What he did, what he did not do – no law governed him except his persona. His music, his ideology – both are completely inaccessible if one does not find them spellbinding. Of course they enrapture the spellbound by luring them into an ocean of beauty with its own laws, where a slow, cautious approach is absolutely forbidden and impossible. (Max Brod on Leoš Janáček)
Today 160 years ago Leoš Janáček was born Hukvaldy, Moravia.
View the study score of the first act of Janáček’s The Cunning Little Vixen in the newly revised edition by Jirí Zahrádka.
Franz Welser-Möst and the Staatsopernorchester turn the instrumental passages into paintings of dazzling intensity. (Ljubisa Tosic, Der Standard, 20.06.2014)
This time, it’s the animals that are telling me a story about humanity, nature, the forest, life and death. (Interview with Otto Schenk, Kurier, 15.06.2014)
You can almost smell the forest. (Wilhelm Sinkovicz, Die Presse, 19.06.2014)
Emerging from the staged woodland of designer Robert Innes Hopkins into the leafy twilight with the Forester's transcendent meditation on nature still resounding in the ears has to be the most magical operatic experience of my year. (Katherine Cooper, WhatsOnStage, 24.06.2014)
Claire Booth exceeds even high expectations as a knockout Vixen in this superb rendering of Janáček’s opera (Guy Dammann, The Guardian, 23.06.2014)
Janáček would have approved. (Richard Fairman, Financial Times, 23.06.2014)
If you don’t know Janáček’s music, then this admirably clear-cut, beautifully sung production is the ideal place to start […] you’ll want more and more, and you won’t be happy until you get your annual Katya Kabanova and Jenůfa fix. (Melanie Eskenazi, music OMH, 24.06.2014)
The newly revised edition of Leoš Janáček’s The Cunning Little Vixen (edited by Jirí Zahrádka) is running in new productions at the Staatsoper in Vienna and at the Garsington Opera at Wormsley in Stokenchurch at the moment, and the critics’ reviews couldn’t be better. Click the corresponding links to read the full reviews.
The third and final part of the Cleveland Orchestra’s production diary of Janáček’s The Cunning Little Vixen follows the cast through the rehearsals as the day of the première approaches:
I think [Leoš Janáček] has an emotional impact on audiences which is so immediate that that’s what makes him really God in the opera world. (Franz Welser-Möst, The Making of The Cunning Little Vixen: Production Diary #1)
To the pantheon of opera’s unforgettable couples, from Mozart’s Figaro and Susanna to Puccini’s Tosca and Cavaradossi, I’d like to add a pair that lies a considerable distance from them: two foxes. (Zachary Woolfe, The New York Times, 23.05.2014)
The capacity audience gave the production an immediate well-deserved standing ovation. Bravos were numerous — as were a few expressions of “Wow.” (Alan Montgomery, Opera News, 17.05.2014)
The Cleveland Orchestra’s digitally enhanced production of Leoš Janáček’s opera, The Cunning Little Vixen, […] is beguiling in concept and brilliant in execution. (Daniel Hathaway, Classical Voice North America, 19.05.2014)
“If you think that a piece that begins and ends with a phalanx of military fanfares, performed by an additional ensemble of 13 brass players - including nine trumpets – can’t possibly be taken seriously as one of the 20th century’s most compelling symphonies, then look away now.”
Read the full text on The Guardian.
A new production of Leoš Janáček’s The Cunning Little Vixen [Příhody lišky Bystroušky] will première today, 20 March 2014, at the National Theatre in Prague. Janáček’s opera will be performed at the theatre for the first time in the last ten years and is the theatre’s contribution to the Czech Music Year programme.
For more information about the opera and the full cast, visit the National Theatre’s website.
Leoš Janáček: The Cunning Little Vixen
opera in 3 acts | 110'
4 3 3 3 - 4 3 3 1 - timp, perc(2), hp, cel, str
20.03.2014, National Theatre, Prague; Czech National Opera Chorus; Czech National Opera Orchestra, cond. Robert Jindra; Stage Director: Ondřej Havelka
Lavaud has been described by Jean-Claude Pennetier as “one of those interpreters for whom the rendering of each musical phrase or idea is a vital commitment.”
Dans les Brumes will be released on 19 March on Editions Hortus and includes the eponymous In the Mists, the Sonata IX, On an Overgrown Path, A Recollection and excerpts from Intimate Sketches.
Read the full review on the New York Times.
Find out more about Jenůfa.
Leoš Janáček: Jenůfa
Opera in 3 acts from Moravian peasant life | 120'
3 3 3 3 - 4 2 3 1 - timp, perc(2), bells, hp, str - stage music: hn(2), toy tpt, xyl, bells, str(1 1 1 1 1)
31.01.2014; 02, 04, 05, and 07.02.2014, La Monnaie, Bruxelles; Sally Matthews/Andrea Danková, Charles Workman, Nicky Spence, Jeanne-Michèle Charbonnet, Carole Wilson, Ivan Ludlow, Alexander Vassiliev, Mireille Capelle, Hendrickje Van Kerckhove, Beata Morawska, Chloé Briot, Nathalie Van de Voorde, Marta Beretta; Choeur de la Monnaie, Orchestre Symphonique de la Monnaie, cond. Ludovic Morlot
“Music Director Alan Gilbert, director/designer Doug Fitch, and the New York Philharmonic invite you into the woods, with Avery Fisher Hall transformed into a fantastical forest filled with talking frogs, singing mosquitoes and badgers, and one very fetching little fox.”
See production photos on the NYPhil’s Facebook page.