The Royal New Zealand Ballet brings Coppélia to life
Prepare to be captivated, when the curtain rises on Coppélia next month, this much-loved comic ballet will capture the hearts of the whole family.
Hilarity ensues when a beautiful life-sized automaton is mistaken for a real girl, but rest assured true love is at the heart of this charming and bittersweet tale of mistaken identity.
RNZB Ballet Master Martin Vedel is staging Coppélia and it is a ballet he knows inside out. “When RNZB Artistic Director Ethan Stiefel asked me to stage Coppélia I was instantly intrigued – it is a ballet in which I have performed many times both as a student of the Royal Danish Ballet School and later with the Royal Danish Ballet. It is a wonderful ballet for all audiences with exhilarating character dances, including the show-stopping Czardas (Hungarian folk dance), wonderful classical solos and pas de deux, to a memorable score.”
This production of Coppélia will be unique to the RNZB and clearly told for 21st century audiences. Mr Vedel explains: “Values such as true love, devotion and friendship are strong in Coppélia and I will be preserving and presenting traditional theatre and classical ballet as an art form, while sharpening up the main story so it is relevant today,” says Mr Vedel.
Reprising his role of Dr Coppélius the misunderstood inventor, a role he first performed for the RNZB in 1964, Sir Jon Trimmer is looking forward to touring across the country with Coppélia. “Touring is such an integral part of a ballet dancer’s life and seeing our audiences across New Zealand respond to our artistry is something we all value and enjoy. I can’t wait to get on the road again. See you soon New Zealand!” says Sir Jon.
The three-act ballet is designed by the late Kiwi-born designer Kristian Fredrikson (whose costumes wowed audiences in the RNZB’s recent production of Swan Lake). For Coppélia along with the beautiful tutus audiences will also get to enjoy the antics of the ten outrageous automatons who populate Dr Coppelius’ marvellous workshop.
Coppélia opens in Wellington on 17 April and tours to Palmerston North, Invercargill, Dunedin, Napier, Rotorua and Takapuna, closing in Auckland City on 31 May.