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A Visual and Aural Selection of Sweets in Store at Rochester City Ballet's Nutcracker with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra

November 02, 2007

A Variety of New Costumes and RPO's Live Music Enchant RCB's 20th Anniversary Production

Rochester, NY – The 2007 Thanksgiving holiday season marks the 20th anniversary of the Rochester City Ballet’s annual production of Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker, and this year’s production charms with breath-taking choreography, beautiful music and a variety of brand-new costumes.  Thanks to the time-honored collaboration between the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra under Principal Conductor for Education and Outreach, Michael Butterman (The Louise and Henry Epstein Family Chair), and the Rochester City Ballet, under the artistic direction of Jamey Leverett, the visual and musical magic of Tchaikovsky’s famous ballet will once again captivate a wide-eyed audience.

Six performances of The Nutcracker at the Eastman Theatre (60 Gibbs Street) will be staged twice daily at 2:00 and 7:00 p.m. on Friday, November 23, Saturday, November 24, and Sunday, November 25.  The performances also will feature the voices of the Bach Children’s Chorus, in residence at Nazareth College, directed by Karla Krogstad. To help prepare youngsters for the excitement of the Nutcracker experience, costumed dancers from the RCB will present “Storybook Readings” of the famous holiday tale at various Rochester area locations starting in early November.  Photo opportunities with the dancers will be available.  (See calendar for details.)

The captivating transformation of RCB’s Nutcracker continues this year with more dazzling new costumes, all handmade by RCB seamstresses and designed by Sylvia Hanlon with additional assistance by Deborah Tretter.  A stunning “Harlequin” and new “Party Boy” costumes will brighten the stage for the opening party scene, while the elegance of the dancers will be embellished by the beautiful new “Snow Queen,” “Snow King” and “Snow Corps de Ballet” costumes.  The magical “Uncle Drosselmeyer” will be newly outfitted as will a revamped “Russian Trepak” and new “Arabian” costumes for the second act.  

Joining the RCB to share the role of the “Sugar Plum Fairy” will be guest artists Sarah Lane and Kristi Boone, both soloists from the prestigious American Ballet Theatre (ABT) of New York City and former RCB dancers.  Luis Ribagorda and Isaac Stappas, also of ABT, will dance the role of “Cavalier.”  Derek Stratton of Phoenix Project Danse Theatre will return this year to dance the “Arabian” male lead. This year’s triple cast of The Nutcracker will be comprised of more than 180 community children who auditioned for the privilege of dancing onstage alongside Rochester’s professional ballet company.

“The Rochester City Ballet’s Nutcracker is certainly in a class by itself,” said Leverett. “The live music of the RPO helps to bring the story to life; we are so thrilled to collaborate with them year after year.”
 
Tickets for The Nutcracker may be purchased online at www.rpo.org, at the RPO Box Office, 108 East Avenue, or by phone at 585-454-2100. Ticket prices range from $20 - $60. Ticket buyers can save 20% on children’s tickets and 10% on adult tickets with their Wegmans Shoppers Club card.  For more information, visit the RPO online at www.rpo.org.

The Nutcracker is presented by The Brown Group, Private Banking and Investment Group of Merrill Lynch and is sponsored by Fiandach & Fiandach, Caldwell Manufacturing Company, Constellation Brands and Bartholomew Heath Care, with additional support from Time Warner Cable.  

Celebrating its 85th season in 2007-08, the RPO inspires and enriches the community through the art of music.  The Orchestra is passionately dedicated to outstanding musical performance at the highest artistic levels, and has a unique tradition of musical versatility, commitment to music education in the broadest sense and a deep and enduring engagement with the community.  The RPO has been honored with the New York State Governor’s Arts Award and two recent ASCAP awards for adventurous programming.  RPO performances are made possible in part with grants from the National Endowment for the Arts; the New York State Council on the Arts, a State Agency; the State of New York; Monroe County and the City of Rochester. 

The Rochester City Ballet (RCB), founded in 1987, is a non-profit, educational corporation. The Company presents a full season of quality dance to diverse audiences and helps keep the arts alive by presenting performances to educate and entertain adults and children at community events and special RCB performances.  The RCB has created at least 20 new ballets including Firebird, Don Quixote, Cinderella and the annual Nutcracker



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