Highlights from

The Nutcracker

Sponsored in part by Retina Health Center

December 5 & 6

Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall at FSW

2020-2021 Season Sponsor: Gunterberg Charitable Foundation – Culliton Family


Dr. Andrew M. Kurtz

guest artists

gulfshore ballet


As our story begins, it is Christmas Eve. The Godfather Drosselmeyer, a skilled toy maker and full of surprises, arrives with a toy for Marie, a wooden Nutcracker. Drosselmeyer’s arrival draws Marie’s attention as he presents a Columbine Doll and Toy Soldier.


During the night, Marie returns to the parlor to check on her beloved Nutcracker, suddenly, the Christmas tree begins to grow to dizzying heights. Marie’s Nutcracker also come to life. The Mouse King corners the Nutcracker and battles him one by one, when the Nutcracker is in danger, Marie saves his life by hitting the Mouse King on its head. The Nutcracker stabs him and the Mouse King runs out of the room. The Nutcracker Prince becomes a human prince and he leads Marie on a journey to the land of snow, an enchanted forest wonderland where they are welcomed by dancing snowflakes.


Marie and the Prince travel to the beautiful land of the sweets, ruled by the Sugar Plum Fairy. In honor of the young heroine, a celebration of sweets from around the world is produced: Chocolate from Spain, Tea from China, Candy Canes from Russia, Coffee from Arabia, Marzipan from Denmark, sweets from the bakers, and a string of beautiful waltzing Flowers led by the Dewdrop. To conclude the night, the Sugar Plum Fairy and Drosselmeyer perform a Pas de Deux.

A final waltz is performed by all of the Sweets, after which the Sugar Plum Fairy ushers Marie and everyone comes together on the court and bids Marie farewell. They leave the stage signaling the end of the magical story

GulfShore Ballet

Gulfshore Ballet is Southwest Florida’s premier not-for-profit school of Classical Ballet. The school has an internationally acclaimed teaching faculty and offers area students the unique opportunity to study with professional instructors of the highest caliber. The training at Gulfshore Ballet combines Cuban, American, and Russian technique and brings a quality of excellence not normally found outside major metropolitan cities. 


Herr Drosselmeyer

Franklin Gamero


Katie Shipp


Parrish Danesh

Marie’s Friends

Nina Colls, Sarah Kate Feiock, Audrey Galloway, Isabela Pinto, Emarie Ramsay-Moroti

Fritz’s Friends

Michael Boutsan, Aiden Gonzalez, Alexander Redman

Columbine Doll

Alivia Ban


Zachary Yoshida

Mouse King

Alan Rudd

Snow Queen

Carly Anderson

Mini Snowflakes

Alana Almodovar, Melia Brockington, Skye Buchanan, Isabell Donato, Elizabeth Eaton, Elana Gorny, Ana Ortega, Kai Perkins, Kayla Rathur, Madelena Urban


Alivia Ban, Annette Gorny, Courtney Laplatte, Nicole Lezcano, Ella Litvak, Savannah Redman, Sabrina Ruff, Chloe Sierra


The Sugar Plum Fairy

Annalisse Van Zanten

Lead Spanish

Annette Gorny

Spanish Dancers

Alana Almodovar, Melia Brockington, Elizabeth Eaton, Ana Ortega,  Madelena Urban

Lead Chinese

Savannah Redman

Lead Candy Canes

Kai Perkins, Zachary Yoshida

Candy Canes

Skye Buchanan, Isabell Donato, Elana Gorny, Kayla Rathur

Lead Arabian

Sabrina Ruff


Alivia Ban, Kate Karen, Nicole Lezcano, Ella Litvak

Lead Marzipan

Chloe Sierra


Savannah Redman, Katie Shipp

Lead Chefs

Sarah Kate Feiock, Isabela Pinto, Emarie Ramsay-Moroti


Michael Boutsan, Nina Colls, Parrish Danesh, Audrey Galloway


Isabell Garvey, Aiden Gonzalez, Abigail Lagergren, Madelyn Roe, Mya Scerbo


Courtney LaPlatte

Demi Flowers

Carly Anderson, Sabrina Ruff


Alivia Ban, Elizabeth Eaton, Annette Gorny, Nicole Lezcano, Ella Litvak, Savannah Redman, Renee Rodriguez, Chloe Sierra

Pas de Deux

Franklin Gamero and Annalisse Van Zanten


All Cast

Andrew M. Kurtz

Music & Executive Director​

Gulf Coast Symphony founder Dr. Andrew M. Kurtz enters his twenty-sixth season as the Symphony’s Music & Executive Director, and conductor. His deep rooted commitment to new work, community and education, combined with a vibrant artistic vision has led to creating and nurturing one of the most dynamic arts organizations in the region. His conducting has been called “passionate, expansive, expert, and musical.” He was named the 2007 Performing Artist of the Year at Lee County’s Angel of the Arts Awards. Kurtz’s repertoire encompasses a wide range of music styles from baroque to contemporary, and multiple genres including symphonic, opera, ballet, musical theater, jazz, cantorial, and symphonic pops.


An avid arts educator, Maestro Kurtz was Resident Music Director at the Luzerne Music Center. Kurtz is a past-president of the board of the Lee County Alliance for the Arts. In 2001, he won First Prize in the Dell’Arte di Firenze International Conducting Competition, and made his European conducting debut in Florence. In 1995, Kurtz made his international operatic debut in Tel Aviv while working as a staff conductor at the Israel Vocal Arts Institute. In 1997, he conducted the Metropolitan Opera Guild’s educational tour production of The Best of Puccini. He was a scholarship conducting student at the prestigious Aspen Music Festival, and boasts numerous other conducting credits, including the Pennsylvania Opera Theater, the Pennsylvania Ballet, the Charlotte Symphony, Gonzaga Symphony, and the Ocean City Pops.


Kurtz completed his doctoral studies in conducting at the Peabody Conservatory and is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of Virginia where he received his master’s degree in music history and a bachelor of arts in music and drama. A native of Philadelphia, Kurtz has called Southwest Florida home for more than 28 years, where he currently resides with his wife, Julie, and their son, Benjamin.

Gulf Coast Symphony Orchestra Members

Violin 1

Sean O’Neil~

Clive Owens

Carlann Evans~

Ariel Eliot~

Erica Griswold


Violin 2

Rachel Cox

Margaret Nichols

John DiPuccio

Brenda Cali

Jonathan Lawrence



Alfonso Giordano

Ron Erickson~

Michael McClelland



Antonio Innaimo~

Scott Crowley~

Andreas Werle


Double Bass

Scott Davis~

Arthur Mooradian

John Wadsworth


Deb Handley

Sherrie Mangan



Jonathan Gentry~

Kareema Colson



John Giacco

Nicholas Contreras



Scott Radloff

Stacey Gossmann



Dana Williams

Susan Oliver~



Cindy Klispie

Alan Klispie


Kevin Devitt~

Rick Wallace



Scott Crawford~



Isaac Hernandez



Richard Fleisher



Janet Carter

~ Denotes Gulf Coast Symphony Chamber Orchestra Member

Upcoming Concerts

Celebrate the season with your favorite holiday medleys.


Intimate evening of Sinatra’s Christmas hits!

Outdoor concert at the new Music & Arts Community Center.


Brian Duprey performs Frank’s greatest holiday classics.


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