Special Sub-Topic: The Nutcracker
|Who wrote the story that "The Nutcracker" is based on?|
E.T.A. Hoffmann. Called "Nussknacker and Mausekonig" Tchaikovsky based his ballet on a sinister short story by E.T.A. Hoffmann. Hoffmann was a noted German author.
|What holiday season is "The Nutcracker" usually associated with?|
Christmas. Taking place on Christmas Eve and telling the story of some wonderful presents come to life, "The Nutcracker" has become a traditional Christmas event.
|Where was the premier of "The Nutcracker"?|
St. Petersburg, Russia. So successful was Tchaikovsky's "The Sleeping Beauty" in 1890 that he was asked to consider a double bill, a novel idea at the time. He accepted. The other half of the double bill was an opera called "Yolanta".
|What sinister character gave The Nutcracker to Clara as a gift?|
Drosselmeyer. Drosselmeyer was a benevolent, grimacing, old man. His theme is played by the viola with a disjointed, quirky melody.
|Who is The Nutcracker's nemesis?|
The Mouse King. Clara views the battle of The Nutcracker and the Mouse King, and their troops. In the heat of the battle, Clara throws her slipper at the Mouse King,allowing The Nutcracker's troops to win.
|What happens to The Nutcracker when he wins the battle against the Mouse King's army?|
The Nutcracker turns into the Prince.. The handsome Prince takes Clara on a magical tour of the Kingdom of Sweets, with dances by various character who preform for the special guests.
|What is the name of the section of the ballet that is made up of character dances performed for Clara and Prince Charming?|
Divertissement. This section of the ballet is composed of many short dances preformed by the people in the enchanted kingdom. Including dances by Russians, Chinese, Arabians, Reed Pipes, Clowns, and the beautiful "Waltz of the Flowers".
|What is the name of the fairy in "The Nutcracker"?|
Sugar Plum Fairy. The "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy" is the highlight of the Pas de Deux section of the ballet. Tchaikovsky smuggled the instrument featured in this dance out of France and into Russia so that no other composer could use it before him. It was called the celesta, a delicate bell like instrument.
|What are the names of the beverages that represent the Spanish, the Arabian, and the Chinese dances?|
Chocolate, Coffee, and Tea. The Arabian-Coffee.
|A part of "The Nutcracker" was already famous when the ballet debuted. What was it?|
A Suite. The 20 minute suite contained part of the introduction, an opening March, and music from the Divertissement. This Suite was a popular piece before the ballet, containing some of the most loved music of "The Nutcracker".
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