Top 5 Holiday Performances You Won’t Want To Miss

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The holiday season is officially upon us once again, so to celebrate, we have rounded up five of the top holiday performances you won’t want to miss this year in Boston. From the classic performance of Boston Ballet’s The Nutcracker to Handel & Haydn’s Messiah being performed at Symphony Hall, here’s a look at some top events that will surely put you in the holiday spirit.


Boston Ballet’s The Nutcracker

Boston Ballet's The NutcrackerPhoto Credit: Boston Ballet

Running now through the end of the year, the Boston Ballet’s Nutcracker performance at the Boston Opera House is an annual holiday tradition. The story follows the journey of young Clara, who receives a nutcracker gift at her family’s Christmas Eve party. Later that night, the nutcracker is transformed into a handsome prince, who leads her through an enchanted forest and on to the Nutcracker’s Prince’s Kingdom. This year’s 41-performance run features the full Company of 55 dancers, 10 Boston Ballet II dancers and 250 Boston Ballet students.

Boston Opera House, 539 Washington Street, Boston; Website


Jose Mateo Ballet Theatre’s Nutcracker

Jose Mateo Ballet TheatrePhoto Credit: Jose Mateo Ballet Theatre

Boston is best known for its Nutcracker performances and we certainly have a few to choose from. This Nutcracker at Cutler Majestic Theatre set to Peter Tchaikovsky’s magnificent score debuted in St. Petersburg in 1892 and made its American debut in New York City in 1940. While the Boston Ballet’s classical performance is the most traditional, Jose Mateo Ballet Theatre’s take features a Mother Ginger and her children, the dancing snowflakes, the waltzing flowers, and the Sugar Plum Fairy with her cavalier.

Cutler Majestic Theatre, 219 Tremont Street, Boston; Website


The Handel & Haydn Society’s Messiah

Handel and Haydn SocietyPhoto Credit: Handel and Haydn Society

The Handel and Haydn Society’s inspiring Messiah returns to Boston for its 165th consecutive year. They first performed excerpts from the concert on Christmas Day in 1815 premiering the American debut 200 years ago in 1818. Since then, the annual event at Symphony Hall has been a favorite for bringing an historical awareness to the performance by using period instruments and replicating the approximate size of the orchestra and choral ensemble used in Handel’s time. Handel & Haydn will also be performing ‘A Baroque Christmas’ on December 13 at 7:30 p.m. and December 16 at 3 p.m. at NEC’s Jordan Hall in Boston.

Boston Symphony Hall, 301 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston; Website


A Christmas Celtic Sojourn

A Christmas Celtic SojournPhoto Credit: A Christmas Celtic Sojourn

Brian O’Donovan’s Christmas Celtic Sojourn has been a favorite tradition in Boston’s Irish community for the past 15 years. Since its inception, the performance incorporates Celtic, Pagan, and Christian traditions to celebrate the music of the season. This year, they have another spectacular lineup of musicians that includes singers and dancers from around the Celtic world.

Cutler Majestic Theatre, 219 Tremont Street, Boston; Website


Moscow Ballet’s The Great Russian Nutcracker

Moscow Ballet's Great Russian NutcrackerPhoto Credit: Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker

Here’s your chance to travel to Moscow without ever having to leave Boston this holiday season. The classical performance at the Boch Center Wang Theatre located in Boston’s Theater District is set to a score by master composer Pyotr Tchaikovsky and features life-size dancing puppets, a 60-foot growing Christmas tree, huge Russian nesting dolls and a Dove of Peace. This performance is always one of the most celebrated holiday events.

Boch Center Wang Theatre, 270 Tremont Street, Boston; Website

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