Dutch National Opera presents

Das Jagdgewehr THOMAS LARCHER (1963)

This show was to been seen in March 2020


Duration 1:45

Breaks 0

By Thomas Larcher

To our great regret, we are forced to cancel all performances up to and including 6 April due to the advice of the central government regarding the Coronavirus. The new measures apply until 6 April. Read more information here: operaballet.nl/corona-update

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.

Team and cast


Japanese aesthetic
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 storys superficial serenity, subtly reflecting the charactersturbulent emotions. Like many Japanese texts, Das Jagdgewehr has a ritual aspect. The chorus of seven voices spatially amplifies the solo instruments.

Ensemble Modern
Ensemble Modern is a leading contemporary music ensemble formed in Frankfurt in 1980. It performs a programme of some 70 new works each season, including 20 world premières, working closely with the original composers.

Das Jagdgewehr
Chamber opera in 3 acts

Friederike Gösweiner,
after the novel of Yasushi Inoue
World premiere
Bregenzer Festspiele
15 August 2018

Das Jagdgewehr is a production of the Bregenzer Festival in collaboration with Ensemble Modern. Composition assignment of the Bregenzer Festival.

Team, Cast and Chorus

Musical Director
Michael Boder
Stage Director and Video
Karl Markovics
Stage Designer
Katharina Wöppermann
Lighting Designer
Bernd Purkrabek
Olaf A. Schmitt
Sound Direction
Norbert Ommer
Ensemble Modern
Schola Heidelberg
Chorus Master
Walter Nussbaum
Sarah Aristidou
Giulia Peri
Olivia Vermeulen
Ilker Arcayürek
Josuke Misugi
Andrè Schuen
    Thu 31 Jan Das Jagdgewehr - The Guardian, 2018

    'The remarkable visual language and the magnificent score of great beauty and originality ensure the success of this opera'

    Thu 31 Jan Das Jagdgewehr - Financial Times, 2018

    ‘Explosive intensity’

Opera Forward Festival

13 to 22 March 2020, the fifth edition of the Opera Forward Festival will take place. With OFF '20, Dutch National Opera brings different art forms, new talent and established artists together.

View program


This production is part of Opera Forward Festival and is made possible by:

Founding Partners Opera Forward Festival

Production partner Opera Forward Festival

Partner OFF-Talents


Main sponsor Dutch National Opera & Ballet