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The Cunning Little Vixen [Blu-ray] (2009)

Dennis Russell Davies , Elena Tsallagova , André Engel  |  NR |  Blu-ray
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Dennis Russell Davies, Elena Tsallagova, Jukka Rasilainen, Michèle Lagrange, Hannah Esther Minutillo
  • Directors: André Engel
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, Classical, Color, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: Czech (DTS-HD High Res Audio)
  • Subtitles: English, French, German
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Ideale Audience Intl
  • DVD Release Date: November 17, 2009
  • Run Time: 101 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002QEXBO0
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #348,945 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Elena Tsallagova, Jukka Rasilainen, Michele Lagrande, and Hannah Esther Minutillo star in this 2008 Opera national de Paris production of the Janacek opera conducted by Dennis Russell Davies.

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a delight! February 16, 2010
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This is never an easy opera to present on video as the mixture of fable and off beat situations provides many challenges to the producer. This is a delightful production with outstanding picture and sound quality. The sets and costumes are very original with a magical vixen and the rest of the cast are really just as good. I found it significantly better than the earlier release under Sir Charles Mackerras and can highly recommend it. An absolute delight!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
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I have over 150 classical DVD/BRs that I watch on a 106" screen and listen through a 7.1 loudspeaker setup where the front speakers are about 9' 6" apart and the surround speakers are on my sides. The room has sound treatments so I hear what's on the disc, not distorting reflections from the walls. My reviews concentrate on the surround audio, as you can pretty much judge the video and stereo for yourself on youtube and similar sites.

Picture is fine. Colorful costumes and good lighting. The start menu does not allow you to chose the audio track and subtitles, Play starts in stereo without subtitles. A minor inconvenience, but the Top Menu should let me chose the sound track and the subtitles.

Sound stage for the DTS-HD MA 5.1 surround track is very wide, about 160 degrees from surround to surround speaker. Not only the orchestra is laid out like that, even the voices move from surround to surround. When the forester sings from the left corner of the stage without being in view yet, sound is out of the left surround. This is the only recording I know that goes to this extreme. Most recordings that have the voices move at all put the stage corner half way between the front corner speaker and the surround.
It certainly gives you the feeling of sitting in the front row, almost in the position of the conductor.
But then the singing starts and you realize that the voices are too soft, relative to the orchestra. Although I believe to see signs of a body microphone under the foxy wig of the vixen, the sound pretty much represents a stage mic only recording. Much of the action is at the back of the stage, which explains the softness.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Janacek's Cunning little Vixen is a very good place to start appreciating Janacek's operas as it is essentially much more accessible than some of his other works which deal with particularly difficult human situations. This opera is firmly based on the woodland animal world surrounding the life of a vixen and her interaction with the woodsman who initially captures her and subsequently tries to keep her as a pet. She escapes.

The story follows the group of animals and the small group of humans as they age. The human group interact with each other and also with the woodland world. The animals do the same in reverse. Both groups inevitably clash with each other but continue to behave in their own particular ways. Basically Janacek is writing an opera showing how life continually moves on and recycles.

Janacek first came across this story as a novella `Adventures of Vixen Sharp-Ears' which was published in 51 parts in a literary journal before being turned into book form. It is still in print. He immediately wanted to write the opera despite advice to the contrary. He stated that for years he had listened to the animals, memorising their speech. He declared "I am at home with them." He later confided that this score was the favourite of all his operas.

All this can all be enjoyed at a fairly superficial level as a simple tale. It can also be seen as rather moralistic which may well be what inspired Janacek to write it bearing in mind his close identification with the language of the animals.

This production is perfectly conceived incorporating quite a large cast of acting/singing children who take on most of the woodland animal parts plus adults who take on the human roles plus the vixen and fox roles.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars OMG...WOW March 28, 2011
OMG OMG = (Oh My God)

At the end of it, I was the person who felt like tucking my tail between my legs....

I have been a lover of Opera for the last 40 years. I am sad and happy that I did not take a Janacek Opera as seriously as I should have. Sad that I am about to cut such a sorry figure here, and Happy that I have come across a work that has appealed to me in the first ever hearing... an experience I have rarely had.


Having said that, I would like to confess that I had given Janacek the short shrift almost all my life of Operas composed by him. I thought I had it all... Wagner.. Humperdink... Debussy... Berg.. name them all... but had neglected listening to Janacek. I did today... and the effect was more than just magical.
I do not remember in the last 40 years wherein a work, whether opera, ballet, symphony, chamber or anything else having had an INSTANT appeal as I have had today with this one. I cannot review it, as I have not yet heard another recording of this one... I can only comment on the effect it had on me.

For those who have never heard this earlier, ... 10 stars... buy it, especially if you dig 20th century works. I am one of those who has listened and seen it for the first time. I can bet my last penny that most lovers of serious music have never experienced this one.

The music is just gorgeous. That swings it to start with. The performance of it comes through like velvet. The staging is, just fabulous, and the recording in hi-def is as expected of it.

Unlike my other reviews, this does not qualify...
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