Gary Avis as Dr Coppélius and Marianela Nuñez as Swanilda in Coppélia ©2019 ROH. Photograph by Gavin Smart


28 November 20197 January 2020
The performance lasts about 2 hours and 35 minutes, including two intervals.
Main Stage
Ballet and dance

A classic returns to the Royal Ballet repertory with Ninette de Valois’ charming and funny Coppélia– a story of love, mischief and mechanical dolls. The intricate choreography is set to Delibes’ delightful score and shows off the technical precision and comedic timing of the whole Company. Osbert Lancaster’s designs bring a colourful storybook world to life in this Christmas treat for the whole family.

Please note that there is strobe lighting during Act I.
Approximate running times
Act I: 35 minutes
Interval: 25 minutes
Act II: 30 minutes
Interval: 25 minutes
Act III: 30 minutes

Production Principal

Mrs Aline Foriel-Destezet

Generous philanthropic support from

Julia and Hans Rausing, Susan and John Burns, the Coppélia Production Syndicate, The Royal Opera House Endowment Fund and an anonymous donor.

Thanks to

The Taylor Family Foundation and The Gerald and Gail Ronson Family Foundation Schools’ Matinees for their generous support of the Schools Matinee performance on Thursday 28 November.



Toy maker Dr Coppélius seems to have a beautiful young woman in his house: Coppélia, who sits and reads on his balcony. Franz and his fellow young villagers are curious about her and how she ignores them all. Franz’s fiancée Swanilda is not pleased by Franz’s interest in another woman, but equally curious. When Dr Coppélius goes to the local tavern, the young villagers slip into his house to introduce themselves to the strangely silent young woman.

In the house, they are astonished by several mechanical dolls, including Coppélia. Coppélius returns and throws them all out – except Swanilda, who hides and takes Coppélia’s place. When Franz climbs in through a window, Coppélius drugs him and attempts through magic to put his lifeforce into the mechanical Coppélia. Swanilda is able to trick him into believing his spell has worked. In the inevitable happy ending, Coppélius is placated, and Swanilda happily united with Franz as the villagers celebrate their new town bell.


CompanyThe Royal Ballet

ChoreographyNinette de Valois

MusicLéo Delibes

ScenarioCharles Nuitter and Arthur Saint-Léon

DesignerOsbert Lancaster

Lighting designerJohn B. Read


There is lift access and step-free seating to most levels of the Main Stage auditorium, except the Orchestra Stalls, which are reached by a minimum of nine steps. There are more than 100 seats in the Stalls Circle, Balcony and Amphitheatre which are accessible without the need to negotiate steps. In addition, many seats in these areas and in the Donald Gordon Grand Tier and Orchestra Stalls are accessible by 10 steps or fewer. Find out more about accessing the Main Stage Auditorium.