By Iris Fanger
14 September 2020
NBC Boston to air Boston’s beloved holiday ballet. The company also plans six virtual programs beginning Nov. 21; in-person events at the Opera House won’t happen until next May.
Editor’s Note: This article has been updated to add the date of a televised performance of “The Nutcracker.”
On March 11th, the Boston Ballet dancers were on stage at Citizens Bank Opera House in full costume and makeup for the dress rehearsal of Jorma Elo’s “Carmen,” with the musicians of the Boston Ballet orchestra seated in the pit. The following afternoon, just hours before opening night, Artistic Director Mikko Nissinen walked onto the stage to announce that the show — and the two weekend run — were canceled due to the threat of the deadly novel coronavirus.
That same day, Margaret Tracey, director of the Boston Ballet School, sent her young students home because she feared a possible exposure to the virus. Within 24 hours, the school was officially closed. Tracey thought classes would start up again “in a few weeks,” she recalled. Nissinen commented that “everything fell apart in March.” No one knew that the dancers of the Boston Ballet would remain off stage for the rest of the 2019-2020 season and far into the next.
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