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.
Commission Marymere is currently in development in American Opera Projects.
Roles (6) Mezzo-Soprano; Baritone; Bass; Two Folk Male Voices; One Folk Female Voice
Instrumentation Violin; Fiddle; Viola; Clarinet (bass clarinet); Mandolin; Double Bass; Piano