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Students sharpen your pencils!!!

December 19, 2005

  • date
    December 19, 2005
  • article type
    Press
  • category
    Opera Carolina News

Students sharpen your pencils!!!

Charlotte, NC (December 19, 2005) - Opera Carolina is proud to present the 2005-06 Margaret Garner Essay Contest, sponsored by Bank of America. Participants from Anson, Mecklenburg, Onslow and Wake Counties will be eligible for three scholarships of $1,500 awarded for use toward the college/university of their choice. Additionally, the teacher of each winning student receives a $500 cash award. The essay deadline is March 1, 2006 and the chosen students receive their awards in Charlotte on Wednesday, April 19, 2006, time and place to be announced. The winners are also special guests for the Toni Morrison Lecture, presented by TIAA-CREF on April 19, 2006 at 8:00 pm and for the opening night of Margaret Garner, presented by Time-Warner Cable, April 20, 2006 at 7:30 pm.

Onslow County Schools Director of Art, Earl Taylor shares, "The Onslow County Schools has had the privilege of hosting Opera Carolina performances for its 3rd grade students for over 10 years. They are able to experience opera through live performances and by skilled performers. Teachers also use this opportunity to expand on their classroom lessons, not only in music but throughout the curriculum." He continues, "We're delighted to be a participant in the Margaret Garner Essay Contest. This will be another great opportunity for our advanced high school students to use their talents, skills and interests in the arts."

Set in the years preceding the Civil War, Margaret Garner is a powerful story of love of family and the explosive issue of slavery. The opera tells the real-life story of Margaret Garner, a fugitive slave who killed her two-year old daughter and attempted to kill herself and her other children when faced with capture. She was imprisoned and was subjected to a sensational murder trial that heightened the abolitionist movement. She was found guilty of destruction of property and returned to slavery. On her return to bondage, she and another daughter drowned in a boating accident. Toni Morrison used the tragic tale as the basis for her best-selling novel, Beloved.

The Opera Carolina Margaret Garner Essay Contest prompts students to examine the courage it takes to stand up to authority figures. By using the Margaret Garner libretto, opera knowledge and personal experiences, students will compose an essay explaining what courage means to them and how the characters in the opera exhibit courage.