Léo Delibes



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a ballet in 3 acts

Libretto by Mihail Chemiakin after E. Th. A. Hoffmann's tale “The Sandman“

Music Director and Conductor Robertas Šervenikas
Conductor Alvydas Šulčys
Choreographer Kirill Simonov (Russia)
Set and Costume Designer Mihail Chemiakin (USA)
Lighting Designer Levas Kleinas

Premiere: 21 May, 2011

Running time: 3 hrs

Three acts of magic, comical confusion and mistaken identity, also filled with the turmoil of Romanticism and spectacular visuals - all of this enchants the audiences for over 140 years. "Coppélia", just as a number of other popular works, is produced by many choreographers around the world, who never fail to introduce innovative individual versions and editions. Floating from comedy to tragedy, coming closer or running away from E. T. A. Hoffman‘s "Der Sandmann", it is still one of the most often produced ballets. Most of the ballet's drama centers on the character of Doctor Coppélius. Over the many decades his portrayal has ranged from a dark sorcerer to an eccentric, and somewhat ridiculous, old man. He's been seen as lonely, a man of science who has, perhaps, a warped idea of reality. Paradoxically, while this character is willing to remove the life from a young man in order to instill life in a doll, he's generally seen as a comic figure.

Many of contemporary productions of "Coppélia" are based on Petipa’s version that followed Saint-Léon’s original edition with great respect and was introduced in Saint Petersburg in 1884. In 1894 Enrico Cecchetti and Lev Ivanov edited this production - the elements of their version are still very much alive even in our days.

This newest production of "Coppélia" probably will not remind us of any other Lithuanian versions of this ballet. The libretto was newly rewritten by choreographer Kirill Simonov (Russia) and designer Mihail Chemiakin (USA), who is also a passionate researched of E. T. A. Hoffmann’s works. According to the will of these two artists, the ballet turns into the story of Sandman, told in tune with L. Délibes’ score which is enhanced with excerpts from "Sylvia" - this additional music is used to bring forth the dramatic characters of the story. Seeing naïve romantic jokes is unlikely in this production. This ballet, just as Hoffmann’s legacy, invites us to step into the world of mysticism, suspicion, surrealism and fantasy.