Born in Colusa, California, Mary was raised in Brazil from the age of three.
At the age of 18 she returned to this country to pursue a career in Opera. Following the American Conservatory of Music in Chicago, she studied with internationally famous Baritone, Tito Gobbi, at Rosary College's School of Graduate Studies in Florence, Italy.
Back in Chicago, she collaborated with Hinsdale Opera Theater to produce an arts education outreach program targeting grades 10 - 12 of the Greater Chicago School System.
A finalist in the New York Metropolitan Opera's National Council Auditions while living in Chicago, she then moved to New York, making it her home base from 1983 to 1995.
During that time, she toured England and appeared at Scotland's Edinburgh Festival as La Carlotta in "The Phantom of the Opera." She produced and performed a one-woman show celebrating cultural diversity for ITT Sheraton's International Executive's Performance Series, traveling to both Rio and Sao Paulo, Brazil. She also created and performed a one-woman arts education show called "Operatunities": Mozart to Menotti! for Kennedy Center's Imagination Celebration Festival.
In 1997, taking time off from performing, Mary accepted the Executive Directorship of The New York Virtuosi Chamber Symphony (a union orchestra presenting in Manhattan, New York). During her year-long tenure as Executive Director, the orchestra garnered its first Manhattan press review and established a prestigious residency at Hunter College's The Sylvia and Danny Kaye Playhouse, 69th Street and Park Avenue.
Having commuted regularly for a year between Manhattan, New York and Charleston, South Carolina, where her husband relocated in 1997, Mary resigned her Executive Directorship and established a vocal studio in downtown Charleston. In 1999, Mary expanded her portfolio of activities by producing a series of intensive seminars: Road to Broadway, Broadway Getting the Job, and I'm Getting My Act Together; drawing not only on her own diverse experience, but on the extensive expertise of an impressive list of working theater colleagues from Los Angeles and New York.
In January of 2000, Mary launched her own production company, Marigold Arts Development (MAD) to provide performing opportunities for young Charleston artists and formed its professional theatre arm, South of Broadway Theatre Company, with the objective of "bridging the gap between community theatre, national, and international tours" by bringing a permanent resident professional theatre to Charleston and the state of South Carolina.