Sugar Plum Fairy
The Nutcracker (Russian: Щелкунчик, Балет-феерия, Shchelkunchik, Balet-feyeriya; French: Casse-Noisette, Ballet-Féerie), Op. 71, is a two-act ballet, originally choreographed by Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov with a score by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. The libretto is adapted from E.T.A. Hoffmann's story The Nutcracker and the Mouse King. It was given its première at the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg on Sunday, 18 December 1892, on a double-bill with Tchaikovsky's opera, Iolanta.
Although the original production was not a success, the twenty-minute suite that Tchaikovsky extracted from the ballet was. However, the complete Nutcracker has enjoyed enormous popularity since the late 1960s and is now performed by countless ballet companies, primarily during the Christmas season, especially in the U.S. Major American ballet companies generate around 40 percent of their annual ticket revenues from performances of The Nutcracker.
Tchaikovsky's score has become one of his most famous compositions, in particular the pieces featured in the suite. Among other things, the score is noted for its use of the celesta, an instrument that the composer had already employed in his much lesser known symphonic ballad The Voyevoda.
Famous quotes containing the words sugar, plum and/or fairy:
“Tis the voice of the Lobster; I heard him declare,
You have baked me too brown, I must sugar my hair.”
—Lewis Carroll [Charles Lutwidge Dodgson] (18321898)
“An April Sunday brings the snow
Making the blossom on the plum trees green,
Not white. An hour or two, and it will go.”
—Philip Larkin (19221986)
“Fierce war and faithful love,
And truth severe, by fairy fiction dressed.”
—Thomas Gray (17161771)