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HISTORY OF COPPÉLIA

Coppélia
is among the first comedic ballets from the romantic period, first performed over 100 years ago in Paris. Based upon two stories by E.T.A. Hoffman—"Der Sandmann" (The Sandman) and "Die Puppe" (The Doll)—Arthur Saint-Léon (ballet master of the Paris Opera) and Charles Nuitter adapted the stories to create Coppélia. The music was composed by Léo Delibes and the dancing choreographed by Saint-Léon.

Coppélia's premiere in 1870 was an immediate success—it was a great relief from the heavy and sad ballets of that time. While Coppélia was triumphant at its premiere, there were only 18 performances. The invasion of France by the Prussian army prevented further performances. Eventually it would be presented over 500 times and become the most performed ballet at the Paris Opera.

Excerpts from Paris Opera Ballet's 2002 Coppélia Program

 

HISTORY WITH MILWAUKEE BALLET
Coppélia has special significance to Milwaukee Ballet as it was the first full-length ballet the Company performed over 40 years ago—December 3 and 4, 1970 at the Marcus Center. The ballet has been staged a few times since (most recently in 1991), but not during Artistic Director Michael Pink’s eight year tenure. He notes he will be exploring Enrico Cecchetti and Lev Ivanov’s version of the ballet, though the third act will feature all new choreography.

 

 

PERFORMANCE PHOTOS
from prior Milwaukee Ballet performances of
Coppélia

 

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