Janáček's The Cunning Little Vixen

André Engel (stage director), Dennis Russell Davies (conductor) – With Elena Tsallagova (The Vixen), Paul Gay (Harašta)

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André Engel — Stage director

Nicky Rieti — Set designer

Elizabeth Neumuller — Costumes

André Diot — Lighting

Chœurs du Théâtre National de l'Opéra de Paris

Alessandro di Stefano — Chorus master

Orchestre du Théâtre National de l'Opéra de Paris

Dennis Russell Davies — Conductor

Elena Tsallagova — The Vixen

Jukka Rasilainen — The Forester

Michèle Lagrange — The Forester's Wife

David Kuebler — The Schoolmaster

Roland Bracht — The Parson

Paul Gay — Harašta

Hannah Esther Minutillo — The Fox

Program notes

Elusive and always insolently free, even when the forester chains her up and the schoolmaster in his inevitable cups believes he is pursuing Terynka, this little vixen is a will-o'-the-wisp whose flashing russet, wherever it blazes, revives the smart of their ancient desires and departed loves in the hearts of men. In a community living as close to the natural state and its prodigies as it is imaginable to be, no other creature better personifies the life-force which demands that we accept the implacable cycle of Nature, encompassed between the extremities of birth and death.

Leoš Janáček's The Cunning Little Vixen was described by its composer as "a comic opera with a sad ending." It is a profoundly poetic tale for which the composer wrote some wonderful, life-enriching music that is magnificently orchestrated. "His music is quite simply overwhelmingly moving," says André Engel, who, working with an outstanding cast, directed a new production of this fascinating work for the Paris Opéra.

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