The work recounts a version of the same 1856 incident which inspired Morrison's most famous novel, Beloved: when Margaret, an escaped slave woman, was apprehended by a posse bent on returning her to her Kentucky plantation, she killed her own daughter rather than see her returned to a life of bondage.
Soprano Tracie Luck makes her company debut as Margaret, with Gregg Baker as her husband Robert Garner, Lisa Daltirus as her mother-in-law Cilla, Timothy Mix as plantation owner Edward Gaines, Maureen McKay as his abolitionist daughter Caroline Gaines Hancock, Joel Sorensen as plantation foreman Casey, and Christopher Jackson as George Hancock. New York City Opera music director George Manahan conducts; the staging is a new production for the company by director Tazewell Thompson.
Margaret Garner receives seven performances from tonight through September 29 at the New York State Theater in Lincoln Center. Information and tickets are available at www.nycopera.com.
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All photos by Carol Rosegg.