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'Fox' on the Sly

A company called Ensemble Justiniana has been taking guerrilla opera productions on the roads of the Franche-Comté in the summer. After productions of Carmen two years ago and The Cunning Little Vixen last year, they have returned this summer with something you might not expect for this kind of affair, Stravinsky's Renard. Christiane Barbault has the story (Un loup dans nos campagnes, July 25) for Le Progrès (my translation):
Bêtes de scène will begin with Renard, the vaudevillesque farce composed by Stravinsky in 1916 for 17 instruments including a Hungarian cymbalom evoking a gypsy atmosphere. Étienne Roche, who is also conducting the orchestra, has written Monsieur S's Goat, a long chanted monologue with Gospel and blues accents, where the predator is not whom you might think. The triptych will conclude with Prokofiev's famous Peter and the Wolf, in which every character, human, furry, or feathered, is represented by an instrument and an individual theme. [...]

After the premiere in Chapois, the creative team will be welcomed by residents in various towns, who will be informed about the works and asked to advise on a choice of performance locales, which will be different for each location. The director imagines, for example, that the musical voyage could begin in the village square, continue in a barnyard with Renard, move into the forest with the goat, and end up in the darkness with little Peter and his delightful bestiary.
Performances begin on July 31 and continue through August 20, in various towns in the Jura, the Doubs, and other places.

1 comment:

Garth Trinkl said...

Very interesting, Charles. Thank you. I think it was the Berlin State Opera that staged several twilight performances of ‘Renard’, and other works, some years ago in the then-muddy courtyard of the newly restored central Old National Gallery. I’d welcome the Wolf Trap Opera – or a young guerrilla music-theater troupe – staging ‘Renard’ at different places around downtown D.C. such as the National Portrait Gallery atrium or the U.S. Botanical Garden or Montrose Park or the House of Sweden steps (if not the Phillips Collection music room, where the Wolf Trap company performed a very fine contemporary classical outreach program last Thursday night).