‘Guido Martin-Brandis’s new production… gets to the heart of the matter.‘
We were inundated to have such a warm reception to this new production – completely selling out the last 2 evening performances. See the audience reaction on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/GrimebornVixen and press reviews below.
The production also received some lovely reviews – well done to the whole cast and crew:
‘Alison Rose was luminous in the title role, while Oliver Gibbs made a warm and earthy Forester and the vibrant Fox of Beth Taylor, still a postgraduate student, exuded charisma. The arrangement for piano quintet sounded exquisite.’
‘The mainly young cast and creatives pour heart and soul into the work and produce the goods, not least from the wonderful band led by Oliver Till.’
A piano quintet arrangement so skilful that you forget about what’s missing’Evening Standard
I’ve just finished arranging Offenbach’s Orpheus in the Underworld for St Paul’s Opera Clapham (>55,000 notes), am currently editing Guido’s arrangement of The Cunning Little Vixen – which is an exciting challenge. Last month I celebrated Monteverdi’s 450th birthday by performing Tancredi in Allen Hall seminary. Last week my orchestra brought to life an orchestral project with music by Steve Reich and Rameau. Next week there’s a concert of Madrigals and Chansons with my choir in North London (including 3 new arrangements). Looking forward to a recital with my fiancee this summer, playing an early CPE Bach concerto in November and conducting Brahms A German Requiem later this year.
Ok that’s enough, tell us about The Cunning Little Vixen; what’s special about this work?
Oddly it’s probably the first Opera to be inspired by a cartoon from a local newspaper…
However special? That’s probably different for everyone, but for me I love how Janacek depicts the spirit of the forest, its inhabitants: the animals, the useless humans, and the interaction between the three.
Put simply, it’s a short story (100 mins) of life & death, innocence and experience, inequality & feminism, both young and old love, with endearing characters ranging from the fuddy-duddy Badger (who doubles as the Priest) to our crafty heroine: Vixen sharp-ears.
A multifaceted work able to be read on different levels, the story seems to appeal to everyone differently but personally. Also importantly, as stories go, it’s not ignorant, ill-informed, or preachy (yet it’s full of symbolism) and it doesn’t claw at your emotions but simply draws the audience in, encouraging empathy.
Empathy; that’s nice…
Sarcasm? How original.
Moving on… what other pieces of Janacek should I listen to?
Bold new versions of classic operas. Rarely-seen and long-forgotten works. Brand new pieces from the most exciting up-and-coming composers, musicians and companies. Since 2007, Grimeborn has played host to over 160 shows. Over July and August this summer, experience the 11th anniversary festival: new productions in and around Arcola Theatre. The programme is diverse and the tickets kept around £15. Whether it’s your first or your latest opera experience, you’ll be right at home at Grimeborn 2017.