RAO The Cunning Little Vixen

Fox in a forest

Philip Sunderland conductor
Ashley Dean director
Laura Jane Stanfield designer
Kevin Treacy lighting designer
Christina Fulcher movement director

Janáček arr Jonathan Dove The Cunning Little Vixen

One of the great masterpieces of early 20th-century music, Janáček’s extraordinary and unusual opera The Cunning Little Vixen is a life-affirming meditation on man’s relationship with nature.

Drawing unlikely inspiration from an illustrated story serialised in his local newspaper about the life of a scheming vixen cub who is captured by the local forester, grows up in captivity on his farm and then escapes back to the woods to raise a family, Janáček transformed this seemingly lighthearted tale into a philosophical reflection on the eternal cycle of life, presented here in Jonathan Dove’s vibrant re-orchestration.

Like the ageing forester in the story, Janáček was well aware at the time of composing the opera that most of his life was behind him (he was 70 years old when it was premiered in 1924). However, The Cunning Little Vixen contains some of the composer’s most youthful and vivid music as he embraces the beauty, cruelty and indefinable magic of nature. It is this fresh exuberance of a composer at the height of his powers that has helped to secure the opera's reputation as an enduring masterpiece.

Sung in English.


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