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Pantomime ballet in two acts

Arthur Saint-Léon's version created on May 25th 1870 at the Théâtre Impérial de l'Opéra in Paris

Charles Jude's version created on June 22nd 1999 at the Grand-Théâtre de Bordeaux


Original argument by Charles Jude, after Arthur Saint-Léon and Charles Nuitter, from Der Sandmann by Ernst Theodor Amadeus Hoffmann


Léo Delibes Music

Charles Jude Choreography and staging

Giulio Achilli Sets

Philippe Binot Costumes

François Saint-Cyr Lights

Gérard Majax Advisor in magic effects



Archetype of the pantomime ballet, Coppelia was created at the Paris Opera on May 25th 1870, after a fantastic tale by E.T.A. Hoffmann, Der Sandmann.

An old whimsical scientist, Coppelius, makes automatons and ends up falling madly in love with one of his creatures whom he named Coppelia. Franz, a young villager, who sees her every day at the window of the old inventor, is not insensible to the beauty of the young girl and declares his undying love to her. It is not at all to Swanilda's taste, Franz's fiancée who, with her friends, gets into Coppelius' house and finds out that Coppelia is nothing but an automaton. She decides to substitute herself for the doll and to play a trick on Franz and Coppelius.

Concerned to modernize this ballet, Charles Jude transposes his Coppelia in the universe of post-war American cinema: « I have been inspired by the golden age of Hollywood musicals and by the legend of Marilyn Monroe » tells Charles Jude. Franz becomes Fonzy (an allusion to the character of the American cult series of the 70's, Happy Days), Swanilda is americanized in Swanie and Coppelia becomes the sex symbol of the moment, the inevitable Marilyn. But the story remains unchanged.


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