'The Cunning Little Vixen' gets its local debut

The opera was inspired by a comic strip about woodland creatures that appeared in a Czech newspaper in 1920.

By HELEN KAYE
February 8, 2009 13:22
1 minute read.
'The Cunning Little Vixen' gets its local debut

little vixen play 88 248. (photo credit: Yosi Zwecker)

 
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Leos Janacek's charmer, The Cunning Little Vixen (1924), will have its local debut on February 25. The opera was inspired by a comic strip about woodland creatures that appeared in a Czech newspaper in 1920. A book version came out a year later and is still in print today. The opera is a mischievous yet gentle meditation on the beauty of Creation and the natural cycle of life and death told through the adventures of a little vixen and the humans in the nearby village. A forester (baritones Johannes Mannov/Samuel de Beck) captures the little vixen as a cub. When she grows up (sopranos Lena Kos/Hila Baggio), she escapes back to the forest, kicks poor Badger (bass-baritone Andrei Trifonov) out of his den, falls in love with a foxy Fox (mezzo-sopranos Sarah Castle/Bracha Kol), has a bunch of cubs, is killed and leaves her daughter to start the cycle over again. As for the humans, it's the usual story of rivalry among four men for the affections of a pretty gypsy. Janacek wrote the libretto too, and there are dozens of solos in which the animals, hens, a rooster, a frog, an owl, moles, the dog and even a mosquito far outnumber the humans. The ingenious costumes and the set are by Maria Bjornson, (Phantom of the Opera). The conductors are Jonathan Webb and Omer Wellber, and it is directed by David Pountney. Performances at the Tel Aviv Performing Arts Center run until March 6.

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