News


New Peformance: Preview Concert for “The Memoirs of Antonina” at Cambridge’s Central Square Theater on September 2, 2018


( Logo artwork by: Chess Albaneze)


The Memoirs of Antonina is a new/in­-progress three­-act opera by composer Mary Bichner, inspired by Marie Antoinette of France. Taking its name from a slanderous 18th­-century pamphlet about the queen’s rumored exploits and indiscretions, The Memoirs of Antonina focuses on the final years of Marie Antoinette’s life, and pits two versions of the queen (performed by two different singers) against one another: the imagined breezy libertine derided by revolutionary pamphleteers, and the distraught historical figure determined to reclaim her kingdom and her reputation. The opera also sets the stylistic conventions of opera buffa (Antonina) against those of opera seria (Antoinette), resulting in a work that explores both the exasperatingly comic — and profoundly tragic — elements of Marie Antoinette’s story.


This autumn, Mary will be headed to a composer residency at the prestigious Helene Wurlitzer Foundation of New Mexico in order to complete the opera, but before she goes, she is excited to announce a very special Memoirs of Antonina preview concert in partnership with The Nora Theatre Company and Central Square Theater! The performance will take place on Sunday, September 2nd @ 7:00PM at the beautiful Central Square Theater of Cambridge, MA; and will feature the world premiere of five arias and three recitatives from the new opera. Starring Helen Zhibing Huang as Marie Antoinette, Emily Thorner as Antonina, Neal Ferreira as Louis XVI, and Junhan Choi as Jaques Hébert, with music direction by Berlin-based conductor and vocal coach Tim Ribchester.


Tickets information for this concert will be posted shortly, and thanks to the generosity of The Nora and CST, all tickets will be free! In the meantime, here is complete info on the show!:


09/02/18: “THE MEMOIRS OF ANTONINA” OPREA PREVIEW CONCERT
When: Sunday, Sepetember 2nd @ 7:00PM (doors @ 6:30PM)
Where: Central Square Theater (450 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge MA 02139)
Tickets: FREE (ticket link coming soon!)
Performers: Helen Zhibing Huang (Marie Antoinette), Emily Thorner (Antonina), Neal Ferreira (Louis XVI), Junhan Choi (Jaques Hébert), Tim Ribchester (music director).


Wishing everyone a magical August, and see you at the opera! <3


Music for “Agents of the Realm” Kickstarter Video



Greetings all! A brand new Kickstarter for “Agents of the Realm“, the EXTRA AWESOME magical girl graphic novel series by illustrator and author Mildred Louis, is now online! This campaign will fund the printing of the long-awaited “Agents of the Realm” Volume 2 softcover book, as well as a reprint of the now-sold out “Agents of the Realm” Volume I softcover. Mary, who is a diehard AotR fan, was VERY excited to get to compose the music for this Kickstarter’s pitch video, which you can watch at the link above!


For more information on this fantastic Kickstarter and its rewards, check out the official page right here:
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/2067909790/agents-of-the-realm-volume-2-and-volume-1-reprint


And to learn more about “Agents of the Realm”, and the exquisite art of Mildred Louis, here are the links!:
http://www.agentsoftherealm.com
http://www.artofmlouis.com


Cheers all and wishing everyone a magical summer! <3


Vento Chiaro Performs “King’s Chapel” @ Boston University Tanglewood Institute on 7/11/2018




Mary is excited to announce that celebrated woodwind quintet Vento Chiaro will perform “King’s Chapel”, one of the two new compositions VC commissioned from Mary as part of The Boston Project, during their faculty recital at Boston University Tanglewood Institute on July 11th 2018. This free concert will take place in the beautiful Trinity Episcopal Church of Lenox MA, and will also feature works by Bernstein, D’Rivera, and Maslanka. Here are all of the details!:


07/11/18: VENTO CHIARO’S BOSTON UNIVERSITY TANGLEWOOD INSTITUTE FACULTY RECITAL
When
: Wednesday, July 11th @ 7:00PM
Where: Trinity Episcopal Church (88 Walker St., Lenox MA 01240)
Tickets: Free admission (no ticket required)
Performers: Ona Jonaityte (flute), Elizabeth England (oboe), Chi-Ju Juliet Lai (clarinet), Anne Howarth (french horn), Sam Childers (bassoon)


For more information, please visit Vento Chiaro’s wonderful website right here!:


http://www.ventochiaro.org


New Logo for “The Memoirs of Antonina” Opera, Illustrated by Chess Albaneze



Thank you so much to the wonderful Chess Albaneze for creating and illustrating this beautiful new logo for Mary’s forthcoming opera, “The Memoirs of Antonina”! The logo has been added to the official MoA page, right here:


http://www.marybichner.com/memoirsofantonina


And here is a bit about the opera!:


“The Memoirs of Antonina” is a new/in-progress three-act opera by composer Mary Bichner, inspired by Marie Antoinette of France. Taking its name from a slanderous 18th-century pamphlet about the queen’s rumored exploits and indiscretions, “The Memoirs of Antonina” focuses on the final years of Marie Antoinette’s life, and pits two versions of the queen (performed by two different singers) against one another: the imagined breezy libertine derided by revolutionary pamphleteers, and the distraught historical figure determined to reclaim her kingdom and her reputation. The opera also sets the stylistic conventions of opera buffa (Antonina) against those of opera seria (Antoinette), resulting in a work that explores both the exasperatingly comic — and profoundly tragic — elements of Marie Antoinette’s story.


