Toni Morrison, a powerful storyteller and much-acclaimed author, will visit the Queen City on Wednesday, April 19, to discuss one of the most powerful events from our nation’s past. She tells the story of Margaret Garner, one of the most significant fugitive slave stories in pre-Civil War America. Morrison’s best-selling book, “Beloved,” was based on Garner’s story. Morrison has penned the words for the operatic rendition of this stirring tale, which will be presented by Opera Carolina April 20, 22 and 23.
In 1856, Garner fled from Kentucky to Ohio with her husband and children. After getting caught, rather than see her children returned to the bonds of slavery, she killed them. The trial resulted in a major legal debate about whether she should be charged with murder or with destruction of property.
It was a bleak time in the nation’s history but one Morrison believed was worthy of reexamining. “Some 10 years later, free of the exhaustion following the publication of ‘Beloved,’ I realized that there were other genres than novels that could expand and deepen the story,” she wrote. “The topic, the people, the narrative theme, passion and universality made it more than worthy of opera: It begged for it.”
Toni Morrison has received the Pulitzer Prize and the Nobel Prize for literature. Her other novels include: The Bluest Eye, Sula, Song of Solomon, Tar Baby, Jazz, and Paradise. Opera Carolina’s “Margaret Garner” will be at the Blumenthal Performing Arts Center on April 20, 22 and 23rd and will star Metropolitan Opera superstar Denyce Graves in the title role. For more information or tickets, log on to: http://www.operacarolina.org/