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Coppelia tickets

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Coppelia

Venue: Bolshoi Theatre

 
Theatre Square, 1
Moscow, Russia
125009
 
 
All dates

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Next performance (see season calendar above for other dates)
 
Event details
 

Act I 
A public Square in a small town, on the borders of Galicia, with wooden houses painted with bright colors. One house stands outin contrast to the others, with grating before the windows and the door securely fastened. This is the residence of Coppelius. 

Swanilda is approaching the house of Coppelius, raises her eyes to a large window, behind which Coppelia, the daughter of old Coppelius, is seen, sitting with a book in her hands apparently absorbed in her reading. Every morning she is seen at the same window and in the same attitude, and then disappears. She never goes out from this mysterious residence. She appears to be pretty, and many young men in the town have passed long hours beneath her window, beseeching for one look. 

Swanilda suspects that her fiance, Frantz, is not indifferent to the beauty of Coppelia. She tries to attract her attention, but Coppelia has her eyes always fixed on her book, of which she does not even turn the leaves. 

Swanilda cannot contain her feelings of anger. She starts to knock at the door, but she perceives Frantz approaching, and remains in hiding to see what he is going to do. 

Frantz, who at first was going toward Swanilda house, suddenly stops. Coppelia is at the window. He bows to her. At the same time she turns her head and appears to return Frantz’s salute. Frantz has scarcely time to throw a kiss to Coppelia before old Coppelius has opened his window, and seems to be amused at what has been going on. 

Swanilda is furious against Coppelius and against Frantz. However, she remains quiet and pretends to have seen nothing. She runs after a butterfly. Frantz runs with her, and catching it, pins it in the collar of his coat. Swanilda reproaches him for his cruelty: “What has this poor insect done to you?” After many reproaches, the young maid brings herself to tell him, that she knows all. He has deceived her. He loves Coppelia. Frantz tries in vain to defend himself. 

The Burgomaster announces that on the next day a grand fete will take place — the Lord of the manor has given a bell to the Town. They crowd round the Burgomaster. The noise is being made in Coppelius’ house. Odd looking lights are shining at the windows. Some of the girls shrink with fear from this mysterious abode. But it is nothing but the clash of the hammer on the anvil, and the light is the reflection from the forge. Coppelius is an old fool who is always working. At what? No one knows and who cares? He must be left alone and not be stopped from amusing himself. The Burgomaster approaches Swanilda. He tells her that tomorrow the lord of the manor will give a dowry and marriage to several couples. She is betrothed to Frantz; shall they not be united tomorrow? Ah! but there is time yet, and the young girl looking spitefully at Frantz, tells the Burgomaster that she will tell him a story. It is the story of a straw which reveals all secrets. 

Swanilda takes the straw from a bundle, and placing it to her ear, pretends to listen; then she tells Frantz to listen also. Does it not tell him that he does not love Swanilda? Frantz answers that he hears nothing. Swanilda tries it with one of Frantz’s friends, who pretends to hear very distinctly what the straw says. Frantz tries to protest, but Swanilda breaking the straw before his eyes, tells him that everything is broken between them. Frantz goes away, while Swanilda dances in the midst of her companions. Glasses are placed on the tables, and they drink the health of the lord ofthe manor and the Burgomaster. 

Coppelius leaves his house and securely fastens the door. He has not gone many steps, before he is surrounded by a crowd of young fellows; some of whom want to take him away with them, while the others want to make him dance. The old man goes off swearing. 

Swanilda is bidding adieu to her friends, when one of them sees a key, which Coppelius must have dropped. 
The girls suggest to Swanilda to visit the mysterious house. At first Swanilda hesitates, but she wants to meet this rival. “Well, then, let us enter, ” she says. The girls enter the house of Coppelius. 

Frantz is seen coming up, carrying a ladder. He has determined to see what chance he has with Coppelia. The opportunity is most favorable and Coppelius is far off! But it is not so, for just as Frantz is steadying the ladder against the balcony, he sees Coppelius returning and looking for the lost key. He sees Frantz just about to climb the ladder. Frantz runs away. 



Act II 
A large room is full of all kinds of instruments and tools. There are several automata on pedestals. There are figures of an old man, dressed in Persian costume, a Negro in threatening attitude, a little Moorish cymbal-player, a Chinaman with a tympanon before him. 

