The Cunning Little Vixen, Garsington Opera, review: Over-busy, but with outstanding singers
The three leads are 'magnificent' but the dance diffuses the dramatic focus
Monday 23 June 2014
It may be customary for Janacek’s operas to be performed in their original Czech – and one knows that the rhythm of the music closely follows the rhythm of Czech speech – but The Cunning Little Vixen cries out for translation: its conversational libretto moves so fast that, with Czech, one’s gaze is of necessity firmly fixed on the surtitles.
And in Daniel Slater’s new production this problem is compounded by the fact that the stage is constantly filled with disorienting movement, with dancers shadowing the protagonists, and the costumed scene-shifters doing fussy little ballets of their own.
It’s as though Slater doesn’t trust the orchestral interludes to speak for themselves, despite conductor Garry Walker’s exemplary work in the pit, and the dance repeatedly diffuses the dramatic focus. But there is much to like here.
Slater evokes with sly wit the rutting sexuality governing both humans and animals in this tragicomic tale, and he lets the obsession of the Forester (Grant Doyle) with his captive vixen flower delicately, while the key encounters benefit from three outstanding singers.
Joshua Bloom is magnificent as the poacher Harasta, Victoria Simmonds makes a superbly debonair Fox, and Claire Booth’s Vixen is beyond compare, both in the way she moves and acts, and in the soaring beauty of her sound.
Filming to begin on two new series due to be aired on Dave from next year
TVBBC hopes latest Danish import will spell success
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Which country would be hardest to invade?
- 2 Indonesia executions: Death row British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford will refuse to wear a blindfold when she faces firing squad
- 3 The man who filmed the Freddie Gray video has been arrested at gunpoint
- 4 How the language you speak changes your view of the world
- 5 Uploading pictures to find out how old you are gives Microsoft the right to post them wherever they want
Fifty Shades of Grey movie shows first sex scene 'after 40 minutes'
Avengers: Age of Ultron set to make box office history with $84.5m US opening
London Marathon: Best running songs from Beyoncé and Kendrick Lamar to 'Uptown Funk'
The highly NSFW poster for Gaspar Noé's Love makes Nymphomaniac look like 50 Shades
New on Netflix UK May 2015: From Fast & Furious 6 to World War Z and Grace and Frankie
Over 50,000 families shipped out of London boroughs in the past three years due to welfare cuts and soaring rents
EU asylum policy is 'a direct threat to our civilisation', says Nigel Farage
Indonesia executions live: 'Hysterical' families heard prisoners being shot dead by firing squad
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: SNP and its activists 'openly racist' towards the English, Farage says
EU exit would hit UK economy much harder than neighbouring countries, study finds