Daily Archives: March 2, 2018

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:


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