The Cunning Little Vixen at the Chicago Lyric

If ‘Vixen’ can find its balance, it’ll be a charmer
November 19, 2004
BY WYNNE DELACOMA Classical Music Critic
Somewhere amid the nonstop bustle onstage and the flood of highly colored orchestral music from the pit, a charming production of Leos Janacek’s “The Cunning Little Vixen” struggled to get out Wednesday night.
The struggles might end as the large cast, orchestra and conductor Sir Andrew Davis, Lyric Opera’s music director, settle into the company’s first production of Janacek’s touching fairy tale. But on opening night in the Civic Opera House, some rough edges undermined the balance between the opera’s comic moments and the profundity of its underlying message. Alongside the antics of dancing mosquitos and hopping frogs, Janacek’s tale about a fiery little fox explores such weighty issues as life’s compromises, the trials of aging and the ultimately comforting bonds between human beings and nature. On Wednesday night, the peripheral action was so relentless and the sound of Lyric’s orchestra so dominant that it was difficult to sit back and absorb the production as a whole.
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