One of the four operas presented this season at Opera Santa Barbara, California, is Janáček’s Cunning Little Vixen. The new production by Crystal Manich, which is dedicated to both adult and children spectators (which is also one of the reasons why it is sung in an English), received two performances – on 3rd and 5th March at the Granada Theatre.
It was the first directing experience with a 20th century work for Manich who is familiar mainly with baroque and romantic opera repertory. According to her own words, she decided to focus on exploring the similarities between the human and animal world and the ways in which they effect each other. That is why the animals in the production wear human clothing, occassionaly walk on two legs or make use of the litter covering the stage, or, the forrest. The superstar Armenian-Canadian soprano was starring as Vixen; the other roles were sung by David Kravitz (Forester), Lauren McNeese (Fox Goldenstripe), Benjamin Brecher (Schoolmaster/Mosquito) or Scott Levin (Priest/Badger). The cast also included 8-18 years old singers from Santa Barbara Youth Opera. The conductor was the opera’s artistic director Kostis Protopapas.
3 and 5 March 2017, Granada Theatre, Opera Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, California, USA
Leoš Janáček: The Cunning Little Vixen (premiere)
Director: Crystal Manich, music director: Kostis Protopapas