“The Nutcracker and the Mouse King”

musical fable


Proj. Leszek Żebrowski
An unusual musical fable for children and adults, based on the novel by the German writer and poet of the Romantic era, Ernest Theodor Amadeus Hoffmann. Action of this fable takes place on Christmas Eve. Among many gifts, Maria receives a wooden nutcracker, who, after numerous adventures, turns into a beautiful prince from the land of fairy tales and sweets, taking Maria on a journey to his kingdom.


Script, direction, choreography and stage movement:
Jadwiga Leśniak-Jankowska

Piotr Czajkowski, Robert Schumann, Franz Schubert, Benjamin Godard, Stanisław Moniuszko, Tadeusz Joteyko, Georg Friedrich Händel

Musical arrangement and direction:
Waldemar Groń

Scenography, costumes:
Grażyna Żubrowska

Jadwiga Lesniak – Jankowska (I act), Marta Mirocka (II act)

Godmother, Queen Mouserinks – Jadwiga Leśniak–Jankowska
President’s wife, Queen, Choir – Anna Warchał
President, King, Choir – Maciej Rutkowski
Lady Chancellor, Guest, Choir – Anna Bugajska
Lady Equerry, Angel, Guest, Choir – Izabela Kubrak

Maria, Sugar Plum Fairy – Marta Joanna Baranowska / Weronika Bartold
Nutcracker, Prince – Antoni Sałaj
Mouse King, Frederick – Tomasz Gandzel
House maid, Columbine, Snowflake, Spanish women, Flower, Guest – Ewelina Bochenek / Agnieszka Reiser
House maid, Columbine, Snowflake, Princess Scheherazade, Flower, Guest, Angel – Alicja Billewicz
Mouse Maid, Snowflake, Princess Scheherazade, Flower, Guest – Małgorzata Topolska
Mouse Maid, Snowflake, Chinese, Flower, Guest – Ewa Gandzel
Snowflake, Chinese, Flower, Guest – Agata Wojtasik / Dominika Malaga
Snowflake, Princess Scheherazade, Flower, Guest – Anna Sałaj / Kinga Zuchmańska

Violin I – Marta Rychlik
Violin II – Barbara Szpakiewicz
Cello – Aldona Trybulec
Viola – Karolina Kalinowska
Double bass – Lesław Wydrzyński
Flute – Ewa Tupik
Clarinet – Andrzej Ruciński

Head coverings – Ryszard Hodur



fot. Paweł Zechenter


fot. Paweł Zechenter



Do you like fairy tales? If so, you should come and see The Nutcracker and the Mouse King in Krakow Chamber Opera. On the 1st December, while walking to the theatre at Miodowa street, I was wondering what I was about to see, how the musical version of Ernst Theodor Amadeus Hoffmann’s story will be presented on the small but special stage of the Jankowski marriage.
What I saw was colourful, lively and simply interesting. Jadwiga Leśniak-Jankowska, the script writer and director of the performance, told the Hoffmann’s fairy tale faithfully (…), while using all the available stage devices. She has mixed the theatre with the ballet (also modern ballet), and supported it with the solo and group singing and a large dose of music played by a small band conducted with great devotion by Waldemar Groń (…). In her effort to create a fairy tale world she was supported by the designer of the beautiful costumes, Grażyna Żubrowska, and the choreographer, Marta Mirocka. But the most important task rested with the performers, among which there where actors associated with the stage at Miodowa as well as the students and graduates of the Ballet School of Kraków. It was them who impersonated all the characters, and gave the story the fairy-tale tempo and levity (…). I have especially enjoyed the main characters, played by charming Marta Joanna Baranowska as Maria and Antoni Sałaj as Nutcracker and the Prince.
The adults who come with the children will not get bored. They will enjoy the witty situations, (…) such as the baroque aria of awe sung in response to the death threat from the king, or usage of various languages in Pirlipat’s parent’s kingdom. They will surely be glad to come back to their childhood’s world, since there is a child in each and everyone of us, regardless of the age.

Anna Woźniakowska
Polska Muza
4 December 2013