News


“The Memoirs of Antonina” Preview Concert — Thank You!


THANK YOU to all who attended the “The Memoirs of Antonina” preview concert at Cambridge’s Central Square Theater Sept 2nd! It was an honor to have these new works premiered by such a phenomenal cast of talented musicians, and to share it with such an incredible audience. Here is an Instagram post with more info on the show!:


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Green room selfie with the entire cast of last eve's "The Memoirs of Antonina" preview concert, just before taking the stage! 🎶💕👑🎀🎹🎭✨ It was an honor to premiere these new works with such a talented group of artists. THANK YOU the amazing performers who brought these new recits and arias to life — Helen Zhibing Huang (Marie Antoinette), Emily Thorner (Antonina), Neal Ferreira (Louis XVI), Junhan Choi (Jacques Hébert) and Tim Ribchester (music director) and Emma Terrell (assistant music director); and our wonderful actors (Porcelain Dalya, Michela Micalizio, Ryan Huemmer, and Jesse Strachman). Huge and heartfelt thanks also to Lee Mikeska Gardner and Central Square Theater for giving us the opportunity to premiere these works in such a beautiful space, to Porcelain Dalya and her production assistant magic for making everything run like a dream onstage and off, and to the AWESOME audience who joined us for this sold-out show! 💕💕 I am so very grateful, and can't wait to continue working on the remaining songs and orchestration of the opera while in residence at the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation later this month. Merci beaucoup (and hugs!!) to one and all! 💕🎶✨ #thememoirsofantonina #memoirsofantonina #opera #newopera #operaselfie #operalife #operaconcert #backstage #marieantoinette #louisxvi #jacqueshebert #antonina #newmusic #worldpremiere #soprano #lyricsoprano #coloraturasoprano #coloratura #tenor #baritone #aria #recitative #rococo #centralsquaretheater #helenewurlitzerfoundation #concert #mercibeaucoup #thankyou

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Later this month, Mary will be traveling to New Mexico for a three-month composer residency at the prestigious Helene Wurlizter Foundation in order to continue working on the opera’s composition and orchestration. Video from this concert will also be made available soon!



Thanks so much again to Central Square Theater and Nora Theater Company, our wonderful cast, and everyone who joined us for this performance. Wishing everyone a beautiful autumn and looking forward to sharing more updates on “The Memoirs of Antonina”!



Interview with Mass Cultural Council for ArtSake Blog




Mary is honored to have been interviewed by the Massachusetts Cultural Council for their ArtSake blog! In this post for MCC’s nano-interview series; Mary chats about synesthesia, upcoming musical projects, and her favorite (and least favorite!) seasons of the year. Check out the interview right here!:


http://artsake.massculturalcouncil.org/mary-bichner-seeing-music/


Thank you so much to the MCC for this wonderful interview series!


(PS – The Sept 2 concert preview for Mary’s new opera, The Memoirs of Antonina, is almost here! Click here for full info as well as tickets!:
http://www.marybichner.com/2018/08/03/new-peformance-preview-concert-memoirs-antonina-cambridges-central-square-theater-september-2-2018/ )


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 tract 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 continue working on 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 Jacques Hébert, with music direction by Berlin-based conductor and vocal coach Tim Ribchester.


Tickets are available via this link, thanks to the generosity of The Nora and CST, all tickets will be free!


And 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 required) — *GET TICKETS HERE*
Performers: Helen Zhibing Huang (Marie Antoinette), Emily Thorner (Antonina), Neal Ferreira (Louis XVI), Junhan Choi (Jacques 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 tract 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

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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 tract 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