The girls cautiously enter Coppelius’ house. Who are those people standing still in the dark shadows? They are face to face with the strange figures which a moment before had so frightened them. Swanilda draws aside the heavy curtains. There she sees Coppelia seated with her book in her hand. Swanilda salutes the strange girl who remains motionless. She speaks to her, but gets no answer. She touches the young girl’s arm and then starts back through fear. Can it be a living creature? She puts her hand to the heart, but it does not beat. This young lady is an automaton, and thehandy-work of Coppelius! Swanilda doesn’t worry herself any more about her rival, but looks forward to the fun of telling Frantz all about her discovery. The girls run laughing, around the studio.They have nothing to fear now. 

One of them in passing by the Tympanon player, touches it by accident. It begins playing a tune. The girls are at first bewildered, but soon begin dancing. They then find the spring, which sets the little Moorish figure in motion. 

Suddenly Coppelius returns in a furious rage. He draws together the curtains which conceal Coppelia; stops the automata and runs after the girls. They slip through his hands and disappear down the back stairs. Swanilda is hiding behind the curtains. She is caught! but no; crouching in a corner she remains unseen when Coppelius looks behind the curtain. He examines Coppelia and finds that no harm has been done. He breathes more freely. 

But what is that noise? He sees the top of a ladder in the window and then Frantz appears. Coppelius does not show himself. Frantz is going toward the spot where he has seen Coppelia, when two stout hands seize him. Frantz nearly dead with fright, implores Coppelius to forgive him. He tries to escape, but the old man holds him tightly. “What are you up to here?” he asks. Frantz confesses that he is in love. “I am not so bad as people say. Sit down and let us take a drink together and have a chat, ” answers Coppelius. He gets an old flagon of wine and two goblets. He takes a sip with Frantz, and then, when Frantz is not looking, he throws away the wine. 

Frantz finds that the wine has a peculiar taste. He tosses it down, however, and Coppelius makes him drink more and more. Frantz tries to get near the window where he has seen Coppelia. But his legs give way, he falls heavily on the bench and is asleep.

Coppelius gets a magic book and studies its pages. Then he rolls the pedestal which holds Coppelia, bringing it nearer to sleeping Frantz. Placing his hands over the heart and forehead of the young man, he tries to take away his soul to give life to the young girl. Coppelia rises up, she begins her mechanical motions but then she descends the first step of the pedestal and then the second. She walks! She lives!

Coppelius is almost beside himself with joy. His work has surpassed all that human hand has ever created! She soon begins to dance slowly, and than all at once darts off so quickly that Coppeliuscan scarcely follow her. She smiles; a color comes to her cheeks and she is full of life! 

She sees the vial and places it to her lips. Coppelius is just in time to snatch the flagon from her hands. She perceives the magic book and asks Coppelius what it means. “There are impenetrable secrets, ” he answers, and closes the book. She examines the automata. “I have made them all, ” Coppelius says. She stops in front of Frantz. “And that one?” she asks. “It is like the rest, ” he answers. She sees a dagger and pricks her own finger with the point of it and then amuses herself by thrusting it at the little Moor. Coppelius roars with laughter... but she approaches Frantz... The oldman stops her and she turns against him and chases him around the studio. At last he disarms her. He throws a cloak over her shoulders, and it seems to awaken in her a world of new ideas. She dances a Spanish dance. Then she finds a Scotch scarf-pin and taking it in her hands, she dances a jig. She jumps and runs around, throwing everything within her reach to the ground and breaking it! She is decidedly too lively! What shall Coppelius do!

In the midst of all the noise, Frantz wakes up. Coppelius now seizes Coppelia and replacing her by main force on the pedestal, draws the curtains. He then goes up to Frantz and orders him toleave. “Go along!” he cries, “you are good for nothing.”

Then he stops and listens. Did he not hear the tune which generally accompanies the movement of the automata? He jumps up and while he is staring at Coppelia, who has started her old movements, Swanilda skips out unobserved from behind the curtain. She sets the other two automata going. “Are these two also moving by themselves?” Coppelius exclaims. All at once he sees Swanilda disappearing with Frantz. He has a vague notion that some game has been played on him and falls heavily in the midst of the automata which keep moving as if to mock at their master’s grief and despair.

