Das Jagdgewehr

Thomas Larcher

A poet observes a solitary hunter walk through faraway mountains. Touched by his loneliness and forsakenness, he writes the poem ›The Hunting Gun‹. The hunter Josuke reads the poem in his ›Hunter’s Gazette‹, recognizes himself in the verses and entrusts the poet with the farewell letters of three women who have dominated his life: his wife Midori, his lover Saiko and her daughter Shoko. From three perspectives, these letters tell the story of his life, full of conflicting emotions and hidden secrets, a tale of forbidden love. Published in 1949, the short novel ›The Hunting Gun‹ by Yasushi Inoue is one of the classics of Japanese modernism. The Tyrolean composer and pianist Thomas Larcher (b. 1963) has based his first opera on this bestseller. »Beneath the apparently calm action, the music’s role is to reveal the tempests raging within the protagonists; it illuminates their feelings like a microscope. Like so many Japanese texts, ›The Hunting Gun‹ also has a ritual aspect, and I follow this in my opera by using a structure reminiscent of the Passions. The sound of the soloistic instruments is expanded in space by the seven choristers,« explains Thomas Larcher.