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Margaret Garner Returns to Charlotte via Airwaves

June 18, 2007

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    June 18, 2007
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    Opera Carolina News

Margaret Garner Returns to Charlotte via Airwaves

Charlotte, NC – Opera Carolina's production of Margaret Garner, an opera by Toni Morrison and Richard Danielpour, moves from the stage to the airwaves in an exciting radio premiere on NPR World of Opera. As a major part of its 2005/2006 repertoire, Opera Carolina collaborated with other local organizations, including the Public Libraries of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County and the Levine Museum of the New South, to spread the influence and appreciation of Margaret Garner's important message of freedom and courage. Now listeners can experience the passionate struggle for love in a time of slavery on NPR's two broadcasts of the performance on Saturday, June 30th at 7 pm and locally replayed on Sunday, July 1st from 3 to 6 pm.

"This is a significant achievement for Opera Carolina, and represents the first time our company has been featured on a national broadcast," said James Meena, General Director and Principal Conductor of Opera Carolina. "This broadcast exemplifies the quality of Opera Carolina, and brings distinction to our community."

Behind the Music: The Story of Margaret Garner
The opera dramatically retells the true story of Margaret Garner, an escaped slave who, when faced with recapture, sacrificed her children rather than see them returned to the horrors of slavery. Her 1856 trial became a battle over whether she was tried for murder or the destruction of property, and touched off a national debate that highlighted the growing rift in the Union.
Three artistic powerhouses unite to create this beautiful and poignant operatic work: Pulitzer Prize winner and Nobel Laureate Toni Morrison wrote the libretto for Margaret Garner, inspired by her novel Beloved. In addition, Ms. Morrison has written six other novels, written lyrics for Kathleen Battle, Sylvia McNaire, and Jessye Norman, and was the senior editor at Random House for twenty years. She was appointed the Robert F. Goheen professor in the Council of the Humanities at Princeton University in the spring of 1989.

Grammy-Award winning composer Richard Danielpour noted, "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." One of the most sought-after composers of his generation, Mr. Danielpour has been commissioned by symphonies around the world and has received prestigious awards, including a Lifetime Achievement Award and a Guggenheim Award.

Metropolitan Opera Superstar, Denyce Graves created the title role in Margaret Garner in the opera's World Premiere at Michigan Opera Theater. Recognized worldwide as one of today's most exciting vocal stars, Ms. Graves continues to gather unparalleled popular and critical acclaim in performances across four continents.

Visit wwww.operacarolina.org/margaretgarner for more information including libretto, cast listing and bios. All performances feature the Opera Carolina Chorus and The Charlotte Symphony Orchestra. This opera was made possible by presenting sponsors Time Warner Cable and Supporting Sponsors BB&T, Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County, and the Levine Museum of the New South.

Founded in 1948 as the Charlotte Opera Association by a small group of volunteers, Opera Carolina today is the largest professional opera company in the Carolinas with an operating budget of over $3.5 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. and 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.