Ballet

The Nutcracker

Rudolf Nureyev

Opéra Bastille

from 08 December 2023 to 01 January 2024

2h10 with 1 interval

The Nutcracker

Opéra Bastille - from 08 December 2023 to 01 January 2024

Synopsis

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One Christmas Eve, young Clara is given an inanimate puppet, a nutcracker. Holding it in her arms, she falls asleep and dreams of a fantasy world where toys and fears come to life. Published in Berlin in 1816, this tale by Hoffmann, a master of German Romanticism, inspired Marius Petipa to create an initial dance version in 1892. Amidst tin soldiers, rats and oversized dolls, the world of childhood becomes a ballet. Clara's dreams and nightmares are brought to life through Tchaikovsky's sparkling, colourful score. In 1985, Rudolf Nureyev restaged the ballet at the Paris Opera with sets and costumes emphasising the tale's uncanny nature. Snowflakes, flowers and enchanted landscapes form the backdrop to a dazzling choreography. Guided by the wooden puppet who has become Prince Charming, the young Clara confronts her desires and anxieties in an initiatory tale.

Duration : 2h10 with 1 interval

  • Opening

  • First part 55 min

  • Intermission 20 min

  • Second part 55 min

  • End

Show acts

Detail of acts

Act 1:
First scene: The street
It is Christmas Eve at the turn of the century. A lively crowd prepares to celebrate Christmas.

Second scene: At home
Family and friends are gathered together in the Stahlbaum’s comfortable bourgeois home. The Stahlbaums welcome their guests. Godfather Drosselmeyer arrives, his arms piled high with gifts. He amuses the children with a marionette show and magic tricks. Clara, her brother Fritz and her sister Luisa dress up and, with Drosselmeyer’s help, play at being clockwork toys. (Fritz’s soldier variation, Clara’s doll variation, Luisa’s Turkish variation).

Third scene: The Christmas Tree
Drosselmeyer gives Clara a beautiful toy: a nutcracker in the form of a smart little wooden soldier (Clara’s variation). Jealous Fritz breaks the nutcracker, reducing Clara to tears. Drosselmeyer shoos Fritz away, mends the toy and gives it back to Clara (Clara’s variation, disturbed by the noisy comings and goings of her brother with his makeshift carriage). The grandparents enter (Grandfather’s dance).

Fourth scene: The dream
Clara, feeling tired, curls up in an armchair. The clock strikes midnight. Immediately, from every corner of the room and even from the fireplace, rats begin to invade the room. Terrified, Clara fights with all her force, throwing her dolls at them in order to protect her little nutcracker. The rats double their attack upon the arrival of their king. The lead soldiers march out of their fort, but they are no match for the rats. The nutcracker awakens and leads forth a cavalry regiment. After fierce combat, the king is defeated.

Fifth scene - The Snow Kingdom
As if by magic, the scene changes. The living room gives way to a beautiful winter garden. The nutcracker, once so stiff and mechanical, takes on the appearance of a handsome young man (curiously resembling Drosselmeyer). He invites Clara to dance (adage) among the snowflakes (Snowflakes Waltz).

Act 2: 
First scene: At home
Clara is still plunged in her tender dream with the prince (pas de deux). The setting returns to the Stahlbaum’s living room.

Second scene: The nightmare
Clara is overcome by new terrors when vampires, jealous of her nutcracker, attack. Drosselmeyer alias the Prince attempts to calm Clara and to convince her that it is merely an illusion. There is no reason to fear her own family and guests!

Third scene: The journey
Still frightened and upset, Clara continues her visions of family and guests who are now transported away to faraway lands: Fritz and Luisa are in Spain, her grandparents in Arabia, her mother and father in Russia, the guests are either in China or the France of Marie-Antoinette’s era…

Fourth scene: The ball
Clara joins the Prince alias Drosselmeyer in the middle of the ball (Flowers Waltz and Pas de deux).

Fifth scene : Clara Awakens
Mr and Mrs Stahlbaum awaken Clara who has fallen asleep during the party in front of the guests, who are now beginning to leave.

Sixth scene: The street
Clara is all alone in the street, confused and upset.

Artists

Ballet in two acts

Libretto adapted by Alexandre Dumas
After Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov

Creative team

Cast

  • Friday 08 December 2023 at 19:30
  • Sunday 10 December 2023 at 14:30
  • Monday 11 December 2023 at 19:30
  • Wednesday 13 December 2023 at 19:30
  • Thursday 14 December 2023 at 19:30
  • Saturday 16 December 2023 at 19:30
  • Sunday 17 December 2023 at 14:30
  • Tuesday 19 December 2023 at 19:30
  • Wednesday 20 December 2023 at 19:30
  • Friday 22 December 2023 at 19:30
  • Saturday 23 December 2023 at 20:00
  • Saturday 23 December 2023 at 14:30
  • Monday 25 December 2023 at 19:30
  • Tuesday 26 December 2023 at 19:30
  • Thursday 28 December 2023 at 19:30
  • Friday 29 December 2023 at 19:30
  • Saturday 30 December 2023 at 19:30
  • Sunday 31 December 2023 at 19:30
  • Monday 01 January 2024 at 14:30

Latest update 19 April 2024, cast is likely to change.

Latest update 19 April 2024, cast is likely to change.

Latest update 19 April 2024, cast is likely to change.

Latest update 19 April 2024, cast is likely to change.

Latest update 19 April 2024, cast is likely to change.

