Friday Headlines

the weekly newsletter from EHS

The Nutcracker Christmas Magic

Senior School

08 December 2023

Year 7 have been studying a unit of work entitled ‘Music in the Theatre’ based on the famous story of the Nutcracker.  This story was set to Music by Tchaikovsky in the late 19th Century and has become an enduring success around the world.  Many film composers note Tchaikovsky as a key influence on their work for the big screen and so the music of this composer feels very familiar to us today.

The story, as told in this case by Birmingham Royal Ballet to Sir Peter Wright’s definitive setting, is a magical one.  The Christmas feeling begins with the Christmas Eve party set in the Stahlbaum’s family home.  Drosselmeyer, the toy maker and magician, entertains the children at the festive party.  He presents Clara with a Nutcracker doll in the way of a gift – she loves it.  As the family retire to bed.  Clara, too excited to sleep, sneaks downstairs to see her Nutcracker doll under the tree – Drosselmeyer is waiting, and she is transported into a magical world of rats, toy soldiers, dolls and of course, the dancers from all over the world.  Her fairy-tale story is complete as the magician turns her Nutcracker toy soldier into a handsome prince and her into the Sugar Plum fairy.  The magic cannot last forever however and Clara, transported back to her living room, wakes up by the Christmas tree – was it magic or simply a dream?  Year 7 will have to come to their own conclusions!

Prior to our visit to the theatre the whole school was treated to a wonderful prelude to this trip as Birmingham Royal Ballet Dancers, Jack Easton and Frieda Kaden, performed the Columbine and Harlequin dance from Act 1 and the energetic Spanish Dance from Act 2 in our Monday Assembly.  Seeing these tremendous performers close up demonstrates their artistry and physical technique in an altogether different manner.  Both dancers met the pupils following the performance to chat and have a picture taken.  It was wonderful to see the same dancers on stage in their full costumes.  

Over the years, EHS has built a wonderful relationship with Birmingham Royal Ballet.  Not only having their dancers perform for us and seeing their terrific shows at the theatre but a number of our pupils have once again joined the company to sing in the choir that appears at the end of Act 1 (Snow Fairies).  

The Nutcracker marks a wonderful start to our festive celebrations, and it is delightful to see the girls enjoying this fantastic production.  I wish you all a very Merry Christmas.

Mr K Robson
Director of Music

Back to Friday Headlines

Previous Article

Next Article