The Cunning Little Vixen - Detroit Opera

Overview

Animating opera

Human and animal worlds collide in Janáček’s enchanting, cinematic modern fable about a clever vixen who tries to outwit her captors. The production uses playful projections to transform singers into forest creatures, with hand-crafted animations that evoke the fable’s comic-strip origins. 

This production is suitable for children aged six years and older.


Press

The New York Times: Adding Technology to Animal Instincts

Fast Facts

*DETROIT OPERA PREMIERE* 

*NEW PRODUCTION* 

OPERA IN THREE ACTS 

 

MUSIC BY LEOŠ JANÁČEK
LIBRETTO BY JANÁČEK 

BASED ON A STORY BY RUDOLF TĚSNOHLÍDEK 

 

DIRECTOR: YUVAL SHARON
CONDUCTOR: ROBERTO KALB  

ANIMATION CREATION: WALTER ROBOT STUDIOS (BILL BARMINSKY & CHRISTOPHER LOUIE)
PROJECTION & LIGHTING DESIGN: JASON H. THOMPSON
COSTUME DESIGN: ANN CLOSS-FARLEY
MASK DESIGN: CRISTINA WALTZ 

 

DURATION: 90 minutes with no intermission

 

A CLEVELAND ORCHESTRA PRODUCTION 

Artists

Yuval Sharon

Director

Roberto Kalb

Conductor

Michael Sumuel

The Forester

Samantha Hankey

Fox Golden-Strip (Lisak)

Mané Galoyan

The Vixen (Sly Little Fox)

Alex Rosen

The Parson/The Badger

David Cangelosi

Schoolmaster/ The Mosquito

Andrew Potter

Harašta, A Poultry Dealer

Rehanna Thelwell

Forester's Wife/The Owl

Melanie Spector
RA

Chochulka (Chief Hen)/Mrs. Pásek

River Guard
RA

Pásek, An Innkeeper

Lisa Marie Rogali
RA

Lapák, A Dog/The Woodpecker

Synopsis

Act I 

In the forest, animals and insects dance and play. A Forester enters and settles down for a nap. A playful Vixen cub startles a frog, who then jumps on the Forester, awakening him. The Forester captures the Vixen and takes her home as a pet. 

The Vixen, now a young adult, lives in the Forester’s courtyard along with an amorous old dog. Weary of captivity, she makes mischief and is tied up by the Forester. She dreams of herself as a young woman. At dawn, when the Cock crows and begins bossing his hens around, the Vixen urges the hens to rebel. She manages to trick them all, as well as the Forester, and escape to freedom. 

Act II 

Back in the forest the Vixen commandeers a badger’s home. 

At a village inn the Forester teases the Schoolmaster about his hopeless infatuation with Terynka, a gypsy girl. When the Schoolmaster in turn taunts the Forester over the runaway Vixen, he rushes out to find her. 

The Vixen follows the Schoolmaster and the Parson as they drunkenly stumble home from the inn. Mistaking the Vixen for Terynka, the Schoolmaster confesses his passion for her. The Parson laments a hopeless romance from his student days. The Forester spots the Vixen and fires two shots at her, but she escapes unharmed. 

In the forest the Vixen meets a charming male Fox, and they are mutually smitten. They retire to the Vixen’s den, and soon they are obliged to marry. All the forest creatures gather to celebrate. 

Act III 

In the forest the Forester confronts the poacher Harašta, who boasts of his engagement to Terynka. The Forester sets a trap for the Vixen and leaves. The Vixen, the Fox and their brood of cubs emerge to play. They find the trap and mock the Forester’s ineptitude. Harašta haphazardly shoots and kills the defiant Vixen as her family scatters. 

At the inn the Forester tells the Schoolmaster that he found the Vixen’s den empty. The Schoolmaster is dejected to learn that Terynka will marry Harašta that very day, wearing a new fox fur muff that he has given her. 

The Forester returns to the spot in the forest where he first met the Vixen. He recalls his youth, marvels at the beauty of nature, and falls asleep, dreaming of the Vixen. A young frog reminds him of the wondrous cycle of nature. 

Courtesy of Glyndebourne Opera 

Videos

Sponsors

Season Sponsor

William Davidson Foundation logo

 

Supported by:

The Burton A. and Sandra D. Zipser Foundation logo

Fast Facts

*DETROIT OPERA PREMIERE* 

*NEW PRODUCTION* 

OPERA IN THREE ACTS 

 

MUSIC BY LEOŠ JANÁČEK
LIBRETTO BY JANÁČEK 

BASED ON A STORY BY RUDOLF TĚSNOHLÍDEK 

 

DIRECTOR: YUVAL SHARON
CONDUCTOR: ROBERTO KALB  

ANIMATION CREATION: WALTER ROBOT STUDIOS (BILL BARMINSKY & CHRISTOPHER LOUIE)
PROJECTION & LIGHTING DESIGN: JASON H. THOMPSON
COSTUME DESIGN: ANN CLOSS-FARLEY
MASK DESIGN: CRISTINA WALTZ 

 

DURATION: 90 minutes with no intermission

 

A CLEVELAND ORCHESTRA PRODUCTION 

Sponsors

Season Sponsor

William Davidson Foundation logo

 

Supported by:

The Burton A. and Sandra D. Zipser Foundation logo