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Thomas Larcher's The Hunting Gun at Dutch National Opera

Mar. 01, 2020

Thomas Larcher's <em>The Hunting Gun</em> at Dutch National Opera

The Dutch National Opera presents the Dutch premiere on March 17, 2020 of Thomas Larcher's The Hunting Gun, directed by Karl Markovics and conducted by Michael Boder with designs by Katharina Woppermann. The libretto by Friederike Gösweiner is based on the eponymous novella by Yasushi Inoue (1949) in a German translation by Oscar Benl.  Larcher describes his opera:

"When I read the story of The Hunting Gun for the first time, I was immediately captured by its timelessness. It addresses questions encountered and recognized by absolutely everyone involved in relationships with other individuals, myself included, such as whether to stay or leave, speak out or stay silent, hold on or let go. The central focuses of the work are the illusions we maintain in almost every relationship, as well as the ultimate, profound loneliness inherent in every human being.

Three women, who have each misled and been misled in different ways, describe their relationship with a man, the owner of the eponymous hunting gun, in letters written from a wide variety of perspectives. This figure turns up enigmatically in the life of the narrating poet, and provides the external impetus for this record of events.

Set against the seemingly calm exterior of the plot, the music takes on the role of illustrating the storms raging within the various protagonists, shedding a microscopically fine light on their emotions. As is the case with many Japanese texts, "The Hunting Gun" involves a ritualistic aspect, which I uphold in my opera with a construction similar to that of a Passion. The sonorities of the solo instruments are spatially enhanced by seven choral singers."

Listen to Thomas Larcher's Ouroboros (2015):

(Ouroboros/Thomas Larcher/Norwegian Chamber Orchestra/Jean-Guihen Queyras, cello/
Per Kristian Skalstad, conductor)

To learn more about Thomas Larcher, visit:

Thomas Larcher
The Hunting Gun (2016-2018)
opera in three acts
libretto (Ger) by Friederike Gösweiner based on the novella by Yasushi Inoue
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