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Lethbridge Symphony Orchestra excited about sold out run of Christmas classic the Nutcracker

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The Lethbridge Symphony Orchestra is pleased to present a sold out  production of Christmas favourite the Nutcracker at University Theatre, Dec. 15-17.

The Lethbridge Symphony Orchestra’s production of the Nutcracker is sold out this weekend. Photo submitted
“The Lethbridge Symphony has never done this before. It’s been on our radar for  a long time, but  we had to wait for the stars to be fully aligned to do it,” said Lethbridge Symphony Orchestra Executive Director Melanie Gattiker.

“We didn’t want to compete with other productions. But the Alberta Ballet isn’t doing it this year and the Russians aren’t coming this year either,” she said.

 The fully staged production features 2015 performers including 89 local ballet dancers, 56 singers and children’s choirs plus the 60 Lethbridge Symphony Orchestra members.

“ Not many people do the Nutcracker with a full orchestra. Usually it’s just with canned music,” she continued, adding the orchestra is front and centre  for the production, thanks to being able to do it at the University Theatre.

“We couldn’t do it anywhere else other than the university theatre, not even the Yates. They can bring the orchestra pit front and centre by removing the first two rows of seats,” she said.

She wasn’t surprised the run sold out by Dec. 1.
“A lot of people think ‘Ooh Christmas— the Nutcracker.’ And if any of performers have any fans,  family or friends at all, and with word of mouth, it would have sold out,” she said, noting they even inquired about adding extra dates.

“ We tried, but the theatre is booked,” she said, noting the production features performers from 5 to 75 including young dancers and more senior Orchestra members.
“ Even for me, it‘s going to be experience. I only get to see dress rehearsals because I’ll be working the show,” she said.

The Symphony was able to connect with dancers through LSIDA (Lethbridge Society of Independent Dance Artists).

 “ They were really helpful. Through them we met Tara  Fenton-Groves (who is choreographing and directing the show. Kathy Matkin-Clapton is directing the choir). They’ve been working their little hearts out. They held auditions in June,” she continued, adding  it is really special to have the live orchestra for the Nutcracker.

“ It’s really rare for the dancers to be able to perform in front of an orchestra. It isn’t usually done. Even the Alberta Ballet had canned music and so did the Russians,” she added.
“ this is a full production with  a full set,” she continued, noting n the e Symphony would already love to do the Nutcracker again.

“We’d like to do it again in the not too distant future, maybe two, three or four years, We don’t want to do it every year because we don’t want it to become tiresome. We’re busy planning our 2018-19 season,” she said.
Everybody is excited for the production to begin.

“They’ve all been rehearsing in their own little spaces. The symphony got their parts on Nov. 27 and dancers have been rehearsing at least since September,” she said adding they have been rehearsing every weekend since Oct. 28.

“ It ’s a Christmas classic. It is a production by the community fort he community. It has everything. It’s about a little girl’s journey into her imagination to the land of sweets. It has battles, dancing toys, a Christmas Tree that grows, it has magic. It’s fun for all ages,” she enthused.

“It’s great to see people who wouldn’t ordinarily working together work together and come together for this show,” she said.

— By Richard Amery, L.a. Beat Editor
Last Updated ( Tuesday, 12 December 2017 10:21 )  
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