Mouse King and Nutcracker Prince Duel Erik Tomasson

“A Paean to Positive Thinking”

This December, San Francisco Ballet, the Company and School that has been a trailblazer in dance since its founding in 1933, returns to the War Memorial Opera House from December 10–30 for 29 performances of Artistic Director Helgi Tomasson’s beloved Nutcracker.

Tomasson, who is celebrating the final season of his 37-year tenure leading one of the world’s leading ballet companies, set his Nutcracker in San Francisco as a tribute to the Company’s hometown. With this production, SF Ballet honors the Golden City as it emerges from months of COVID-19 restrictions and all who have supported the Company for nearly 90 years. These performances mark SF Ballet’s return to performing for in-person audiences in the newly restored War Memorial Opera House since SF Ballet became the first U.S. cultural organization to cancel performances due to the pandemic.

“It is with great pleasure that we return to live performances of Nutcracker after 21 months away from our home stage,” said Tomasson. “Setting this production in 1915, I wanted to capture the hope, progress, and civic pride felt by San Franciscans following the 1906 earthquake. It is in a similar spirit that we approach this year’s Nutcracker and the 2022 Season as our Company, staff, and audiences emerge from this period of historic change.”

“We are thrilled to be reunited with our community for this joyous return to Nutcracker and the in-person 2022 Season, celebrating Helgi Tomasson’s dedicated leadership,” added Interim Executive Director Danielle St.Germain-Gordon.  “In preparing for in-person performances, the health and safety of our audiences, dancers, musicians, and staff were a foremost priority. Through diligent collaboration with the team at the War Memorial and Performing Arts Center and the City of San Francisco, we are delighted to be able to safely share this holiday tradition with San Franciscans and visitors alike.”

Tickets are on sale now for live, in-person performances of Nutcracker choreographed by Artistic Director Helgi Tomasson.

Called “a paean to positive thinking” by The New York Times at its 2004 premiere, Nutcracker includes more than 300 costume pieces by Tony Award-winning designer Martin Pakledinaz and scenic designs by Michael Yeargan inspired by San Francisco’s “Painted Ladies.” Nutcracker’s iconic snow scene returns, with 600 pounds of snow deployed during each performance. With few exceptions, every dancer on SF Ballet’s roster will dance in Nutcracker during the run of 29 performances.

Nutcracker tickets start at $19 and may be purchased online at or by calling 415-865-2000, Monday through Friday from 10 am to 4 pm Pacific.

Casts for each of Nutcracker’s performances will comprise San Francisco Ballet Company members and students from San Francisco Ballet School who are 12 or older, all of whom have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 per FDA, CDC, and City of San Francisco guideline