The ballet “Coppelia” premiered in Paris 17 years before the Eiffel Tower was begun and six years before the French gifted us the first part of the Statue of Liberty. Combining Leo Delibes’ music with Arthur Saint-Leon’s choreography, the comedic work traces a small-town boy smitten with a life-size dancing doll and the antics of his forsaken girlfriend.

Bay Shore Ballet brings the work to life at Fairhope Civic Center (161 N. Section St.) on April 27 and 28 at 7 p.m. each evening, with a 2 p.m. Saturday matinee.

Directed by Janet Carole, it features principal dancers Abigail Kiernan, Mary Ellis Ollinger and Zackariah Woods along with Bay Shore Ballet students.

Ticket prices range from $8 to $12 and may be purchased online at or at Page & Palette Bookstore (Fairhope) or at the door.

Call 251-583-3875 for more information.

Russian master rules MSO show

A few days before Dmitri Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 5 premiered, he wrote in a newspaper that the work was “a Soviet artist’s creative response to justified criticism.” According to who was asked, the statement’s irony varied.

The public pegged it as a description of Stalinist suffering. During its first performance, some wept and the ovation lasted a half-hour.

Communist Party officials bristled. They claimed the crowd was loaded with “handpicked” Shostakovich supporters.

Nevertheless, the symphony became one of his most famous works. Its “hidden message” mythology is proof.

The Mobile Symphony Orchestra presents the Russian masterpiece along with Beethoven’s Leonore Overture No. 3 and Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 23. The Mozart features six-time Grammy nominee and guest pianist Menahem Pressler.

Performances at the Saenger Theatre (6 S. Joachim St.) will take place April 21 at 7:30 p.m. and April 22 at 2:30 p.m.

Tickets range from $15 to $75. Call the ticket office at 251-432-2010 or visit

Garza named Mobile Ballet artistic director

Mobile Ballet has tapped Katia Garza as its new artistic director and school director. If the name’s familiar it’s because she was guest artistic director for Mobile Ballet’s latest production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” in early March.

A Mexico native, Garza joined Ballet de Monterrey in 1995 then became Orlando Ballet’s principal dancer in 2000. She was a finalist in the 2002 International Ballet Competition in Jackson, Mississippi, and the subject of the documentary “Katia Garza: My Life in Dance.” She was awarded Outstanding Teacher of the Year from Youth America Grand Prix in 2015 and 2017.

Garza’s husband, Israel Rodriguez, has been named Mobile Ballet’s Ballet Master. A Cuba native, he was named a principal dancer with Mexico’s Ballet de Monterrey in 1994 and went on to become principal dancer with Orlando Ballet. Rodriguez has more than 26 years’ experience performing, teaching and choreographing.