The Memoirs of Antonina
by Mary Bichner
Sunday, September 2 at 7pm (RSVP Online)
Tickets are free. Reservations recommended.
The Memoirs of Antonina is a new/inprogress threeact opera by composer Mary
Bichner, inspired by Marie Antoinette of France. Taking its name from a slanderous
18thcentury 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.