German translation by WALTER FELSENSTEIN, using the
adaptation by MAX BROD
Walter Felsenstein (1901–1975), founder and general director of
the Komische Oper in Berlin, was one of the twentieth century’s
greatest creative theatre directors, who played a hugely important
role in the revival of opera as a theatrical art form. A brilliant
artist who directed over 190 productions during the course of his
career, he was equally committed to the works, their creators, the
ensemble and the audience.
“Vixen is a work I fell strangely in love with […]” said Felsenstein and
created a fable with a distinctive dramatic structure. By directing this
opera Felsenstein illustrated the amazing nature of the piece with all
its philosophical depth and poetical power.
His production of The Cunning Little Vixen is supported by the visionary
setting of Rudolf Heinrich. The bright and energetic music of the Czech
composer Leoš Janácek comprises humanity and offers pleasant
warmth to the stories of gifted poet Rudolf Tesnohlídek. Felsenstein
describes Leoš Janácek as “[…] a unique and inimitable phenomenon in
the history of music.”
The production narrates the life story of a little fox. It contains a fine
mix of cute and funny elements together with serious realism in one
story. Two early performances were given on 11 and 12 May ahead
of a guest performance by the Komische Oper in Prague. The
premiere took place on 30 May 1956. The magnetic recording of this
production by Deutscher Fernsehfunk took place in 1965 at the
Adlershof studios. With its profound and touching story the Cunning
Little Vixen is an opera like no other.
Special Features on DVD: Facsimile & texts, interviews, speech of Walter Felsenstein, piano reduction
„Arthaus’s scholarly and imposing ‘Walter Felsenstein Edition’ offers a fascinating glimpse of an important moment in
operatic history now vanished.” The New York Times
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