 

Act III 
A lawn in front of the baronial castle. At the back, the bell, the gift of the lord of the manor, is hung from poles, decorated with garlands and banners. A car covered with allegorical designs and on which are grouped the various actors for the fete, has just stopped in front of the bell. 

The priests have pronounced a benediction over the bell. The betrothed couples who are to be given a dowry, and are to be united on this festal day go and bow before the baron. Frantz andSwanilda complete their mutual reconciliation. Frantz has disabused himself of his temporary infatuation and thinks no more of Coppelia. He knows what a joke has been played upon him. Swanilda forgives him and giving him her hand, advances with him before the lord of the manor. 

All at once there is a stir among the crowd. Coppelius comes to implore and even to demand justice; they have ridiculed him and have broken everything in his house, his masterpieces made with the greatest labor and patience, have been smashed. Who is going to pay him? Swanilda, who has just received her dowry, quickly offers it to Coppelius. But the lord of the manor stops Swanilda. She may keep her dowry. He throws a purse to him and whilst Coppelius departs with his money, he gives the signal for the festivities to begin. 

The Bell-ringer alights first from the car. He summons the Morning Hours. They appear, quickly followed by Aurora. The bell rings! It is the Hour of Prayer. Aurora vanishes, chased by the Hours ofDay. These are the working hours, and the young girls and reapers begin their work. The bell rings again! It announces a wedding. 

Derived from: Delibes’ Ballet of Coppelia. Paris Opera Libretto. Under the Direction of Mr. Heinrich Conried. The Original Italian, French or German Libretto with a Correct English Translation. NewYork : F. Rullman. [1900s]

 
Program details
 

Libretto by Charles Nuitter and Arthur Saint-Leon
after the stories by Ernst Theodore Amadeus Hoffmann


Choreography: Marius Petipa and Enrico Cecchetti
Revival and new choreographic version: Sergei Vikharev
Designer: Boris Kaminsky
Costume Designer: Tatiana Noginova
Music Director: Igor Dronov
Lighting Designer: Damir Ismagilov


With the use of decor sketches by Pyotr Lambin (Acts I and III) and Heinrich Levot (Act II) and costume sketches by Adolph Charlemagne, Pyotr Grigoriev and Yevgeny Ponomaryov.
Sets reproduced by Yevgeny Yakimenko and Anton Danilov (Acts I and III), Yelena Kinkulskaya (Act II)


Archive Researches and Coordination: Pavel Gershenzon


Choreography has been restored using notations from the Harvard Theatre Collection.
Set and costume sketches have been made available by the St. Petersburg State Museum of Theatre and Music Arts and the St. Petersburg State Theatre Library.
The score has been made available by the publishing house EDWIN F. KALMUS.

 
Venue
 
Bolshoi Theatre
 

On 28 March (17 according to the old style) 1776, Catherine II granted the prosecutor, Prince Pyotr Urusov, the "privilege" of "maintaining" theatre performances of all kinds, including masquerades, balls and other forms of entertainment, for a period of ten years. And it is from this date that Moscow’s Bolshoi Theatre traces its history.

The Bolshoi building, which for many years now has been regarded as one of Moscow’s main sights, was opened on 20 October 1856, on Tsar Alexander II’s coronation day.

On 29 October 2002 the Bolshoi was given a New Stage and it was here it presented its performances during the years the Historic Stage was undergoing massive reconstruction and refurbishment.

The reconstruction project lasted from l July 2005 to 28 October 2011. As a result of this reconstruction, many lost features of the historic building were reinstated and, at the same time, it has joined the ranks of most technically equipped theatre buildings in the world.

The Bolshoi Theatre is a symbol of Russia for all time. It was awarded this honor due to the major contribution it made to the history of the Russian performing arts. This history is on-going and today Bolshoi Theatre artists continue to contribute to it many bright pages.

 

An inherent part of the Theatre’s activities is the presentation of concerts of symphony and chamber works, and of operas in concert performance, thus acquainting the public with works of all music genres. 

Now that the Bolshoi Theatre has two stages at its disposal, one of them its legendary Historic Stage which is at last back in action again, it hopes to fulfill its mission with an even greater degree of success, steadily extending the sphere of its influence at home and throughout the world.

