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.


Opera Talks

Join us for complimentary Opera Talks one hour before the show! Opera Talks feature noted experts who provide background, insights and important information on what you will see on stage, enhancing your performance experience! Unless otherwise directed, Opera Talks take place on the main floor of the auditorium, between aisles two and six.

Saturday May 11, 7:30pm | Pre-Opera Talk @6:30pm with your host Arthur White and Detroit Opera Gary L. Wasserman Artistic Director Yuval Sharon - "How can I 'animate' the ideas of a particular work?"

Friday May 17, 7:30pm | Pre-opera talk @6:30pm with your host Arthur White, Czech specialist Tim Cheek, and Detroit Opera Music Director Roberto Kalb

Sunday May 19, 2:30pm | Pre-opera talk @ 1:30pm with your host Arthur White, Yuval Sharon and Roberto Kalb.


Podcast

Host Arthur White chats with Detroit Opera's Artistic Director Yuval Sharon about the Detroit Opera premiere of this work and his production; and Music Director Roberto Kalb about bringing this renowned composer's work to Detroit. Arthur also talks with Czech specialist Tim Cheek about the language and the revolutionary use of a prose libretto.


Program


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

Jason H. Thompson

Projection and Lighting Design

Ann Closs-Farley

Costume Design

Cristina Waltz

Mask Design

Joanne Middleton Weaver

Wig and Make-up Design

Suzanne Mallare Acton

Chorus Master

Samantha Hankey

Fox Golden-Strip (Lišák)

Mané Galoyan

The Vixen (Sly Little Fox)

Michael Sumuel

The Forester

David Cangelosi

Schoolmaster/ The Mosquito

Alex Rosen

The Parson/The Badger

Andrew Potter

Harašta, A Poultry Dealer

Melanie Spector
RA

Chochulka (Chief Hen)/Mrs. Pásek

Victoria Lawal

The Rooster

Lisa Marie Rogali
RA

Lapák, A Dog/The Woodpecker

Rehanna Thelwell

Forester's Wife/The Owl

Lana Lanzanas

Frantik

Jonathan James Crane

Pepík

Lucia Flowers

The Grasshopper

Lillian Fellows

The Frog

River Guard
RA

Pásek, An Innkeeper

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:

Applebaum Family PhilanthropyThe Community Foundation For Southeast Michigan

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:

Applebaum Family PhilanthropyThe Community Foundation For Southeast Michigan

The Burton A. and Sandra D. Zipser Foundation logo