Entertainment

Boston Ballet’s ‘The Nutcracker’ returns to the Opera House

The Christmas classic aims to bring out the wide-eyed child in us all this holiday season.

Paulo Arrais performs as the title character during Boston Ballet's dress rehearsal of "The Nutcracker" in 2015. Jessica Rinaldi / The Boston Globe

Live theater has returned to town, and Boston Ballet will join those ranks starting November when they open “The Nutcracker.” Boston Ballet has performed Tchaikovsky’s beloved ballet annually for over 50 years, and this year, the show kicks off its first in-person season since before the pandemic.

Loved by folks of all ages, “The Nutcracker” tells the story of Clara, a young girl who receives a nutcracker from her mysterious godfather at a ball on Christmas Eve. Adventure abounds when the nutcracker comes to life, whisking Clara away to meet characters like the Mouse King and the Sugar Plum Fairy. 

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Aside from the mesmerizing sequences and time-honored Tchaikovsky melodies, showgoers this year can perhaps expect a bit more spirit than holidays of yesteryear, too.

“It’s like a whole renaissance, a new world,” Mikko Nissinen, Boston Ballet artistic director, told The Boston Globe in June of the Ballet’s return. “Nobody knows exactly how, but people are going to be bursting with positivity and openness. I hope people have learned what it means when you lose something like live performance. We are very excited about the restart.”

The whimsical show includes breathtaking sets — real snow seems to fall from the sky and a Christmas tree grows larger than life before the audience’s eyes. Paired with glittering costumes and magnificent dancing, “The Nutcracker” aims to bring out the wide-eyed child in us all this holiday season. 

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