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Melly Still’s 2012 production for Glyndebourne enjoys three advantages – inventive staging, excellent casting and equally strong conducting and orchestral playing. This forest isn’t full of cute Disney animals but a dark and often savage place, as well as one of community and character. Janácek’s vision of cyclical continuity is eloquently expressed, and a dramatically outstanding cast presents a series of deftly and inventively drawn personalities. Lucy Crowe’s Vixen Sharp Ears is radiantly sung; her voice soars in her duet with Emma Bell’s equally passionate Fox. Crowe particularly balances the contrasting elements of her character with skill. Sergei Leiferkus’s Forester is the other character underpinning this performance, his baritone, though aged, catches just the right element of humanity to express Janácek’s life view. Vladimir Jurowski relishes the lush orchestral palette he is given, and the score is played beautifully by the LPO. One cavil, the lighting, no doubt effective in the theatre, is slightly gloomy at times.

Francis Muzzu Read the full review on Agora Classica


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