Margaret Garner opens in New York
Margaret Garner, the opera by Toni Morrison and Richard Danielpour that was commissioned by Cincinnati Opera, Michigan Opera Theater and Opera Company of Philadelphia, opened Tuesday at New York City Opera in a new production. The libretto is based on the true Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky story that inspired "Beloved."
Tracie Luck is starring as Margaret Garner, the fugitive slave who sacrificed her own child (children in the opera) rather than see them returned to slavery. Tracie, you may recall, performed locally in preview performances around the city, and was the understudy for the role, which was created by Denyce Graves.
Here's what the Martin Steinberg in the AP has to say:
"At Lincoln Center's State Theater on Tuesday night, Garner was portrayed by mezzo-soprano Tracie Luck, who was the backup for Denyce Graves in the earlier performances. Luck, making her City Opera debut, rose to the occasion with a heartfelt depiction. She was joyous at the moment of decision to escape her lecherous master, Edward, and she maintained her dignity through the worst of Margaret's travails."
The wire review mentions other standouts: "powerhouse baritone Gregg Baker as Robert; soprano Lisa Daltirus, portraying Robert's wise mother, Cilla; and baritone Timothy Mix as Edward."
You will recall Gregg Baker from his many Cincinnati performances, including a spectacular performance as Robert Garner; Lisa Daltirus made her debut here this summer as Aida.
All were making their City Opera debuts in the production directed by Tazewell Thompson directed and conductor George Manahan led the orchestra.
Donald Eastman was scenic designer.
The review calls the piece a "new masterpiece" that drew a standing ovation.
The opera, which debuted in Cincinnati in the 2005 season, has played to sold-out houses in 17 premiere performances.
The opera continues at the New York State Theater through Sept. 29. Watch a trailer or buy tickets by clicking here.
Other news: Nobel Prize-winning author Toni Morrison discusses her first opera libretto in the September issue of Gramophone magazine, N. American edition.
Photo journal: Click here to see photos at Playbillarts.com
Photos: Tracie Luck performing in Cincinnati Opera community performances; singing with Eric Green in a workshop at Michigan Opera Theater.