It was a wonderful experience to see Nutcracker last night, in the theatre where it was first performed in 1892.
I have very happy memories as a child of hearing this music played on a 45 EP on our first record player. In those days I had no idea it was a ballet, but I loved the music.
I was in a box last night. Around me was a proud father with his 5 year old daughter, she was transfixed for the whole night and was quietly taking it all in. Next to me was a woman with her 8 year old grandson Victor (who wanted to practice English with me: “hello”, “good evening”, “that is red”.) Victor wasn’t so impressed and was a bit restless. When we were leaving, the Babushka rang someone, presumably Victor’s parents to pick them up. I overheard her saying something like “he was sitting still some of the time”.
Going home in the number 6 bus was no problem.
The Mariinsky theatre is showint its age a little, but rather than renovating it, they have built a new theatre right next to it, with the unimaginative name “Mariinsky-2”. Nevertheless, it looks good and I might try going there as well.