The Cunning Little Vixen


Discover the story of Janáček's The Cunning Little Vixen

Act I

In the forest…

…while animals and insects play, the Forester lies down for a nap.

A Young Vixen startles the Forester, who takes her home as a pet.

A while later…

The Vixen is now a young adult, tied up in the Forester’s yard and weary of confinement.

She chews through her rope, teases and attacks a flock of hens, and escapes to freedom.

Photo: Richard Hubert Smith

Act II

Photo: Richard Hubert Smith

Back in the forest…

The Vixen commandeers a badger’s home.

At an inn…

The Forester, the Schoolmaster and the Priest drink.

They talk about their mutual infatuation with the gypsy girl Terynka.

En route home…

The drunken Schoolmaster mistakes the Vixen for Terynka and confesses his love.

The Forester, also heading home, sees the Vixen and fires two shots at her, but she escapes unharmed.
In the forest…

The Vixen meets the charming Fox. Smitten, the two retire to the Vixen’s den and are soon obliged to marry.

All the forest creatures celebrate.


The poacher Harašta, who is engaged to Terynka, sets a fox trap.

The Vixen, the Fox and their cubs find the trap and mock it.

Harašta, from a distance, shoots and kills the Vixen.

At the inn…

The Forester learns Harašta will marry Terynka that very day and has given her a fox fur as a wedding present.

The Forester returns to the place in the forest where he met the Vixen.

He recalls his youth, marvels at nature’s beauty and falls asleep.

A young frog reminds him of the cycle of nature.

Photo: Richard Hubert Smith

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