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Clara Stahlbaum

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Clara Stahlbaum
ClaraSilberhaus

Real Name

Clara Stahlbaum

First Appearance

The Nutcracker (18 December 1892)

Created by

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

Origin

Clara is the young heroine of the famous ballet The Nutcracker, with music by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky which was loosely based off an original story by E. T. A. Hoffman entitled, The Nutcracker and the Mouse King. The entire original story and the ballet are seen through her eyes.

In the more popularly known ballet, Clara receives the Nutcracker as a present from her godfather Drosselmeyer at a Christmas party. In the ballet, her fantasy adventures with the Nutcracker are all a dream: at midnight the toys come to life and fight an army of invading mice; with Clara's help, the Nutcracker kills the Mouse King and is then transformed into a handsome prince, with whom, in some versions of the ballet, Clara falls instantly in love (in others, such as the original 1892 production, in which the couple is always played by two children, both about ten years old, they are simply very good friends). The Prince had been under an evil spell placed upon him by the Mouse King, and only the love of a girl could break it. The Prince takes Clara to the Kingdom of Sweets in gratitude for breaking the curse placed upon him. Everyone there celebrates in her honor.

Sometimes in productions of the ballet, Clara actually marries the Prince, as in E.T.A. Hoffmann's original story on which the ballet is based. In some versions, the ending is melancholy, with the fairy tale characters (including the Prince), fading away, and Clara returning to reality, finding herself back at home, and gazing out the window at the falling snow.

Notes

  • No explanation has ever been given as to why her name was changed from Marie to Clara.

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