An enchanting children's story, here presented in Nicholas Hytner's highly poetic production.
In the forest, a forester is having a nap against a tree. Waken up by a vixen cub playing with a frog, the forester captures the vixen and takes it home. But the vixen is unhappy in this confinement among servile pets. The vixen decides to run off to freedom. A handsome fox appears. Introductions, seduction, marriage: the couple soon settles and gets a litter of fox cubs. The poacher Harasta arrives in the forest, sets traps, shoots. The vixen is killed. Harasta offers the vixen's fur to his bride, Terynka, during their wedding day. The forester, overwhelmed with the lost of the vixen and Terynka, whom he loved, finds consolation seeing the vixen's cubs running around, contemplating the everlasting cycle of life and death.
Drawing its inspiration from a comic-strip written by Stanislav Lolek, The Cunning Little Vixen is an enchantingly poetic opera. Combining the simplicity of a children's story with the spontaneity of Moravian folk songs, Janacek's Cunning Little Vixen carries the spectator away into an ingenious and naive world. But underneath an apparent simplicity, emotion pierces through. An emotion sometimes innocent and lighthearted, sometimes tragic and solemn, but an emotion always confident in the eternal renewal of life.
Dennis Russell Davies, André Engel – Elena Tsallagova (The Vixen), Paul Gay (Harašta)
Markus L. Frank, Johannes Felsenstein – Anhaltisches Theater, Dessau