Pyotr Tchaikovsky

The Nutcracker

ballet in 2 acts

Age 6+


Libretto: Marius Petipa, in the People’s Artist of the USSR and Belarus, laureate of the State Prize of the Republic of Belarus Valentin Elizariev’s version
Choreography and staging: People’s Artist of the USSR and Belarus, laureate of the State Prize of the Republic of Belarus Valentin Elizariev
Musical director: People's Artist of Belarus, laureate of the State Prize of the Republic of Belarus Alexander Anissimov
Sets: People's Artist of Ukraine, laureate of the State Prize of Ukraine Eugene Lysik
Costumes: Oksana Zinchenko
Conductors: Andrei Ivanou, Honoured Artist of the Republic of Belarus Nikolai Koliadko, Ivan Kostyakhin

Running time: 2 hours 5 minutes with one interval
Premiere: 15 April 1982


Act I
It is a quiet Christmas evening. Drosselmeyer makes presents for his Goddaughter Masha whom he has invited for the Christmas party.
Masha admires marvellous fairy tree, toys, Russian, Japanese, French, Spanish, Persian dolls, animated by a single movement of Drosselmeyer’s hand. Presentation of dolls is followed by their fancy dances. Drosselmeyer has made the most exiting present for the girl – 3 unusual dolls: funny awkward wood-made doll the Nutcracker, charming doll – the Princess, and his favourite – the Mouse. Drosselmeyer, quite happy with his creations, asks Masha to choose one doll for her. And she chooses the Nutcracker.
Masha plays with the Nutcracker, but all of a sudden he falls, something has happened to his mechanism, it doesn't work. Masha is in despair. Drosselmeyer asks her to choose another doll for her, but she even doesn't want to listen to him. The Doll-Master repairs the Nutcracker and goes away, bearing in mind to check Masha's love to the Nutcracker.
Masha admires the Nutcracker; it seems to her that he is not a doll, but a human being with a kind and deeply feeling heart. Masha is quite happy.
Drosselmeyer comes back, and the great doll's ball begins. Masha and the Nutcracker are very glad to dance together with the dolls, created by Drosselmeyer.
But it is rather late; it's high time to go to bed. Drosselmeyer stops the dancing and takes Masha to bed. The girl falls asleep and Drosselmeyer puts the dolls in order, since they will participate in Masha's dream.
It is midnight. Masha sees a dream. The room is full of mice. There are more and more of them coming. The Mouse-King, the leader of the mice army, looks exactly like Drosselmeyer. Masha, feeling the danger, calls her doll-friends for help.
The battle between the dolls and the mice army begins. It is so difficult for a small but brave Nutcracker to fight the mighty Mouse-King! Masha tries to save her beloved Nutcracker – she gives him a sword – the victory! The Mouse-King is wounded. Mice run away in horror. Awkward wooden Nutcracker becomes a handsome Prince, and Masha becomes a charming Princess.
Love celebrates it's glory. Masha, the Prince and their friends dance in the company of nice snowflakes, who invite the friends for a wonderful journey.

Act 2
In the sun rays the snowflakes become marvellous flowers. The fancy voyage goes on. But the evil is not totally suppressed. The Mouse-King follows the friends. In the last battle of the Prince-Nutcracker and the Mouse-King, the King takes off his masque – and what a surprise! Everybody sees the kind and generous Drosselmeyer.
The Doll Master invites everybody for the Christmas ball, where Masha and the Prince will be engaged.
All the dolls congratulate the loving couple. All are happy.
What a pity that it is a mere dream! Masha gets up and sees Drosselmeyer, who gives her the smiling Nutcracker.