"Margaret Garner" is the accessible yet powerful new opera with music by Richard Danielpour and libretto by Toni Morrison. Based on a true story, the opera centers on the Medea-like plight of Margaret Garner, a slave who tries to escape, is recaptured, and kills her children for fear of their fate in slavery system. Tragic stuff, which is aided by Mr. Danielpour's eclectic, Americana-esque music, and Morrison's precise, succinct (a must in opera) libretto. The opera is performed and staged beautifully by a crack team, led by Broadway director Kenny Leon and opera diva Denyce Graves (who made a splash as Carmen at the Lyric Opera a few seasons back). Although the conclusion of the opera could be refined to make a more powerful statement, this is equally great theater as it is great opera. And what a joy to hear grand opera at the acoustically peerless Auditorium Theater!
Rating: *** (out of *****)