North London-based opera company HGO is set to present a fully staged new version of Janáček’s timeless and enchanting opera The Cunning Little Vixen (1924) at Jacksons Lane Theatre in November.

Captured when young by the Forester, and brought up by him as a pet, Sharp-Ears the vixen escapes back to the wild. But her life continues to interplay with that of the Forester and his friends the pastor, the schoolmaster and the poacher – as well as a handsome young fox.

The production is sung in the original Czech with full English surtitles. It will be directed by Eleanor Burke; Czech conductor Lada Valešová is the music director. The opera is suitable for younger audiences and families, as well as more regular opera goers.

Eight performances will take place at Highgate-based Jacksons Lane Theatre between 4 and 13 November. As is usual with HGO productions, two casts alternate between performances, allowing more young professional singers to take part and gain vital experience performing in front of live audiences. Local children have been cast in the roles of woodland creatures. The performances, including an interval, last 2 hours and 15 minutes.

Croatian-Canadian soprano Chelsea Kolić and British soprano Caroline Taylor share the role of Vixen Sharp-Ears, with British-Ukrainian mezzo-soprano Rozanna Madylus and British mezzo-soprano Milette Gillow sharing the part of Fox Gold-Stripe.

The Forrester is sung by Japanese baritone Toki Hamano and South Korean baritone Edward Kim (winner of the inaugural Sir Geraint Evans Centenary Scholarship). British tenor James Beddoe and Latvian-born tenor Martins Smaukstelis share the role of his friend schoolmaster. The part of the Forrester’s wife is shared by Welsh soprano Erin Gwyn Rossington and British mezzo-soprano Wendy Silvester.

Tickets for all performances are on sale now, costing £38. Tickets for children aged 5-15 accompanied by adults are only £10 (maximum two children per adult ticket). Concession tickets for students are available at the special price of £15 for the performances on 6, 9, 10, and 11 November.

Performances start at 7.30pm, except for the two Sundays (6 and 13 November), on which days the shows start at 4pm. Ticket holders can also receive a digital programme by email in advance of the performance, which can be downloaded and printed if desired.

HGO has also announced that this production of The Cunning Little Vixen has been chosen by the Czech Centre in London to be part of 26th Made in Prague Festival this November. The festival, which takes place from 1 November to 4 December, showcases the best Czech films, theatre, music and visual arts. Events are hosted in venues across London.

“We are certain that our performances will be great occasions both for our singers and our audiences,” HGO’s chair David Conway said in a statement. “We look forward to seeing you at this exciting production!”



Hampstead’s HGO is mounting a fully staged new version of Janáček’s The Cunning Little Vixen at Jacksons Lane Theatre in November.