Thank you to Milena Janda for providing a brief translation of a review of our UBC Opera Ensemble Cunning Little Vixen performed in the Czech Republic. This review is for the performance that took place in Benesov.
The Cunning Little Vixen Canadian Style.
Jan Dehner (musicologist)
Janacek’s (and Tesnohlidek’s) Vixen had already long time ago left the forests around Brno for the wide world. This year she travelled to Canada – UBC in Vancouver – so that this interpretation could return back to the country of origin, under the direction of Josef Novak, and played by the Northern Bohemian Philharmonia, conducted by Norbert Baxa.
The Canadian Students arrived at the end of June and their roles were prepared with the help of piano coach Richard Epp, and Czech coach Milena Janda. They then worked in three weeks under the direction of Josef Novak. The result could be seen in three performances in Teplice and the third in Benesov.
The successful Janacek style was particularly visible. Hillary Young in the title role had the required naughtiness, dominance, and depth of feelings in her vocal presentation. So did Simone McIntosh, portraying her partner, Zlatohrbitek. Krysztof Biernacki portrayed outstandingly the Gamekeeper, with his young and large voice. The perfect preparation was visible in all the roles, even the episodic ones. The quartet of hens, led by Stacey Ahenkora-Darko as Chocholka, was especially attractive. The students made us realize that “Bystrouska” found a new habitat in Vancouver.