Fitch and New York Philharmonic reunite for “Vixen”

Posted on: June 22, 2011

In Wednesday’s (6/22) Wall Street Journal, Stuart Isacoff writes, “Last spring, the New York Philharmonic offered a spectacular staging of ‘Le Grand Macabre,’ György Ligeti’s opera about the end of the world. Directed by Doug Fitch, it was artistically profound, fitfully funny and consistently surprising. The obvious question was, how could the orchestra’s music director, Alan Gilbert, possibly follow it up? Here’s how: Mr. Fitch is back, directing another whimsical, provocative opera, ‘The Cunning Little Vixen’ by Leoš Janáček. ‘Actually, we conceived the two projects simultaneously,’ explains Mr. Gilbert. ‘But, of course the triumph of the Ligeti created a demand on us to do just as well, if not better.’ … Yet Janáček’s ‘Vixen,’ which had its premiere in 1924, turned out to be a real treat, exploring themes like love, courtship, death, remembrance and renewal, all the while remaining great fun. At rehearsals last week, Mr. Fitch, boyish and brimming with energy, honed the ensemble’s theatrical approach with a seemingly limitless stream of creative ideas. … ‘Doug is perfect for this,’ Mr. Gilbert says, ‘because he gets the symbolism, but he also captures the spirit of childhood.’ ”

Posted June 22, 2011