Pjotr I. Tschaikovsky’s »Nutcracker«, which premiered in St. Petersburg in 1892, is a Christmas classic as popular with Semperoper audiences as Dresden Stollen or the famous Striezelmarkt. In their interpretation, Aaron S. Watkin and Jason Beechey have drawn on the stories of E. T. A. Hoffmann to create a fairy-tale classical ballet set in Dresden during the festive period: On Christmas Eve, Marie is given a nutcracker that immediately becomes her prized possession. Soon, however, danger appears in the form a horde of belligerent mice. Then the nutcracker springs to life and does battle with the enemy army. Accompanied by her new protector, the girl embarks on a journey through a land of sweet dreams, and into adulthood.