Príhody lisky bystrousky (Das schlaue Füchslein) - Schedule, Program & Tickets

Príhody lisky bystrousky (Das schlaue Füchslein)

The Cunning Little Vixen is an opera by Leoš Janáček, with a libretto adapted by the composer from a serialized novella (daily comic) by Rudolf Těsnohlídek and Stanislav Lolek, which was first published in the newspaper Lidové noviny.

The Cunning Little Vixen incorporates Moravian folk music and rhythms within its composition. Described as a comic opera, it has nevertheless been noted to contain a serious theme. Interpretations of the opera, however, remain more varied, ranging from children´s entertainment to an oeuvre of tragedy.

Act 1

In the forest, the animals and insects are playing and dancing. The Forester enters and lies down against a tree for a nap. A curious Vixen Cub (usually sung by a young girl), inquisitively chases a frog right into the lap of the surprised forester who forcibly takes the vixen home as a pet. Time passes (in the form of an orchestral interlude) and we see the Vixen, now grown to a young adult (and sung by a soprano), tied up in the forester´s yard with the conservative old dachshund. Fed up with life in confinement, the vixen chews through her rope, attacks the Cock and Chocholka (who dies from fright), kills the other chickens, jumps over the fence and runs off to freedom.

Act 2

The vixen takes over a badger´s home and kicks him out. In the inn, the pastor, forester, teacher and schoolmaster drink and talk about their mutual infatuation with the gypsy girl Terynka. The drunken schoolmaster leaves the inn and mistakes a sunflower behind which the vixen is hiding for Terynka and confesses his devotion to her. The forester, also on his way home, sees the vixen and fires two shots at her, sending her running. Later, the vixen, coming into her womanhood, meets a charming boy fox, and they retire to the badger´s home. An unexpected pregnancy and a forest full of gossipy creatures necessitate their marriage, which rounds out the act.

Act 3

The poacher Harasta is engaged to Terynka and is out hunting in preparation for their marriage. He sets a fox trap, which the numerous vixen cubs mock. Harasta, watching from a distance, shoots and kills the vixen, sending her children running. At Harasta´s wedding, the forester sees the vixen´s fur, which Harasta gave to Terynka as a wedding present, and flees to the forest to reflect. He returns to the place where he met the vixen, and sits at the tree grieving the loss of both the vixen and Terynka. His grief grows until, just as in the beginning of the opera, a frog unexpectedly jumps in his lap, the grandson of the one who did so in act one. This reassurance of the cycle of death leading to new life gives his heart a deep peace.

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