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