FLAGSTAFF, ARIZONA (November 2, 2017) — Holiday enchantment begins on the first weekend of December when the Flagstaff Symphony Orchestra presents three performances of The Nutcracker, the beloved ballet by Tchaikovsky. Friday and Saturday evening concerts, December 1 and 2, begin at 7:30 at Ardrey Memorial Auditorium on NAU campus. The popular Lollipop Concert, an abridged version of the ballet especially for children, is presented at Ardrey on Saturday from 2-3 pm. Charles Latshaw will conduct all three performances.
Dancers are provided by NAU Community Music and Dance Academy Ballet Troup, under the direction of Andrew Needhammer. The voices of Flagstaff Youth Chorale, led by Shana Lanzetta, also enhance this popular annual production, which for many signifies the commencement of the holiday season.
Tchaikovsky’s well-known suite, including the Waltz of the Flowers and the dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy, sets dancers awhirl among the visual delights of a festive Christmas Eve party in a wealthy German household. Late that evening, when young Clara sneaks out of bed to revisit the Christmas tree, the real celebration begins, as a fairy land with a fantastical castle is created by exotic dancers and entertainments. These delightful images are brought to life by Tchaikovsky’s rich musical themes, which have become background for countless holiday festivities throughout the world.
First produced in St. Petersburg in 1892 to little acclaim, the ballet slowly gained in popularity until the 1960s, when Christmas productions became annual traditions for ballet corps and orchestras throughout the United States. For generations, Flagstaff families have been delighted by the perennial Nutcracker concerts presented by FSO.
The Saturday Lollipop Concert is sponsored by the Flagstaff Symphony Guild. For information and tickets for any of the three Nutcracker concerts, contact flagstaffsymphony.org or the NAU Central Ticket Office, 928-523-5661.
ABOUT THE FLAGSTAFF SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
The mission of the Flagstaff Symphony Orchestra is to enrich, engage, and inspire our community through the performance of orchestral music. Founded in 1950, the FSO is celebrating its 68th season as the largest and most active nonprofit performing arts organization in northern Arizona.