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What's On



By season


Summer 2015
Autumn 2015
Winter 2015
Spring 2016
Summer 2016

By venue


Belfast Grand Opera House
Birmingham Hippodrome
Mayflower Theatre, Southampton
Sadler's Wells, London
Sunderland Empire
The Lowry, Salford
Theatre Royal Plymouth
Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff

By show


Ashton Double bill
Company Class
First Steps: a child's Swan Lake
Free pre-performance talks
Romeo and Juliet
Shakespeare Triple bill
Swan Lake
The Nutcracker
The Taming of the Shrew
Variations Triple bill (Birmingham)
Variations Triple bill (tour)

Coppélia story guide



ACT I  |  ACT II  |  ACT III




The Square of a village in Eastern Europe
Old Dr Coppélius has spent his life developing his mystical powers, which sometimes work but more often than not don't! His great ambition is to bring Coppélia, one of the mechanical dolls he has made, to life. No-one in the village knows what Coppélius does, and the noises and explosions coming from his mysterious house often give cause for alarm.

One day Coppélius puts Coppélia out on the balcony; he is delighted when everyone believes she is a real person. However, Swanilda, who lives across the street, is not so pleased when she is ignored by Coppélia but Franz, her sweetheart, gets plenty of Coppélia's attention. The Burgomaster arrives and suggests that Swanilda tests Franz's faithfulness with an ear of corn - if it rattles she will know his love is true. Before the Burgomaster leaves, he announces that the Duke has invited everyone to a fête in the grounds of his mansion, where the 'Masque of the Bell' will be performed to celebrate his gift of a new bell to the village church.

After everyone has departed, Swanilda and her friends return to decorate the square for the next day's festivities. They decide to enter Coppélius's house to look for the mysterious girl on the balcony. Franz then returns with the same idea.

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