The LSC season culminates in three performances of Janacek’s opera The Cunning Little Vixen (on 27th and 29th June in the Barbican and on 2nd July in the Philharmonie in Paris). These will be conducted by Simon Rattle with the welcome return for these semi-staged performances of the celebrated director, Peter Sellars, with whom the Chorus worked previously and most enjoyably on Ligeti’s Le Grand Macabre.
The cast includes: Lucy Crowe (Vixen), Gerald Finley (Forester), Sophia Burgos (Fox, Chocholka), Peter Hoare (Schoolmaster, Cock, Mosquito) and Willard White (Badger, Parson). It will be sung in Czech.
Apart from The Excursions of Mr Broucek, this is Janacek’s lightest opera, and, in spite of the vixen’s death at the end, it stands in contrast to the often brutally serious nature of his other operas, such as Jenufa or Katya Kobanova. In this opera Janacek moved further toward a more folk-like style, and wove into it some of his most experimental opera concepts (ballet, mime and orchestral interludes).
For Simon Rattle it is a deeply personal and emotional work – “it’s the piece that made me want to become an opera conductor . . . and still one of the pieces that reduces me to tears more easily than any other”.