LSM Newswire

Friday, June 6, 2014

UBC Opera Joined by Conductor David Agler, and Members of the Celebrated Vancouver Opera Orchestra for a Riveting Production of Janáček’s The Cunning Little Vixen

Vancouver, BC – The UBC Opera Ensemble is thrilled to announce that David Alger, Artistic Director of the prestigious Wexford Festival Opera, and former Music Director of the Vancouver Opera, will conduct members of the Vancouver Opera Orchestra in its presentation of Janáček’s charming opera The Cunning Little Vixenfor four performances, June 26–29, 2014, on stage at the UBC Old Auditorium.

THE STORY: Inspired by a comic strip and premiered in 1924, Leoš Janáček and librettist Rudolf Těsnohlídek’s The Cunning Little Vixen is an endearing and enlightened glance at the circle of life amongst a cast of woodland characters. Usually seen as a fairytale, this piece also provides us with a revealing insight into nature’s struggle to survive the devastating footprint of humanity.

THE MUSIC: The score contains some of Janáček’s most enchanting music. Dream sequences, the wedding march of the foxes, and the magnificent finale of ‘When evening arrives’ paint a glorious picture of the countryside Janáček loved so much. The inspiration for The Cunning Little Vixen came from Rudolf Těsnohlídek’s serialized novella called Vixen Sharp-Ears (a vixen is a female fox). While composing, he found himself moving away from the self-consciously dramatic style that had characterized some of his earlier operas, and managed to fully integrate the folk-style that had been increasingly fascinating him. The opera is noted for actually possessing a fair amount of experimental content, including scenes of ballet and mime.

THE PRODUCTION: The magnificent set is designed by the Head of UBC Theatre, Prof. Robert Gardiner. Jeremy Baxter returns to the Ensemble to create the lighting design. Stage director, Prof. Nancy Hermiston is joined by conductor David Agler, along with members of the Vancouver Opera Orchestra.

THE CAST: The talented singers from the UBC Opera Ensemble have come together from across Canada and the world to prepare this masterpiece for Vancouver. All roles are double cast with the Vixen performed by Hilary Young and Stephanie Nakagawa, the Fox by Laura Miller and Simone McIntosh, the Forester by Sheldon Baxter and Micah Schroeder, Harašta (the poacher) by Geoff Schellenberg and Kyle Lehmann, the Priest by Elliot Harder and Duncan Watts-Grant and the School Master by Erik Schwarzhoff and Sung San Oh.

The Cunning Little Vixen by Leoš Janáček | UBC Opera Ensemble with members of the Vancouver Opera Orchestra
In Czech with English surtitles™. Libretto adapted by the composer from a serialized novella (daily comic) by Rudolf Těsnohlídek and Stanislav Lolek

UBC Old Auditorium, 6344 Memorial Road | June 26, 27, 28, at 7:30 pm | June 29 at 2:00 pm
Tickets are available at, by telephone at 604.822.6725, or in-person at the
UBC Old Auditorium Box Office. Adult $37/Senior $27/Non-UBC Student $20/UBC Student $15

These opera performances are made possible through the generous assistance of the David Spencer Endowment Fund at UBC.

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