Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre brings ballet’s original romantic comedy to the stage with the story of an unlikely love triangle in Coppélia, onstage with live orchestra April 13-15 at the Benedum Center.
Closing the PBT 2011-12 season on a high note is this beloved family favorite featuring the classical cho-reography of Arthur Saint-Léon and the uplifting score of Léo Delibes.
In a disastrous case of mistaken identity, a mysterious girl glimpsed from the window of Dr. Coppelius’workshop sparks a lovers’ quarrel between the young village couple Franz and Swanhilda. Beguiled by the charms of the beautiful Coppélia, Franz is distracted from his betrothed as he pursues the life-like creation of the eccentric Dr. Coppelius. The absurdity reaches hilarious heights when the inquisitive Swanhilda discovers her rival is nothing more than a doll and chaos ensues.
Based on E.T.A. Hoffmann’s short stories “Der Sandmann” (The Sandman), Coppélia was created when choreographer Arthur Saint-Léon, librettist Charles Nuitter and composer Léo Delibes revisioned the dark tale into a light-hearted fantasy. At the time of its 1870 premiere at the Paris Opera Ballet, Coppélia ad-vanced innovations in ballet as it broke with many Romantic-era conventions to reinvigorate the art form.The production explored a lighter side of ballet with playful humor, an assertive female protagonist and a lyrical score that expounded on character themes with complex national dances, including the Hungarian czardas and the Polish mazurka. Under the direction of Charles Barker, the PBT Orchestra will bring to life Léo Delibes’ exceptional score, which is widely regarded as a decisive factor in earning Coppélia its enduring acclaim.
First performed by Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre in 1998, Coppélia has been a long-standing audience favorite,captivating adults and children alike with its vibrant colors, costuming and choreography.
Tickets range in price from $22.75-$90.75 and can be purchased online at www.pbt.org or by calling 412-456-6666.
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