The Auditorium Theatre features ‘Margaret Garner’

Chicago audiences are looking forward to Margaret Garner, the grand opera returning to the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University.

Chicago audiences are looking forward to Margaret Garner, the grand opera returning to the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University. The production tells the encumbering experience of a slave mother during her family’s escape from a Kentucky plantation across the river into Ohio.

The compelling true story will feature Denyce Graves in the title role of the distraught mother Nov. 1 and 2, and Tracie Luck performing the role November 6, 8, and 9. The libretto is by Toni Morrison, Richard Danielpour composed the score and Kenny Leon serves as the director.

The production tells of Margaret Garner and her family. Her husband had fled Kentucky from the Maplewood Plantation in 1856 to Ohio but was discovered and murdered. And when Margaret was captured, with the intention of being returned to her slave owners, she decided to sacrifice her own children rather than allow their return to slavery.

This gripping story has been featured in Detroit, Michigan, New York, Philadelphia and Cincinnati. African Americans and other members of the Chicago community collaborated to produce the opera. Amina Dickerson, who saw the play outside of Chicago, was instrumental in bringing it here. She was named co-chair of the Margaret Garner Executive Committee and serves as Director of Corporate Contributions of Kraft Foods. Joining her were Les Coney, Development Committee Senior Managing Director, Executive Vice President Mesirow Financial; Ronnie Hartfield, Senior Fellow, Harvard University, a consultant in Museum Education and Planning; James and Mary Bell of the Boeing Corporation; Bob and Marjilee Blackwell of Blackwell Consulting Services Inc.; Andrea and Bell Zopp, Exelon Corporation Executive Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer; Marcus Boggs, Merrill Lynch; and Tim and Sandra Rand.

An internationally famous mezzosoprano, Graves is famous for her starring roles in Carmen and Samson et Dalila.

The celebrated mezzo-soprano Tracie Luck, who made her most distinguished performance with the New York City Opera is appearing in the title role November 6, 8 and 9 Chicago performances.

The opera was originally commissioned by Michigan Opera Theatre and in Chicago by the Auditorium Theatre. MOT, Cincinnati Opera and Opera Company of Philadelphia presented its original debut in 2005.

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