The show bases itself on two grim stories, both by E. T. A Hoffman. The names of the stories were Bie Puppe, which translates to The Doll, and Der Sandmann, which means The Sandman. The stories were published in the year 1815, while the ballet Coppelia was established in the year 1870. The ballet was originally choreographed by Arthur Saint-Leon, who was a ballet master. The ballet libretto was written by Charles Nuitter and Saint Leon, while Leo Delibes was the composer of the music.
Coppelia was first performed at the Theatre Imperial de l' Opera on the 25th of May, 1870. The lead character of Swanhilde was performed by Guiseppina Bozzacchi and the show was met with much praise and kudos. Initially, the show could not gain much success due to the beseiging of Paris and the war that broke out between France and the Kingdom of Prussia, but gradually, the ballet's popularity increased and it turned into the most-performed shows at the Opera Garnier. The story of the ballet is based on a large dancing doll, created by Doctor Coppelius, who is a faintly devilish inventor. The doll is a life-size statue, but looks exactly like a real girl, so much so, that one of the villagers named Franz falls in love with her. He falls under the charm of the doll so much that he breaks up with Swanhilde, who was his true love. Later on in the show, in Act II, Swanhilde dresses up as the doll and tries to win back her love by pretending that the doll had become alive. During Act III, a wedding takes place, with much festivities and joy. However, this scene is sometimes excluded in the ballet performed in modern times.
Coppelia presents the lighter version of Mary Shelly's Frankenstein, giving a humorous and light theme to the show. It is like the tragedy of Giselle, presented in a comedy setting. The story also appears to have influences from mechanical automatons that were featured in some shows of the 18th and the 19th centuries. This area of the entertainment industry has not undergone too much documentation, but Tom Standage performed a survey of this field, which is to be found in The Mechanical Turk, which was released in the year 2002. Even the difference engine, invented by Charles Babbage seems to have some influence from these earlier shows. The opera called The Tales of Hoffmann, by Jacques Offenbach also contains a variation of the story of Coppelia. This opera features work of fiction by the same writer who composed the stories that inspired Coppelia. The show opens with a prologue and ends with an epilogue.
In the year 1974, a version of the story of Coppelia was choreographed by George Balanchine. This was performed at the New York City Ballet. A dancer named Alexandra Danilova helped him with the choreography, as she had performed the play numerous times, in the lead role. The story of Coppelia was also enacted in a film named Ballerina. This was a Danish production, but was also shown in the United States in the year 1966, as well as all over Europe. The lead character of the film was played by Kirsten Simone. Another appearance that Coppelia makes in the modern day culture is when it appears in a song in Noir, which was a Japanese animation film. The song was performed by Ali Project and was named Coppelia's Casket.
Now this world-famous ballet is coming to a theater near you, and it is needless to say that this will be an event to remember. Your Coppelia tickets are your only access to this stunning production, so hurry up and book them now before we run out of the best deals!