The Music —
With its lovely melodies and descriptive phrases, Delibes’s music for Coppélia is a perfect partner to the humour and light drama of the story.
The music of Coppélia scintillates with a brilliant succession of lovely and original melodies.
It was the first full-length ballet score by composer Léo Delibes, and is arguably
his most outstanding achievement.
Delibes wrote the music for only one other full-length ballet: Sylvia (1876); he was more inclined to write for opera, with Lakmé (1883) being his most famous work in this genre.
The score for Coppélia successfully combines pure ballet music (i.e. music that is written solely for dance and cannot stand alone in its own right) with attractive,
light dramatic music. It is both tuneful and highly effective for the narrative, with the czardas and mazurka being amongst the most popular dance tunes of all time.