With enchanting special effects and performances that would endear any holiday pessimist, Mikko Nissinen’s ‘The Nutcracker’ creates an entire world seeped in the fondest of daydreams for adults and children alike. With the enriching addition of internationally-renowned Finnish lighting designer Mikki Kunttu, ‘The Nutcracker’ is as picturesque as ever, emphasizing its mark as an annual holiday institution. Continuing through New Year’s Eve, ‘The Nutcracker’ completes its 42-year run at the Boston Opera House with an unforgettable, spectacular performance featuring special guests, a champagne toast, confetti canons, and a glimpse of New Year’s in Vienna. Click here for more information and for tickets!
The Boston Ballet Orchestra brought Tchaikovsky’s flawless score to exquisite life led by the Boston Ballet’s Music Director Jonathan McPhee, opening up a world of opulence and wonder as sets reveal themselves in textured, refined layers. A sweeping castle above the clouds offers a preview of the sprawling adventures about to take place in 1820s Germany on Christmas Eve. Click here and see the slideshow for a closer look at Mikko Nissinen’s ‘The Nutcracker.’
From a bountiful toy shop to a luxurious gala adorned with a mysterious, glimmering, emerald tree as elegantly dressed couples sway along the stage in bold, festive colors, the wonder of ‘The Nutcracker’ is in the transformation and the unfolding of a young girl’s limitless imagination. With costume and set design by Robert Perdziola, each homemade costume brought spark to the unheralded landscape in a wintry mix of velvet and furs faithful to the period.
Elise Beauchemin offers a sweet and sophisticated performance as Clara, dressed distinctly in a pastel blue coat and bonnet hat with white fur muffs. She joyously glides along the stage. Lighting designer Mikki Kunttu set the mood for each dazzling scene, ranging from haunting to majestic. A shimmering wintry landscape set in sleek, blue lighting featuring sleigh bells and reindeer is glorious, depicts a touching portrait of the season.
Mikko Nissinen’s “The Nutcracker” stays faithful to its famous plot while capturing the exuberant, yet haunting mood of the production. It’s a seamless, spectacular vision as objects and animals spring to life in a wide array of spirited dances ranging from a jubilant toy bear, portrayed by Marcus Romeo to a steely battle scene involving a group of wooden soldiers.
The entire cast delivers powerful and captivating performances. Sabi Varga charismatically portrays a mysterious and mustachioed Drosselmeier. Varga’s lanky, grand gestures have a mystifying appeal. Paul Craig is mesmerizing as the Nutcracker Prince and with Elise Beauchemin as Clara, they have a warm chemistry.
The Boston Ballet is magnificent, depicting the airy, lightheartedness of the Sugar Plum Fairies, their tutus accented in purple peacock feathers led by Ashley Ellis. ‘The Nutcracker’ also featured festive performances taking the stage from across the world including the leaping athleticism of Russian dancers, who were welcomed with thunderous applause. The Boston Ballet soar, spin, and float effortlessly under ornate sparkling chandeliers flanked with gold knotted pillars.
Mikko Nissinen’s ‘The Nutcracker’ made its world premiere in 2012 and becomes more refined and visually stunning with each passing year. However, its real strength is in its everlasting, universal message and in Mikko Nissinen’s extraordinary vision of childlike wonder perfect for the holiday season.
Mikko Nissinen’s enchanting production of ‘The Nutcracker continues through Sunday, December 31 at the Boston Opera House, 539 Washington Street in Boston, Massachusetts! Click here for tickets, call 617-695-6955, or visit the Boston Ballet box office at 19 Clarendon Street in Boston, Massachusetts. Subscriptions and group rates are also available.