Janáček: Cunning Little Vixen / Crowe, Bell, Leiferkus, Jurowski, LPO

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The tale of a quick witted fox and her escape from confinement for a life in the forest that is by turns joyful and violent, The Cunning Little Vixen is an unsentimental parable of death and rebirth that lives through the instinctive and immediate world of nature, animal and human, which Janacek loved so much. Melly Stil's production for Glyndebourne find the "delicate balance between whimsy and mysticism" (Daily Telegraph) at the heart of the opera, which Vladimir Jurowski conducts "with lustrous style: you can hear the birds in the score, feel the sunshine and thrill to the starlit night sky in the final scene." (Opera Today)

Melly Still, stage director

Recorded live at Glyndebourne Festival Opera, June 2012

- Creating Janácek’s The Cunning Little Vixen

  • Picture format: NTSC 16:9
  • Sound format: LPCM 2.0 / DTS 5.1
  • Region code: 0 (worldwide)
  • Subtitles: English, French, German, Dutch, Japanese, Korean
  • Running time: 119 mins
  • No. of DVDs: 1


The leading roles in this performance are sung by Lucy Crowe as the vixen (whose name is Sharp Ears), Sergei Leiferkus as the forester who tries to domesticate her, and Emma Bell as the fox that Sharp Ears meets after escaping back to her forest, marries (at a ceremony conducted by a grasshopper), and bears more children than she can count (only eight of which we see on stage). It is also important to observe that costume designer Dinah Collin chose to capture animals by a combination of suggestion and connotation. Both vixen and fox are identified primarily by their tails (which is also how we in the audience learn of Sharp Ears’ ultimate fate); but the rest of the costume tends to portray them as Gypsies, which is to say characters not quite at home in their own land.

The instrumental side of the score is provided by the London Philharmonic Orchestra (LPO) conducted by Vladimir Jurowski, Music Director at Glyndebourne and Principal Conductor of the LPO. He conducts with a keen sense of how Janáček tends to direct the flow of his music through the modulation of energy levels. While Jurowski is Russian, he also seems to have informed himself of the extent to which Janáček evokes Czech folk idioms, allowing the score to establish its unique position between symphonic music and indigenous source material.

Most importantly, however, this is an opera that takes a fairy-tale-like narrative and serves it up as a visual and auditory feast; and this Glyndebourne production delivers exquisitely on both visual and auditory levels.

-- SF Examiner

Product Description:

  • Release Date: May 28, 2013

  • Catalog Number: OA 1101D

  • UPC: 809478011019

  • Label: Opus Arte

  • Number of Discs: 1

  • Period: 20th Century

  • Composer: Leoš Janáček

  • Conductor: Vladimir Jurowski

  • Orchestra/Ensemble: London Philharmonic Orchestra, Glyndebourne Chorus

  • Performer: Beatrice Watkins, Emma Bell, Jean Rigby, Lucy Crowe, Mischa Schelomianski, Orlando Woscholski, Sebastian Davies, Sergei Leiferkus


  1. The Cunning Little Vixen

    Composer: Leoš Janáček

    Ensemble: London Philharmonic Orchestra, Glyndebourne Chorus

    Performer: Emma Bell (Soprano), Jean Rigby (Mezzo-Soprano), Lucy Crowe (Soprano), Mischa Schelomianski (Bass), Sergei Leiferkus (Bass)

    Conductor: Vladimir Jurowski