Ballet in three acts by Arthur Saint Léon (1870), of which the libretto, written by Saint Léon himself and Charles Nuitter, is inspired by the E.T.A. Hoffmann's tale Der Sandman.
A village square in Poland Swanilda suspects her fiancé Franz of being secretly in love with Dr. Coppelius' beautiful and mysterious daughter Coppélia. When the Burgermeister announces that he will unite several young couples in marriage during a village festival the next day, strange noises issue forth from Dr. Coppelius' house. Out in the square, the talk is about whether or not Swanilda and Franz will be among tomorrow's lucky couples. At nightfall, Dr. Coppelius leaves his house, dropping his key as he goes out. Swanilda spies the key on the ground, and decides to sneak into the old man's house with her girlfriends to satisfy their curiosity about Coppélia. Scarcely have they disappeared inside, when we see Franz attempting to enter the house just as Dr. Coppelius returns in search of his key.
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