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Covid Alert Level 2 Update

Due to the recent outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic and the government’s announcement of new Alert Level 2 guidelines around gatherings, Festival Opera has made the difficult decision to withdraw The Cunning Little Vixen from this year’s Hawke’s Bay Arts Festival. Our partnership with the Festival is hugely positive and we have not taken this decision lightly. We urge you to continue to support the other Festival shows and make the most of the wonderful artistic experiences on offer as we emerge from lockdown. 

“Although we're disappointed to have to reschedule this important production to 2022, we have been reflecting on the value of the journey in preparing and focusing on a goal like delivering an opera. In many ways, that journey is just like doing a jigsaw puzzle. For the puzzler and the performer, slotting each piece into place (or in this case preparing each element of an opera) is as satisfying as (if not more than) standing back and marvelling at the completed puzzle. With the decision taken to stage the production next year, we're taking time to enjoy the journey and ensure every effort is acknowledged and every little win celebrated till it's time for curtain up and we can share finished artwork with our audiences.” 

- Anna Pierard 
 Director, Festival Opera 

We encourage to read our full statement HERE for further insight on this decision. 

Tickets booked for The Cunning Little Vixen via Ticketek.co.nz or hbaf.co.nz will be automatically refunded. If your ticket was booked at the i-site then you must return to the isite for a refund. For further ticketing queries, please contact info@hbaf.co.nz 

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THE CUNNING LITTLE VIXEN

BY LEOŠ JANÁČEK

Directed and Conducted by José Aparicio 

In partnership with the 2021 Hawke's Bay Arts FestivalFestival Opera 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 opera performed back in the Toitoi Opera House (formerly Hawke's Bay 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 1920’s 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 and Conductor Jose Aparicio will lead an outstanding cast featuring Soprano Joanna Foote as the Vixen, Baritone James Harrison as the Forester, Soprano Anna Pierard as the Fox, Bass-Baritone James Ioelu as the Parson, Tenor Lila LJ Crichton (Project Prima Volta Graduate) as the Schoolmaster and Baritone Fa'amanu Fonoti-Fuimaono (Project Prima Volta Graduate) as the Poacher and Soprano Sarah Walmsley as the Forester’s Wife. 

The piece will showcase over 130 performers onstage, including the phenomenal Hawke's Bay Orchestra players and a lively chorus of woodland creatures sung by Project Prima Volta Senior and Project Prima Volta Junior students.


ARTISTS

Joanna Foote

Joanna Foote

The Vixen (Soprano)

James Harrison

James Harrison

Forester (Baritone)

Anna Pierard

Anna Pierard

The Fox (Soprano)

James Ioelu

James Ioelu

The Parson (Baritone-Bass)

Lila LJ Crichton

Lila LJ Crichton

Schoolmaster (Tenor)

Fa'amanu F-Fuimaono

Fa'amanu F-Fuimaono

Poacher (Baritone)

Sarah Walmsley

Sarah Walmsley

Forester's Wife (Soprano)

BEHIND THE SCENES

Preparing to take the stage

Preparing to take the stage

Our young artists train hard before curtain up, and receive critical inspiration and coaching from our professional opera singers. You wouldn't know it when you come along to enjoy the opera, but training and preparation takes place in a disused apple pack house. It's a remarkable feat: the set is built, the rehearsals are directed and the concept comes to life in a space that was never meant to package up opera! Within these walls, our cast and creative team build relationships and share experience and expertise that enables the whole company to deliver excellence. We know, right....from a dis-used apple packing shed, no less!

Every performance counts

Every performance counts

It's no surprise that varied performance opportunities help young PPV singers to take the stage with confidence. Fundamental to our success is the inclusion of Project Prima Volta singers season after season. To feel confident to take the stage alongside experienced, professional artists, these young singers build their skill through many different performance opportunities - from singing Christmas Carols at the Hawke’s Bay Airport, to performing in a student opera during the Harcourt Hawke's Bay Arts Festival.

PREVIOUS OPERAS

2017: Madame Butterfly (G Puccini)

2017: Madame Butterfly (G Puccini)

2017: Madame Butterfly (G Puccini)

2017: Madame Butterfly (G Puccini)

2016: Carmen (G Bizet)

2016: Carmen (G Bizet)

2015: La Boheme (G Puccini)

2015: La Boheme (G Puccini)

2014: Elixir of Love (G Donizetti)

2014: Elixir of Love (G Donizetti)

2013: The Marriage of Figaro (W A Mozart)

2013: The Marriage of Figaro (W A Mozart)