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APT distributes WVIZ/PBS documentary on Cleveland Orchestra's innovative opera production


American Public Television distributes WVIZ/PBS documentary on
The Cleveland Orchestra’s innovative opera production of
Janáček’s “The Cunning Little Vixen”

Premiering in Northeast Ohio and nationally this September,
Opera Reimagined: Animating the Cunning Little Vixen features a
behind-the-scenes look at the making of an opera with digital animation

View a preview of Opera Reimagined: Animating the Cunning Little Vixen on YouTube .

Aug. 10 , 2017 (Cleveland) — Opera Reimagined: Animating the Cunning Little Vixen, a new WVIZ/PBS ideastream documentary, follows Cleveland Orchestra Music Director Franz Welser-Möst and Director Yuval Sharon in 2014 during their collaborative process of creating a technologically innovative production of Leoš Janáček's The Cunning Little Vixen with digital animation in Severance Hall. On Friday, Sept. 8 on WVIZ/PBS, Northeast Ohio audiences will see the local premiere broadcast of the film that tells the behind-the-scenes story of an opera production from initial concept to opening night. The program will air on public television stations across the United States throughout September.

American Public Television (APT), a leading syndicator of top-rated programming to the country’s public television stations, selected Opera Reimagined: Animating the Cunning Little Vixen for national distribution. Stations across the United States have the opportunity to select the program for broadcast beginning in September.

WVIZ/PBS ideastream, the film’s producing station, will air the film on Friday, Sept. 8 at 9 p.m. ET in the Northeast Ohio market. Throughout the month, additional stations regionally and nationally will premiere the program to their audiences (see below chart for details).

The Cunning Little Vixen at Severance Hall and the Musikverein

On Sept. 23, 24 and 26, 2017 The Cleveland Orchestra will present live, encore performances of the 2014 production of Janáček’s The Cunning Little Vixen at Severance Hall . Tickets are available now at clevelandorchestra.com. Oct. 12 to 28 as part of a five-city European Tour to Hamburg, Linz, Luxembourg, Paris, and Vienna, The Cleveland Orchestra will bring this production to the Musikverein ( Oct. 19 and 20, 2017), where it will make history as the first fully-staged opera presented since the concert hall opened in 1870.

Broadcast Schedule

See below for specific broadcast times as of Aug. 10, 2017.

Additional stations may choose to air Opera Reimagined: Animating the Cunning Little Vixen. Please contact WVIZ/PBS or check your local listings for the latest details.



Air Date


Kansas City, Mo.

Sunday, Sept. 3 at 11:30 p.m. CT


Carbondale, Ill.

Thursday, Sept. 7 at 9:30 p.m. CT



Friday, Sept. 8 at 9 p.m. ET

WHUT Washington, D.C. Friday, Sept. 8 at 9:30 p.m. and Saturday, Sept. 9 at 1:30 a.m. ET
WUCF Orlando Friday, Sept. 8 at 10:30 p.m. ET
WGVU Grand Rapids  Friday, Sept. 8 at 10:30 p.m. ET
KENW Albuquerque Saturday, Sept. 9 at 8:30 p.m. 
KET Louisville Sunday, September 10th at 2:30am ET; Also airing Friday, September 15th at 4:30am ET



Sunday, Sept. 10 at 4:30 p.m. ET


San Francisco

Sunday, Sept. 10 at 8 p.m. PT (on KQED Life)
Monday, Sept. 11 at 2 a.m. PT (on KQED Life)


Omaha, Neb.

Sunday, Sept. 10 at 11:30 p.m. CT


Sacramento, Calif.

Monday, Sept. 11 at 3:05 a.m. PT (on KVIE2)
Monday, Nov. 6 at 12 a.m. PT (on KVIE2)



Monday, Sept. 11 at 9:30 p.m. (on CET Arts channel 48.3)

WORLD Channel

Select Cities

The digital sub-channel WORLD will distribute the program to 149 stations across the United States on:
Tuesday, Sept. 12 at 7:30 p.m. ET
Thursday, Sept. 14 at 2:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. ET

WEFS Orlando Wednesday, Sept.13 at midnight (early Thursday morning); Thursday, September 28 at 9:30 p.m.; Friday, Sept. 29 at 1:30 a.m. ET
WIPB Indianapolis Thursday, Sept. 14 at 10:30 p.m. CT

OHIO Channel

Select Ohio Cities

The service of Ohio’s public broadcasting system will air the program across the state on these channels on:

Friday, Sept. 15 at 8 p.m. ET


Columbus, Ohio

Friday, Sept. 15 at 10:30 p.m. ET



Sunday, Sept. 17 at 7:30 p.m. ET
Monday, Sept. 18 at 12:30 a.m. ET
Thursday, Sept. 21 at 8:30 p.m. ET (on Fusion channel)
Friday, Sept. 22 at 9:30 p.m. ET
Saturday, Sept.23 at 3:30 a.m.
Sunday, Sept. 24 at 7:30 p.m. ET (on Fusion channel)


