The Cunning Little Vixen is a delightful opera that contains some of Janácek's most approachable music. This is late Janácek, so anyone who enjoys, for instance, his Sinfonietta will have no problem with the music. It is based on a Czech comic-strip and gives a rather anthropomorphic account of the lives of the forest creatures. The little vixen of the title is captured by the Forester and brought up in his home. She escapes and marries a handsome male fox and has numerous fox cubs before being shot by a poacher. The opera ends as it begins with the Forester observing a young vixen, one of her cubs, at play. The opera celebrates the endless renewal of nature and contrasts it with the sub-plot of the human-beings in the opera, the Forester, the Parson and the Schoolmaster. They get older, feebler and more disillusioned as time passes.
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