The Toledo Ballet and Toledo Symphony Celebrate the 77th Annual Nutcracker with a New Partnership

Published Thursday, September 28, 2017 9:00 am

The Toledo Ballet and Toledo Symphony announced on Thursday an important collaboration. The two organizations will work closer than ever before in this December’s production of The Nutcracker. It will be the Toledo Ballet’s 77th annual presentation of Tchaikovsky’s beloved masterpiece.

This is a partnership rooted in history, as the Toledo Symphony and Toledo Ballet have collaborated artistically on The Nutcracker since the 1940s. This year, the Toledo Ballet has committed to presenting The Nutcracker with the full Toledo Symphony in the orchestra pit. This makes the Toledo Ballet’s presentation of Nutcracker the only local production to include a full orchestra of professional musicians.

The Toledo Ballet’s Nutcracker, the longest-running annual production of the ballet in the nation, brings to life E.T.A. Hoffman’s magical story of Clara and her Nutcracker Prince. This year’s presentation will be staged in three performances at the Stranahan Theater.

“As two arts organizations, we individually present meaningful and relevant music and dance to our audiences, but we can do it so much better together. So, if you’re going to see The Nutcracker this season, I want to make sure that you see the one with the full orchestra. Only then will you really grasp what Tchaikovsky was trying to achieve,” said Zak Vassar, President and CEO of the Toledo Symphony. “We are excited to partner with the Toledo Ballet in this special way. In an age where many ballet companies dance to prerecorded music, I am proud that the Toledo Ballet will perform with a full, live orchestra. It makes such a visceral difference for the audience and preserves the artistic tradition.”

The partnership is not only musical, however. Beginning this season, the Toledo Symphony will incorporate the Nutcracker into its annual holiday series, where it will join the orchestra’s popular “Christmas at the Peristyle” and Handel’s Messiah. The orchestra will also provide marketing, public relations, and box office support for the Toledo Ballet’s three Nutcracker performances.

“This kind of collaboration makes a lot of sense in a community like ours," said Felecia Kanney, Marketing Director of the Toledo Symphony. "Adding the beloved Nutcracker to the mix supports both organizations. We get to add a classic tradition to our holiday repertoire, and the Toledo Ballet gains in economies of scale. It’s mutually beneficial without increasing the ticket cost. For nearly 70 years, these two iconic arts institutions, the Toledo Symphony and Toledo Ballet, have come together to bring the joy of The Nutcracker to the community. This closer partnership paves the way for an improved patron experience and reaffirms our commitment that we will settle for nothing but the best for audience goers."

"I am very excited to once again collaborate with the highly esteemed Toledo Symphony Orchestra,” said Lisa Mayer-Lang, Artistic Director of the Toledo Ballet. “When two strong arts organizations such as the Toledo Ballet and Toledo Symphony come together it is a win-win for the entire community. Dancers at the Toledo Ballet are ecstatic at the opportunity to continue performing to live music with the Symphony. Dancers and musicians inspire each other, and that is what makes live theater so exciting."

The Toledo Ballet’s Nutcracker, presented in collaboration with the Toledo Symphony, will be performed December 9th at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. and December 10th at 2 p.m. at the Stranahan Theater. Tickets range from $24-$56 and can be purchased by calling 419-246-8000 or visiting


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