Birmingham Royal Ballet to bring Coppelia back home

Magic, mayhem and the original living doll will take to the stage in a new production of Coppelia by the Birmingham Royal Ballet.

ballet
Living doll – Birmingham Royal Ballet’s new production of the classic Coppelia

The production will run at the Birmingham Hippodrome from Tuesday until June 8.

BRB spokeswoman Claire Lishman said: “Coppelia, choreographed by Sir Peter Wright, Director Laureate of Birmingham Royal Ballet and creator of the company’s huge Christmas hit The Nutcracker, enjoyed its first performance by Birmingham Royal Ballet in 1995 at the Birmingham Hippodrome.

“Now eighteen years later it is once again being performed at the company’s home theatre.”

The performance focuses on the qualities that make a woman.

Ms Lishman said: “What’s at the heart of a woman? Eccentric toymaker Dr Coppélius wants to know, and he’s planning to bring his mechanical doll, Coppélia, to life – he just needs the right spell. “When Dr Coppélius leaves Coppélia on his workshop balcony she’s soon causing quite a stir in the village.

“Particularly in the heart of red blooded young lover Franz, and the jealous mind of his real-life fiancée, Swanilda – who’s mistaken the mannequin for a crying, talking, sleeping, walking rival. With a wild mix of abracadabra, and some mischievous maidens, comic chaos is riotously unleashed when humans and automatons collide in Dr Coppélius’s spooky toyshop.” Coppelia was originally choreographed by Arthur Saint-Léon to the music of Léo Delibes, with libretto by Charles Nuitter

Ms Lishman added that Peter Wright’s enchanting production was sure to prove popular.

She said: “This joyous and witty ballet is an ever-popular celebration of love, with a sparkling score and breathtaking choreography. Coppélia is guaranteed to lift the hearts of all the family.”

Tickets for the production are available from the box office at www.birminghamhippodrome.com.

Meanwhile, BRB will return to the Hippodrome from June 27 to 30 with Giselle, one of the world’s most celebrated classic ballets.

Ms Lishman added: “In a village deep in the mountains, two young people, Giselle and Loys, are deeply in love. But Loys has not been truthful with his beloved. He is actually Count Albrecht, son of the local lord, and is already betrothed to Bathilde, a lady, and his social equal.

“When jealous Hilarion, a rival for Giselle’s hand, proves who Loys really is, and Bathilde arrives to claim her fiancé, the heartbreak is too much to bear. Driven mad by despair, Giselle takes her own life.

“After her funeral, a sorrowful Albrecht visits her grave, but it is night and he is in terrible danger. The bitter ghosts of jilted brides rise and condemn him to dance himself to death. Only Giselle’s love, powerful enough to reach from beyond the grave, can save him; she must keep him safe until dawn breaks and he can escape, but dawn is many hours away.”

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