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Work Information

Peter Bruun : Miki Alone

Publisher Wilhelm Hansen
Opera and Music Theatre
Sub-Category Opera
Year Composed
Duration 55 Minutes
Solo Instrument(s)
mezzo soprano
Orchestration va, db, cl, perc
Hire  Explain this...
Discography Here...

Programme Note

Words set to music always involve a dilemma. If the music says something that the words don’t say, then what does the music have to do with the words? And conversely, if the music says no more than the words, what is the point of the music at all? Normally, we must suppose that in the best cases the words give the music some sort of meaning - we experience the music through the words and their meaning. In Miki Alone the opposite is just as true. Seven songs for a mad woman - that is what Miki Alone is. The production has a unifying figure, Miki, the woman who sings, but there is no plot. The texts of the seven songs refer to one another and certain words and phrases recur repeatedly, but there is no logical progression. It is just as chaotic as our ordinary everyday thoughts: a flow of words and phrases often given shape by the sound of the words rather than their meaning. In this sense the texts for Miki Alone are in themselves a kind of music.
"There are moods and statements that are familiar and meaningful, and which evoke a response, but which perhaps do not directly mean anything. And the music for Miki Alone is, one could say, "music set to music" - Peter Bruun’s music for Ursula Andkjær Olsen’s "word music". In the music the "word music" is given body.
My music for Ursula Andkjær Olsen’s texts is my attempt to say the words aloud. I believe that the texts are crying out to be spoken aloud. But when I do it - through the music - it involves choices: in the music I choose a tone and a "facial expression" with which the texts are spoken. In so doing perhaps I don’t do justice to the infinitely many possibilities of the text. However, I permit myself to do it, hoping that my way of speaking the words will evoke a response from others.

Peter Bruun.


  • “There’s so much sadness and so much joie de vivre, so much relevant cabaret, so much poetry in both works and music, and so many grotesque scenes and grotesque coiffures in this chamber opera that you just fall flat on your middle-aged paunch for it…”
    Thomas Michelsen, Politiken, 06/11/2002
  • “After experiencing Miki Alone at The Other Opera you lean back and say: at last – how marvellous that new music drama can be created in Denmark that doesn’t beat about the bush, that has room for both laughter and tears. It’s rare to experience a musical production that quite simply thinks about the audience. By thinking about the audience the composer of the work, Peter Bruun, has solved the greatest problem of all for living composers: time. When should the music stop? When can you say the material has been used up and the work should come to an end?
    Miki Alone lasts a good hour. That is exactly what is needed. An experience worth having, something to think about – an elementary desire to see and hear the production again. How often do you feel like that with modern music drama?…”
    Anders Beyer, Information, 29/10/2002


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