Martyna Kosecka

Mini-opera: Acquiring knowledge and amplifying change through the creation of short opera concepts

Norwegian Academy of Music

Photo: Siv Dolmen

The research will focus on the development of a series of short opera concepts that I will compose and stage myself. The compositions will address different structural content and attempt to transcribe the full operatic form into an equally developed, condensed version. The main aim of the study is to define the existence of the mini-opera and to present the reasons for its visible presence in contemporary art: the purpose of its emergence and its growing popularity, its duration and narrative framework, and aesthetical decisions in a nutshell. Most importantly, it is also an investigation into how I approach the mini-opera, what this form means to me and how I intend to use it in my further compositional development. Through the social critique addressed in the short opera concepts of my artistic research and their transdisciplinary interweaving, I want to discuss certain universal experiences and concerns related to a theme close to my heart - the role and treatment of women in contemporary society. My artistic research seeks to find answers to these questions:


  1. The mini-opera and its time frames. How does the shortening of the dramaturgical plot affect the form's content, and in what areas does it redirect the perception of the short opera as musical drama?
  2. Opera character and video-opera character. How does this interaction expand perceptual strategies and make the performance on stage multi-dimensional?
  3. The composer - social activist or sensitive artist? Why manifesting through art?
  4. Contemporary Opera - Contemporary Theatre - Contemporary Performance - what elements of each define their existence in my mini-operas, how, in what ways and to what extent? What then is a mini-opera?


Mini-operas will be representations of a short form with the qualities of a large form, and are brought to life through a transdisciplinary approach by binding music, instrumental theatre, experimental theatre and the world of opera with anthropological perspectives, sociology, video, new media and, above all, reflections on the situation of women's rights. I will work on eight to ten mini-opera concepts and organise them into three media categories. The final presentation of my artistic project will be a performance installation of the collective of mini-operas, accompanied by a panel discussion devoted to the XXI century opera, mini-opera and gender issues.

Martyna Kosecka’s music grows out of her interest in philosophy, physics, linguistics and the mythologies and fables of the world. She is a Polish composer, performer, conductor, curator and researcher in new music. In her projects she works with narratives, microtonality, symbolism and ritualism, by using multidisciplinary solutions. She emphasises the richness of transcultural relationships in art, drawing from the cultures of Iran, Poland and Norway, the countries she has connected through her life.

Since 2023, Martyna holds a Ph.D Research Fellow position at the Norwegian Academy of Music in Oslo (Norway), pursuing her research on mini-opera and the role and treatment of women in contemporary society. Her compositions are published by Donemus Holland. Her music is performed at festivals and concerts around the world, including the International Festival of Contemporary Music Warsaw Autumn, rainy days festival, OstravaDays Festival or Music Biennale Zagreb.


  • Martyna Kosecka – Kochawaya
  • Mini opera for ensemble (2014)
  • 1st prize at 5-Minute Opera Composition Competition at Music Biennale Zagreb, Croatia 2015
  • Premiere: 21.04.2015, Festival Ensemble of 28. International Music Biennale Zagreb, Croatia.


Artistic Research Spring Forum 2024

1st presentation

Mini-opera: at the crossroads

During the presentation, I will introduce the general ideas behind the mini-opera project, its origin, its contextualisation and its artistic process together with the established research methods at the crossroads, which I consider to be the crucial starting point of the research period. In this context, I will present my musical practise to date through several examples of already realised works as independent compositions, gestural-movement related investigations and staging/directing attempts. I will outline the questions I am exploring in my project by referring to the first mini-opera project I began working on, the monodrama for soprano and live electronics with live video projections as set design, based on the stories of Iranian women incarcerated in Iranian prisons, documented through the interviews of Nobel Peace Prize laureate Narges Mohammadi. I look forward to discussing the interweaving of women-driven narratives in a short opera form, its thematic strategies and the possibilities of new dramaturgical development.

Additional audiovisual documentation:

  1. A documentation of the working processes as of the beginning of February 2024 – picture attached
  2. A link to the performance of monaxiá – music theatre for percussion and electronics
  4. A link to the stage realization of Elżbieta Sikora’s on the line