Composer: Scott Joplin
Librettist: Scott Joplin
Other Artistic Personnel: Atlanta production, 1972:
Original Cast: Alpha Floyd; Louise Parker; Seth McCoy; Simon Estes; others (Atlanta production, 1972); Treemonisha, Carmen Balthrop; Monisha, Betty Allen; Remus, Curtis Rayam; Ned, Willard White; Parson Alltalk, Ed Pierson; with Ben Harney, Cora Johnson, Kenneth Hicks, Dorceal Duckens, Dwight Ransom, Raymond Bazemore, and the Louis Johnson Dance Theater (Houston production, as toured in NYC).
Premiere Date: January 27, 1972
Producing Company: Morehouse College and Atlanta Symphony
Description: The opera is concerned with the plight of the newly-freed slaves who, because they lack education, fall easy prey to conjurers and superstition. The story takes place after the American Civil War, on a plantation in the South. Treemonisha -- found under a sacred tree as an orphan -- is a young girl who is the only educated person in her black community. She refuses to accept the superstitions of her people. Angry with her denouncements, the conjurers-men who make their living by preying on the superstitions of others-kidnap her. As they are about to thrust her into a wasp's nest, her boyfriend Remus rescues her. She then returns to her people, and they ask her to be their leader. At the end of the opera, she prepares to embark on an educational campaign. The liberation of a people through education and the concept of women's liberation are the crux of Joplin's message. Joplin focuses on the need for education to eradicate prejudice, superstition, and ignorance.
Reviews: 'Treemonisha' as It Was Intended To Be - The Wall Street Journal, 12-6-2011

Opera Canada, Winter 1985; Opernwelt, 7-84; The New York Times, Robert Jones, 9-21-75; Time, William Bender, 9-15-75; The New York Times, Raymond Ericson, 7-2-75; The New York Times, Peter G. Davis, 6-1-75; The New York Times, Gunther Schuller, 5-18-75; The New York Times, Donal Henahan, 1-23-75; The New York Times, Walter Kerr, 1-2-75; The New York Times, Raymond Ericson, 4-9-72; The New Yorker, Winthrop Sargeant, 3-25-72; The New York Times, Harold C. Schonberg, 2-13-72; The New York Times, Harold C. Schonberg, 1-30-72
Length: 02:00
Total Acts: Not Available
Musical Style: Joplin didn't refer to Treemonisha as a ragtime opera. He set out to emulate the serious music he had heard at the Metropolitan Opera and by various touring European companies. He considered the work a grand opera, with an overture, instrumental prel
Contact: Volume two of the New York Public Library's publication The Complete Work of Scott Joplin, 1982
Schedule of Performances Listings
Treemonisha (Joplin)
Monday, June 6, 2011 - New York City Opera
Treemonisha (Joplin)
Saturday, January 24, 2009 - Opera Memphis
Treemonisha (Joplin)
Saturday, May 20, 2000 - Opera Theatre of Saint Louis
Treemonisha (Joplin)
Sunday, November 7, 1999 - Opera Roanoke
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