PORT ANGELES — “Coppelia,” a comedy produced by the Ballet Workshop of Port Angeles, will be presented Saturday and Sunday at the Port Angeles Performing Arts Center.
The three-act ballet will be at 7 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday in the performing arts center at Port Angeles High School, 304 E. Park Ave.
The cost of tickets to the ballet, presented by the Juan de Fuca Foundation for the Arts (JFFA), range from $10 to $38 and can be purchased at jffa.org.
“The comedy ballet stars Swanhilda and Franz, a young couple enchanted by a doll-like figure who sits reading each day in Dr. Coppelius’ balcony window,” organizers said in a press release.
“With the entire town bewildered by the tinkerings coming from Coppelius’ workshop, the duo sneak into his house. Hilarity ensues as they must engage in an elaborate escape plan to avoid being caught.”
“Coppélia” was last staged by Ballet Workshop founder Sylvia Wanner at her retirement in 2013. This revival production was originally meant for April 2020, but it was postponed due to the pandemic.
Wanner died in November 2021 without seeing the restaging.
“It has been the dream to stage this ballet for the last three years and we dearly wish that Sylvia was still around to see it,” said director and choreographer Kate Robbins. “It was her favorite ballet and the one that she best known for.
“Outside of Nutcracker, this show is by far the largest and most challenging production that Ballet Workshop has ever undertaken, in terms of choreographic volume and difficulty for the ensemble cast,” she added.
“The local community will be blown away by the professionalism and quality of performance of this young cast. We have stuck quite closely to the original Bolshoi and Paris Opera stagings of the ballet, so the audience is really in for a thrilling ballet experience. The storyline is also filled with hilarious comedy and acting which make this ballet a huge family favorite,” Robbins said.
The full-scale ballet will use the London Symphony Orchestra’s complete score by Leo Delibes, as well as all-new sets, backdrops and costumes.
The $20,000 production involves 65 performers, ages 3 to 65 and took 18 weeks to prepare. Noah Long is the ballet master who also performs the role of Dr. Coppelius.
Pacific Northwest guest artists are Abby Jayne DeAngelo and Guillaume Basso, who portray Swanhida and Franz.
Having rehearsed separately from the Port Angeles cast for several months, they arrived in Port Angeles on Tuesday to prepare with the full local cast three days before opening night.
DeAngelo trained in the art of ballet with Marcia Dale Weary of Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet in her hometown of Carlisle, Pa. She joined Pacific Northwest Ballet as a Professional Division Student (2016-2018) and was promoted to Apprentice and Corps de Ballet member in 2019.
Basso, originally from Dijon, France, trained with Sylvain Boniface at the Conservatory of Dijon and Bernard Boucher at Paris Opera Ballet. Basso performed with Joffrey Ballet and Houston Ballet II before joining Pacific Northwest Ballet in 2015.
In addition to Long, others in the local cast of leading performers are Rob Shields of Joyce as the town mayor, Katy Nelson of Sequim as the innkeeper and, as featured soloist ballerinas in Act 3, Daphne Oakes, Amelia Brown, Courtney Smith and Gabrielle Montana.