12 December 2024 - 2 January 2025


Dutch National Opera & Ballet, Main Stage

Running time

2:20, incl. 1 interval


From € 29


Magic on the Amsterdam canals

According to German folk legend, nutcrackers bring good luck. And that’s certainly proven true for the international ballet world. Since the premiere of the original version in 1892, The Nutcracker has become the most popular ballet in the world, especially around Christmas time. That’s also the case in the Netherlands, where 325,000 people have already been enchanted by the heart-warming version of the ballet created by Toer van Schayk and Wayne Eagling.

Photo: Hans Gerritsen

Magic on the Amsterdam canals

Whereas Marius Petipa took inspiration for his original version from Alexandre Dumas’ adaptation of the Nutcracker story, Van Schayk and Eagling based theirs on the much less sugary and sometimes even rather spine-chilling Nußknacker und Mausekönig (1816) by E.T.A. Hoffmann. But unlike Hoffman’s tale, which takes place on Christmas Eve in a German town, their production is set on the eve of St Nicholas in Amsterdam, around 1810. Eagling and Van Schayk (Van Schayk also designed the sets and costumes) show skaters whirling over the canals of Amsterdam and transform a grand living room in a canal house into a snowy forest. All of this means that their 1996 production of The Nutcracker and the Mouse King is still a technical feat of stagecraft, which transports audiences into a magical fairy-tale world.

Inside Drosselmeyer’s magic lantern

The protagonist of the ballet is Clara Staalboom, who is preparing for the festivities on the eve of St Nicholas, along with her little brother Fritz and elder sister Louise. While people skate on the canal outside the house, the guests arrive, including the old, eccentric Mr Drosselmeyer and his nephew, a young, handsome naval officer. All the children at the party get presents from St Nicholas and his helper, Piet. Fritz is delighted with his soldier’s outfit and sword, and Clara is over the moon with her nutcracker doll. When she goes to bed, Clara dreams that the doll comes to life, in the guise of Drosselmeyer’s nephew, while she herself turns into a beautiful young woman. Together, they battle the Mouse King and his army of mice, following which they end up inside Drosselmeyer’s magic lantern, which transports them to many far-flung, colourful places.


Choreography  Toer van Schayk en Wayne Eagling 
Music  Pjotr Iljitsj Tsjaikovski 
Sets and costumes  Toer van Schayk 

Musical accompaniment  Dutch Ballet Orchestra conducted by Koen Kessels

Nieuw Amsterdams Kinderkoor (part of Nieuw Vocaal Amsterdam)

Performance for schools
We offer an exclusive school matinee for primary school students. Please visit this page for more information.

Ticket prices

Discover ticket prices for each price category by following the link below.

Ticket prices

We provide discounts tailored for certain groups to ensure our performances are accessible to all. Please visit this page to determine if you qualify for a discount.



CJP | Stadspas |
Youth aged 16 and under


€ 108,00

€ 93,00


€ 92,00

€ 82,00


€ 76,00

€ 66,00


€ 56,00

€ 46,00


€ 37,00

€ 27,00


€ 29,00

€ 25,00

Dutch National Opera & Ballet uses a system of dynamic pricing. This means that tickets for popular performances may increase in price as the performance date approaches and more tickets are sold. All prices exclude the booking fee (€ 2 per ticket).

Student discount and student alert

Last-minute deal! When a performance isn’t sold out, students can purchase a ticket online for just € 19 on the day of the performance starting from 13:00.

To stay updated on more offers, sign up for our student alert. This way, you’ll be informed in advance about which performances you can attend for just € 19!

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Anna Tsygankova and Constantine Allen
The Nutcracker and the Mouse King - DNB (2021) | Photos: Hans Gerritsen
Mouse army
Anna Tsygankova
The Nutcracker and the Mouse King
Dancers in golden light
Anna Tsygankova
Children in white in the front of their house
A girl with her nutcracker present
the Mouse King

Nutcrackers that come to life and mouse masks made of paper

About the props and costumes from The Nutcracker and the Mouse King.

Dutch Ballet Orchestra

Dutch Ballet Orchestra

Dutch Ballet Orchestra is the leading orchestra for dance in the Netherlands. In every performance, the orchestra searches for inspiring synergy between music and dance, in order to give the audience a magical experience. From classical ballet to modern masterpieces, and from music education to talent development, Dutch Ballet Orchestra inspires the movement in dance.

Dutch Ballet Orchestra

From 1 August 2024, the Flemish conductor Koen Kessels (1961) will be the new music director of Dutch National Ballet, and artistic director and principal conductor of Dutch Ballet Orchestra. He is taking over the baton from Matthew Rowe, who has fulfilled this special dual position since 2013 and who will be returning as principal guest conductor.

Since its inception in 1965, the orchestra has been the proud musical partner of Dutch National Ballet and Nederlands Dans Theater. One important mission of Dutch Ballet Orchestra is investing in the youngest generation of dancers and musicians.

In 2023, for instance, the orchestra issued an open call for young composers, in collaboration with Dutch National Ballet, resulting in a new work that was presented in the Junior Company’s touring programme, Ten. The orchestra has also been working for some years already with the Dutch National Ballet Academy. For example, the orchestra members provide the music for the end-of-year performances Dancers of Tomorrow.

Dutch Ballet Orchestra has also collaborated regularly on innovative – and award-winning – family and school productions. Creatures, in partnership with ISH Dance Collective, won the international Young Audiences Music Award and the production Hansel and Gretel, received various Musical Awards. Last season, this tradition was continued in the production Beauty and the Beast.