The Cunning Little Vixen at The Boston Conservatory
Opera is an art form infrequently covered here on Flayrah. While it may not have the widespread appeal of The Lion King, if you have the chance, seeing The Cunning Little Vixen is quite an experience.
The Cunning Little Vixen was written in 1923, and was based upon a novella, which itself was based off of a comic strip. The story follows a forester who finds an abandoned fox kit in the woods. Time passes, and their stories develop in parallel, with the vixen eventually escaping the forester’s protection and thriving in the woods, while the forester begins to understand the cycles of life.
The story is far slower paced than more modern stage musicals, which takes a bit of getting used to. However, there are numerous light-hearted moments and situations that make it quite entertaining. For example, in one scene Sharp-Ears forces the badger out of his home by calling him a capitalist, and in another she tries to rouse the “working-class” hens to rise up against the rooster. Although Janá?ek wrote some very dark themes into the opera, it is still primarily a comedy.
For the performance that I saw, a great amount of detail went into the costume-work, which was simple, but very imaginative. The actors portray the animal characters using both two-legged and four-legged poses, and all of the choreography was spot-on keeping with their animal characteristics.
This performance was in the original Czech with English subtitles projected above the stage. At times, the story seems sort of bare, but for operas the music drives the story, rather than just the lyrics.
I would highly recommend seeing this opera if you have the chance. While the opera style might not be for everyone, the on-stage choreography, movements, and costumes are a sight to behold (especially for those interested in seeing animal characters.)