Babies Proms: The Nutcracker at the Opera House. My Nan and Grandad took my older sister and I to see the Nutcracker ballet in London when I was about 7 and I was absolutely enchanted but it so when the Opera House hosted a babies proms version I knew I just had to take my little Niece and I am happy to say she was enthralled by it too.
For any parents with young kids in Sydney I cannot recommend Babies Prom highly enough. Babies proms is aimed at children between the ages of 2-5 and introduces them to classical music (and in this case ballet) in a way that young children will enjoy. Performances are just 45 minutes long which is short enough to keep little ones attention span and the whole set up is excellently executed. Babies Proms are held in the Studio at the Opera House and the seats are set up in a semi circle with a matted area in front of the stage where the children can sit to get the best view of the stage.
The Ballet itself was a concise version of Tchaikovsky original ballet with Warren Kermond playing the uncle who is a toymaker and four young ballet dancers playing the parts of Clara, her brother Fritz, the Nutcracker, the Sugarplum Fairy and the parts of the other dancers. The story starts on Christmas eve when the Uncle who is a toy maker arrives to bring the children their presents. He gives Clara a nutcracker doll. That evening the doll is bought to life to fight off the evil rat king. Once the nutcracker has defeated the evil rat king he takes Clara to the magical world of sweets where they travel from country to country watching dancers from each place and ending up with the Sugarplum Fairy herself. There was a small Orchestra set to the side of the stage conducted by Vanessa Scammell and at the end of the performance the children were given the opportunity to meet the musicians and learn about their instruments.
As I mentioned before the whole performance was absolutely enchanting and whilst aimed at young children is enjoyable for adults too.
Babies Proms: The Nutcracker is on until 22nd December. Tickets are available here and to check out upcoming Babies Proms in 2014 click here.