Long Lines for Holiday Season The Nutcracker Ballet Performances

By 6 November 2018

It has begun: the website of the Croatian National Theatre in Zagreb has collapsed due to a large number of visitors, while the “snake” can again be seen around the national theatre building. Interest is high this holiday season as well for the ballet's Christmas fairy tale "The Nutcracker". Last year, 8,000 tickets were sold in just one day, so it is clear that you can see the ballet only if you are ready to buy tickets early, reports Večernji List on November 6, 2018.

For many, the Christmas holiday season is unthinkable without The Nutcracker, the famous ballet by Russian composer Tchaikovsky. The Christmas fairy tale is a classic ballet masterpiece which many people like to see in this time of the year. The Tchaikovsky’s score for The Nutcracker is one of his most famous works, which the composer himself adapted for concert performances. However, a family tragedy accompanied the Christmas fairy tale: the composer’s sister had recently died so the ballet also contains a lot of melancholic music.

The Christmas story is one of the most performed ballets all over the world, including in Zagreb. The Croatian National Theatre (HNK) ballet presented several versions of The Nutcracker through the years, and many still remember those starring Vesna Butorac Blaće and Irena Pasarić. The version which will be presented this year had its premiere in 2011, choreographed by Derek Deane.

In this cycle, the HNK ballet will perform The Nutcracker as many as fifteen times: 29 and 30 November; 4, 11, 15, 18, 20, 24, 27, 28, 28, 29, 31 December; and 3 and 4 January 2019.

This year, the ballet will also send a humanitarian message. “I participated in the final evening of the humanitarian drive to raise funds for older citizens in need. I was astonished by the people who called and asked how they could help,” said HNK general manager Dubravka Vrgoč, adding that she immediately decided to reserve one of this year’s performances for people who usually cannot afford to come.

“The Nutcracker is a trademark of our theatre. Knowing the economic situation we live in, we have decided that it will be our Christmas gift, confident that it will make Christmas holidays more enjoyable for those who are usually unable to buy a ticket and come to our theatre,” Vrgoč said. The charity performance will be held on December 13, and the HNK will organise it together with the City Office for Social Welfare and Persons with Disabilities.

For more on the Croatian National Theatre, click here.

Translated from Večernji List (reported by Bojana Radović).