On Christmas Eve 1944, Nutcracker made its American debut in San Francisco and instantly became a holiday tradition that spread across the country. San Francisco Ballet artistic director and principal choreographer Helgi Tomasson honors that 72-year history by using the City by the Bay as the backdrop for his Nutcracker. Set in San Francisco during the 1915 World’s Fair, Clara’s dreamlike journey takes place amidst colorful, larger-than-life scenery, more than 200 dazzling costumed characters and, of course, Tchaikovsky’s beautiful score performed live by the world-class San Francisco Ballet Orchestra.

See The Nutcracker in San Francisco at the War Memorial Opera House in San Francisco from December 13 to December 30.


About The San Francisco Nutcracker

For over 75 years, the San Francisco Ballet’s production of “The Nutcracker” has been a cherished holiday tradition, enchanting audiences of all ages with its magical storytelling, breathtaking choreography, and awe-inspiring performances. As one of the oldest ballet companies in the United States, the San Francisco Ballet has earned international acclaim for its artistry and continues to captivate audiences with this timeless classic.

“The Nutcracker” ballet, set to Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s iconic score, transports audiences into a world of fantasy, dreams, and holiday spirit. The story follows young Clara as she embarks on a captivating journey filled with battles, enchantment, and encounters with whimsical characters, including the Nutcracker Prince, the Sugar Plum Fairy, and the mischievous Mouse King. This beloved holiday tale has become synonymous with the magic of the season and evokes a sense of wonder in audiences year after year.

The San Francisco Ballet’s production of “The Nutcracker” showcases the exceptional talent and artistry of its dancers. Under the direction of renowned choreographer Helgi Tomasson, the company brings this timeless story to life with exquisite precision and grace. From the joyful snowflakes and delicate Waltz of the Flowers to the thrilling grand pas de deux, each dance sequence is a testament to the skill, dedication, and artistry of the San Francisco Ballet dancers.

Enhancing the enchantment of the production are the elaborate sets and costumes that transport audiences into a winter wonderland. From the opulent Victorian-era party scene to the ethereal Land of Sweets, the meticulous attention to detail in the production design adds a visual feast to the already mesmerizing performances. The combination of stunning backdrops, imaginative props, and intricately designed costumes creates a sensory experience that truly immerses the audience in the magic of “The Nutcracker.”

Since its premiere in 1944, the San Francisco Ballet’s production of “The Nutcracker” has become an integral part of the city’s cultural fabric, delighting generations of families and ballet enthusiasts. The production continues to evolve, incorporating new elements and interpretations while honoring the timeless essence of the ballet. With each passing year, the San Francisco Ballet’s “Nutcracker” remains a beloved tradition, fostering a sense of togetherness and holiday spirit within the community.

“The Nutcracker” holds a special place in the hearts of aspiring young dancers who dream of one day gracing the stage in this iconic production. Through community outreach programs, the San Francisco Ballet provides opportunities for young dancers to participate in the production, nurturing the next generation of ballet artists and instilling in them a passion for the art form. This commitment to education and inclusivity ensures that the magic of “The Nutcracker” will continue to be passed down through the years.

The San Francisco Ballet’s production of “The Nutcracker” remains a cherished holiday tradition, enchanting audiences with its timeless story, exquisite choreography, and awe-inspiring performances. Year after year, this production brings the joy and wonder of the holiday season to life, fostering a sense of community and inspiring audiences of all ages. As the San Francisco Ballet continues to elevate the artistry of “The Nutcracker,” its enduring legacy and enchanting magic are sure to captivate generations to come.




War Memorial Opera House
301 Van Ness Ave. San Francisco, CA 94102


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