CUNNING LITTLE vixen Based on The Cunning Little Vixen by Leos Janacek
Original Screenplay by Daniel Yost and Tara Walker
Director: Daniel Yost
Producers: Mark Westaway and Bill Grantham
Czech Producers: Ivana Axmanova and Karla Stojakova
Tara Walker as Sharp-Ears
Story Summary: Young singer Theresa identifies with the female fox Sharp-Ears in Janacek’s opera, THE CUNNING LITTLE VIXEN, and fantasizes about playing and singing this role. While still a teen, she creates a one-person street performance of the opera, in costume, with puppets, singing multiple roles and utilizing imported music on a laptop. After a family tragedy, she moves in with her grandmother and works at a fast food job. Hope for more comes from a notice of auditions at the Prague Music Academy. Theresa manages to be admitted and land a small role in an upcoming PMA production of the Janacek opera. Then, when the unexpected happens, she seizes the moment and becomes the lead, fulfilling her dreams in a triumphant portrait of the staunchly independent, yet charming and romantic vixen.
Janacek’s masterworks were created in the last 12 years of his life, after, at 62, he fell in love with Kamila, a 25-year-old married woman. He wrote 700 letters to her though their relationship was never consummated. In Cunning Little Vixen, Theresa reads these letters and also fantasizes about being Kamila (and being loved so passionately by Janacek). Although pursued by younger men, she develops a similar relationship with Leo, the artistic director at PMA.
This film is not meant to be a re-creation of the opera. Rather the human story here will reference the story of the opera metaphorically, playing homage to its events, characters, ideas and themes. Selected scenes in the opera will be integrated into the film (some live, some with puppets). And the underscore for the film will be taken only from orchestral music in the opera and music from suites composed from the opera.
Daniel Yost won several best screenplay awards for Drugstore Cowboy. He has directed six feature-length films, including A Star For Rose and Lovechild with Tara Walker. A Star For Rose and Lovechild are currently in post production.
Tara Walker started her career in the arts as a ballet dancer and violinist. She is also an opera singer and quickly moved into acting appearing in the critically acclaimed art house films, Film Geek and Cathedral Park. She stars in the upcoming film, A Star for Rose, alongside Debbie Allen and John Savage as well as the feature film, Lovechild.
Tim Cheek, author, University of Michigan professor and world-renown expert on Janacek vocal music, will train singers and conduct music for Cunning Little Vixen. The film's score will be orchestral, piano transcription and vocal-all directly from Leos Janacek's opera, The Cunning Little Vixen.
STARS: Christopher Lloyd (Back To The Future and Taxi) has given an LOI to play the lead role of Professor Leo at the student music academy. Offers will be made for name actors in several other roles.