Words by Ed King / Production pics by Andrew Ross
On Tuesday 13th June, the Birmingham Royal Ballet’s production of Coppélia opens at the Birmingham Hippodrome – running daily at 7:30pm until Saturday 17th June. Matinees will be held at 2:00pm on Thursday 15th and 2:30pm Saturday 17th June, with an audio described performance at 10:30am also on Saturday 17th June.
Tickets are priced between £11-59 depending performance date, time and seating. For direct details, including full performance times and online tickets sales, click here.
A ‘comic ballet’ in three Acts, Coppélia was first choreographed by Arthur Saint-Léon to a libretto from Léo Delibes. Attributed as an adaptation of the German folklore short story Der Sandmann – E. T. A. Hoffmann’s macabre story of demonic alchemy and revenge, Coppélia premiered at the Théâtre Impérial l’Opéra in Paris on 25th May 1870.
Coppélia tells the old tale of man loves woman, professor builds doll, man falls in love with doll, woman pretends to be doll, man falls back in love with woman… we’ve all been there. Although I guess it’s slightly more plausible than being held prisoner in a house made of short crust pasty.
Coppélia, the eponymous life sized dancing doll, is the invention of the Dr Coppélius – a somewhat dubious man with an unhealthy habit of building companions and leaving them sitting on balconies. Franz, a young man in Dr Coppélius’ village, falls for the motionless Coppélia and attempts to woo her by climbing up to the aforementioned balcony and declaring his love.
Franz’s fiancé, the incredibly forgiving Swanhilda, breaks into Dr Coppélius’ house and pretends to be the life sized doll come alive – dancing her way back into Franz’s heart and down the aisle. All ends well, despite Dr Coppélius’ secret plan to kill Franz and steal his soul (I did say dubious) with the original end to Act III seeing the whole village dancing in celebration as Franz and Swanhilda are finally wed.
Since its debut Coppélia has been adapted and performed by companies across the globe, making it one of the cornerstones of Classical Ballet. A firm favourtie with family audiences, Birmingham Royal Ballet has performed Coppélia for many years with changes being made to the narrative in several new productions.
Last performed at the Birmingham Hippodrome in 2015, Peter Wright heads up the 2017 production with further choreography from Marius Petipa and Enrico Cecchetti.
Coppélia – Birmingham Royal Ballet 2017
Birmingham Royal Ballet brings its production of Coppélia to the Birmingham Hippodrome from 13th to 17th June. For direct gig info and online tickets sales, click here.
For more on Birmingham Royal Ballet’s production of Coppélia, visit www.brb.org.uk/whats-on/event/coppélia
For more from Birmingham Royal Ballet, including full event listing and online ticket sales, visit www.brb.org.uk
For more from Birmingham Hippodrome, visit www.birminghamhippodrome.com