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Ludwig Van
Toronto Montreal

THE SCOOP | National Ballet Names Nutcracker Cast Including Koto Ishihara

By Michael Vincent on December 3, 2019

The National Ballet of Canada, The Nutcracker, 2019
Tanya Howard in The Nutcracker. (Photo: Karolina Kuras)

For many in Toronto, the holidays would not be the same without catching a performance of Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker.

Since it’s debut on December 18, 1892, The Nutcracker has survived a rocky past, complete with sour opening night reviews, and the composer referring to it as “infinitely worse than Sleeping Beauty.” The original score was later lost for 50 years before being found again it in a pile of papers in 1946.

Now, 127 years later, it is a holiday institution.

It’s a tradition that makes sense in retrospect, as it welcomes not only classical music lovers, but anyone who appreciates beautiful dance amidst an easily digestible story.

Announced today, The National Ballet of Canada’s production The Nutcracker will open in Toronto on December 12 with Principal Dancers Harrison James and Greta Hodgkinson in the roles of Peter/The Nutcracker and the Sugar Plum Fairy.

With Hodgkinson set to retire this coming March, this will mark her final performance in The Nutcracker.

First Soloist Hannah Fischer will dance the role of the Snow Queen and First Soloist Donald Thom will dance the role of Uncle Nikolai.  Koto Ishihara will make her debut as the Sugar Plum Fairy.

The National Ballet of Canada, The Nutcracker, 2019
Antony Tcherny and Yana Rakevich in The Nutcracker. (Photo: Karolina Kuras)

Season debuts include Principal Dancer Svetlana Lunkina and Second Soloist Calley Skalnik as the Snow Queen and Second Soloist Joe Chapman as Uncle Nikolai.

The Nutcracker will feature Choreography by James Kudelka, set and costumes design by Santo Loquasto, and lighting design by Jennifer Tipton.

We could all use some winter wonderland fantasy to temper the weather this holiday season.

Just watch out for the Mouse King.

The Nutcracker runs December 12 through January 4, at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts. For showtimes, visit my.ballet.ca.

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Michael Vincent

Michael Vincent is the Editor-in-chief Ludwig Van and CEO of Museland Media. He publishes regularly and writes occasionally. A specialist in digital media for over 15 years, he has worked as a senior editor and is a former freelance classical music critic for the Toronto Star. Michael holds a Doctorate in Music from the University of Toronto.
Michael Vincent
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Follow me

Michael Vincent

Michael Vincent is the Editor-in-chief Ludwig Van and CEO of Museland Media. He publishes regularly and writes occasionally. A specialist in digital media for over 15 years, he has worked as a senior editor and is a former freelance classical music critic for the Toronto Star. Michael holds a Doctorate in Music from the University of Toronto.
Michael Vincent
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