Culture Magazine

A Sunflower Grows in Brooklyn

By Superconductor @ppelkonen
More about The Cunning Little Vixen.

A Sunflower Grows in Brooklyn

Stage Model for The Cunning Little Vixen by Doug Fitch
Image © 2011 Giants Are Small. Courtesy New York Philharmonic.

Tonight is the opening of The Cunning Little Vixen at the New York Philharmonic. Your reporter was at yesterday's Open Rehearsal. Alan Gilbert led the musicians, perfecting small bits of Acts I and II of the opera. He worked with Alan Opie (The Forester) perfecting the scene where the Vixen gets captured. If the two acts played at the rehearsal are any indication, the actual performances should be marvelous. (My tickets are for Thursday night.)
The rehearsal was also an opportunity to experience Doug Fitch's extraordinary set, which transforms the Lincoln Center concert hall into a wonderous metaphorest, dominated by 33 ginormous sunflowers, constructed (according to recent New York Times article, from cardboard, plastic, and (of all things) bright yellow "CAUTION" tape.
According to the article (written by Steve Smith), director Doug Fitch's workshop is somewhere in my own neighborhood of Sunset Park, Brooklyn. The thought of giant sunflowers growing on my home turf reminds me of Star Trek, specifically This Side of Paradise.. That's the one with the flowers and the soporofic spores that make the whole Enterprise crew resign their commissions and go gamboling across the countryside.

A Sunflower Grows in Brooklyn

The spores from Star Trek. Don't get too close. Image © Paramount/Desilu.

There will be a full review of Vixen on the blog in the next couple of days. Meanwhile, please enjoy this New York Philharmonic time-lapse video, chronicling the construction of the set.

Tickets for The Cunning Little Vixen are available at

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