Love, death and loneliness
Das Jagdgewehr is based on the Japanese writer Yashushi Inoue’s ‘eponymous’ debut novel of 1949. The tragic and meticulously told love story about three women is framed around their letters, which tell a tale of romance, secrets and betrayal.
The three main characters of Das Jagdgewehr are Midori, the betrayed wife; Saiko, her husband’s mistress; and Saiko’s daughter Shoko, who learns of the affair shortly before her mother’s death.
Shoko writes: ‘(…) How could I have imagined a love that stretches deep beneath the earth, a love like a subterranean river of which no one knows where it begins or ends.’
Each letter adds a new facet to the tale of an impossible love. The title’s hunter, Josuke Misugi, is the lover and bearer of the letters, who tells the story of love, death and loneliness in carefully chosen words.
Director Karl Markovics and designer Katharina Woppermann create a world inspired by the Japanese aesthetic, brought to life in bright yellow, peacock blue and vibrant red. Thomas Larcher’s evocative and richly hued score opens with mysterious percussive susurration underlaid by the chorus.
Composer Thomas Larcher:
‘When I first read the story of Das Jagdgewehr, I was instantly captivated by its timelessness. It centres on the illusions we cultivate in almost every relationship and the ultimate profound loneliness inherent in being human. (…) The music is a counterpoint to the story’s superficial serenity, subtly reflecting the characters’ turbulent emotions. Like many Japanese texts, Das Jagdgewehr has a ritual aspect. The chorus of seven voices spatially amplifies the solo instruments.’
Das Jagdgewehr is a production of the Bregenzer Festival in collaboration with Ensemble Modern. Composition assignment of the Bregenzer Festival.