Nashville Ballet will soon unveil its premiere of its brand-new Nutcracker

The old version of Nutcracker has delighted thousands of Middle Tennesseans for more than 18 years. The new production maintains the classic story with all the familiar music, played by the Nashville Symphony, but adds a bit of Nashville flavor to the brand-new sets and costumes. This version will be set during the Victorian era at the time of the 1897 Tennessee Centennial Exposition.

The audience will recognize many local influences, such as the Parthenon in the opening scene and Shelby Bottoms Pond, as the characters travel to Clara’s home. The Stalbaum’s home is based on the interior of the Belle Meade Mansion, and many historical figures and families have been included.

Nashville Ballet Artist Director Paul Vasterling visualized this more locally based concept and choreography for the new version of Nutcracker and brought together a team of respected designers to transport this new show from the drawing board to completion. The set design was created by Shigeru Yaji, costume design was conceived by Campbell Baird and the lighting was designed by Scott Leathers.

Opening Night will be the hottest ticket in town with the celebration including two special events. All opening night ticket holders are invited to stroll through the 300 foot tent, which will contain an 1897 Centennial Christmas Festival, “A Streetscape,” which will take you back to downtown Nashville as it might have been on a December night just before Christmas, in 1897. Imagine walking into a “real-life” holiday snow scene as you and your family stroll through the huge snow drifts with snowflakes falling lightly to the ground.  

The streets near TPAC will be closed for this one night only to allow people to tip-toe through the retrospective street scene with snowflakes, window shopping at the stylized mercantile store fronts and indulging in the aroma of roasted chestnuts on the Main Square. Watch the graceful ice skaters and take a moment to speak with Santa before you enter the lobby of TPAC for the premiere of Nashville’s Nutcracker.

Mayor Karl Dean and his wife Anne are the honorary guests for a gala dinner, hosted by Nashville Ballet supporters, at the luxurious Hermitage Hotel. This elegant gala pre-performance dinner will start at 5:30 p.m. with a cocktail reception. Step back into time with a turn-of-the-century three-course meal, followed by a champagne dessert reception during intermission. Friday, Dec. 12, will be a once-in-a lifetime event (the $500 per plate cost includes a premium ticket to the performance). For gala information, please contact the Ballet at 615-297-2966, ext. 30.

Single tickets are currently on sale, with prices ranging from $21.50 - $72.50. Opening Night tickets will be priced from $31.50 - $82.50. Tickets are available by calling 615-255-ARTS, ordering online at or in person at the TPAC box office downtown or at Davis-Kidd Booksellers in The Mall of Green Hills, or by visiting Groups of ten or more receive a 20% discount and can order through Nashville Ballet by calling 615-297-2966, ext. 10 or emailing

Charitable support has been provided by the Nutcracker Capital Campaign, co-chaired by Mrs. Ralph Davis and Mrs. Annette Eskind. Major supporters of Nashville’s Ballet’s Nutcracker are the Ingram Charitable Trust, HCA/TriStar as Founding Presenting Sponsor, the Martin Foundation as Founding Costume Sponsor and Regions Foundation as Founding Special Effects Sponsor. Additional support for Nashville’s Nutcracker; A Centennial Christmas, has been provided by Publix Supermarkets Charities.


Jackson Hall - TPAC

Dec. 12-14, 19-21, 2008

Friday, Dec. 12 at 8:00 pm (Opening Night)

Saturday, Dec. 13 at 2:00 pm & 7:00 pm

Sunday, Dec. 14 at 2:00 pm & 7:00 pm

Friday, Dec. 19 at 2:00 pm & 7:00 pm

Saturday Dec. 20 at 2:00 pm & 7:00 pm

Sunday, Dec. 21 at 2:00 pm & 7:00 pm

This article has been republished from Out & About Nashville, and was part of a series of first-person pieces written by the late Bobbi Williams.

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