Sunday, September 19

Entertainment: Cunning Little Vixen at Glyndebourne: a colourful and joyous spectacle

- June 28, 2016

Jonathan Kent’s production of Britten’s ‘Turn Of The Screw’ at Glyndebourne was a stunning beginning for my journey in discovering the beauty of opera. I have seen many more operas since then, but ‘Saul’ at Glyndebourne last year was the undoubted peak for me so far: a gloriously melodic, complete work that The-Cunning-Little-Vixen-052_photographer-Bill-Cooperwas utterly beguiling and moving. Glyndebourne is therefore very dear to me, and I’m looking forward to attending as many performances as I can this summer.

At the time of writing there are still tickets available for Janáček’s ‘Cunning Little Vixen’ at Glyndebourne Festival. I don’t like to spoil much plot, but CLV was composed between 1921 to 1923 and as such is fairly modern in terms of classical style. The action revolves around animals in a forest and was inspired by a daily comic in a Czech newspaper, and the comic tone is reflected in this production. The music is jaunty and striking, reflecting its composer’s interest in folk music and rhythms, so a classical newcomer might be more bowled over than they would be by more traditional opera works.

The formal dress and beautiful grounds of Glyndebourne are understandably part of the Festival’s appeal since it’s a fun day out for old and young alike to enjoy. I always like to highlight just how enjoyable the opera is in itself however, incorporating live music, acting, choreography, staging, dance and more in a dazzling whole. Melly Still’s production meshes dance and mime into the storytelling and has been described as “colourful and joyous” by the Wall Street Journal, so it sounds like a perfect way to try out the unique art form this summer.

The Cunning Little Vixen, Glyndebourne Festival, various performances until Sunday 31 July,

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