matthew halpaus

Matthew Halpaus (left) played the Rat King in Ballet Minnesota’s production of “The Classic Nutcracker.” Halpaus is practicing Nik Nelson, who played the Nutcracker.

Rosemount resident Matthew Halpaus performed the soloist role of the Rat King in Ballet Minnesota’s production of “The Classic Nutcracker,” which was performed Dec. 18 and 19, at the O’Shaughnessy in St. Paul.

After a challenging year away from the stage, Ballet Minnesota and their dancers said they were thrilled to present the annual production to audiences.

Halpaus has danced with Ballet Minnesota for many years. He said he was thrilled to be performing again after a year away from the stage.

Halpaus, along with the rest of the performing arts world faced devastating losses during the pandemic as their livelihood depended on live shows. “The Classic Nutcracker” is the life-blood of small performing arts organizations like Ballet Minnesota.

Staging the full-length production was challenging as they had to adjust to and navigate public performance safety regulations.

“The Classic Nutcracker” has drawn between 8,000 and 10,000 annually and remains a holiday tradition.

More information about Ballet Minnesota is at

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