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Don’t Miss Coppélia This Weekend

Published September 15, 2023

Don’t Miss Coppélia This Weekend

by Steve Trounday

This weekend, A.V.A. Ballet Theatre and the Reno Phil will be presenting Coppélia at the Pioneer Center for the Performing Arts. Coppélia is the captivating story of the doll created by Doctor Coppélius. The fanatical doll maker has created Coppélia to be his companion and secretly dreams of discovering a way to bring her to life.

Starring as Doctor Coppélius will be Arionel Vargas. Born in Cuba, Vargas trained at the National Ballet School of Cuba. His career began at Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet, where he danced a variety of the Balanchine repertoire. He joined English National Ballet as principal in 2004, where he danced leading roles in all the major classical repertoire, including Swan Lake, The Nutcracker, The Sleeping Beauty, Nureyev’s Romeo and Juliet and Giselle, with Albrecht being one of his favorite roles. 

Vargas won the gold medal in Brazil’s International Ballet Competition in 1994 and the New York International Ballet Competition in 1996. He has appeared in Carlos Acosta and Friends in Valencia and the London Coliseum. Vargas danced in David Nixon’s Withering Heights at Northern Ballet Theatre. He performed Wayne Eagling’s Duet at the Prague International Festival with English National Ballet’s former prima ballerina, Daria Klimentová, and in 2009, he performed with Teatro Municipal in Rio de Janeiro with Royal Ballet Principal Roberta Marques in The Nutcracker

Coppélia: Swanilda and Franz

Most recently, Vargas appeared as Romeo in Derek Deane’s staging of Romeo and Juliet in-the-round at the Royal Albert Hall, danced at the Dance Open Ballet Festival in Saint Petersburg (Russia), and performed in international ballet festivals in Miami and Havana. Vargas is currently a guest artist with the Milwaukee Ballet.

Also starring with Vargas in A.V.A. Ballet Theatre’s production of Coppélia will be Marize Fumero in the role of Swanilda. Swanilda and her fiancé Franz are featured prominently in the ballet as they both interact with Doctor Coppélius and the doll Coppélia. Fumero is also no stranger to Reno ballet audiences as she has danced in A.V.A. Ballet Theatre’s rock ballet Vortex

Coppélia: Wedding Principals

Fumero was born in Havana and trained at the National Ballet School of Cuba. Upon graduation in 2009, she entered Ballet Nacional de Cuba where she performed many roles. In 2012, Fumero joined the English National Ballet where she danced as Aurora’s Friends and Jewel’s variation in Kenneth MacMillan’s The Sleeping Beauty. She also appeared in Jiří Kylián’s Petite Mort, George Williamson’s Firebird as well as Derek Deane’s Swan Lake and Romeo and Juliet at the Royal Albert Hall. Fumero joined Milwaukee Ballet in 2014 and was promoted to leading artist in 2015. Fumero received a Miami Life Award nomination as Best Female Classical Dancer in 2017.

Marko Micov will be dancing the role of Franz. Micov was born in Skopje, Macedonia and began his ballet training under the direction of Sonja Zdrakova-Dezparovski, Ph.D. at the school of the Macedonian Opera and Ballet where he was a member of the corps de ballet. Marko received a full scholarship from the Academy of Mystic Ballet in Connecticut and moved to the United States to continue his training and career. 

Coppélia: Swanilda and Dr. C

In 2012 he received an invitation from the legendary Gelsey Kirkland to join her company in New York City. In 64 years of Macedonian ballet history, he is the first dancer from his country to begin a professional career in the United States of America. In the Spring of 2016, he joined the Ballet San Antonio where he made his debut with the company in Ballet Alive and Micov was named by artistic director, Willy Shives, to perform the lead male in Ballet San Antonio’s premier of Frederik Franklin’s Tribute. Micov joined Milwaukee Ballet Company for the 2019/20 Season and continues to dance with the company.

Coppélia: Friends

Joining Vargas, Fumero and Micov on stage for Coppélia will be the large cast of dancers from A.V.A. Ballet Theatre. These talented dancers will fill the stage with color and grace. I’ve seen some of the rehearsals and the Waltz of the Hours and the Mazurka are sure to put a smile on your face.

The Reno Phil will be providing the score to this beautiful ballet with Dr. Jason Altieri conducting. The Leo Delibes music alone is worth the ticket price. I have said this many times over the years: once you have seen and heard a ballet performance with a live orchestra there is really no comparison to one with a recording. There is something special when you see two performing arts groups working together to entertain an audience.  

I invite you to join me at the Pioneer Center for the Performing Arts this weekend. See and hear these talented artists as they bring Coppélia to life.

Steve Trounday is a board member at A.V.A. Ballet Theatre, the resident ballet company of the Pioneer Center. A.V.A. Ballet Theatre will be performing Coppélia September 16 and 17 with the Reno Phil.

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Vortex, the Ballet that Rocks by Steve Trounday — July 7, 2023

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The Cost of Performing Arts by Steve Trounday —April 28, 2023

Do You Want to Go See Frozen? by Steve Trounday — March 24, 2023

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2023 Performances Featuring A.V.A. Ballet Theatreby Steve Trounday — January 13, 2023

The Nutcracker Takes the Stage by Steve Trounday — December 9, 2022

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For the Love of Costumes by Steve Trounday — September 30, 2022

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Vortex, the Ballet that Rocks 2022 by Steve Trounday — July 8, 2022

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