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House music 

The Detroit Opera House offers not only a lush and gilded interior, but local and international talent providing world-class opera as well as ballet.

Highlights for the 2004-2005 season at the Opera House, home of the Michigan Opera Theatre, include the Italian season opener Rigoletto Oct. 23-31. Coming dance attractions include the National Ballet of Canada Oct. 7-10.

In May the Opera House will present the world premiere of Margaret Garner, an opera based on the tragic pre-Civil War incident that helped inspire author Toni Morrison’s novel Beloved. Partly based on Morrison’s research, the performance stars mezzo-soprano Denyce Graves in the title role.

The story is a tragic one in which, when posed with a choice between bondage and death, fugitive slave Margaret Garner chose eternal freedom by killing her offspring.

At the Opera House, public relations coordinator Dave Blackburn says many operatic works have a short stage run due to the expense of the productions and the frequency of demand for specific performances. Visitors may want to check the Web site, for scheduling in advance.

See the opera schedule here.

Eddie B. Allen is a freelance writer for Metro Times. Send comments to

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