More MoA updates will be announced over the summer, including info on a preview concert for the opera coming in September 2018 to Boston, MA — please check back soon! <3


Spring Concerts – Thank You! <3

Thank you so much to everyone who attended Mary and Molly Zenobia‘s “Colorful Concert” at the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey on March 10, and Vento Chiaro‘s “Boston Project” Concert at Forest Hills Cemetery on May 6! It was wonderful getting to connect with you all! And many thanks to the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey and Vento Chiaro for inviting Mary to collaborate with them on these wonderful shows!


Here are a few photos from both events!


From “Colorful Concert” with composer Molly Zenobia at the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey on 03/10/18:

A post shared by Mary Bichner (@marybichner) on

A post shared by Mary Bichner (@marybichner) on




From Vento Chiaro’s “Boston Project” Concert at Forest Hills Cemetery on 05/06/18

A post shared by Mary Bichner (@marybichner) on

A post shared by Mary Bichner (@marybichner) on



Mary will now be taking a break from performing in order to spend the summer working on her new opera, The Memoirs of Antonina. Performance dates for Mary’s 2018-2019 season will be announced in late August — please stay tuned! <3

Many thanks to one and all, and wishing everyone a wonderful summer!


May 6th, 2018: Premiere of “Boston Common” and “King’s Chapel” during Vento Chiaro’s inaugural concert of “The Boston Project”


Celebrated woodwind quintet Vento Chiaro presents the inaugural concert of “The Boston Project”! This performance will feature works by Beach, Bernstein and Maslanka; as well as a pair of synesthesia-inspired world premieres by composer Mary Bichner, “Boston Common” and “King’s Chapel”, commissioned by Vento Chiaro.


Here are the details!:


05/06/18: VENTO CHIARO’S “THE BOSTON PROJECT” AT FOREST HILLS CEMETERY
When: Sunday, May 6th @ 3:00PM
Where: Forsyth Chapel @ Forest Hills Cemetery (95 Forest Hills Ave, Boston, MA 02130)
Tickets: Adults – $20, Students/Seniors – $10, Children Under 10 – free
Ticket Link: http://ventochiaro.org/inaugural-concert/
Performers: Ona Jonaityte (flute), Elizabeth England (oboe), Chi-Ju Juliet Lai (clarinet), Anne Howarth (french horn), Sam Childers (bassoon)


Thank you so much to Vento Chiaro for this wonderful collaboration, and looking forward to the concert! <3


This Saturday, 03/10/18: “Colorful Concert” with Mary Bichner and Molly Zenobia at the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey


( Artwork Credits, from L to R: 1. Gabriele Evertz // Clearing / Lichtung, 2017 // Acrylic on canvas, 72 x 72 in. // Courtesy of the artist and Minus Space, Brooklyn, NY ||| 2. Richard Garrison // Circular Color Scheme: Target, May 22-28, 2016, Pages 1 & 1A. “Cute Combos/Picnic Pick-Ups,” 2016 // Watercolor, gouache and graphite on paper, 12 x 12 in. // Courtesy of the artist and Robert Henry Contemporary, Brooklyn, NY ||| 3. Paul Corio // Regal Strike, 2017 // Acrylic on canvas, 96 x 84 in. // Courtesy of the artist and McKenzie Fine Art, New York, NY ||| All photos courtesy of the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey )


Mary is thrilled to be performing at the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey this Saturday, March 10th @ 6:00pm, alongside fellow synesthetic composer Molly Zenobia, for VACNJ’s Concert in the Gallery series! Entitled “Colorful Concert”, this performance will celebrate three new VACNJ exhibitions: “Radiant Energy“, “Richard Garrison: All-consuming“, and “Stair-gazing: Paul Corio“. All three exhibitions focus on visual artists whose work centers around color and color theory.


As part of “Colorful Concert”, Mary and Molly will each perform their own synesthesia-inspired musical set amidst these beautiful works of art, as well as discuss how they use color to inspire their individual composition processes, followed by a Q&A wine reception. It’s sure to be a magical evening! <3

Now moving into its ninth decade, the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey is dedicated to the mission of bringing art and people together. This mission is fulfilled by the best in contemporary art exhibitions, a robust Studio School operating a four semester schedule, public programs ranging from the annual Talking Pictures Film Series to Art Afternoons that allow the public to interact with exhibiting artists, and outreach programs for seniors, at-risk youth and children, and adults with disabilities.


