Disclosure: While I received complimentary tickets to Coppélia, all thoughts in this review are mine alone.
My daughter and I recently attended opening night of the Boston Ballet’s delightful presentation of George Balanchine’s Coppélia. Set to music by Léo Delibes, Coppélia, runs through March 31 at the Boston Opera House. Read on for a special promotion for Red Shutters readers.
Coppélia is a full-length ballet about love, mistaken identity, and foolhardy fun. The story is a lighthearted comedy set in a country village about a life-size dancing doll created by Doctor Coppélius. The doll becomes the source of love troubles for a village couple, Swanilda and Frantz, when Frantz mistakes the doll for a real girl and becomes infatuated. Mayhem and hilarity ensue.
Coppélia is beautiful to watch—how those dancers make every leap across the stage look so graceful and effortless is truly remarkable—and it’s also funny. The acting talents of the cast, led by the incandescent Misa Kuranaga, captivated my nine-year-old and everyone in the audience. Coppélia is a successful blend of engaging storytelling and gorgeous dancing, making it a perfect introductory ballet for first-timers as well as a beloved performance for ballet aficionados.
Some background on Coppélia: It was originally choreographed in 1870 by Arthur St. Léon, and then restaged and revised in 1884 and 1894, respectively. In 1974, George Balanchine and Alexandra Danilova re-staged the production, retaining the storyline of Acts I and II with new choreography and creating an entirely new Act III where the village festivities are presented as a series of divertissements, culminating in an all-encompassing grand finale. The Boston Ballet premiered Balanchine’s Coppélia in 2010 and last performed it in 2013. Boston Ballet’s current production features students from Boston Ballet School.
The music of Coppélia showcases Léo Delibes’ gift of composing for dance, as well as his skill at incorporating inspiring movements within his music. It is considered by some as the first symphonic ballet score and connects two great historical periods of ballet—the French Romantic style and the Russian Classical style.
All performances of Coppélia take place at the Boston Opera House, 539 Washington Street, Boston. Coppélia is approximately two hours and 15 minutes long with two intermissions.
Tickets start at $37. Youth pricing (ages 2–17) is available for 50 percent off (sections A and B) for every performance with the purchase of a full-price adult ticket.
SPECIAL OFFER: The Boston Ballet has kindly extended a BOGO promotion code for Coppélia to Red Shutters readers. Make sure to enter REDSHUTTERS when purchasing tickets at http://bit.ly/2OnfCwf. The promo code is valid for “buy one, get one free” for all performances of Coppélia through March 31. Thank you, Boston Ballet!