Information

Ballet in three acts (1975)

Choreography Roland Petit · Composer Léo Delibes | New Production

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Dates & Tickets

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Cast for all dates

Musikalische Leitung
Anton Grishanin
Musik
Léo Delibes
Bühne
Ezio Frigerio
Kostüme
Franca Squarciapino
Licht
Jean-Michel Désiré

  • Soloists and corps de ballet of the Bavarian State Ballet
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COPPÉLIA: Bildergalerie

Coppélia: Stanislawski- und...
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COPPÉLIA: Bildergalerie

Coppélia: Stanislawski- und...
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Ballet
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COPPÉLIA: Bildergalerie

Coppélia: Stanislawski- und...
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Ballet
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COPPÉLIA: Bildergalerie

Coppélia: Stanislawski- und...
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It all starts when a man creates a woman – a wooden doll to be brought to life. Dr. Coppélius is the wistful, lonely creator, a kind of magician, a sorcerer getting on in age, a crazy professor type – diagnosis: Frankenstein complex. Young Franz, who is actually engaged to Swanilda, can’t see the illusion and falls in love with this very beautiful doll, Coppélia, which sits day-in, day-out in elegant passivity in her window. When Franz breaks into the house to be close to the object of his desires, Coppélius catches him and puts him out of action with a mish-mash of magic and potions. Unbeknownst to the two: The curious Swanilda has already preceded Franz and crept into the house, revealed Coppélia to be the doll she is and quickly hidden when Franz turned up. While Coppélius does his best to transfer the spirits of life from Franz to Coppélia, Swanilda has taken the doll’s place and now pretends to come to life. The “magician” disintegrates as Franz awakens from his delirium and the two flee together. Coppélius is alone once again.

With humour and an ironic wink here and there, Roland Petit’s Coppélia  choreography (1975) asks the questions, as thrilling today as they were in the past, about blind love and the idealisation of the perfect human. The ballet, which celebrated its world premiere in 1870 to music by Léo Delibes and based on E.T.A. Hoffmann’s literary original, The Sandman, plays out in Petit’s version in a barracks at the end of the 19th century. The synchronised formations of the soldiers meet with the stylised, affected movements of the women – is there perhaps a bit of the marionette in us all? The setting originally located in Galicia (the Eastern European one) delivers a colourful musical template for local folk dances (à la Csárdás or Mazurka), which are coloured in a Broadway-way by Petit’s characteristic style. But again and again in the classically interpreted sequences the dancers also become revue pin-ups with show effect, coquettishly waggling shoulders and dazzling jazz hands.

Act I
In a village in Galicia at the end of the 19th century.

On the square by a barracks the soldiers meet with their women; carefree cheerfulness reigns. The loving couple of the hour, Franz and Swanilda, will marry soon. But Franz is swept away by another lady, who sits reading in Dr. Coppélius’s window. Swanilda, who cannot but notice the advances of her fiancé, is an alert young woman blessed with healthy pragmatism, who is sure not to be too worried by his aberrations. But she too is curious who this beautiful strange woman in the window is. Together with her girlfriends she creeps into Coppélius’s house to get to the bottom of things.

Act II
In Dr. Coppélius’s house

In Coppélius’s absence the girls inspect the house and its spooky contents. When they finally discover Coppélia and her secret, Coppélius arrives in the door. The girls flee, but Swanilda hides, and witnesses a bizarre love scene: Coppélius in tender intimacy with his doll. First a candle-lit dinner, then a spirited waltz – the simulation appears consummate. Suddenly Franz appears, intending to at last meet with his beloved Coppélia. Coppélius gathers all his hocus-pocus, infuses a potion and attempts the impossible – he will transfer Franz’s life energy to Coppélia. In the meantime Swanilda has taken Coppélia’s place. She plays the game and awakens to life, at first mechanical, but gradually with all the art of her agility. Coppélius is delighted. When things get too colourful for Swanilda, alias Coppélia, and she rejects the claims of ownership of her purported creator, she gives up the game, snatches Franz as he awakens from his delirium and disappears with him.

Act III
Back on the square by the barracks

All have gathered, Franz and Swanilda celebrate their wedding. The subdued Coppélius turns up with his doll now unclothed – she falls apart in his arms. 

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Biographies

Conductor

Anton Grishanin was born in Yekaterinburg and studied Trumpet, Opera and Symphony Conducting at the Mussorgsky Ural State Conservatory as well as at Mozarteum Salzburg. He worked as a Conductor at the Ekaterinburg Opera and Ballet Theatre, at the Bolshoi Theatre and Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko Music Theatre in Moscow. His guest engagements brought him to Berlin, Düsseldorf, Duisburg, Mexico, Shanghai, London and Novosibirsk amongst others.

Anton Grishanin has taken part in several International Opera Festivals and collaborated with outstanding artists like Irina Arkhipova, Elena Obraztsova, Vladislav Pyavko and Vladimir Malakhov. He has been nominated three times for the Golden Mask in Russia and is the prizewinner of the Russian Government Award. His repertoire encompasses over fifty operas and ballets, including Swan Lake, The Nutcracker, The Sleeping Beauty, Giselle, Don Quijote, La Bayadère, Romeo and Juliet and Coppélia.

By conducting Roland Petit’s Coppélia Anton Grishanin will be collaborating with Bayerisches Staatsballett in the season 2019/20. He made his first appearance at the Nationaltheater in April 2017 with the Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko Moscow Music Theatre’s guest performance of Mayerling.

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