Youngstown, Ohio

Sunday, Sept. 17 at 7:30 p.m. ET
Thursday, Sept. 21 at 8:30 p.m. ET (on Fusion channel)
Friday, Sept. 22 at 9:30 p.m. ET
Sunday, Sept. 24 at 7:30 p.m. ET (on Fusion channel)



Sunday, Sept. 17 at 11 p.m. ET

KRCB San Francisco Wednesday, Sept. 20 at 10:30 p.m. PT
WPBT Miami Saturday, Sept. 23 at 10:30 p.m. ET
WYCC Chicago Sunday, Oct. 15 at 11:30 p.m. CT

Opera Reimagined: Animating the Cunning Little Vixen is a 30-minute documentary that presents an in-depth, behind-the-scenes perspective of all elements of the performance, including the details that go into planning opera,” said Peg Neeson, station manager of WVIZ/PBS ideastream. “We are thrilled that viewers from all over the country have the opportunity—through this program—to see the details that go into creating a new kind of production, delve into the story and feel as if they had a front row seat to opening night.”

“The city of Cleveland and The Cleveland Orchestra especially are places for innovation and creativity, and our production of Janáček’s The Cunning Little Vixen is one of the most outstanding examples of what we have done," said Cleveland Orchestra Music Director Franz Welser-Möst. “I remember when I saw it for the first time, I felt like a new art form was invented. Showing this film to the world is a great way to celebrate the start of our 100 th season in 2017-18, the beginning of our Second Century. This opera production demonstrates that The Cleveland Orchestra is thriving. Part of that is because we take risks, we don’t shy away from being innovative and creative, we actually go for it.”

When conceptualizing this opera, Sharon was inspired by the story’s original form as an illustrated series called Liška Bystrouška (“Vixen Sharp-Ears”.) Central to the treatment of the 2014 production were the concept of old-fashioned amusement park photo stands where people poked their heads through cutouts and transformed themselves into cartoon characters. The Cleveland Orchestra commissioned California-based creative studio Walter Robot to design and animate the entire opera. Along with the animation, doors were strategically placed within the set, allowing masked singers to pop in and out of the scene and take on the appearance and character of forest animals. 


About ideastream

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About The Cleveland Orchestra
As it approaches its 100th Season in 2017-18 and the launch of its Second Century, The Cleveland Orchestra is undergoing a renaissance. Under Franz Welser-Möst’s direction, The Cleveland Orchestra re-established itself as an important operatic ensemble with Welser-Möst leading annual opera performances during his tenure in Cleveland. In 2008, he led five sold-out performances of a staged production of Dvořák’s opera Rusalka with the Orchestra at the Salzburg Festival. He next brought fully-staged opera back to Severance Hall, following a four-decade absence, with a three-season cycle of Zurich Opera productions of the Mozart-Da Ponte operas. This was followed by concert performances of Strauss’s Salome at Severance Hall and at Carnegie Hall in 2012, and in May 2014 Welser-Möst led an innovative new production of Leoš Janáček’s The Cunning Little Vixen combining computer-animated stage design with live action at Severance Hall.

In May 2015, he led staged performances of Strauss’s Daphne at Severance Hall, followed by concert performances in New York in July as part of Lincoln Center Festival 2015. In spring 2016 the Orchestra collaborated with The Joffrey Ballet to create a Bartók double-bill of Bluebeard’s Castle and The Miraculous Mandarin. In May 2017 the Orchestra collaborated again with Yuval Sharon for a world premiere production of Debussy’s Pelléas and Mélisande and The Wall Street Journal wrote “His staging of “Pelléas,” given in Severance Hall last week, illuminated this mysterious opera in ways that most traditional opera house versions do not.” For more information, visit clevelandorchestra.com .

About APT

American Public Television (APT) has been a leading syndicator of high-quality, top-rated programming to the nation’s public television stations since 1961. For more than 10 years, APT has annually distributed one-third or more of the top 100 highest-rated public television titles in the U.S. Among its 300 new program titles per year, APT programs include prominent documentaries, news and current affairs programs, dramas, how-to programs, children’s series and classic movies. AfroPop, America’s Test Kitchen From Cook’s Illustrated, Rick Steves’ Europe, Front and Center, Doc Martin, Nightly Business Report, Midsomer Murders, Vera, NHK Newsline, Lidia’s Kitchen, Globe Trekker, Simply Ming, and P. Allen Smith’s Garden Home join numerous documentaries and performance programs popular with public television viewers. APT licenses programs internationally through its APT Worldwide service. Now in its 11th year, Create® TV — featuring the best of public television's lifestyle programming — is distributed by APT. APT also distributes WORLD™, public television’s premier news, science and documentary channel. To find out more about APT’s programs and services, visit  APTonline.org.

Media Contacts:

Marissa Norris / 216-916-6318 / marissa.norris@ideastream.org

The Cleveland Orchestra
Justin Holden / 216-231-7476 / jholden@clevelandorchestra.com