The National Theatre

Coppélia

Coppélia tells a story of love, yet, unlike other Romantic ballets, in which unrequited passion leads to death, it ends happily (with marriage, thus complying with the 19th-century conventions). An extraordinary character is Coppélia, a life-size doll created by Doctor Coppélius, an inventor of mechanical toys and other machines. Sitting motionlessly on a balcony of his house, the beautiful “girl” attracts the attention of the village youths. One of them, Franz, is so infatuated with her that he neglects his fiancée Swanilda, who becomes upset and jealous. No one has the slightest inkling that Coppélia is actually a doll whose inventor can only bring to life by having a human spirit breathe into her. 

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All dates

Saturday

9/14/2024


7:00 PM


Státní opera

Praha


450 - 1190 CZK

Thursday

9/19/2024


7:00 PM


Státní opera

Praha


450 - 1190 CZK

Friday

9/27/2024


7:00 PM


Státní opera

Praha


450 - 1190 CZK

Saturday

9/28/2024


7:00 PM


Státní opera

Praha


450 - 1190 CZK

Description

ABOUT

During the 154 years since its world premiere, Coppélia has been performed all over the world. The current Czech National Ballet production, first presented on 16 May 2024 at the  State Opera in Prague, is a revival of Ronald Hynd’s version, premiered 1985 in London by English National Ballet.

Coppélia tells a story of love, yet, unlike other Romantic ballets, in which unrequited passion leads to death, it ends happily (with marriage, thus complying with the 19th-century conventions). 

An extraordinary character is Coppélia, a life-size doll created by Doctor Coppélius, an inventor of mechanical toys and other machines. Sitting motionlessly on a balcony of his house, the beautiful “girl” attracts the attention of the village youths. One of them, Franz, is so infatuated with her that he neglects his fiancée Swanilda, who becomes upset and jealous. No one has the slightest inkling that Coppélia is actually a doll whose inventor can only bring to life by having a human spirit breathe into her. Fortunately, Doctor Coppélius’s plan to steal Franz’s soul for this purpose is thwarted by Swanilda. Franz realises his folly and returns to his fiancée. The ballet culminates with Swanilda and Franz’s wedding within a harvest festival in the fashion of Galician traditions. 

For the time, the original Coppélia, choreographed by Arthur Saint-Léon to Léo Delibes’s music, was a trailblazing work, incorporating as it did a number of novel aspects. Unlike other ballets dating from the period, it was set in a real milieu (Galicia, a crown land of the Austrian Empire), responded to scientific progress and did not depict supernatural beings. What is more, it embraced the national artistic tradition and the ground-breaking ideas of the Revolution of 1848. Drawing inspiration from the exploratory trip he and his friend Jules Massenet made to Austria-Hungary, Léo Delibes included in the score the Polish Mazurka and the Hungarian Czardas, as well as the Czech Polka. All of this is brought to bear in Ronald Hynd’s adaptation. His Coppélia respects tradition, movement content and the creators who have left their respective hallmarks: Arthur Saint-Léon, Marius Petipa and Enrico Cecchetti.

“There is no prince or princess, there are no swans or sleeping beauties. Only two villagers, a boy and a girl falling in love with each other. It’s about life … I think that is precisely why the ballet is so popular. Audiences can identify with the simple fetching story.”

Ronald Hynd

INTERPRETS

Czech National Ballet
Pupils of Ballet Preparatory School
State Opera Orchestra

Show more
Length 140 minutes
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