Sobre el Bns



May 25th, 1870, Paris Opera, Paris, France
Choreography: Arthur Saint-Léon
Ballet libretto: A. Saint-Léon y Charles Nuitter
Music: Léo Delibes
Principal: Giuseppina Bozzachi
Source: http://élia


The libretto of Coppélia is by playwright and librettist Charles Nuitter (1828-1899), based on the story Der Sandmann (The Sandman) of E.T.A. Hoffmann (1776-1822).

Act I - A village in Krakow
Swanilda and her boyfriend Franz live in a remote and idyllic village. Franz, inturn, is attracted and intrigued by the beauty of a new young girl who sits all afternoons reading on the balcony of the house of an old mysterious and extravagant toymaker, Dr. Coppélius.

When jealous Swanilda notices this situation, she decides to take revenge on her boyfriend, making fun of him during the village festival. The Major delivers a stalk of wheat to each girl, saying that only the girl whose stalk of wheat rattles when shaked near the ear will know it is true love. Swanilda pretends that her stalk of wheat is silent. Realizing her trick, Franz, in revenge, decides to invite another girl to dance the czarda. Dr. Coppélius returns at the end of the festival and is a source of fun for Franz and his friends who laugh at him. Dr. Coppélius drops his key when he tries to get rid of the rowdy youths. Swanilda finds the keys and decides to enter into Copéllius’ house with her friends in order to find out who her rival is. Simultaneously, Franz, who is also curious to know the beautiful girl, comes into scene carrying a ladder to let himself into Coppélius’ house.

Act II - In Dr. Coppélius’ house
Swanilda and her friends have sneaked into the house, and are noisily looking through everything until they find with delight what they wanted. The "rival" is no other than Coppélia, a life-size mechanical doll, one of the many great puppets created by Dr. Coppélius.

They hear noises. Coppélius is back. Swanilda cannot escape as her friends did, and to go unnoticed, she dresses up in Coppélia’s clothes, pretending to be her. At the same time, Franz manages to enter by the window, ready to declare his love to the beautiful girl on the balcony.

Dr. Coppélius takes advantage of Franz’s naivety, decides to take revenge on him and at the same time achieve his great goal: to give life to his doll Coppélia. Making use of his alchemical magic, he makes him drink again and again a potion that transfers his life force into Coppélia. Swanilda takes advantage of the opportunity and presents herself as the doll Coppélia who has come to life. The mechanical movements of the doll are replaced by graceful dances. Dr. Coppélius believes he has managed to give life to his favorite doll.

Swanilda, tired of the farce and concerned by Franz, reveals her true identity to Dr. Coppélius. Not without some evil, Swanilda, to Coppélius’ despair, begins to break the incredible dolls to which he devoted much of his life. Franz awakes, recognizes his ridiculous behavior and begs for Swanilda’s forgiveness. The young couple escapes, leaving Coppélius saddened, with his arms around his lifeless favorite doll. 

Act III - Village square
Great feast in the village. Everybody is happy celebrating Franz’s and Swanilda’s wedding. Dr. Coppélius arrives lonely and pathetic in the midst of bustling dances. Regretting the evil they caused him, the young spouses decide to give him their dowry as compensation. In a generous gesture, the major refuses to let them do that, and offers Coppélius a purse of gold coins. They all finish this story celebrating love, life and friendship.