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Toni Morrison to appear in Charlotte

March 23, 2006

  • date
    March 23, 2006
  • article type
    Press
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    Opera Carolina News

Toni Morrison to appear in Charlotte

Charlotte, NC - Opera Carolina, the Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County and the Levine Museum of the New South present Nobel and Pulitzer Prize winning author Toni Morrison on Wednesday, April 19, 2006 at 8:00 pm in the North Carolina Blumenthal Performing Arts Center, Belk Theater. Tickets are $15-$55 and are available by calling 704-372-1000 or visiting operacarolina.org.

This special public presentation, Toni Morrison: Legacies for Today ~ The Margaret Garner Story is presented in conjunction with the April 20, 22 & 23 southeastern premiere performances of Toni Morrison and Richard Danielpour's new American opera, Margaret Garner.

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Literature, Toni Morrison's novel, Beloved is based on the life of Margaret Garner, a runaway slave from Kentucky who killed her child rather than see her returned to bondage. With her libretto for the opera Margaret Garner, Morrison gives another voice to Morrison's story.

As a special presentation for the evening, students from University Park Elementary School will perform the ballad A Quality Love from Margaret Garner

The Toni Morrison Lecture is made possible by the presenting sponsor TIAA-CREF. The Margaret Garner production is made possible by the presenting sponsor Time Warner Cable and supporting sponsor BB&T.

ABOUT TONI MORRISON

One of the most honored writers of our time, Toni Morrison has received the Pulitzer Prize, National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters, and Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters (Paris) among many other awards. A Nobel Laureate, Toni Morrison's seven novels, The Bluest Eye, Sula, Song of Solomon, Tar Baby, Beloved, Jazz, and Paradise, have received extensive critical acclaim. She has edited several books of essays on a wide variety of subjects. Ms. Morrison has written lyrics for Kathleen Battle, (commissioned by Carnegie Hall), Sylvia McNair, and Jessye Norman. She was a senior editor at Random House for twenty years.

Toni Morrison is a founding member of the Academie Universelle Des Culture, a trustee of the New York Public Library, member of the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, and The International Parliament of Writers and Author's Guild. She served on the National Council of the Arts, and is a member of the Africa Watch and Helsinki Watch Committees on Human Rights. Toni Morrison was appointed Robert F. Goheen Professor in the Council of the Humanities at Princeton University in the Spring of 1989.

ABOUT MARGARET GARNER (April 20, 22 & 23, 2006)

This new and much-anticipated opera is inspired by the true story of Margaret Garner, a fugitive slave who escaped Kentucky's Maplewood Plantation in 1856 in her quest for freedom. When capture was at hand, she tragically sacrificed her own children to save them from the unimaginable horrors of a life of slavery. This heartbreaking story galvanized a bitter human rights debate, and led to a crucial fugitive slave trial during a pivotal time in this nation's history.

"More than anything else, Margaret Garner reminds us that we all belong to the same human family, and it demonstrates what can happen when we forget this fundamental truth," says Grammy-Award winning composer Richard Danielpour, who has set to music a poignant libretto crafted by his long-time colleague, Nobel-Prize winning author Toni Morrison. Margaret Garner soars with lush, stirring melodies and rousing spirituals, drawing on jazz, gospel and classical influences.

With a gorgeously melodic score by Grammy Award-winning composer Richard Danielpour and a poignant libretto by Nobel Prize-winning author Toni Morrison, Margaret Garner is destined to become a classic.

ABOUT OPERA CAROLINA

Founded in 1948 as the Charlotte Opera Association by a small group of volunteers, today Opera Carolina is the largest professional opera company in the Carolinas with an operating budget of over $2.6 million. The mission of Opera Carolina is to inspire and entertain the region's diverse community through the presentation of excellent Opera, Operetta, Music Theater, and Education & Outreach programs that elevate the quality of life in the Carolinas. Opera Carolina is a community resource with a commitment to artistic excellence and community service.

Opera Carolina is supported by the Arts & Science Council-Charlotte/Mecklenburg, Inc, The North Carolina Arts Council, an agency funded by the state of North Carolina and the National Endowment for the Arts. Opera Carolina is a member of OPERA America.

ABOUT PUBLIC LIBRARY OF CHARLOTTE & MECKLENBURG COUNTY

Founded in 1903 as a Carnegie Free Library, PLCMC provides community service and outreach to the citizens of the Charlotte area. It is one of the premiere libraries in the country –named "Library of the Year" and "Library of the Future" in the 1990's – with 23 branches, 1.6 million volumes, and 28,000 videos, DVDs and compact disks. The library also sponsors a variety of community-based programs – from computer –and Internet- education workshops to the award-winning Novello Festival of Reading, a celebration that accentuates the fun of reading and learning.

ABOUT THE LEVINE MUSEUM OF THE NEW SOUTH

Levine Museum of the New South is an interactive history museum housing the nation's most comprehensive interpretation of post-Civil War Southern history. Telling the stories of people who have shaped the region since 1865 and are making history today, the museum features the award-winning centerpiece exhibition, Cotton Fields to Skyscrapers as well as changing exhibits and compelling programs that offer visitors historical context to examine contemporary issues. Levine Museum of the New South is located at 200 E. Seventh St. in uptown Charlotte, and receives operating support from the Arts & Science Council. More information by calling 704.333.1887 or at www.museumofthenewsouth.org.