Nicolette Fraillon, Music Director and Chief Conductor of The Australian Ballet will take up the baton at Birmingham Hippodrome this Friday when she conducts the Royal Ballet Sinfonia for the opening night of Birmingham Royal Ballet’s production of The Nutcracker.
A former Chief Conductor with the National Ballet of the Netherlands, she has worked with renowned choreographers such as Hans van Manen, Rudi van Dantzig and Krzystof Pastor and this year conducts Sir Peter Wright’s legendary choreography in a Nutcracker production that has become many people’s annual Christmas treat.
Having moved back to her home country to take up the position of Director of the Australian National University’s School of Music in 1998, she made the move to The Australian Ballet in 2002, conducting all their programmes both at home and on all international tours.
“It’s a huge pleasure to welcome Nicolette back to the UK and to Birmingham in particular,” commented John Beadle, Orchestra Director for the Royal Ballet Sinfonia – the orchestra of Birmingham Royal Ballet, “we have had a long and fruitful relationship with The Australian Ballet and Nicolette is an exciting and inspiring conductor. I am really happy that UK audiences will be able to experience her talent in possibly the world’s best version of this classic Christmas ballet.”
The Nutcracker will be conducted by Fraillon for ten of this year’s performances including opening night. Other performances will be conducted by Paul Murphy, Dominic Grier and Jonathan Lo.
Artistic Director David Bintley was quick to express his pleasure at hosting the Company's Australian guest.
'Nicolette is one of the world’s best conductors for ballet and it’s a thrill to have her here at Birmingham Royal Ballet. Sir Peter’s Wright’s version of The Nutcracker is rightly held up by critics and the public alike as one of the best ever produced, born out by the fact that this is its 26th year and I can’t think of a better way of celebrating Sir Peter’s 90th birthday on opening night that having Nicolette wielding the baton.'
In the run up to opening night, The Nutcracker has recorded one of its biggest ever years for ticket sales and looks set to be the most commercially successful production in a generation.
Tickets for the 2017 production of The Nutcracker will go on general sale at 10.00 on Friday 25 November 2016.