The Nutcracker was written by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky in 1892, following the success of this Sleeping Beauty Ballet. It premiered in St. Petersburg at Mariinsky Theater on Sunday, December 18, 1892. It was not a successful and was met with criticism from critics and performers alike. The only part that was successful was the 20 minute Nutcracker Suite. Over the next 60 years and with the help of multiple choreographers, the Nutcracker became one of the most beloved ballets of the 20th century. The tradition of performing the complete Nutcracker at Christmas began in the 1960’s.
The San Diego Ballet
The San Diego Ballet Company is a non profit organization founded in 1991, in close association with Robin Sherertz Morgan’s San Diego School of Ballet and featuring a strong contemporary repertory created by resident choreographer, Javier Velasco. It has been voted #1 dance troupe by the reader’s poll of San Diego Union/Tribune, and BestofSanDiego.com. The San Diego Ballet Co. has performed the Nutcracker in Billings for the past 14 years.
Conductor Ming Luke is rapidly establishing himself as an exciting and versatile conductor to watch. In the past seasons he has worked with ensembles across the world; and has conducted orchestras such as: Kennedy Center Opera Orchestra, Birmingham Royal, San Francisco Ballet, Opera San José, Billings Symphony, and many others. The Napa Valley Register said that his conducting had “his audience as much in his thrall as his musicians.” Also the Music Director of the Berkeley Community Chorus and Orchestra, a well-regarded institution in Berkeley, he is only the third Music Director in 45 years.