 

The Bolshoi has to a large extent reacquired its authentic historical appearance, lost during the years of Soviet power. The auditorium and part of its suite of halls now look as they were originally conceived by Bolshoi Theatre architect Alberto Cavos. While the former imperial foyer halls have been given back their 1895 decor, this was the year they were redecorated for Emperor Nicholas II’s coronation celebrations. Each reproduced or restored element of interior decoration was made the object of a special project for which separate documentation was collected based on numerous archival and on-site researches.

In 2010 the auditorium suite of halls were renovated: the Lobby, the Main or the White Foyer, the Choral, Exhibition, Round and Beethoven halls. Muscovites were able to admire the restored facades and the renovated symbol of the Bolshoi Theatre — the famous Apollo quadriga, created by the sculptor Peter Klodt.

The auditorium has regained its original beauty. And, just like the 19th century theatergoer, so each member of the public today will be dazzled by its extravagant and at the same time “light” décor. The bright crimson, scattered with gold, draping of the interiors of the boxes, the different on each level stucco arabesques, the Apollo and the Muses plafond — all this contributes to the auditorium’s breath-taking impact.

Special attention was paid to the restoration of the legendary acoustics. International experts did extensive research work and made sure all their technical recommendations were carried out to the letter.

State of the art machinery has been installed in the stagehouse. The Bolshoi Theatre Historic stage now consists of seven two-tier rising and descending platforms. These platforms can easily change their positions, thus the stage can become horizontal, raked or stepped. The stage and backstage area can be united which creates a stage space of incredible depth.

New upper stage equipment, remotely controlled by computer, makes it possible to derive maximum use from lighting, sound and visual effects. Cutting edge rigs have been installed for the deployment of lanterns, special effects apparatus and acoustics. 

The orchestra pit has been provided with extra space under the forestage. This makes it one of the biggest orchestra pits in the world seating up to 130 musicians, which is necessary for the performance of such large-scale works as, for instance, Wagner operas.

The installation of state of the art stage equipment was a unique world-scale project. The reconstruction has doubled the Theatre’s total floor space. Thanks to the expansion of the Theatre’s existing underground spaces (under stagehouse) and to the construction of new underground space under Theatre Square, this has been achieved without any change to the Theatre’s external appearance.

Thus the Theatre has acquired badly needed new space, including an underground concert and rehearsal room, which has inherited its name from the Beethoven Hall, under the Theatre lobby. This hall is a multi-functional space which can be used in different ways. It consists of five main platforms: the central platform is the stage itself, two platforms to the right and left of it can be used either to increase the size of the stage or as audience space. The two remaining platforms form the main space of the auditorium. All of the platforms can be raised to foyer level to create a space for holding formal, receptions. Apart from this concert hall and its auxiliary premises, the rest of the underground space under Theatre Square accommodates a large number of technical, service and staff rooms.

The Bolshoi Theatre reconstruction project also included the renovation of the Khomyakov House, a protected architectural monument of the first half of the nineteenth century situated immediately behind the Bolshoi, which has been transformed into a service wing. Due to numerous 20th century reconstructions, the historical interiors of the Khomyakov House have been totally lost. While its main walls have been preserved, the interior layout has been redesigned to meet the Theatre’s present-day requirements. Thus the Khomaykov House, which is linked to the main Bolshoi Theatre building by an underground tunnel, is a key element in the gigantic Bolshoi Theatre complex.

The renovation of the country’s main stage was a landmark event in the lives of a large coordinated team of highest-level professionals. Participating in the project were uniquely qualified specialists whose great feat of labor will earn them the undying gratitude of present-day Bolshoi Theatre audiences.

 

Car

Mokhovaya Street

If you are on Mokhovaya Street keep driving straight ahead, not turning off it, till you reach Theatre Square where the Bolshoi Theatre is situated.

Tverskaya Street

If you are moving down Tverskaya, in the direction of the centre, you will automatically find yourself on Teatralnyi Proezd Street leading to the Bolshoi Theatre.

Petrovka Street

If you are on the Petrovka, which is a one-way street, you will be able to drive right up to the Theatre.

Metro

Take the metro to Teatralnaya (Bolshoi Theatre exit) or Okhotnyi ryad (Theatre Square exit).

 
 
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