Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake and the Nutcracker
Lisbon is well and truly keeping its visitors entertained this season what with the stunning Christmas decorations and lights, exciting festive events and the Winter Festival soon to be taking place. We say this because after Christmas and in addition to the other events on the agenda, the Russian State Ballet will be performing the classic ballet Swan Lake in Lisbon’s Coliseu dos Recreios concert halls on the 1st of January, and his masterpiece the Nutcracker on the 2nd.
Swan Lake is a four-act ballet that tells the story of Odette, a princess turned into a swan by an evil sorcerer’s curse and only regaining her human form by night. She is forced to live by a lake that was magically formed by her grieving mother’s tears when the evil sorcerer kidnapped her. The only way for the spell to be broken is by the power of eternal love between Odette and a young man who will remain faithful to her, for if the vow of eternal love is broken, she will remain a swan forever. Young Prince Siegfried ventures upon the lake and sees Odette transform from her swan to human form. He is immediately struck by her beauty and falls in love with at once. When she tells him her story, he promises to love her forever and invites her to a Royal Ball so that he may choose her as his bride. The evil sorcerer finds out and disguises his daughter as Odette to whom Siegfried declares his love thinking that she is Odette. When Siegfried realises what has happened he follows Odette to the lake where she has fled in distress. She then reveals that now she will never be freed from the spell unless she dies, upon which they both declare they can not live without each other so they throw themselves into the lake and for their sacrifice they are freed. They ascend into Heaven together and live happily ever after.
Comprising one of Tchaikovsky’s most famous ballets and perfect for the Christmas season, visitors to Lisbon have the opportunity to see the Russian State Ballet perform the Nutcracker. This two-act ballet relates the story of a little girl (Clara) who is given a wooden nutcracker soldier as a gift for Christmas which her brother consequently breaks. She takes the broken doll away, and when she goes to check on the nutcracker soldier later that night the clock strikes midnight and he grows to life-size. Mice begin to fill the room and Clara finds herself in the middle of a battle between an army of gingerbread soldiers led by the Nutcracker, and the mice led by the Mouse King. She helps the Nutcracker defeat the mice whereupon the mice retreat and the Nutcracker transforms into a handsome prince. Clara and the prince then sail away in a nutshell boat pulled by dolphins to the beautiful Land of Sweets in Confiturembourg, ruled by the Sugar Plum Fairy. The prince recounts for the Sugar Plum Fairy how Clara saved him from the Mouse King, and so in her honour they have a celebration of sweets from all around the world. Finally, Clara and the Prince are crowned forever rulers of Confiturembourg and are shown the riches of the kingdom domed with an enormous beehive. This version includes the original choreography by Lev Ivanov.
Price of tickets range from 20 to 45 euros and could be a perfect Christmas gift for a loved one. Regardless, if this sounds like how you would like to celebrate New Years in Lisbon then check out the website for further details and to purchase tickets for a perfect evening of ballet.