Here are complete details for the concert, including where to purchase tickets!:


03/10/18: “COLORFUL CONCERT” AT THE VISUAL ARTS CENTER OF NEW JERSEY
When
: Saturday, March 10th @ 6:00PM-8:00PM
Where: Visual Arts Center of New Jersey (68 Elm Street, Summit, NJ 07901)
Tickets: $10 (General Admission)
Ticket Link: HERE
Performers: Mary Bichner (vocals, piano), Molly Zenobia (vocals, piano)


And here is the official exhibitions page from the VACNJ website, featuring more information on these wonderful visual artists and artworks!:


http://www.artcenternj.org/2018/01/22/check-out-the-exhibitions-opening-on-february-2/


Looking forward to this rainbow-filled concert! <3


New Opera: The Memoirs of Antonina


“Marie-Antoinette with the Rose” by Louise Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun

After a year of planning and preparation, Mary is excited to finally announce the details of her forthcoming opera, The Memoirs of Antonina !



The Memoirs of Antonina is a new/in-progress three-act opera by composer Mary Bichner, inspired by Marie Antoinette of France. Taking its name from a slanderous 18th-century pamphlet about the queen’s rumored exploits and indiscretions, The Memoirs of Antonina focuses on the final years of Marie Antoinette’s life, and pits two versions of the queen (performed by two different singers) against one another: the imagined breezy libertine derided by revolutionary pamphleteers, and the distraught historical figure determined to reclaim her kingdom and her reputation. The opera also sets the stylistic conventions of opera buffa (Antonina) against those of opera seria (Antoinette), resulting in a work that explores both the exasperatingly comic — and profoundly tragic — elements of Marie Antoinette’s story.


Musically, The Memoirs of Antonina is inspired by classical works of 18th-century Europe, and will be scored for an orchestra of approximately 30-50 players including woodwinds, brass, percussion and string orchestra.


In 2017, the opera’s act & scene structure, character/vocalist list, and song list were completed; and the libretto and musical score begun. In 2018, the libretto and musical score will be completed, with a first reading projected for late 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts (date/time TBA).


More info will be added in the weeks to come, both here on the news page and on the new Memoirs of Antonina mini-site:


http://www.marybichner.com/memoirsofantonina


Cheers to one and all and looking forward to this wonderful project! <3


Vento Chario Commission Complete


(Photo by: Joe Wallace Photography)


Exciting news — Mary’s commission from celebrated woodwind quintet Vento Chiaro is now complete! The two new works, “Boston Common” [C] and “King’s Chapel” [Ab], will be premiered by Vento Chiaro later in the year as part of their new mutli-year initiative, “The Boston Project”:


To celebrate their 20th anniversary season, Vento Chario has begun a new series entitled “The Boston Project”, a “multi-year exploration of what it means to be of a place, and woven into the musical fabric of that place”. As part of The Boston Project, VC commissioned Mary to write two new pieces inspired by Boston Common and King’s Chapel, using her sound-to-color synesthesia to select the keys and chords that best “match” the palette of each location. The works will be premiered later in 2018 by Vento Chiaro during an upcoming 20th anniversary season concert — more info on the premiere will be made available shortly!


To learn more about this amazing ensemble, please check out Vento Chiaro’s official website right here!:


http://www.ventochiaro.org


Thank you so much to Vento Chiaro for this wonderful collaboration, and looking forward to sharing this new music about Boston’s beautiful landscape! <3


Open Proposal: Composing an Orchestral Ballet for a National Company







Mary is excited to announce a new open proposal: she would be honored to compose a new narrative orchestral ballet of any length, in collaboration with a national ballet company!



Here is a dedicated website containing the proposal text, ballet-specific composition samples, testimonials from previous long-term collaborators, and Mary’s composer résumé, all in one place:



http://www.marybichner.com/ballet



And here is a post from Mary’s instagram account!:

Excited to announce an open proposal: I would be honored to compose a new narrative orchestral ballet of any length, in collaboration with a national ballet company! Many of you know how passionate I am about creating music for this beautiful art form, so I am beyond thrilled for this proposal to launch! In order share this info as widely as possible, I have created a dedicated website with my proposal text, ballet-specific composition samples, testimonials from previous long-term collaborators, and composer’s resume right here: http://www.marybichner.com/ballet — if you wouldn’t mind liking this post and/or sharing this link or video to spread the word, I would be so grateful! Thank you one and all, and I am looking forward to connecting with you! 🎶 #composer #ballet #dance #newballet #balletcompany #orchestra #orchestramusic #newmusic #classical #balletcomposer #balletmusic #dancemusic

A post shared by Mary Bichner (@marybichner) on





Thank you one and all for reading, and looking forward to connecting with you!