The most magical time of the year – our students perform in The Nutcracker 2023
The build up to Christmas is always a thrilling time for students as they have the incredible opportunity to take part in The Nutcracker at the Royal Opera House. Peter Wright’s rendition of this iconic ballet has been delighting audiences for years. We caught up with a few White Lodge students during their busy rehearsal period.
The Nutcracker is a festive classic, packed with adventure and wonder. We asked students what they’ve been enjoying most about it:
I’ve enjoyed learning the role and have had fun practicing it.
I like trying on the costumes and going around the Opera House.
I’ve loved working with The Royal Ballet Company for the first time.
When we get to shows it’s really magical because of all the setting and costumes; it’s a really great experience.
I liked rehearsing, when we first started to rehearse as a big group and it all came together and we all put all our parts and made it into one big show.
I enjoyed watching the Company because it’s a privilege and not many people get to do that. And to be in this show at Christmas time, it’s the best time.
I really enjoy the music, the choreography, and getting to work with the Company.
Being part of such a beloved production and performing to a large audience is a fantastic experience, however, it certainly comes with its challenges:
I think opening night’s quite scary, because it’s the first time there’s a proper audience.
I was nervous about the first time we came to rehearse at the Opera House and go through everything with the Company.
You learn how to work with the corps de ballet. Especially in the party and battle scenes you have to work out how not to be seen as the main one. It’s hard to work out how to blend in with everyone, so that’s a challenge.
It’s so precise. All of the soldier parts are so particular; if you are going wrong, it’s really noticeable.
You work a lot on your acting skills because you really get into the character. And it’s quite different, doing parts like a gingerbread biscuit, when you’re not human anymore or being a rat. It’s not just about the ballet movement. It can be difficult to learn all the roles.
The Royal Opera House is a spectacular venue to perform in and students admire The Royal Ballet Company members when they dance with them:
It’s so exciting. It’s amazing and it’s a privilege. They’re such incredible dancers.
When you’re on stage, especially when you’ve never done it before, when you come in Year 7, you’re still in your first term and you’re working with your dream company and where you want to be when you finish your training.
For some of us, we didn’t do it in Year 7 because it got cancelled due to the pandemic, so our first time at the Opera House was our end of year performances. Our first Nutcracker was last year. It’s a magical thing when you’ve completed it, and the audience is clapping for you. It’s such a big audience so it’s really exciting.