Alma! (2019-2020) is a kinetic opera for singers, dancers and instrumental ensemble by composer Minna Leinonen, choreographer-director Petri Kekoni and librettist Hanna Weselius. It tells a story of three women, all characterised by strong emotions – the composer Alma Mahler as the lawyer and the visual artist Aino in the present day.
Leinonen’s music weaves together the multi-layered work of art that examines the woman’s position in the past and present into a naturally flowing whole, which has a strong grip on the listener. Her musical language is personal and fine-tuned, and different time layers wander around seamlessly side-by-side. The instrumental ensemble consisting of flute, viola, percussion and piano stands for a rich expression that moves from breathlessly cool to heartbreakingly beautiful.
The compositions of Minna Leinonen (born 1977) often draw impulses from non-musical subjects such as things from everyday life, literature or natural phenomena. Her work has been performed by Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Tampere City Orchestra, BBC Philharmonic, ICE ensemble and numerous other Nordic ensembles. Leinonen is currently working on her doctorate at the Sibelius Academy of the University of Arts in Helsinki. According to reviews from the premiere, the opera Alma! can be seen as a significant breakthrough in Leinonen’s composer career.