The Australian Ballet revives family favourite Coppélia
Melbourne & Sydney
The Australian Ballet will perform a special Melbourne season of Coppélia at the Palais Theatre from 23 September to 1 October, before touring to Sydney Opera House for a festive-season run from 2 to 21 December.
Coppélia has an important place in The Australian Ballet’s history. It was performed during the company’s inaugural season in 1962. The ballet was revived in 1979 in a new production by The Australian Ballet’s founding Artistic Director Dame Peggy van Praagh and the renowned theatre director George Ogilvie.
The ballet’s return in 2010 was a fitting tribute to the late van Praagh; it paid tribute to her extraordinary talents and proved the work as fresh as ever 30 years after its creation. The Australian Ballet is thrilled to bring it back to captivate a new generation of ballet lovers, in the majestic setting of the Palais Theatre. The company first performed on the Palais stage in 1964 and has since presented eleven world premieres in the theatre, including the original premiere of van Praagh’s Coppélia.
Coppélia’s magic is enhanced by gorgeous sets and costumes designed by the late Kristian Fredrikson, which have been lovingly restored for this season. The internationally renowned Fredrikson conjures a world of magic, mystery and make-believe, transporting audiences out of the everyday and into a world of pure fantasy.
‘We are delighted to bring back this production, which has long been considered a jewel of The Australian Ballet’s repertoire,’ said Artistic Director David McAllister.
‘We are especially pleased to have George Ogilvie working with our artists in the studio once again. Together with Dame Peggy van Praagh, he created a rich and theatrical production layered with warmth, depth and humour. It is wonderful to reignite the creative spark of their original for a whole new generation of dancers and to see him share the ballet’s intensity and intrigue with our younger artists. I can’t think of a more joyous way to complete what has been another action-packed year for The Australian Ballet’.
In the classic tale, Dr Coppelius, an eccentric toy maker, dreams of bringing his mechanical ‘daughter’ to life. Meanwhile, in the village, Swanilda and Franz are in love. But a beautiful stranger appears in town, and Franz is fascinated. Swanilda must rescue Franz from the magician’s sinister lair before it’s too late.
Filled with masquerade, romance and high jinks, this is the funniest, sunniest ballet you’ll see all year.
Original choreography Arthur Saint-Léon, revised by Marius Petipa and Enrico Cecchetti
Reproduced with original choreography by Peggy van Praagh
Production devised and directed by George Ogilvie
Music Léo Delibes
Costume and set design Kristian Fredrikson
Original lighting design William Akers