Nussknacker und Mausekönig
Ballet by Christian Spuck after the eponymous fairy tale by E.T.A. Hoffmann
New version of the scenario by Claus Spahn
Music by Pjotr Tschaikowski (1840-1893)
Duration 2 H. 15 Min. incl. intermission after 1st part after approx. 1 H. Introduction 45 min before the performance.
Nussknacker und Mausekönig
Nussknacker und Mausekönig
In the workshop of Godfather Drosselmeier
Dance of the Sugar Fairy (Act 2, number 14); version for accordion
Marie and her brother Fritz are visiting their godfather Drosselmeier in his workshop. He shows them his great musical device – a fan tastical apparatus with mechanical figures. The children ask him to set the mechanism in motion. He obliges them. They are astonished at what then begins to unfold before their very eyes.
Closing waltz and Grand Finale (Act 2, number 15)
The puppet show tells the story of The Hard Nut: in the royal castle a celebration is being held in honour of the beautiful Princess Pirlipat. The King, the Queen and the entire royal household are present. All are enchanted by the headstrong and self-possessed royal child. Among the guests are also four princes, seeking the Princess Pirlipat’s favour.
Overture (Act 1, number 1)
Suddenly a mouse appears to disrupt the celebration. The King kills this unwanted guest, and the celebration continues. The princes pay court to Princess Pirlipat. Drosselmeier’s mechanical show then ends.
Dance scene – Drosselmeier’s gifts (Act 1, number 4)
Marie and Fritz are alone in the workshop. The uncouth Fritz is annoying his sister, who is transfixed by Drosselmeier’s magical creations.
Dance of the reed pipes (Act 2, number 12, divertissement E)
The fairy-tale of The Hard Nut continues: many mice now force their way into the Royal Castle. They want to avenge their murdered relative and are led by their queen, the evil Lady Mouserinks.
Dance scene (Act 1, number 4) continuation
The Stahlbaums and all of their family return home after finishing their Christmas gift-buying, already in a festive mood. Marie and Fritz are still arguing. Three aunts have also been invited to be a part of the family’s Christmas Eve event: Aunt Snowflake, Aunt Flower and Aunt Sugar Fairy. When Godfather Drosselmeier appears, Marie insists on hearing from him what happens next in the Pirlipat story.
Decoration and lighting of the Christmas tree (Act 1, number 1)
Princess Pirlipat has been turned into an ugly Nut Monster by Lady Mouserinks. She now relentlessly cracks nuts with her powerful, oversized teeth. She won’t eat anything but nuts, nuts and more nuts.
Chocolate – Spanish dance (Act 2, number 12, divertissement A)
The four princes are appalled at the transformation of the Princess. They want to save her, but don’t know how.
Tea – Chinese dance (Act 2, Number 12 divertissement C)
The King and Queen are also incredulous that their daughter has turned into a Nut Monster. The general uproar at court is huge. Everyone is at a loss what to do. Yet for all that, there is something that can redeem this victim of evil magic, the Princess; the sweet kernel of the hard Krakatuk nut.
Trepak – Russian dance (Act 2, Number 12, divertissement D)
Suddenly there appears another prince, and behold; he has in his possession the hard, golden Krakatuk nut. The four princes all try to crack it open, but merely break their teeth in the process. It is simply too hard for them. But the prince who is the mysterious new arrival manages it easily. He gives the Miracle Nut to Princess Pirlipat to enjoy.
Dance of the reed pipes (Act 2, Number 12, divertissement E)
The Princess regains her lost beauty and at once falls in love with her saviour. Enraged at the breaking of the magic spell, Lady Mouserinks and her tribe of mice return on the scene. The Prince stamps her to death, but in her dying moments she curses him.
Mother Gigogne and the Clowns (Act 2, number 12, divertissement F)
Mouserinks has turned the Prince into a nutcracker: he can now only move as a wooden doll would. Horrified, all turn their backs on him. The only one who doesn’t is Marie, who has been carefully following Drosselmeier’s show.
March (Act 1, Number 2)
It is Christmas Eve. The family enters the room which has been decked out for Christmas. The ritual is the same every year: the festivities open with the Grandfather Dance, then the parents follow on. It is almost impossible to rein in the excitement of the children, and Fritz shows himself once again to be the perennial troublemaker. The three aunts are also in attendance at the festivities.
Scene – Grandfather dance (Act 1, number 5)
For the children, the visit of Godfather Drosselmeier is always one of the high points of Christmas Eve on account of the special gifts he brings. This year, he gives Fritz toy soldiers and Marie a nutcracker.
Children’s little gallop and parents’ entrance (Act 1, number 3)
Marie completely adores the nutcracker she has been given. But no sooner does Fritz have it in his hands than – in his typical roughness – he breaks it; one of the nutcracker’s arms has been broken off. Drosselmeier mends it. When bedtime comes, Marie can’t bear to separate herself from her nutcracker. She falls asleep in the Christmas room. Drosselmeier appears to her as a ghostly apparition. The clock strikes midnight. The nutcracker doll comes to life.
Clara and the Nutcracker (Act 1, Number 6)
With the nutcracker at her side, Marie witnesses a night-time Christmas world of magic and snowflakes.
Waltz of the Snowflakes (Act 1, Number 9)
Marie’s Christmas dream continues. All the other toys have also come to life. The family makes an appearance, but the parents, grandparents and other children have all taken on the form of mice. Suddenly the evil Mouse King and his tribe appear, seeking revenge for the death of his mother.
Coda (Act 2, Number 14)
Scene: Clara and the Prince (Act 2, number 11)
Marie is frightened. Fritz marshals his army of hussars to fight against the mice. The toy soldiers and the mice join battle – a battle in which the nutcracker proves himself to be the true hero: he slays the Mouse King with his sabre, and the evil spell on him is broken. He becomes once more a prince.
The Battle (Act 1, Number 7)
Marie can scarcely grasp her good fortune: the nutcracker is a Dream Prince.
In the pine forest (Act 1, Number 8)
The Prince takes Marie off into Sugar Land, where the flowers dance waltzes.
Waltz of the Flowers (Act 2, Number 13)
Marie meets the Sugar Fairy.
Coffee – Arabian Dance (Act 2, Number 12, divertissement B)
In Sugar Land, the dream characters all have a great celebration.
Closing waltz and grand finale (Act 2, Number 15)
The Prince is gone. Marie searches for him. Drosselmeier brings to a halt the world of magic where toys and dolls come alive.
Dance of the Sugar Fairy (Act 2, Number 14, Variation II)
In the workshop, Marie awakens from her dream and encounters Drosselmeier’s nephew, who is the very image of her nutcracker and Dream Prince.
Pas de deux (Act 2, Number 14)