Boston Ballet Opens World Premiere of Mikko Nissinen's The Nutcracker

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All New Production Features Sets and Costumes By Designer Robert Perdziola

Sketch of The Palace by Robert Perdziola

This reinvented production will remain the holiday classic that audiences know and love, but the experience will be enhanced exponentially.

Boston Ballet debuts an entirely reimagined production of The Nutcracker complete with all-new sets and costumes, as well as new choreography and characters! This holiday classic is presented by State Street Corporation and will run from November 23 – December 30 at The Boston Opera House. Voted ‘The Best-Loved Nutcracker in the U.S.’, Mikko Nissinen’s new production of The Nutcracker carries on the beloved tradition. “This was a wonderful opportunity for the company and I to create a completely new visualization of this production,” said Nissinen. “For audiences it’s a fabulous opportunity to fall in love with this holiday tradition all over again”.

Artistic Director Mikko Nissinen commissioned award-winning Robert Perdziola to design the immaculate new sets and costumes. Perdziola illustrated over 40 sketches that have been brought to life over the past year. The world premiere of The Nutcracker marks the first time Boston Ballet has built an entirely new production from the ground up, engaging crafts men and women from all over the United States.

The previous production, which the Company featured for 17 years, was set in 1835 during the Biedermeier period. Nissinen and Perdziola took the new production back 20 years, to what many know as the Jane Austen era. “What we’ve done is create a Wizard of Oz effect for Clara,” said Robert Perdziola. “The Act I party scene features calm, subtle colors that celebrate the understated elegance of the Regency style. When we enter Clara’s dream in Act II, we are met with a burst of vibrant color in the sets and costumes.” The new sets have been custom painted to match each of Perdziola’s exquisite scene drawings. Benjamin Phillips, Production Manager and Technical Director, managed the creation of scenery while Charles Heightchew, Manager of Costumes and Wardrobe, has overseen the production of over 350 detailed costumes. Lighting Designer, Les Dickert was brought on board to create the magical lighting in the new production.

“This reinvented production will remain the holiday classic that audiences know and love, but the experience will be enhanced exponentially,” said Nissinen. “While Robert has designed a visually stunning production, we have also fine-tuned the choreography and story.” Included in this fine-tuning is a completely new battle scene during Act I, where the audience meets a new character – the Bunny. Fighting valiantly along-side the Nutcracker and his soldiers, the Bunny is a fresh face that is sure to win hearts, along with favorites such as Boston Ballet’s lovable Bear and Gingerbread. Over the span of 43 performances the production will feature 65 Company and Boston Ballet II dancers, along with 275 Boston Ballet School students.

State Street Corporation is presenting sponsor of this year’s reimagined production. In addition to The Nutcracker, State Street also acts as presenting sponsor for Boston Ballet’s annual Nutcracker Magic evening on December 6th. The event supports the “Share the Magic” program which has touched the lives of over 10,000 children and their families by providing access to Boston Ballet productions.

Mikko Nissinen’s The Nutcracker is based on the libretto by Alexandre Dumas père titled The Tale of the Nutcracker, which is adapted from E. T. A. Hoffmann’s story The Nutcracker and the Mouse King. The story follows the wondrous journey of young Clara, who receives a Nutcracker as a gift at her family’s Christmas Eve party. Later that night, her Nutcracker magically transforms into a handsome prince, who leads her through an enchanted forest and on to the Nutcracker Prince’s Kingdom.

All performances of The Nutcracker will take place at The Boston Opera House, November 23 – December 30, 2012. For more information, please visit:

About Boston Ballet

Since 1963, Boston Ballet has been one of the leading dance companies in the world on stage, in the studio and in the community. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Mikko Nissinen and Executive Director Barry Hughson, the Company maintains an internationally acclaimed repertoire and one of the largest ballet schools in the world, Boston Ballet School.
Boston Ballet maintains a repertoire of classical, neo-classical and contemporary works, ranging from full-length story ballets to new works by some of today's finest choreographers. Boston Ballet's second company, Boston Ballet II, is comprised of pre-professional dancers who gain experience by performing with the Company and independently, presenting lecture-demonstrations and special programs to audiences throughout the Northeast.
Boston Ballet School, the official school of Boston Ballet, has a long-standing dedication to excellence and access. The School reaches more than 10,000 students (ages toddler to adult) each year through Boston Ballet School classes, the Summer Dance Workshop, and the Summer Dance Program held at three studio locations in Boston, Newton, and Marblehead.
Boston Ballet’s nationally-acclaimed education programs include Citydance, Taking Steps, and Adaptive Dance. The programs are offered in partnership with the Boston Public Schools and in communities throughout the city and region.

2012-2013 Season Tickets
Subscriptions for the 2012-2013 season and individual tickets to the World Premiere of Mikko Nissinen’s The Nutcracker featuring all new sets and costumes are on sale now. Subscriptions and tickets are available for sale online 24 hours a day at, or by phone at 617.695.6955 or in person at the box office at 19 Clarendon Street, Boston, Mon–Fri, 9:30am-5pm and on performance days on Sat and Sun, 11am – 4pm. Prices for season ballets start at $29. Tickets to The Nutcracker start at $35. Discounted group tickets (10 or more) are available by calling the box office or the Group Sales Associate at 617.456.6343. Contact the Boston Ballet box office at 617.695.6955 or visit for details.

Boston Ballet gratefully acknowledges the following institutional partners:

State Street Corporation, 2012 Presenting Sponsor, The Nutcracker

Barr Foundation

The Boston Foundation

Massachusetts Cultural Council

National Endowment for the Arts

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