, September 2020
LARCHER, T.: Jagdgewehr (Das) (The Hunting Gun) [Opera] (Bregenz Festival, 2018) (NTSC) 754208
LARCHER, T.: Jagdgewehr (Das) (The Hunting Gun) [Opera] (Bregenz Festival, 2018) (Blu-ray, HD) 754304
Bad Romance – Thomas Larcher's first opera, about an illicit affair in postwar Japan, exhibits Mozartean elegance.
Baritone Andrè Schuen is a vampirically handsome Josuke, the playboy and hunting enthusiast; his suave, self-assured delivery is enough to ensnare us along with the women around him, but an occasional snarly low note betrays his character’s predatory disingenuousness. Olivia Vermeulen is his lover Saiko, who vows to kill herself if their affair is discovered. In an aria portending this Liebestod, softly yet resolutely intoned in a kind of plainchant, the mezzo addresses the audience with eerie fatalistic poise.
Sarah Aristidou, by contrast, gives a virtuoso display of adolescent angst as Saiko’s daughter Shoko. The soprano’s temper-tantrum coloratura is intentionally set out of range to provoke unintentional cracking, but she sings with such precision that this seldom occurs. Likewise, soprano Giulia Peri, as Josuke’s jealous wife, Midori, executes some inhuman feats of breath control in a series of vindictive tirades, obsessively circling through impossibly long and high-reaching melismas. © 2020 Opera News Read complete review