Monday, December 24, 2012

Tis the season ... The Nutcracker Suite


from original production of the Nutcracker in 1892
Photo of Stanislava Belinskaya as Clara (left), an unknown performer (center), & Vassily Stulkolin as Fritz (right) in the Imperial Ballet's original production of the Petipa/Ivanov/Tchaikovsky ballet "The Nutcracker". circu Dec 1892
[public domain]

Tchaikovsky's The Nutcracker Suite's 120th birthday was this past week. It was first performed Dec 18, 1892 at the Imperial Marinsky Theatre in St. Petersberg. The story was adapted from E.T.A. Hoffmann and supposedly Tchaikovsky wasn't impressed with nor happy to work on the story. Critics weren't impressed by the ballet or the acting, but the music was lauded, (though Tchaikovsky is reported to not have been happy with it).
    Tchaikovsky died less than a year later from cholera of all things - which interests me as I've been doing lots of research on diphtheria because of Mercy Coles (more here). There is an impressinve site for all things Tchaikovsky here.