11 Dec-2 Jan 2022


Dutch National Opera & Ballet, Auditorium

Running time

2:20 hours, 1 break


From € 27

Notenkraker & Muizenkoning

Enchanting fairytale for the whole family

Dutch National Ballet’s ultimate Christmas production is a festive fairytale, steeped in Dutch traditions for the month of December. There are skating scenes on the canals of Amsterdam, a living room that transforms into a snowy forest and a magic lantern that takes you on a journey to exotic countries. Since its premiere, the ballet has enchanted more than 325,000 children and adults.

Immerse yourself in a festive fantasy world

The first version of the ballet The Nutcracker premiered in St Petersburg in 1892. Nowadays, productions of Nutcracker are performed all over the world, especially at Christmas time. The Amsterdam version, entitled The Nutcracker and the Mouse King, is regarded by connoisseurs as one of the most beautiful productions of the ballet ever, and it is a milestone in Dutch theatre history. Choreographed by Wayne Eagling and Toer van Schayk, the ballet is now also, in a slightly adapted version, part of the repertoires of several companies abroad.


For both children and adults

For their version for Dutch National Ballet, Eagling and Van Schayk chose to take a purely Dutch approach to the story. Unlike the original story by E.T.A. Hoffmann, The Nutcracker and the Mouse King does not take place on Christmas Eve in a small town in Germany, but on the eve of St Nicholas, in Amsterdam, around 1810. At the same time, they adapted the story to suit contemporary tastes. There are lots of scene changes and an exciting battle between Clara’s nutcracker doll, which comes to life, and the mouse king’s army. This makes the ballet less sugary and more dynamic than many other Nutcracker productions. In the version by Eagling and Van Schayk, imagination rules – and that works, for the adults as well.


Dutch masters

The audience is immersed in a festive fantasy world, in which the wonderful sets and costumes, designed by Van Schayk himself, play an important role. For his designs, Van Schayk was inspired by the work of the Dutch masters of the Golden Age.

PLEASE NOTE: you need a valid QR code from the coronavirus entry pass to visit this performance.


Choreography  Wayne Eagling and Toer van Schayk
Music  Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

Musical accompaniment  Dutch National Ballet Orchestra conducted by Fayçal Karoui

Chorus  Nieuw Amsterdams Kinderkoor
Chorus master  Anaïs de la Morandais

Watch the trailer

Notenkraker & Muizenkoning

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To ensure that, in spite of the current corona pandemic, your visit is as safe as possible, Dutch National Opera & Ballet follows the guidelines of the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM). Read more

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Jessica Xuan

‘The sets and costumes are so gorgeous’

Principal dancer Jessica Xuan: 

“I danced the role of Clara for the first time in 2019, following a serious
foot injury. However happy I was to be back, I was still not feeling secure about my foot. So I’m really looking forward to dancing the role again. And the sets and costumes are so gorgeous. I think the bedroom scene, when it starts snowing, is especially magical, and Clara’s tutu is by far my favourite tutu.”

Notenkraker & Muizenkoning
Rave reviews
In the media
17 December

The luxurious flower waltz is like a moving poesie picture. Couple that with Tchaikovsky's timeless music and you have a wonderful family party.

19 December

A celebration for young and old.

29 December

The Nutcracker and the Mouse King by the Dutch National Ballet, with music from Tchaikovsky, is like the Christmas circus in Carré: the perfect family outing during the holidays!

Het Balletorkest

Dutch Ballet Orchestra

conducted by Fayçal Karoui

Since its inception in 1965, the orchestra has been proud to accompany its partners, Dutch National Ballet and Nederlands Dans Theater. The working method is unique in the Netherlands.

Dutch Ballet Orchestra

Dutch Ballet Orchestra, with Matthew Rowe as principal conductor, consists of a regular core of 45 musicians, supported where necessary by highly qualified guest performers. This gives the orchestra its unique character: flexible, dynamic and high-quality.

More about Dutch Ballet Orchestra


Almost every performance at Dutch National Opera & Ballet is preceded by an introduction, with background information that can deepen your theater visit. The introductions are in Dutch and admission is free by showing a valid ticket.

Time: 45 minutes before the start of each performance
Location: Odeonzaal; entrance between the even and odd cloakrooms

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