Foxy so­prano in male role

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Health - The Cun­ning Lit­tle Vixen His Majesty's The­atre April 21, 24, 26 and 28

FIRST-TIME opera go­ers are usu­ally rec­om­mended to see one of the great op­eras such as Car­men or Madame But­ter­fly, but so­prano Rachelle Durkin thinks WA Opera’s sea­son of The Cun­ning Lit­tle Vixen is much more ac­ces­si­ble.

“It re­ally is a poignant opera that isn’t very long and suit­able for ages nine years and older,” Durkin said.

“It’s about the cy­cle of life and death and con­nec­tion be­tween the hu­man and an­i­mal world. It’s a beau­ti­ful story about the an­i­mals and the world they live in ver­sus the hu­mans and the world they live in and how we’re all tied to­gether in the uni­verse. But I can’t give too much away.”

Durkin plays a fox and is fa­ther to vixen Sharp Ears’ (played by Emma Pear­son) chil­dren.

De­spite their long re­la­tion­ship with WA Opera, it will be the first time Durkin and Pear­son per­form to­gether. They are joined by a cast of pro­fes­sional Aus­tralian opera singers, the WA Opera Cho­rus and a Chil­dren’s Cho­rus singing as an­i­mals in­clud­ing bees, grasshop­pers, frogs and cater­pil­lars.

“My son Ethan is only two years old and I’m hop­ing he can come and have a lit­tle look be­cause I think it would make him happy to see a bunch of kids on stage,” Durkin said.

“Com­poser Leos Janacek used a lot of Czech folk mu­sic and called it an opera bal­let.

“The mu­sic melts into each scene WHAT: WHERE: WHEN: TICK­ETS: and it’s very cin­e­matic in its ap­proach, as it paints a pic­ture of the for­est and the farm. I’ve seen some of the video of this opera by Vic­to­rian Opera (2017) and it’s vis­ually stun­ning.”

The WAAPA grad­u­ate said she had not per­formed a male role since 1996 (Faust, Romeo and Juliet) and looked for­ward to play­ing the comic fox who was “a bit of a char­ac­ter”.

Af­ter call­ing New York home for the past 18 years, Durkin said she was en­joy­ing be­ing back in Perth and at her par­ents’ home in Bus­sel­ton for an ex­tended time be­fore re­turn­ing to the Big Ap­ple.

“My son and I have been go­ing to the beach every morn­ing and have been lap­ping it up,” she said.

“My hus­band is still in New York and we’ll be go­ing back there af­ter Vixen, then trav­el­ling to Italy to per­form some con­certs with Aldo Di Toro (an­other WAAPA grad­u­ate).”

Pic­ture: Will Rus­sell d481329

Ed­ward Mirco, Rachelle Durkin, Lily Macliver and Rio Haigh from The Cun­ning Lit­tle Vixen. It is sung in English with English sur­titles.

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