The Nutcracker for full houses

A Christmas tradition at the Norwegian Opera & Ballet

The Nutcracker

Photo: Erik Berg
The National Ballet’s Nutcracker had its season premiere at the Norwegian Opera on Dec. 1.


Never before have so many people seen The Nutcracker in Norway. More than 775,000 people have seen the National Ballet’s Christmas ballet since its Norwegian premiere in 1965. This year sets a new record: 22 nearly sold-out performances of The Nutcracker await – and around 220 dancers, singers, and orchestral musicians are in this year’s production, which premiered on Dec. 1.

“The Nutcracker is more than a pre-Christmas tradition: Every year there is someone in the hall who experiences ballet or classical music for the very first time, and every year there are dancers who get to brush up on new roles,” said ballet director Ingrid Lorentzen.

Among the participants on stage, there are several who are making their debut on the Opera’s Main Stage: The National Ballet’s dancers share the stage with students from the Ballet School, who all interpret a myriad of roles – from the prince, Little and Big Clara, and rats, to waffles with sour cream.

Adventure in Christiania

Every Christmas, The Nutcracker is danced at ballet houses in many parts of the world. The story is based on E.T.A. Hoffmann’s fairy tale “The Nutcracker and the Mouse King,” and in the National Ballet’s production from 2016, the action is set in Christiania in 1905. The choreography is by former National Ballet soloist Kaloyan Boyadjiev.

A total of seven casts take turns in the adult main roles. The role of Clara is danced by Melissa Hough, Whitney Jensen, Yolanda Correa, Grete Sofie Borud Nybakken, Youngseo Ko, Daniela Cabrera and Sonia Vinograd.

As the nutcracker prince we see Douwe Dekkers, Ricardo Castellanos, Vasilii Tkachenko, Jonathan Olofsson, Shaakir Muhammad, Lucas Lima, and Martin Dauchez.

The role of Little Clara is shared between Miyu Avdal Shinozaki (age 15) and Jonette Kleppe-Jørgensen (age 15). 

The Opera’s Children’s Choirs join, and the Opera Orchestra plays Tchaikovsky’s music under the direction of Kevin Rhodes/Per Kristian Skalstad.

In 2020, The Nutcracker was filmed and shown by NRK, when the opera house was closed due to the pandemic. The film version is available for streaming on NRK TV.

Read more about Oslo’s Opera in both Norwegian and English.

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NTB (Norsk Telegrambyrå), the Norwegian News Agency, is a press agency and wire service that serves most of the largest Norwegian media outlets. The agency is located in Oslo and has bureaus in Brussels, Belgium, and Tromsø in northern Norway