MARGARET GARNER 2008
Detroit & Chicago performance schedule


What the critics are saying about Margaret Garner:
"Margaret Garner seems destined to take its place among America’s most popular contemporary operas." —The Cincinnati Post

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When sorrow clouds the mind, the spine grows strong;
no pretty words can soothe or cure what heavy hands can break.
When sorrow is deep, the secret soul keeps its weapon of choice:
the love of all loves.


From Margaret's aria "A Quality Love"
Margaret Garner Act I, Scene 3

Michigan Opera Theatre, Cincinnati Opera, and Opera Company of Philadelphia have collaborated to co-commission Margaret Garner, a new American opera based on one of the most significant fugitive slave stories in pre-Civil War America. The project marks the anticipated operatic debut for the highly acclaimed creative team of Grammy-Award winning composer Richard Danielpour and librettist Toni Morrison, celebrated novelist and winner of the 1993 Nobel Prize for Literature.

Fleeing Kentucky's Maplewood Farm in 1856 to Ohio, Margaret Garner made the horrific decision to sacrifice her own children when facing recapture, rather than see them returned to the bonds of slavery. Her trial became the subject of intense national debate, addressing crucial issues in constitutional law and posing key questions at the core of the rift in the Union.

More than anything else, Margaret Garner is an opera that reminds us that we all belong to the same human family, and it demonstrates what can happen when we forget this fundamental truth. -- Richard Danielpour, composer