1 Narodnaya Ulitsa,
Saint Petersburg, Russia
Administrative Director
Mikhail Barsegov
Deputy Director
Alexander Ryazantsev
The St. Petersburg Masterskaya Theatre Repertoire

The Nutcracker

Journey into the world of Hoffmann's fairy tale and Tchaikovsky's music

"The Nutcracker" by Hoffmann is an iconic fairy tale for the St. Petersburg audience. Traditionally in December, theatergoers in St. Petersburg, Petrograd, Leningrad, St. Petersburg took and still take their children and grandchildren to see the Christmas story about a great love that overcomes a terrible curse. The stage history of "The Nutcracker" counts dozens of productions on ballet, puppet and drama stages.
In Maxim Studenovsky's and Vladimir Karpov's interpretation of The Nutcracker, the master Drosselmeyer – the godfather of Marie and Franz, a skilled maker of moving puppets and the uncle of the bewitched young man turned into an ugly toy – comes to the fore. He is the narrator of the Christmas tale, and it is he who joins the fates of Marie Stahlbaum and his nephew by giving the girl a ridiculous doll and telling her the sad tale of the magic nut Krakatuk and the evil Queen Myshilde.

Drosselmeyer tells his tale at the piano, to music, acting either as a tapper of the story unfolding on stage or as its sole author and presenter, being in two worlds at the same time. In the same way his beloved Marie passes from one world to another, at first drawn by the magic of the godfather's words and music, and then acquiring her own power, allowing her to revive and lead away dolls, soldiers and horses and to see the true essence of the house rats – the embodiment of fairy-tale evil – and the wooden little man – the embodiment of fairy-tale nobility and courage.

Seemingly simple and artless, the tale of the Nutcracker takes on the essence and meaning of a parable – especially when told to children. It weaves together the world of reality and the world of fantasy and dreams, the cold and harsh world and the poetic and harmonious world.

In the performance by Maxim Studenovsky and Vladimir Karpov, a child's world is divided not into black and white, but into prose and poetry, deafness and music, boredom and fantasy. Any space can become fairy-tale, any world can become magical, any creature can acquire new features if a little person opens his eyes, soul and heart to see and feel more than it seems.

The playful element of the performance draws the little audience into the world of the Stahlbaum house and Drosselmeyer's fairy tale. They are played with as equals by Marie and Franz, they sit on cushions right on the floor of the Stahlbaums' nursery, they listen to the tale of Master Drosselmeyer together with the young Stahlbaums, they bravely fight the Mouse King's army, led by Franz and the Nutcracker, and together with the characters they celebrate the victory over the rats and Marie's meeting with the disenchanted young Drosselmeyer. The theater opens up to young audiences from the inside out, encouraging them to make magic together.

Premiere – December 24, 2021
Duration – 55 minutes without intermission
For audiences from 3 years old


  • Staging by Vladimir Karpov and Maxim Studenovsky
  • Directed by Vladimir Karpov and Maxim Studenovsky
  • Production designer – Tatiana Danashevskaya
  • Lighting Designer – Maxim Ahrameev
  • Musical design – Maxim Studenovsky
  • Sound engineer – Grigory Amelin
  • Video – Alexander Malyshev, Anastasia Posokhova
  • Choreographer – Ekaterina Safronova
  • Assistant director – Ekaterina Zatolokina
  • Music recording:
  • Maria Studenovskaya, Maxim Studenovsky – piano
  • Andrey Didik – bass guitar
  • Grigory Amelin, Dmitry Zhitkov – drums

The music of Tchaikovsky and Donizetti is used in the performance