Latest update 19 April 2024, cast is likely to change.

Latest update 19 April 2024, cast is likely to change.

Latest update 19 April 2024, cast is likely to change.

Latest update 19 April 2024, cast is likely to change.

Latest update 19 April 2024, cast is likely to change.

Latest update 19 April 2024, cast is likely to change.

Latest update 19 April 2024, cast is likely to change.

Latest update 19 April 2024, cast is likely to change.

Latest update 19 April 2024, cast is likely to change.

Latest update 19 April 2024, cast is likely to change.

Latest update 19 April 2024, cast is likely to change.

Latest update 19 April 2024, cast is likely to change.

Latest update 19 April 2024, cast is likely to change.

Latest update 19 April 2024, cast is likely to change.

The Étoiles, the Premières Danseuses, the Premiers Danseurs and the Paris Opera Corps de Ballet
The Paris Opera Orchestra
Maîtrise des Hauts-de-Seine / Chœur d’enfants de l’Opéra national de Paris

Media

  • Draw-me The Nutcracker

    Draw-me The Nutcracker

    Watch the video

  • Podcast The Nutcracker

    Podcast The Nutcracker

    Listen the podcast

Draw-me The Nutcracker

Watch the video

Understand the plot in 1 minute

1:28 min

Draw-me The Nutcracker

By Matthieu Pajot

© Sébastien Mathé / OnP

Podcast The Nutcracker

Listen the podcast

Dance! Sing! Tales of Opera and Ballet

05 min

Podcast The Nutcracker

By Jean-Baptiste Urbain

Press

  • This blockbuster, which has become a classic of dance in the broadest sense as Nureyev had the talent, is a celebration of tale, childhood, and party.

    Le Monde, 2014
  • A trip to the land of childhood with its enchantment and its fears.

    RFI, 2014
  • Rudolf Nureyev’s version of the ballet inspired by Hoffmann's tale beautifully organizes the collision between the joy of Christmas and the subconscious of a little girl prey to a nightmare inhabited by rats.

    L'Express, 2014

Access and services

Opéra Bastille

Place de la Bastille

75012 Paris

Public transport

Underground Bastille (lignes 1, 5 et 8), Gare de Lyon (RER)

Bus 29, 69, 76, 86, 87, 91, N01, N02, N11, N16

Calculate my route
Car park

Q-Park Opéra Bastille 34, rue de Lyon 75012 Paris

Book your parking spot
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Imagined as benchmark, richly illustrated booklets, the programmes can be bought online, at the box offices, in our shops, and in the theatres hall on the evening of the performance.

BUY THE PROGRAM
  • Cloakrooms

    Free cloakrooms are at your disposal. The comprehensive list of prohibited items is available here.

  • Bars

    Reservation of drinks and light refreshments for the intervals is possible online up to 24 hours prior to your visit, or at the bars before each performance.

  • Parking

    You can park your car at the Q-Park Opéra Bastille. It is located at 34 rue de Lyon, 75012 Paris. 

    BOOK YOUR PARKING PLACE.

In both our venues, discounted tickets are sold at the box offices from 30 minutes before the show:

  • €25 tickets for under-28s, unemployed people (with documentary proof less than 3 months old) and senior citizens over 65 with non-taxable income (proof of tax exemption for the current year required)
  • €40 tickets for senior citizens over 65

Get samples of the operas and ballets at the Paris Opera gift shops: programmes, books, recordings, and also stationery, jewellery, shirts, homeware and honey from Paris Opera.

Opéra Bastille
  • Open 1h before performances and until performances end
  • Get in from within the theatre’s public areas
  • For more information: +33 1 40 01 17 82

Opéra Bastille

Place de la Bastille

75012 Paris

Public transport

Underground Bastille (lignes 1, 5 et 8), Gare de Lyon (RER)

Bus 29, 69, 76, 86, 87, 91, N01, N02, N11, N16

Calculate my route
Car park

Q-Park Opéra Bastille 34, rue de Lyon 75012 Paris

Book your parking spot
super alt text
super alt text

Imagined as benchmark, richly illustrated booklets, the programmes can be bought online, at the box offices, in our shops, and in the theatres hall on the evening of the performance.

BUY THE PROGRAM
  • Cloakrooms

    Free cloakrooms are at your disposal. The comprehensive list of prohibited items is available here.

  • Bars

    Reservation of drinks and light refreshments for the intervals is possible online up to 24 hours prior to your visit, or at the bars before each performance.

  • Parking

    You can park your car at the Q-Park Opéra Bastille. It is located at 34 rue de Lyon, 75012 Paris. 

    BOOK YOUR PARKING PLACE.

In both our venues, discounted tickets are sold at the box offices from 30 minutes before the show:

  • €25 tickets for under-28s, unemployed people (with documentary proof less than 3 months old) and senior citizens over 65 with non-taxable income (proof of tax exemption for the current year required)
  • €40 tickets for senior citizens over 65

Get samples of the operas and ballets at the Paris Opera gift shops: programmes, books, recordings, and also stationery, jewellery, shirts, homeware and honey from Paris Opera.

Opéra Bastille
  • Open 1h before performances and until performances end
  • Get in from within the theatre’s public areas
  • For more information: +33 1 40 01 17 82

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3 min

The Nutcracker

The Nutcracker in 5 costumes

The Nutcracker goes far beyond a simple tale for children. With its costumes, Nureyev’s ballet tells the story of Clara, her dreams and fears, from her childhood to her coming of age.

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