Friday, May 9, 2014

Animation Set to Classical Music in Cleveland

The Cunning Little Vixen
"The Cunning Little Vixen."

The Cunning Little Vixen." Stage Director Yuval Sharon decided to something a little different this year. What he came up with was animation to accompany a performance of Leoš Janácek’s opera “The Cunning Little Vixen” in Cleveland, Ohio. The Cleveland Orchestra is conducted by Franz Welser-Möst.

This video gives a little background on that. It's an interesting tidbit that may interest fans of animation and of classical music. The director explains what is going on, and we see a few scenes of the cast and crew working up the production and the director explaining to everyone what is going on.

The Czech opera premiered in 1924 and is notoriously difficult to stage because it looks at two different worlds. This particular production is something special in the concert world, and there are documentaries being filmed about this unique performance. If it works, it could be a huge boost to the animation industry.

It's a unique blending of live-action and animation. Now, that's not unique in cinema, but on stage it is. There will be animation projected on a screen behind the actors, who will wear costumes. Other actors will play animals and poke their heads through the screen, wearing animal masks. It promises to be quite original.

Fans of opera are excited. Opera is a big business with an awful lot of fans. So, this is important for that reason alone.

Now, not everyone is a fan of opera, we're not stupid. So, let's go there for a second.

Imagine if you were going to the opera - and, let's say for the sake of argument that you're not the biggest fan of opera, but you were going anyway for one reason or the other. Maybe you are just curious, or your boyfriend/girlfriend wants to go, or it's just, you know, the thing to do in your circle. Wouldn't it be at least marginally more fun to see some funky animation as the people walk on and sing? And watch the intricate way that people pop their heads through the screen and let loose?

At least it would be interesting to see once, don't you think? It would either be that or hilariously awful. Hopefully, for the orchestra, it turns out interesting. Nobody knows how it will work, though, because it's never been done.

Hopefully, it will be filmed. Well, I'm sure it will be filmed, but hopefully, the film will be made available to the public so we can watch it here. However, this is a big deal and they are probably going to sell it on DVD for a while first.

The performances take place at 8 p.m. May 17, 7:30 p.m. May 20 and 22 and 2 p.m. May 24. They are at Severance Hall, 11001 Euclid Ave., Cleveland.

The Cunning Little Vixen
The animal masks to be worn by the singers playing the animals


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