Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Cunning Little Vixen

"Opera, like the comic strip, is a naturally 'hot' medium which values the ability to emote well over subtlety. There will always be a place for subtlety in both genres, but both must firstly tell their stories in vivid, bold emotions and leave their inhibitions at the door. The marriage of opera and comics may seem ridiculous, but the two are natural fits with one another, and experiments to find out if they can be welded together are long overdue."

That immortal piece of writing was by me, yesterday. Obviously, I was not thinking right. I'd forgotten that Leos Janacek did an opera based on a comic strip in the mid-1920's. The result was The Cunning Little Vixen, which in my view might be the greatest opera of the 20th century.

Yet no composer of Janacek's stature ever tried again.

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