May 7, 2005 | Michigan Opera Theatre
Margaret Garner
Composer:Richard Danielpour
Librettist:Toni Morrison
When Edward Gaines acquires his deceased brother’s Kentucky estate, he pledges to let all the slave families on Maplewood Plantation stay together. However, when he takes a special interest in one of the slaves, Margaret Garner, it is not long before her husband Robert is sent away alone to another plantation. One night, Robert sneaks back to Maplewood and attempts to escape with Margaret and their children to the ‘Free State’ of Ohio. They are caught and Margaret murders her children in a crime passionel to spare them the indignity of a life of slavery. Margaret is condemned to death and although she is granted clemency at the last minute, she chooses the freedom of the gallows over life as a slave.

(Courtesy of G. Schirmer)

Click company name to view productions details.
Michigan Opera TheatreMargaret Garner10/10/2008 - 10/24/2008
New York City OperaMargaret Garner9/9/2007 - 9/29/2007
Opera CarolinaMargaret Garner4/1/2006 - 4/23/2006
Opera PhiladelphiaMargaret Garner2/1/2006 - 2/26/2006
Cincinnati OperaMargaret Garner7/7/2005 - 7/22/2005
Michigan Opera TheatreMargaret Garner5/1/2005 - 5/22/2005

OPERA America/Opera.ca Grants Awarded
Click here to learn more about OPERA America granting programs.
The Opera Fund: Audience Development 2005
The Opera Fund: Repertoire Development2004

Title Information

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Approximate Runtime (hh:mm)

Number of Acts

Musical Style
American mix of spirituals, gospel, jazz and folk set tonally, vibrantly and lyrically.

Vocal & Musical Forces
Mezzo-Soprano, Lyric Baritone, Dramatic Soprano, Lyric Baritone

Original Cast
Denyce Graves (Margaret Garner)
Angela M. Brown (Cilla - Cincinnati & Philadelphia)
Jessye Norman (Cilla - Detroit)
Gregg Baker (Robert Garner)
Rod Gilfry (Edward Gaines)
Roger Honeywell (Auctioneer)
John Mac Master (Casey)

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