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Music and libretto by matthew schickele


“P.S. My husband’s record proves he was a man to be feared and I lived in constant dread of his desperate nature… Whatever his character may have been in life, he was a devoted loyal husband, so I bear him no ill will and believe his soul is now at peace.” - Edith D. Sargent

In 1988 an odd, quiet man named John Sargent moved from Maine to Wyoming. Within a few years he was penniless, alone, suspected of murdering both his wife and his business partner, and his children had been removed from his care. He fled Wyoming. Later John Sargent returned to Jackson’s Hole with a new bride. Edith enjoyed sunbathing nude, sitting in trees, and playing violin. Often all at once.

This strange couple’s brief, troubled time in the shadow of the Teton mountains is the subject of the chamber opera Marymere. The story centers on Edith Sargent and her struggle to live in an unfamiliar land with a sad, possibly dangerous man. A composer and the guitarist of an old-time string band, Matthew Schickele uses the talents of both classical and folk musicians to tell the story of an unusual couple, out of place in America’s last frontier.



Matthew Schickele writes music and words. Comfortable across genres, Schickele has written chamber music, vocal music, songs, and electronic music for ensembles, bands, and the stage. His chamber music has been performed at venues across the USA and internationally. He was the principal composer for the recent sold-out run of Hai-Ting Chinn’s Science Fair, an opera with experiments in NYC, which Time Out called "Pure, effervescent pleasure."

Schickele’s chamber opera Marymere has had concert productions in both Wyoming and New York, and The New York Times called Since 1500, a quartet for unaccompanied sopranos, "a harmonically rich, polyphonic web."

His latest recording, Ten Rings of Saturn, along with numerous collections of songs, are available via Bandcamp, iTunes, Spotify, and many others.





Duration 75’

Commission Marymere is currently in development in American Opera Projects.

Premiere TBA

Roles (6) Mezzo-Soprano; Baritone; Bass; Two Folk Male Voices; One Folk Female Voice

Development Artists

Development Partners

Instrumentation Violin; Fiddle; Viola; Clarinet (bass clarinet); Mandolin; Double Bass; Piano


Official website: