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The Cunning Little Vixen

Updated: Nov 22, 2019

Show Tue, 21-Fri, 24 May 2019

Space Susie Sainsbury Theatre

Venue Royal Academy of Music


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.





Vixen Sharp Ears Alexandra Oomens (21,23) / Lina Dambrauskaitė (22,24)

Fox Olivia Warburton / Hazel Neighbour

Forester James Geidt

Priest and Badger Thomas Bennett

Schoolmaster and Mosquito Peter Harris

Forester's Wife Clare Tunney

Pasek (Innkeeper) Robert Forrest

Harasta (a poacher) Niall Anderson

Innkeeper's Wife Yuki Akimoto

Dog Gabrielė Kupšytė

Owl Samantha Quillish

Rooster Sam Kibble

Chief Hen Lorna McLean

Jay Hope Lavelle

Woodpecker Helen May

Pepik (Forester's Son) Aimee Fisk

Frantik (Pepik's Friend) Maya Colwell

Vixen Cub Anna Mengel

Frog Kathleen NicDhiarmada

Grasshopper Ashleigh Charlton

Cricket Jack Lee

Hens and Fox Cubs Caroline Blair, Margaret Mitchell, Clara Lobo, Maria Ejderos Sveinungsen, Avital Green, Leah McCabe

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