BMOP/sound
1065
June 2019
Disc 1: 48:49
Disc 2: 33:52
  • Boston Modern Orchestra Project
  • Gil Rose, conductor

Buy recording

CD price: 35.99

Track listing

Disc 1 
 Fantastic Mr. Fox
 Act I
1.Scene I: Dawn in the Valley
2.Scene II: The Foxhole
3.Scene III: Entrance to the Foxhole
4.Scene IV: The Foxhole Interior
5.Entracte: Chorus of Trees
 Act II
6.Scene I: The Foxhole
7.Scene II: The Farmyards of Boggis, Bunce, and Bean
8.Scene III: The Foxhole
9.Scene IV: Outside the Foxhole
Disc 2 
 Act III
1.Scene I: The Devastated Den
2.Scene II: An Obscure Corner of the Forest
3.Scene III: A Glade Near the Devastated Den
4.Scene IV: The Farmyards of Boggis, Bunce, and Bean
5.Scene V: The Farmyards
6.Scene VI: The New Foxhole
7.Scene VII: The Devastated Den

News and Press

[News Coverage] Q&A: Composer Tobias Picker on Winning the Grammy & Why He Loves Opera

As Tobias Picker puts it, “It’s not something that happens every day.”

The Artistic Director of Tulsa Opera is referring to the 2020 Grammy for “Best Opera Recording” bestowed on the 2014 recording of his opera “Fantastic Mr. Fox,” based on Roald Dahl’s 1970s children’s novel of the same name. The recording is also a nominee in the 2020 International Opera Awards, now scheduled for September 21 in Sadler’s Wells (Picker is the only living composer among the nominated recordings).

OperaWire recently spoke with Picker about the Grammy and his career as a  composer.

Opera Wire Full review
[CD Review] Fanfare reviews Fantastic Mr. Fox

It's sometimes easy to forget that opera has a playful side, given its preponderance for serious and downright dark subject matter. Indulging that lighter side comes in handy for introducing young people to it in a manner that is both accessible and, dare I say, "fun" (in other words, maybe not Wagner or Britten). Tobias Picker's Fantastic Mr. Fox, based on the Roald Dahl story, is a worthy candidate for such an endeavor.

Fanfare Magazine Full review
[CD Review] Opera News reviews Fantastic Mr. Fox

It’s taken Tobias Picker’s second opera more than twenty years to make it to CD, but here it is at last in all its charm and considerable glory. Over the years, Fantastic Mr. Fox has expanded and contracted according to resources available; the original LA Opera staging with Gerald Finley (sporting the title character's  whiskers) was sizable, but a seven-instrument reduction has been a hit at London's Opera Holland Park.

Opera News Full review
[CD Review] Gramophone review of Fantastic Mr. Fox

Opera has done much during the past few decades to shed its elite, high-art credentials. In many ways, children's opera ticks all the right boxes in terms of accessibility, communication and participation, yet it's a genre that remains somewhat neglected. The American composer Tobias Picker's adaptation of Roald Dahl's novel Fantastic Mr Fox could change all that.

Gramophone Full review
[CD Review] ARG reviews Fantastic Mr. Fox

Elsewhere in this iuue I reviewed David Stanhope's opera of Dracula. lamentlng in essence that it was bland, given its subject matter. I also think it has somethlng to do with being able to compose an opera. Tobias Picker knows how to compose an opera and has written a number of excellent works for the stage. Fantastic Mr. Fox (adapted from the Rolad Dahl stories) is delightful from beginning to end. The music is hummable, expertly crafted, and a joy to listen to. There are arias, duets, trios, and even more complicated ensembles.

American Record Guide Full review
[CD Review] Opera Magazine reviews Fantastic Mr. Fox

Tobias Picker's operas have had a varied reception in major venues, with Emmeline (Santa Fe, 1996) and An American Tragedy (Met, 2005) having more initial success than Therese Raquin (Dallas, 2001) and Dolores Claiborne (San Francisco, 2013). Fantastic Mr. Fox was premiered by Los Angeles Opera in 1998, with a cast including Gerald Finley, Jill Grove and Charles Castronovo.

Opera Magazine Full review
[CD Review] South Shore Critic reviews FMF

Tobias Picker: Fantastic Mr. Fox is the official title of a new compact disc release of the opera by Picker, the current Artistic Director of Tulsa Opera, who pulls off the almost impossible feat of composing an opera that is aimed directly at families, not just children; that is, children of all ages. With his welcome use of melodic tonal lyricism, even though a modern piece, and the caustically witty Libretto by Donald Sturrock, this work is sure to charm listeners of any vintage.

South Shore Critic Full review