Pensacola has an incredible performing arts scene. Did you know that we are one of just a few cities in the Southeast that boast the "big five?” That would be a professional theatre, symphony, ballet and opera company, and an accredited art museum - all of which can be found within a few shorts blocks of each other. And just when the leaves start falling, our artistic awakening is in full bloom.

Winter in Pensacola is all about music, dance, and drama... but only the best kind of drama, of course. Here are just a few of the highlights:

Do your holiday traditions include watching the Nutcracker Prince battle the evil Rat King? You won't want to miss Ballet Pensacola's performance of the beloved holiday tale, "The Nutcracker," at the Saenger Theatre December 15-17.

Pas De Trois Ballet

Just a few weeks later, the Saenger will be filled with the music of Ella Fitzgerald and Ray Charles as the Pensacola Symphony Orchestra presents "Celebrate the New Year!" The New Year's Eve performance kicks of the Symphony's main season, which offers exciting new shows and recurring favorites, like their annual "Beethoven in Blue Jeans" on January 13. This year, they will pay tribute to some of the greatest musical minds in history including Mozart, Haydn and McCartney... Paul, that is. In addition to Mozart Madness in February and Papa Haydn in March, the pops will be putting their own spin on The Beatles songbook on February 10. For those looking for a romantic Valentine's Day gift, I think we might've found it!

Every year, the Pensacola Opera flies in some of the top talent in the world to bring these classic shows to life on the Saenger stage. In January, Elizabeth Caballero will be stepping into the lead role in Puccini's "Madama Butterfly." Caballero's impressive resume includes performances at the Metropolitan Opera, Carnegie Hall, and at opera houses in Germany, Italy and Brazil. Come March, Pensacola Opera will bring even more incredible talent to their debut performance of "Man of La Mancha." This tale of noble dreamer Don Quixote will be sung in English, while "Madama Butterfly" will be sung in Italian. You don't want to miss either of these stunning performances.

Pensacola Opera

Looking for even more world-class talent? Check out the Saenger's Broadway series. Some of the top touring shows in the country will grace the stage this winter including "Dirty Dancing," "Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story," "Jersey Boys" and "Rent." 

Did you know that Pensacola is also home to the longest continuously-running community theatre in the Southeast? The Pensacola Little Theatre has been bringing incredible local talent to the stage since 1926, and they will be kicking off 2018 with a run of "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat." Ballet Pensacola will also bring their beautiful rendition of "An American in Paris" to the Pensacola Little Theatre stage in February.

What performances have you already marked on the calendar? Let us know in the comments!