The Nutcracker

Ballet by Edward Clug after E.T.A. Hoffmann

The Nutcracker

Ballet by Edward Clug after E.T.A. Hoffmann
Concept, choreography and staging
Edward Clug
Peter Tschaikowsky
Stage and Costume
Jürgen Rose
Assistance libretto and dramaturgy
Vivien Arnold
World Premiere
25. November 2022, Stuttgarter Ballett
Musical Direction
Mikhail Agrest / Wolfgang Heinz, Staatsorchester Stuttgart
Der Nussknacker / Drosselmeiers Neffe
Adhonay Soares da Silva
Martino Semenzato
Clara's godfather Drosselmeyer gives her a nutcracker for Christmas - and at the same time tells her the story of his nephew who was turned into a nutcracker by the evil Mouse King. In doing so, he awakens Clara's lively imagination. The girl sets out to free the nephew from the prison of his wooden shell. In this she is helped by her toys which have come to life. Is it all real? Or only a figment of Clara’s imagination? That's for the viewer of this fairy-tale ballet to decide...

With its Christmas story and Peter Tchaikovsky's beloved music, The Nutcracker is one of the most famous ballets in the classical repertoire. Last season, a new production created especially for the Stuttgart Ballet by renowned choreographer Edward Clug celebrated its premiere at the opera house – after an absence of 50 years from the repertoire. Inspired by E.T.A. Hoffman's original novella "The Nutcracker and the Mouse King", Clug’s new version sparkles with wit and imagination, to which Jürgen Rose contributed fabulous sets and costumes. Clug's Nutcracker immerses the audience in breathtaking dream worlds full of life-size toys, floating giant walnuts, hilarious camels as well as spooky mice. It transports adults back to their own childhood and delights children. An enchantingly fantastical ballet for the whole family.


Act I
Christmas Eve

In the town square the Christmas market is in full swing. At the house of the Stahlbaum family, Clara, her parents and her brother Fritz decorate the Christmas tree. The guests - as well as Clara and Fritz’s godfather Drosselmeyer - arrive. Drosselmeyer tells the children the story of his nephew who has been turned into a Nutcracker by the evil Mouse King and is now trapped inside the hard, wooden shell. Drosselmeyer presents Clara with her Christmas present: a Nutcracker. Clara’s friends play with her many toys. The party guests depart and Clara goes to bed.

Suddenly, the evil Mouse King and his army of mice appear. Clara is afraid but the Nutcracker comes to her rescue. Fritz’ toy soldiers come to fight with the Nutcracker against the mice. Clara also calls her toys to help the Nutcracker.
Seeing that the Nutcracker has been wounded, Clara hits the Mouse King on the head and defeats him.

Clara helps the wounded Nutcracker. He is ashamed of his ugly appearance but Clara loves him nonetheless. Suddenly two deer appear. They are followed by fairies of the forest and the Queen of the Forest.

Act II
The Journey

The Nutcracker has disappeared. Clara and Drosselmeyer set out to search for him. Beetles and butterflies guide them on their way. Clara encounters her parents and grandparents as well as Fritz and his friends. Clara meets all her toys and asks them if they know where the Nutcracker is but no one has seen him. Clara has a vison of him and, in her heart, recognizes his true being. Her toys dance for and with her. Finally, she finds Drosselmeyer’s nephew. Her love for him has released him from the spell of the Mouse King. Clara is united with him.

Further productions this season

Swan Lake

Ballet by John Cranko
Double Bill

Kosmos – schwerelos

Thoss / Foniadakis