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  • Opera
  • 421 apr 2020, Main Stage.
  • Ensemble


    Fredrik Burstedt
    Direction, original production
    Yuval Sharon
    Gunilla Johansson Gyllenspetz
    Walter Robot Studios – Bill Barminski och Christopher Louie
    Projections and lighting design
    Jason H. Thompson
    Costume design
    Ann Closs-Farley
    Mask design
    Cristina Waltz
    Makeup design
    Amy Jean Wright


    Åke Zetterström
    Forester’s Wife
    Anna-Sara Åberg
    Daniel Ralphsson
    Peter Loguin
    Mats Almgren
    Henrik Andersson
    Mrs. Pásek
    Annalena Persson
    Vixen Sharp-Ears
    Magdalena Risberg
    Matilda Paulsson
    Anna Forsebo
    Tiina Markkanen
    Lapák the Dog
    Erika Tordeus
    Marie Fagerberg-Zembachs
    Chief Hen
    Gabriella Locatelli
    Anna Lilja
    Anna Johansson
    Woodpecker, Cricket
    Karin Hammarlund
    Thorild Strandell
    Herbjörn Thordarson
    Annika Dahlin
    Anna Lilja
    Fox cubs
    Alexandra Nordström, Alisa Lennartsson, Alva Ekengren, Beata Molin, Emilia Cervin, Felicia Bernholtz, Hannah Lycke, Hillevi Stopp Alexén, Inez Ewaldz, Isabelle Hoffrén, Jonna Loodh, Lovisa Dahllöw, Momo Larsson-Hellgren, Olivia Gren, Ozana Kolar, Tekla Konkoli, Varja Olsson

The Cunning Little Vixen

Animalism and human morality. A seamless interplay between singers and animated film – with the Göteborg Opera Orchestra on stage.

Opera in three acts by Leoš Janáček (1854–1928). Libretto by the composer from an adaptation of a comedy cartoon series and short novel by Rudolf Těsnohlídek and Stanislav Lolek. Swedish translation by Linda Mallik.

Performed in Swedish. Surtitled in Swedish and English. Recommended for everyone above the age of 9.
A production of The Cleveland Orchestra. Franz Welser-Möst, Music Director.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ "A triumph for all concerned"Bachtrack, 2014
“thrillingly captures the opera’s vision of nature as a cycle of death, rebirth and constant transformation”New York Times, 2014
“Animation and music stayed together miraculously well.”Opera News Magazine, 2014

“The Cunning Little Vixen” is a fable for adults. Playful but not childish, poetic but not profound, touching but never sentimental. Is the cycle of life about hope and renewal or hopeless repetition? Life goes on, whether you are a dragonfly, a vixen or a human.

In this inventive production, created for the Cleveland Orchestra 2014, the singers act in front of (and sometimes in!) an animated film that vividly depicts the forest and its animals, giving the audience a seamless experience of the interplay between technology and singer. Joining the singers on stage is the entire Göteborg Opera Orchestra.

The story revolves around a vixen that a forester brings home to his family. However, the family  is cruel to the vixen who is forced to defend herself. As punishment, the family decides to keep her tied up. In revenge, the vixen bites the family’s chickens to death. In the turmoil that follows, the vixen manages to flee back to the forest where persecution, infatuation, the start of a family and finally, an inglorious death follow. Everything is set against the life of the forester – though longer than that of a fox – may still be seen as short as that of a dragonfly. 

Cleveland Orchestra Music Director, Franz Welser-Möst leads the Orchestra in the 2014 production of Janáček’s opera, The Cunning Little Vixen with (left) Martina Janková (Vixen) and (right) Jennifer Johnston Cano (Fox) at Severance Hall.
Roger Mastroianni

“The Cunning Little Vixen” (1924) holds some of Janáček’s most imaginative and shimmering music, from the forest ambience portrayed by billowing strings at the beginning, until the very last note. Baritone Åke Zetterström can be said to have ‘inherited’ the role of the forester from his own father Rune Zetterström who performed the same role at Stora Teatern in the late 1970s. In the title role we see Magdalena Risberg making her Gothenburg debut. Magdalena is renowned for her shimmering soprano voice, both abroad and in here in Sweden, her native country. The role of her fox partner is performed by mezzo-soprano Matilda Paulsson, now a familiar face to the Gothenburg audience. Both Magdalena Risberg and Matilda Paulsson have previously performed their characters' roles at Norrlandsoperan.

Cleveland Orchestra Music Director, Franz Welser-Möst leads the Orchestra in the 2014 production of Janáček’s opera, The Cunning Little Vixen at Severance Hall.
Roger Mastroianni

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