Léo Delibes was a French composer of the Romantic era (21.02.1836 – 16.01.1891), who specialised in writing ballets, operas, and other works for the stage. Indeed Delibes was the first composer to write music of high quality for the ballet and his influence can be traced in the work of Tchaikovsky and others who wrote music for ballets. Delibes wrote two popular ballets, Coppélia and Sylvia and a number of successful operas, the last of which the lush orientalizing Lakmé (1883), which contains the famous coloratura showpiece known as the Légende du Paria or Bell Song “Où va la jeune Indoue?” and The Flower Duet “Sous le dôme épais”.
Coppélia is a comic ballet originally choreographed by Arthur Saint-Léon to the music of Léo Delibes. The ballet is in three acts and in outline its plot is as follows. Dr. Coppélius is a doctor who has made a life-size dancing doll. It is so lifelike that Franz, a village youth, becomes infatuated with it and sets aside his true heart’s desire, Swanhilda. She shows him his folly by dressing as the doll, pretending to make it come to life and ultimately saving him from an untimely end at the hands of the inventor.
To add to our collection we have selected a recording of this ballet music performed by the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande and conducted by the great Australian conductor Richard Bonynge.
Those wishing to see the ballet might consider this recent Blu-Ray release from The Paris Opera Corps de Ballet & Orchestre Colonne on Opus Arte.