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Behind 'The Nutcracker and I' with Alexandra Dariescu

Behind 'The Nutcracker and I' with Alexandra Dariescu

Romanian born British pianist and creator of The Nutcracker and I, Alexandra Dariescu dazzles audiences and critics worldwide with her effortless musicality and captivating stage presence. 

The Nutcracker and I is a ground-breaking multimedia performance for piano solo with dance and digital animation which premiered at The Barbican in 2017. Since it’s highly acclaimed premiere, Dariescu has toured the world with her brilliant reimagining of The Nutcracker, performing across Europe, China, United Arab Emirates and now, Australia.

Alexandra Dariescu

The Nutcracker and I comes to Melbourne Recital Centre for two concerts on Thursday 17 January.  We spoke to Alexandra about the stunning production, her vibrant career and more.

What influenced your decision to become a classical musician?

I started learning the piano at the age of 7 and immediately fell in love with the instrument. I had my debut with an orchestra in Mozart’s Piano concerto in D major two years later and I remember very clearly telling everyone I want to become a concert pianist. I have never had a plan B and never thought of doing anything else. I suppose I was one of those blessed kids who always knew what they wanted. It’s always been a lot of very hard work, perseverance and a positive attitude that helped never to give up but always follow my dream. 

What inspired you to create 'The Nutcracker and I' and how did it come together?

My goal for The Nutcracker and I was to reach out to younger audiences, and through them attending a piano recital, be inspired them to always dare to dream. The average age of classical music concert-goers is not as young as we’d like them to be. By combining live music with live dance and very cool technology, we are sharing classical music with young ones and introducing them to a wonderful world of classical music. I want to show my audiences what I imagine when I perform, and let them in into my world, where reality becomes magic and vice versa. 

When did technology become a factor in bringing the performance to life?

I am fascinated about technology in general and using it in very constructive way to tell a story seemed incredibly appealing. At first, I did not even know whether this kind of performance would be possible, as there is nothing like this anywhere in the world. We live in a visual world and every generation is glued to a screen of some sort. It’s very important to use technology in a positive way, in order to help us bring classical music into the 21st century and keep building our audiences. 

How will audiences who experience The Nutcracker and I feel when they see the production? Is there a message you hope to share with them?

I would love them to feel part of the story, it’s very relatable. At the beginning a young girl dreams of becoming a concert pianist (and every person has their own dream). At the end the show, her dream comes true, using story of The Nutcracker to showcase building confidence, the importance of family and friends, encouragement, meeting new people, new cultures, traveling, growing, never giving up and becoming who you want to become – and in my case I’m a concert pianist, living the dream!

The Nutcracker & I by Alexandra Dariescu comes to Melbourne Recital Centre’s Elisabeth Murdoch Hall on Thursday 17 January 2019 10am & 12pm. Tickets are selling fast.

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