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The Cunning Little Vixen


Big screen showing with live orchestra

Animation Director Geoff Dunbar

Conductor Laurent Pillot

The European Opera Centre originated the concept of animating Janacek's The Cunning Little Vixen, an ambition inspired by the Centre's President, Kent Nagano, to reach an international audience who might otherthise never experience opera. 


Created at the first Manchester International Festival by Laurent Pillot with the Hallé orchestra, this version allows audiences to experience the animated film on a big screen accompanied by the orchestral track performed live - hence creating a unique and memorable experience.  

This one-hour version has been performed successfully both on its own and as part of a full concert programme. 

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The animated version of The Cunning Little Vixen was commissioned by BBC Television and co-produced with Opus Arte and Los Angeles Opera in co-operation with the European Opera Centre

  • Best Music Programme at the International Television Festival Golden Prague

  • R10 Classica répertoire

  • Diapason d’or

  • Opera News "Best of the Year"

Live performances already with : Orchestre de l'Opéra National de Lyon, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Hallé Orchestra, Prague Radio Symphony, Orchestra, Orchestre National de Lorraine, Orchestre de Besançon, Orchestre de Limoges

There are two possible orchestrations


Original orchestration (between 69 and 75 players, depending on string size)

4 flutes, 3 oboes, 3 clarinets, 3 bassoons, 4 horns, 3 trumpets, 

3 trombones, 1 tuba, timpani, 2 percussion, celeste, harp, strings

Reduced orchestration (between 38 and 49 players, depending on string size)

2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons, 4 horns, 2 trumpets, timpani, 1 percussion, harp, strings

Available languages : English, French, Czech, Spanish, Catalan - excerpts below 

Animated opera film, The Cunning Little Vixen
Animated opera film, The Cunning Little Vixen
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L'opéra "La petite renarde rusée" à Limoges
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Animated opera film, The Cunning Little Vixen excerpts
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Opéra film d’animation, La Petite Renarde rusée extraits
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Animated opera film, Příhody lišky Bystroušky excerpts
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Animated opera film, La zorrita astuta excerpts
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Animated opera film, La petita guineu astuta excerpts
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“The dynamic interaction of a live orchestra, conducted by Laurent Pillot, gives Geoff Dunbar's film a lucent additional dimension”  

The Guardian

“The film is absolutely enchanting, and it does add to its appeal to have it on a big screen and with a live orchestra. Laurent Pillot did a magnificent job in co-ordinating the live accompanying musicians with the pre-recorded voices on the soundtrack”        

Manchester Evening News

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