Great Performances: Coppelia

Air date: 11/26/2021

Live Action Ballet Combines with 2D and 3D Animation to Create a Modern Fairytale for the Family with Great Performances: Coppelia Premiering November 26 on PBS


Featuring international ballet stars Michaela DePrince, Daniel Camargo, Vito Mazzeo, Darcey Bussell and Irek Mukhamedov



Based on a 2008 stage production by Dutch National Ballet, Great Performances: Coppelia is a contemporary reboot for the digital age that sees Doctor Coppelius as a sinister cosmetic surgeon whose quest to build the perfect robot woman threatens the romance—and then the very lives—of young lovers Swan and Franz. With everyone falling under the surgeon’s spell, Swan must act to save her sweetheart before his heart is used to spark life into Doctor Coppelius’ creation: Coppelia. A modern fairytale for the whole family, this new interpretation features an innovative blend of live action ballet with 2D and 3D animation. Great Performances: Coppelia features international ballet stars Michaela DePrince as Swan, Daniel Camargo as Franz, Darcey Bussell as the Mayor and Irek Mukhamedov as Baker, with new music by Emmy Award nominee Maurizio Malagnini, choreography by Ted Brandsen and direction by Jeff Tudor, Steven De Beul and Ben Tesseur. Great Performances: Coppelia premieres Friday, November 26 at 9 p.m. ET on PBS (check local listings), and the PBS Video app. The broadcast is part of #PBSForTheArts, a multiplatform campaign that celebrates the arts in America. For more than 50 years, PBS has been the media destination for the arts, presenting dance, theater, opera, visual arts and concerts to Americans in every corner of the country. Coppelia is available on Bluray and DVD from Shout! Factory beginning October 19.

Notable Talent:

  • Michaela DePrince – Swan
  • Daniel Camargo – Franz
  • Vito Mazzeo – Coppelius
  • Darcey Bussell – Mayor
  • Irek Mukhamedov – Baker
  • Maurizio Malagnini – composer
  • Ted Brandsen – choreography
  • Jeff Tudor, Steven De Beul and Ben Tesseur – directors

Noteworthy Facts:

  • Based on two stories by E.T.A. Hoffman, Coppelia made its debut as a comic ballet in 1870, featuring a score by Leo Delibes and original choreography by Arthur Saint-Leon.
  • Though based on a 2008 Dutch National Ballet production, new choreography by Ted Brandsen in collaboration with Dutch National Ballet dancers and cast members was created for the film to go with the animation.
  • With animation by 3 minutes West, Submarine, MotionWorks and Lunanime, directors Jeff Tudor, Steven De Beul and Ben Tesseur conceived the film as a hybrid between dance and animation with the animation propelling audiences into a fantasy world with 3D characters representing the superficial.

Short Listing:
Enjoy this modern reboot of the 1870 ballet featuring a blend of live action dance with animation.

Long Listing:

Enjoy this contemporary reboot of the 1870 classical ballet favorite. Blending live action ballet with CGI, the film features ballet stars Michaela DePrince and Daniel Camargo.

Series Overview:
Throughout its nearly 50-year history on PBS, Great Performances has provided an unparalleled showcase of the best in all genres of the performing arts, serving as America’s most prestigious and enduring broadcaster of cultural programming. Showcasing a diverse range of artists from around the world, the series has earned 67 Emmy Awards and six Peabody Awards. Peek behind the curtain at the Great Performances website for exclusive videos, interviews, photos, full episodes and more. The series is produced by The WNET Group. 

Production Credits:

Directed by Jeff Tudor, Steven De Beul and Ben Tesseur and produced by Bruno Felix, Adrienne Liron, Janneke van de Kerkhof and Femke Wolting, Great Performances: Coppelia is A Submarine Amsterdam and 3 Minutes West production in co-production with MotionWorks and Lunanime, AVROTROS, and MDR/Arte in association with BBC and The WNET Group. Great Performances is produced by The WNET Group. Bill O’Donnell is series producer and David Horn is executive producer.


Series funding for Great Performances was made possible by The Robert Cornell Memorial Foundation, the Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Arts Fund, the LuEsther T. Mertz Charitable Trust, Jody and John Arnhold, The Philip and Janice Levin Foundation, the Kate W. Cassidy Foundation, the Thea Petschek Iervolino Foundation, the Abra Prentice Foundation, Rosalind P. Walter, The Starr Foundation, the Seton Melvin Charitable Trust, the Estate of Worthington Mayo-Smith, Ellen and James S. Marcus, The Lewis “Sonny” Turner Fund for Dance, and public television viewers.

Websites:,, @GPerfPBS,, #GreatPerformancesPBS #PBSForTheArts

About The WNET Group 

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Vito Mazzeo. Photo credit: Urban Distribution Intl.

Swan and Franz dancing in "Great Performances: Coppelia." Photo credit: Urban Distribution Intl.

Swan and Franz enjoying milkshakes in "Great Performances: Coppelia." Photo credit: Urban Distribution Intl.

Coppelia and Swan in "Great Performances: Coppelia." Photo credit: Urban Distribution Intl.

Coppelia and Doctor Coppelius in "Great Performances: Coppelia." Photo credit: Urban Distribution Intl.

Michaela DePrince. Photo credit: Urban Distribution Intl.

Coppelia and Doctor Coppelius in "Great Performances: Coppelia." Photo credit: Urban Distribution Intl.