plot: inspired by E.T.A. Hoffmann's story, the ballet takes audiences along on a young girl's extraordinary adventures, participating in fastastical battles between mice and gingerbread soldiers and journeying to a magical castle.

In this 1999 production, the soloists and ballet company of the Deutsche Staatsoper Berlin are accompanied by the musicians of the Staatskapelle Berlin under the baton of Daniel Barenboim.


On Christmas Eve, Marie and her younger brother Fritz are waiting impatiently for the arrival of their uncle Drosselmeyer, who usually brings wonderful gifts with him. When the clock strikes eight, he finally arrives. Uncle Drosselmeyer gives Marie a nutcracker carved in the shape of a little man. Her brother is jealous, and breaks her gift, but Marie manages to fix it. In the middle of the night while everyone is sleeping, Marie wakes up to make sure her nutcracker is alright. Suddenly, an extraordinary scene appears before her eyes. An army of mice invades her room. Then a battle begins between the mice and her brother's gingerbread soldiers. To protect her nutcracker, Marie intervenes and stands between the battle and her nutcracker. The mice are eventually defeated. To thank the young girl, the nutcracker invites Marie to his wonderful castle where his subjects have organized a fairytale-like party.

Photo © Elliott

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