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"Let’s be criminals!", says the hunter Josuke to his lover Saiko on the beach. His wife Midori watches them and realises her husband is having an affair with her best friend. For more than ten years Midori will not reveal to them that she knows of their relationship. Saiko keeps the secret in her diary, which her daughter Shoko saves from the flames, thus discovering the story. Shoko can’t speak about it with her mother any more, and Saiko has taken the secret to her grave. A poet has been sent this story in the form of three letters, one from each of the women. The author previously wrote a poem about a hunter he had seen only from behind while out hiking; the hunter Josuke recognised himself in the poem.

Published in 1949, Yasushi Inoue’s book tells of contradictory emotions and long-kept secrets. It reveals the loneliness of the huntsman, whose hunting gun presses “the whole burden deep into the lonely man’s body and soul” and exudes a “strange, bloodstained beauty”. Now Thomas Larcher, a composer and pianist born in Tyrol, has adapted this best-seller for his first opera. Larcher’s works are performed around the world. The librettist, Friederike Gösweiner, won the Austrian Book Prize in 2016 for her debut novel.

Austrian actor and film director Karl Markovics will stage an opera for the first time.

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