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Record-setting Nutcracker?


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#1 YouOverThere

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Posted 23 December 2010 - 10:50 PM

The Colorado Ballet sent out a blurb to patrons and season ticket holders on Dec. 22 that contained the statement "This year, The Nutcracker has been our most attended production ever". This presumbly means that it is setting an attendence record.

#2 Helene

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Posted 23 December 2010 - 10:54 PM

With weather affecting performances in some cities, and the economy in others, that's great news, YouOverThere.

#3 California

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Posted 24 December 2010 - 08:12 AM

I attended the Wednesday matinee with family and it looked to us like it was sold out. But I've also gotten a non-stop barrage of e-mails in recent weeks with all sorts of special deals -- 2-for-1, etc.

I was really impressed with the production -- very lavish sets and costumes, fine performances by the professionals, huge numbers of children from their Academy used well (which must help ticket sales), classy full orchestra, etc. But the nicest surprise was the use of funny touches throughout to appeal to the adults in the audience -- e.g., when the Mouse King died, annother mouse tried to give him CPR. The Mother Goose figure did some very funny pop dance moves with "her" arms. Just when you think Nutcracker can't get any more saccharine, they would interject some adult humor that I haven't seen in other productions.

I had watched several tapes of other versions (from the Ovation series) with my great-niece beforehand, and actually thought the Colorado Ballet's version was the most entertaining and visually stunning.

#4 California

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 08:39 AM

With so much gloom and doom reported in the finances of other companies, it's worth noting that Colorado Ballet had a record-breaking Nutcracker in 2012 and ended the year in the black:

http://www.bizjourna...ks.html?ana=twt

Ticket revenue for the 24-performance run of the Tchaikovsky classic at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House topped $2.5 million, exceeding last year’s total by $578,000, officials said. “Nutcracker” revenue totaled $2 million in the record year of 2010.

“An audience of 2,000 is considered sold out and we had an average attendance of 1,981 per show,” Gil Boggs, the ballet’s artistic director, said in a statement.


They do aggressively discount. E.g., Subscribers get 25% off the list price for subscription tickets and can buy additional tickets at 25% off for the season. Discounts of 20% off are widely publicized to the general public. But it seems to me that filling the house with these discounts is a smart way to go, and the revenue and attendance numbers support that approach.

#5 rg

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 09:10 AM

can you note here who staged and designed this production?

#6 California

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 09:47 AM

can you note here who staged and designed this production?

The program says: Based on choreography by Martin Fredmann - Additional choreography by Sandra Brown - Staged by Lorita Travaglia and Sandra Brown - Scenery and Costumes by Jose Varona - Lighting Design by Todd L. Clark & Todd Elmer

Fredmann had been artistic director of the company, removed by the Board in 2005 in what sounds like a messy departure in the midst of a serious financial crisis; apparently he is now at the Kirov Academy in Washington, DC. Sandra Brown is ballet mistress, wife of the current director Gil Boggs, and a dancer with ABT from 1987-2003. Travaglia is a current ballet mistress, originally from New Zealand. I don't know anything about Varona or Clark and they're not on the current staff listing.

I've been to this production with young family members for the last three years and am always surprised at how much I enjoy it, having sat through many more Nutcrackers than I care to remember! Sets and costumes are lavish, dancers well-rehearsed, principals and soloists up to the challenge. I especially enjoy the several humorous touches aimed at adults in the audience -- CPR for the mouse king, "hip" dancing by Mother Goose, etc., as well as the first-rate live orchestra. Large ensembles are fleshed out with the "studio company" and various people from their Academy. They have 6 principals, 6 soloists, and 17 corps members (many of whom do double-duty in full-evening ballets).

#7 rg

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 11:57 AM

thanks for the reply.
i rem. S. Brown fondly and well, likewise G. Boggs; likewise, some of the surround to M. Fredmann's departure from Colorado B.

#8 Amy Reusch

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 07:25 PM

Todd Clark is an excellent lighting designer! (and I imagine the other designer good too).

#9 YouOverThere

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Posted 12 January 2013 - 09:41 PM

Fredmann had been artistic director of the company, removed by the Board in 2005 in what sounds like a messy departure in the midst of a serious financial crisis;


It was a messy departure.

I've been to this production with young family members for the last three years and am always surprised at how much I enjoy it, having sat through many more Nutcrackers than I care to remember! Sets and costumes are lavish, dancers well-rehearsed, principals and soloists up to the challenge. I especially enjoy the several humorous touches aimed at adults in the audience -- CPR for the mouse king, "hip" dancing by Mother Goose, etc., as well as the first-rate live orchestra. Large ensembles are fleshed out with the "studio company" and various people from their Academy. They have 6 principals, 6 soloists, and 17 corps members (many of whom do double-duty in full-evening ballets).


I actually went this year, to 1.5 performances (the 0.5 is a long story). I really enjoyed it, and can't figure out why I didn't get into it when I first saw it a few years ago. Kevin Gael Thomas and Sean Omandam were spectacular in the Russian dance.

The CB used 3 dancers in the role of Clara w/ 3 dancers as the Nutcracker Prince and 4 dancers as Sugar Plum Fairies with 4 dancers as the Cavalier. Soloist Shelby Dyer shared the Sugar Plum Fairy role with the 3 female principals and she was also the only soloist to dance the Lilac Fairy in The Sleeping Beauty. I don't know if anything should be read into this.

#10 Mme. Hermine

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Posted 13 January 2013 - 10:48 AM

Jose Varona was also the designer for the redesign of Ruth Page's Nutcracker in 1991.


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