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Festival Taster: The Cunning Little Vixen

Cunning Vixen 700 x 400 px

We are kicking off the 2022 Hawke's Bay Arts Festival with some Festival taster sessions in July and August, of which this show is one.

In partnership with Festival Opera, Hawke's Bay Arts Festival proudly presents Leoš Janáček’s operatic fable The Cunning Little Vixen

Whether you’re an opera lover or new to the genre, The Cunning Little Vixen offers a fantastic opportunity to witness the first full opera performed in the Toitoi Opera House since 2013.

The Cunning Little Vixen is a tale that is both tragic and life-affirming, revealing that from death comes growth and renewal. The story, adapted from a 1920s comic strip, follows the life of a clever vixen who is captured by a local forester as a cub. Through her wild antics, the vixen manages to escape from the forester’s clutches while he is left forever haunted by her memory. Janáček’s dramatic score inspired by Czech music folk tradition is paired with comedic and philosophical elements, posing man’s complicated relationship with nature.

Director John Wilkie and Conductor José Aparicio will lead an outstanding cast featuring Soprano Joanna Foote as the Vixen, Baritone Samuel McKeever (Project Prima Volta Graduate) as the Forester, Soprano Anna Pierard as the Fox,  Baritone Tomairangi Henare (Project Prima Volta graduate) as the Parson, Tenor Lila LJ Crichton (Project Prima Volta Graduate) as the Schoolmaster, Baritone Fa'amanu Fonoti-Fuimaono (Project Prima Volta Graduate) as the Poacher and Soprano Sarah Walmsley as the Forester’s Wife. 

The semi-staged opera will showcase over 130 performers onstage, including full symphonic orchestra made up of local and guest players and a lively chorus of woodland creatures sung by Project Prima Volta students.

Rarely performed in New Zealand and originally written in Czech, this opera will be performed in English making it easily accessible to audiences. This show runs for 105 minutes, including interval. It is suitable for all ages, with some adult themes.

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Opera House



Performance Times

  23 July 2022 7:00pm
  25 July 2022 11:00am

Ticket Price

  A Reserve Adult$59
  A Reserve Concession$54
  B Reserve Adult$49
  B Reserve Concession$44


Arts Festival, Opera

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Hawke's Bay,
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