Home: Ballet: Second Empire: Coppelia

A tale written based on a story by E. T. A. Hoffmann about a young couple and trouble that they occur when the meet Coppelia. The female lead named Swanilda notices a young girl, Coppelia, sitting at the balcony reading and as she tries to get her attention, her lover Franz comes in and blows a kiss towards Coppelia. Taking this as Franz trying to get the attention of another pretty girl, Swanilda becomes jealous.

The Burgomaster (person like a priest) enters announcing that those who want to get married, there will be a celebration the following day. Still Jealous, Swanilda is hesistant but all other couples are excited and celebrate loudly with dance. Enter Dr. Coppelius exiting his shop. As a result of the loud celebration of dance, the Dr. drops his keys to his shop. Swanilda and her friends get the keys and enter the shop to fulfill their curiosity.

Inside they find a room full of life like sized dolls that move when winded up. The friends are amazed by what they see that they start to wind up all the dolls so that they begin to dance. Suddenly Dr. Coppelius enters the shop to find the intruders scattering away except Swanilda who hides where Coppelia was kept. At the same time Dr. Coppelius notice Franz entering the window to see Coppelia. Franz pleads his love to Coppelia while the Dr. pretends to listen mixing a drink for Franz. As Franz passes out from the drinks, the Dr. gets Coppelia from storage only that Swanilda was pretending to Coppelia. The Dr. waves magical gestures over Swanilda who starts to dance giving the Dr. the idea that the doll had come to life.

As Swanilda is dancing wildly, creating havoc in the shop, Franz awakes and is chased by Dr. Coppelius out the room. When Dr. Coppelius gets back to his shop he realizes that he was deceived.

Franz and Swanilda reconcile and want to get married but Dr. Coppelius wants retribution for the destruction of his life long work. Eventually the Dr. is bought off by the Burgomaster with a bag of gold and the couple marry and live happily ever after.