ROCHESTER, NY – Welcoming a new generation of Nutcracker enthusiasts, the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO) and the Rochester City Ballet (RCB) have teamed up with the Bach Children’s Chorus to bring the magic of the captivating and timeless ballet, The Nutcracker, to the Rochester community for the 11th consecutive year, and the first in the newly renovated Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre.
New this year is children’s pricing (for ages 12 and below) starting at $10, available for all six Nutcracker performances. Under the direction of RPO Conductor for Education and Outreach, Michael Butterman (The Louise and Henry Epstein Family Chair), the performances will take place Friday, November 27 through Sunday, November 29, at 2:00 pm and 7:00 pm daily.
American Ballet Theatre soloists Sarah Lane and Kristi Boone, both formerly of RCB, return in the role of the Sugar Plum Fairy, with Isaac Stappas and Luis Ribagorda, also from ABT, in the role of Cavalier. More than 180 local dancers are performing, including children selected by audition from more than 30 area dance schools. The performances will also feature the Bach Children’s Chorus directed by Karla Krogstad.
RCB’s own newest talents also will be showcased in this year’s performances of The Nutcracker, with the addition of four new company members and three new apprentices. Hayley Meier, Karl Moll, Ben Rabe and Jill Schwartz join the RCB as company members. Courtney Catalana, Brenee Michael and Kelsey Schneider have been appointed as company apprentices.
Based on a tale by German storyteller E.T.A. Hoffman with music by Tchaikovsky, this holiday favorite tells of a toy nutcracker that becomes a handsome prince and takes young Clara to the magical land of the Sugar Plum Fairy. Among the many delightful scenes are a decorated tree that grows before in front of the audience’s eyes, a flying “Christmas Spirit” who brings Clara her Nutcracker, toy soldiers who come to life and battle the mice, the land of snow—complete with snowflakes—and the kingdom of sweets with dancers representing different countries.
“We are so thrilled to be collaborating with the RPO again this year,” said Jamey Leverett, artistic director for RCB. “The live orchestra provides such a beautiful counterpart to our dancers’ interpretation of this classic ballet. We hope that our audience enjoys our unique approach to Tchaikovsky as much as we enjoy performing it for them.”
Ticket prices range from $10-$62, with $75 box seats, and are available online at www.rpo.org, at the RPO Box Office at 108 East Avenue, by phone at (585) 454-2100, and at Rochester-area Wegmans. A convenience fee may apply.
The Nutcracker performances are presented by The Brown Group, Private Banking and Investment Group of Merrill Lynch. Concert sponsors are Paetec Communications, Constellation Brands, Bartholomew Health Care Group, Caldwell Manufacturing, Fiandach and Fiandach, and the E.J. DelMonte Corporation.