Heinz-Juhani Hofmann: Maailmantappaja (World Killer)

Monologue Opera about a Mass Murderer for singer, instrumental ensemble, and electronics, duration of 50 minutes. Premiere WHS Teatteri Union, 2018

The opera portrays the descent of an individual who has become estranged from the community and society into a dead-end of shame, self-loathing, and depression. The only apparent way out is an extreme act of violence – a mass murder. The work delves deeply into the reasons leading to social exclusion: How and why does this happen? What cultural mechanisms in our society lead to an individual’s comprehensive marginalization? How can social exclusion become so total, so final, that a person refuses all help, turns their anger and discomfort outward, destroying themselves and everyone else?

Heinz-Juhani Hofmann, libretto & music
Jaakko Nousiainen, direction
Eetu Lipponen, videostaging
Annika Fuhrmann, voice & performer
Varjo Ensemble, cond. Taavi Oramo:
Turkka Inkilä, flute
Saara Olarte, harp
Kari Olamaa, violin & viola
Johanna Tarkkanen, cello

© Tani Simberg

“Instead of Hofmann’s typical virtuosic vocal pyrotechnics, the singer’s role now emphasized naturalism even more. Hofmann has not abandoned his manic prattle and gleeful staccato frenzy, but musicality has stepped aside in favor of performance and text-driven approach. Shrieks, melodies reaching toward madness, and an extensive electronic toolkit emerge effortlessly from the text. Annika Fuhrmann proved to be a fearless performer, on par with interpreters like Piia Komsi, captivating the audience with her intense portrayal. The video magnified the struggle of hope and despair taking place on the protagonist’s face before us.”

Auli Särkiö, Rondo (22.1.2018)

“The soloist for Worldkiller is soprano Annika Fuhrmann, who interprets Hofmann’s music that delves into extremes with a strong commitment while maintaining precise focus. The subject matter of the piece leads to musical extremes: Hofmann explores the motives and inner life of an individual heading towards mass murder. (…) Annika Fuhrmann immerses herself in the internal chaos of an individual alienated from society, and her voice reflects at times cold hatred and disdain, at times panic leading to hysteria. In Hofmann’s music, these emotions are portrayed with a wide range of techniques, as the impending silence can explode into noisy chaos at any moment.”

Samuli Tiikkaja, Helsingin Sanomat (19.1.2018)