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December 11, 2011
Joy and Sorrow Unmasked
November 14, 2012


A ballet by Léo Delibes in three acts based on Ernst Theodor Amadeus Hoffmann’s short story Der Sandmann. World première on May 25th, 1870 at Théâtre Impérial de L’Opéra (Paris); première at the Estonian National Opera on Mar 4th, 2010. Released on Dec 10th, 2012.

Coppélia Act 1 36:01
Coppélia Act 2 28:48
Coppélia Act 3 33:44

Watch a fragment of the ballet on YouTube (21 min 44 sec)

Choreoghrapher / Stage Director − Roland Hynd (UK)
Assistant to the Choreograpger − Marilyn Vella-Gatt (UK)
Symphony Orchestra of Estonian National Opera
Music Director and Conductor − Mihhail Gerts
Designer − Roberta Guidi di Bango (Italy)
Lighting Designer − Tiit Urvik
Repetiteurs − Elita Erkina, Viktor Fedortchenko, Tatiana Laid
Pianists − Milena Borisevich, Larissa Beresneva, Vladima Jeremyan, Annely Tohver

Swanilda, burgomaster’s daughter − Luana Georg
Franz, Swanilda’s fiancé − Sergey Upkin
Doctor Coppelius, a toymaker and an alchemist − Vitali Nikolayev
Swanilda’s friends − Marika Muiste (Variation L’aurore), Galina Laush (Variation La prière), Darja Günter, Ingrid Gilden, Svetlana Danilova, Anastassia Savela
Coppélia-Doll − Ksenia Bespalova
Burgomaster − Sergei Fedosseyev
An innkeeper − Vadim Myagkov
Wife of the innkeeper − Maigret Peetson
Cavaliers − Jegor Zdor, William Moore, Alexander Kanaplyov, Jonathan Hanks
Children of the innkeeper − Students of Tallinn Ballet School
Dolls in Coppelius’ workshop (Chinese Doll, Pinocchio, Soldier, Astrologer) − Students of Tallinn Ballet School
Estonian National Ballet and Estonian National Opera Orchestra

Recorded live at the Estonian National Opera, Tallinn, on Apr 25th, 2012
Video director − Ruti Murusalu
Assistant video engineers − Dmitri Hljupkin, Gert Kark
Sound engineer − Maarika Kuulberg
Chief cameraman − Raul Priks
Cameramen − Andres Suurevälja, Tarmo Korol, Tauno Sirel, Margus Malm, Priit Vehm, Margus Voolpriit, Ergo Treier, Märt Viisileht, Andrus Rebane, Toorion Ojaperv, Meelis Kadastik
Video editing − Toomas Korts, Viljar Särekanno
Recording producer − Ruth Alaküla
DVD authoring and mastering − Osakond
Booklet compiled by Liina Viru
Photos − Harri Rospu
Design − Mart Kivisild
Management − Aivar Mäe, Ülla Veerg
Executive producer − Peeter Vähi

Total time 1:37:34
Format of screen 16 : 9, PAL, Region All
Subtitles and booklet in Estonian and English
ERP 6512
© 2012 Estonian National Opera & ERP, Tallinn


Download: A scene from act 1, photo by Harri Rospu, jpg, RGB, 5.7 MB



Act I

CoppeliaSwanildaFranzA village square in Galicia. This ballet is set in a village in Galicia, in central Europe. Swanilda, the heroine of the story, is the daughter of the Burgomaster, or Mayor, of Galicia. She is betrothed to Franz, a handsome young villager, and on the eve of their wedding day she has reason to doubt the seriousness of his affections when she finds him admiring a beautiful girl sitting on the balcony of a nearby house. Dr Coppelius, the owner of this house, is a strange and sinister toymaker who dreams of creating a doll with a soul. The appearance of the unknown girl causes much interest and speculation, particularly as she ignores Swanilda’s friendly greetings.
The Burgomaster leads the peasants in from the fields and reminds them that the following day they will be celebrating not only the harvest festival, but also his daughter’s marriage. When he sees that Swanilda and Franz have quarrelled, he produces an ear of corn and suggests that they put their love to the test using the old legend − if it rattles they will be married. The corn remains silent. After a few tears, however, Swanilda is dancing with her friends again and by evening the lovers have made up and tenderly kiss goodnight.
On his way to the inn, Coppelius is stopped by some rowdy youths. After a brief skirmish, they disappear and he continues his way, unaware he has dropped his house key. Having observed the incident, Swanilda and her friend decide to enter the strange house to find out more about the mysterious girl that they have seen. On his way home from the inn, Coppelius discovers he has no keys and notices his front door is open. Agitated, he goes into the house.

Act II

Coppelius’ workshop. Swanilda and her friends find the workshop filled with Coppelius’ automatons and are amused to discover that the aloof stranger, Coppélia, is also a doll. They are soon interrupted by Coppelius who drives the intruders away, whilst Swanilda hides in an alcove.
Franz then enters the workshop, as he’s also keen to meet Coppélia. Coppelius seizes him and attempts to transfer his life-force to the doll. Not realising that Swanilda has taken the doll’s place, Coppelius is overjoyed when the doll begins to move, but his excitement soon turns to dismay when Franz is revived and Swanilda reveals her true identity. Franz begs Swanilda’s forgiveness and the pair run out into the square, leaving the disillusioned Coppelius alone.


The village square. The villagers assemble for the double celebration of the harvest festival and Swanilda and Franz’s wedding feast. The couple are entertained by dancers representing faith, hope and love.
Still angry from the previous night’s activities, Coppelius storms out of his house threatening revenge, but the Burgomaster pacifies him with gifts of money and wine. The story ends happily and the festivities continue long into the night.

Estonian National Ballet


The roots of the Estonian National Opera go back to 1865, when the song and drama society Estonia was founded. In 1906, the society became the basis for a professional theatre. The ballet troupe began regular work in 1926, but the first full-length ballet, Coppélia by Delibes was performed in 1922 already. Since 1998, the theatre is officially named the Estonian National Opera. Estonian National Ballet that operates under Estonian National Opera was founded in 2010, employing approximately 60 dancers, being the country’s largest ballet company. Young choreographers are constantly enriching its repertoire of standard favourites with contemporary pieces and occasional avant-garde projects. The Artistic Director and Chief Conductor is Vello Pähn, the Artistic Director of the Estonian National Ballet is Thomas Edur and the General Manager is Aivar Mäe.
The theatre’s repertoire includes classical and contemporary operas, ballets, operettas and musicals. In addition, different concerts and children’s performances are delivered and compositions of Estonian origin staged. Estonian National Opera is a repertory theatre, giving 350 performances and concerts a year, being famous for its tradition of annual concert performances of rarely staged operas, such as Alfredo Catalani’s La Wally (2007), Verdi’s Simon Boccanegra (2008), Rossini’s Guillaume Tell (2009), Bizet’s Les pêcheurs de perles (2010), Bellini’s I Capuleti e i Montecchi (2010), Rimsky-Korsakov’s The Tsar’s Bride (2011), etc.

See also recordings of Estonian National Opera by ERP: 11 CD jubilee-box Estonia − 100, double-CD Cyrano de Bergerac, double-CD Lembitu, DVD Wallenberg, CD Artist Chagall, CD + bonus DVD Voices of the Estonian National Opera / Estonia Ooperihääled, DVD Georg Udukübara aaria


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