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Cultural Conversation about Portland Ballet's "A Victorian Nutcracker"

Portland Ballet's A Victorian Nutcracker poster

Portland Ballet's Artistic & Executive Director Nell Shipman and Milena Hartog, Assistant to the Director discuss A Victorian Nutcracker which kicks-off December 17 at Merrill Auditorium and December 21-22 at the Westbrook Performing Arts Center. This annual production is a cherished holiday tradition for Maine audiences, with its timeless tale of a young girl, her Nutcracker Prince, and the Mouse King, and sets and characters inspired by Portland's Victoria Mansion.

When Aaron Engebreth is not hosting his show on Maine Public Classical, he enjoys a varied solo career in opera, oratorio, recital and devotes considerable energy to the performance of established music and contemporary premieres, frequently collaborating with many of today's preeminent composers. He is a two-time Grammy Award nominated artist for Best Operatic Recording for his featured roles with the Boston Early Music Festival Opera and Radio Bremen. In the U.S., is frequently featured as a guest soloist on stages from Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center and Boston's Symphony Hall, to international appearances from Sapporo Japan's Kitara Hall to Le Theatre de la Ville in Paris and the AmBul festival of Sofia, Bulgaria. He has been a guest of the Tanglewood, Ravinia, Rockport and Monadnock Music Festivals as well as many of the country's fine symphony orchestras. His recent New York City Opera debut as monodrama soloist in Argento’s A Waterbird Talk, performed at Carnegie Hall, compelled the New York Classical Review critic to write the following: "Engebreth is a marvelous actor, capable of holding his character’s many facets and motivations in tension."