The Nutcracker in the Hungarian State Opera – Photo:

Christmas gift from State Opera

Free ‘Nutcracker’ performance online

The Christmas fairy-tale ballet of “The Nutcracker” has been an unmissable event each Yuletide at the Hungarian State Opera since 1950 with only two interruptions, in the aftermath of the 1956 Uprising and during the restoration of the Budapest Opera House in 1981-82. This December 2020 a third cancellation due to the coronavirus is being circumvented by a full performance in the OperaLive series on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day on Facebook and
24. December 2020 8:05

It promises to be a special treat with the irreplaceable ballet offering some recompense for the many cancelled shows and concerts of 2020 due to the regulations surrounding the pandemic. None would likely be so missed as the annual classical ballet based on the tale “The Nutcracker and the Mouse King” by E.T.A. Hoffmann.

The Hungarian State Opera recorded “The Nutcracker” live in 2016 in a production that had premiered a year before. For Christmas 2015 a newly buffed-up show was presented that followed classical ballet traditions while still conforming to the requirements of 21st-century dance, with new costumes by Nóra Rományi and set design by Beáta Vavrinecz based on the original sets by Gusztáv Oláh.

Partnering with ballet director Tamás Solymosi to choreograph a new fairy-tale ballet for the classical-music piece was a true “Nutcracker” specialist: the internationally renowned Wayne Eagling.

The recording features soloists Karina Sarkissova, Gergely Leblanc, Alekszandr Komarov and Mikalai Radziush as well as the Hungarian National Ballet, the Hungarian State Opera Orchestra and Children’s Chorus (chorus master: Nikolett Hajzer) conducted by András Déri.

The recording is available to watch from 3pm on 24 December until midnight on 25 December on the Facebook page of the Opera and

Highlights of further productions (accompanied by piano) connected to the festive period are also accessible through the OperaLive series such as “Messiah” by Händel/Mozart from 26 December, “La bohème” by Puccini from 27 December and “Die Fledermaus” by J. Strauss II from 30 December.


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