The Cunning Little Vixen (Příhody lišky Bystroušky) Leoš Janáček (1854-1928) // Sung in Czech June 26, 27, 28 // 7:30 pm June 29 // 2:00 pm Old Auditorium David Agler Conductor Nancy Hermiston Director When Janáček discovered Těsnohlídek comic-strip inspired story and decided to turn it into an opera, he began work by meeting with the author and beginning a study of animals. With this understanding of the characters involved, his own 70 years of life experience, and an undying, unrequited love for the much younger, married Kamila Stösslová, he began working on the opera. Writing his own libretto, he transformed himself into the forester, and Kamila into the vixen and Terynka. He also transformed the originally comedic cartoon into a philosophical reflection on the cycle of life and death. As with other operas by older composers, this late opera shows a deep understanding of life leading to a return to simplicity. Usually seen as a fairy tale, this piece also provides us with a revealing insight into nature's struggle to survive the devastation of the footprint of humanity.