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Cunning Little Vixen

Arts Centre Melbourne, Playhouse
22 Jun 2017 - 1 Jul 2017

The forest comes alive in our new production of Janáček’s Cunning Little Vixen.

One of the great masterpieces of early twentieth century music, this rarely-heard opera will be staged for five performances only.

Celebrating the beauty of nature and cycle of life, Cunning Little Vixen muses on the interaction between human and animal life. Set in an idyllic forest, the story follows a Vixen’s lyrical journey from youth to adulthood. 

Janáček (JenůfaKatya Kabanová) was aged 70 when the opera premiered in 1924. His music pulses with life and colour, majesty and grandeur; reflecting a great musical maturity and understanding of life. 

A joyous, life-affirming treat for all lovers of music and theatre, the 90 minute opera is sung in English and considered a perfect introduction to opera for families and first-timers. 

Composer and Librettist Leoš Janácek


Arts Centre Melbourne, Playhouse

22 June 7:30pm 
24 June 7:30pm
27 June 7:30pm
29 June 7:30pm
1 July 1:00pm

Running time is approx. 90 minutes plus one 20 minute interval

Suitable for ages 9+

Audio Described Performances & Tactile Tours
29 June, 7:30pm (Tactile Tour at 6:40pm)
1 July, 1:00pm (Tactile Tour at 12:10pm)

On Thursday 29 June, Artistic Director Richard Mills and Deborah Vanderwerp will host a pre-show talk from 6:45pm - 7:00pm in the foyer of the Playhouse.

Patrons’ Behind the Scenes 16 June
Patrons’ Pre-Show Drinks 27 June

Cast & Crew

Creative Team

Conductor Jack Symonds
Director Stuart Maunder AM
Set Design Richard Roberts
Costume Design Roger Kirk AM
Lighting Design Trudy Dalgleish


Vixen Celeste Lazarenko
Fox Antoinette Halloran
Forester Barry Ryan
Forester's Wife/Owl Dimity Shepherd
Schoolmaster/Mosquito Brenton Spiteri
Harašta Samuel Dundas
Parson/Badger Jeremy Kleeman


Pásek Paul Biencourt
Mrs. Pásková/Lapák Lynlee Williams
Tyrenka/Hen Danielle Calder           
Chocholka Cristina Russo
Cockerel Alexandra Ioan
Hen/Woodpecker Belinda Paterson
Hen/Jay Diana Simpson
Hen Kerrie Bolton
Hen Michelle McCarthy        
Chorus Paul Hughes
Chorus Michael Lapiña         
Chorus Kiran Rajasingam 

Children's Chorus

Cricket/Pepík/Fox Cub Sophia Wasley
Frog/Frantík/Fox Cub Lisha Ooi
Bee/Fox Cub Maia Hanrahan
Bee/Fox Cub Harmony Lee
Caterpillar/Fox Cub Maggie Orr
Dragonfly/Fox Cub Eliza O’Connor
Grasshopper/Fox Cub Hayley Edwards
Snail/Fox Cub Emilie Washington
Young Vixen Ruby Ditton


Orchestra Victoria



“★★★★☆ A cunning and colourful response to Janáček’s extraordinary score.”

“★★★★ This is, at heart, an intense, profound work about the cycle of nature in which creatures from the forest play just a part in the continuum of birth, ageing and death that affects us all.”

“Stuart Maunder’s superb direction, Richard Roberts’s set, Roger Kirk’s costume designs and Trudy Dalgleish’s lighting came together to ensure an enchanting night at the opera.”

The Australian, 23 June 2017

“★★★★ Victorian Opera goes from strength to strength in terms of imagination and execution.”