Celebrate the festive season with Dutch National Opera & Ballet

Celebrate the festive season with Dutch National Opera & Ballet


Celebrate the festive season with Dutch National Opera & Ballet. The cold December days become magically warm with two unforgettable family productions performed at Dutch National Opera & Ballet:

  • Cinderella - Rossini’s fairytale opera La Cenerentola
  • The Nutcracker and the Mouse King - Enchanting fairytale ballet

Opera: La Cenerentola

The exuberant fairy-tale opera La Cenerentola (Cinderella) promises to be a fun-filled and unforgettable December performance to enchant the whole family. Special children’s ticket prices apply for La Cenerentola!

The story of Cinderella

La Cenerentola tells the well-known story of Cinderella, of which the central theme is true love. Directed by Laurent Pelly, La Cenerentola follows Angelina – Rossini’s Cinderella – as she discovers true love in the form of her prince. In a twist on the classic tale, she first has to overcome not a wicked stepmother, but an evil stepfather.

Colourful costumes

Though La Cenerentola doesn’t include the traditional pumpkin carriage or glass slippers, there are fancy dresses galore! As always, Laurent Pelly designs his own colourful costumes.

The background of La Cenerentola

Signature elements are Rossini’s lively ensembles and demanding solos with dizzying coloratura particularly for Angelina – a.k.a. Cinderella – and her fairy tale prince, Don Ramiro. The world première (1817) of La Cenerentola in Rome during carnival season ended in a fiasco. The singers balked at the difficult score and their performance failed to impress the audience.

Rossini, however, was undaunted: "Idiots! Before the carnival is over, all Rome will love her…" He was right. The opera swiftly became a runaway success in Italy and beyond. After the composer’s death, La Cenerentola disappeared from the stage, but after 1920 it enjoyed resurging popularity. 

Plan your festive night out at the opera

This opera takes place at the Dutch National Opera & Ballet from December 3-28, 2019. For more information, browse the Dutch National Opera & Ballet website.

Ballet: The Nutcracker and the Mouse King

A heart-warming fairytale ballet to brighten up the dark days of winter, The Nutcracker and the Mouse King is choreographed by Toer van Schayk and Wayne Eagling. It is based on the Christmas classic and is one of the most successful Dutch theatre productions of all time.

Eagling and Van Schayk's creative retelling of Hoffmann's Nutcracker transports the classic tale to Holland. Instead of Christmas Eve, The Nutcracker and the Mouse King unfolds on the Dutch feast of Sinterklaas around 1810 in Amsterdam, while ice skaters dash and twirl across the frozen canals. The famous music by Tchaikovsky will be live performed by The Dutch Ballet Orchestra. This completes the magical experience! 

The Nutcracker Dutch National Opera and Ballet

The Story of the Nutcracker

Here is an overview of the story of The Nutcracker and the Mouse King: in their canal-side house in Amsterdam, Clara Staalboom, her little brother Frits and their elder sister Louise are getting ready to celebrate Sinterklaas evening. Outside on the canal, skaters twirl around on the ice. Meanwhile, their guests arrive, including the eccentric Mr Drosselmeijer and his nephew, a young cadet.

Clara's Sinterklaas gift is a nutcracker doll, while Frits gets a soldier's uniform complete with a sword. In bed that night, Clara dreams that she has grown into a lovely young woman and that her nutcracker doll has come to life as Drosslemeijer's nephew. Together, they take up arms against the forces of the mouse king and then are whisked away in Drosselmeijer's magic lantern on a whirlwind tour of exotic lands.

Sets and costumes

Toer van Schayk also designed the sets and costumes for this Nutcracker production, transporting the audience to a world of merriment and magic. His staging is both a visual and technical tour de force in the history of Dutch National Ballet. The skaters on the Amsterdam canal, the living room that swells in Clara's dream and the walls that transform into a snow-dusted forest are all scenes sure to awaken and delight in the child in everyone. 

Plan your festive night out at the ballet

This festive ballet performance takes place at the Dutch National Opera & Ballet from December 14, 2019- January 1, 2020. For more information, browse the Dutch National Opera & Ballet website.



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