What better way to immerse yourself in the magic of Christmas than to attend an enchanting ballet in one of Europe’s most beautiful theaters? Here are five that we’ve chosen just for these winter holidays.
As cities around the world plunge into the holiday season spirit with their Christmas markets and specially conceived department stores shop windows, theaters are just as busy. Attending a Christmas ballet in one of Europe’s most stunning theaters contributes to making this period even more magical. From St. Petersburg to London and on to Paris, via, Musement has composed a list of five theaters offering Christmas ballets this year that are sure to astound you and all the family.
1. Théâtre des Champs Élysées, Paris
Premiering in 1877, Swan Lake may well be the world’s most popular classical ballet. From December 24 to January 5, the Théâtre des Champs Élysées in Paris will host the version of this great classic by Valery Kovtun, presented by the Ballet of the Kiev National Opera. It’ll also be an opportunity to admire the Christmas illuminations adorning the Eiffel Tower and those adorning both sides of the Champs Élysées, all the way up to the Arc de Triomphe.
Tip: At 11.00 am on Thursday, December 26th, Monday, December 30th, and Friday, January 3rd, you can attend the performances of the Kiev National Opera Ballet classes for just €10.
2. Palais Garnier, Paris
A true architectural masterpiece and emblem of the City of Lights, the Opéra du Palais Garnier is also surely one of the world’s most prestigious opera houses. A visit to Palais Garnier is a must at least once in your life, and attending a show in this jewel of the capital is an experience that will forever remain etched in your memory. From December 6-31, you can catch a performance of Le Parc, created for the Ballet de l’Opéra in 1994, set to Mozart’s incredible music and Angelin Preljocaj’s choreography.
3. San Carlo Theater, Naples
While you might be more familiar with La Scala in Milan or La Fenice in Venice, Naples’ San Carlo Theater is undoubtedly the oldest of the three and perhaps the most sumptuous. Constructed in 1737, it is Europe’s oldest opera house. Every year this ornate theater celebrates Christmas with a performance of The Nutcracker, the ultimate holiday ballet. If you’re traveling to Naples between December 21 and January 5, don’t hesitate to book your seats and dress up in your best attire to attend Tchaikovsky’s spellbinding show choreographed Lev Ivanov.
4. London Coliseum, London
London is extraordinary year-round…, especially during the Christmas season. From December 11 to January 5, you can catch The Nutcracker at the London Coliseum performed by the English National Ballet. Inaugurated on December 24, 1904, the Coliseum Theater is one of the largest in the British capital but also one of the most popular (in 2016, 2017 and 2018 the show sold out). Its architecture is characterized by an exuberant Baroque style on the inside, and on the outside, its characteristic facade and imposing tower recognizable from afar.
5. Mariinsky Theater, St. Petersburg
If you have the opportunity to witness a performance of The Nutcracker anywhere in the world, that should, of course, be at St. Petersburg’s Mariinsky Theater. On December 18, 1882, this Baroque Renaissance venue staged the very first performance of the show. Let’s not forget that the Russian ballet corps are among other things particularly renowned throughout the world. A true temple of dance, the Mariinsky Theater is also worth a visit purely for its pastel, blue-dominated Russian aesthetic—a far cry from the heavy velvet red we are more accustomed to. The performances of this ballet take place through January 12.