Introducing... the genius of Janáček

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Festival 2016 is set to be an exciting season at Glyndebourne. Six very different operas will take to the stage, including a revival of Melly Still’s 2012 production of Janáček’s The Cunning Little Vixen.

This short film provides insights into what inspired this colourful and thought-provoking piece. Jakub Hrůša, the Czech conductor who returns to Glyndebourne with The Cunning Little Vixen, speaks about his passion for Janáček and reveals an unusual family connection.

You can find full details on The Cunning Little Vixen and our other Festival 2016 productions in the season overview.

Credit: Bill Cooper

All good things…

The Cunning Little Vixen tells the story of life in the forest as it continues its inevitable cycle. Janáček was a lifelong animal lover and drawn to this story about the relationship between humans and nature. As part of his exploration of nature, while he was working on The Cunning Little Vixen in the summer of 1922, Janáček went with friends into the forest near Hukvaldy to observe a family of foxes.

Though the opera has comic elements, The Cunning Little Vixen deals with some serious themes. Janáček transformed a comic strip about a clever vixen continually outwitting a forester into a moving philosophical reflection on life and death and the cyclical nature of renewal.

The forest depicted in the storyline has special resonance for Jakub Hrůša: his mother’s house is just next to it.

Credit: Bill Cooper

Introduced to Janáček when he was around ten years old, Jakub’s operatic conducting debut was also with this opera. He hopes our audience will feel the same passion for it that he does:

‘It’s an opera which is very interesting in the sense that it’s both sad and happy. It enables the composer to show that everything beautiful, meaningful and dear must have its end, and the fact that [it’s] not eternal makes [it] even dearer.’

Jakub believes The Cunning Little Vixen contains a theme common to all Janáček’s mature operatic work: ‘If there is one message for the audience, it’s how dear the present moment is.’

You can find full details of this production here.