Arcola Theatre (Grimeborn) | August 2019
Music and libretto by Scott Joplin (1911)
Arkansas, 1884: the black community is free from the bonds of slavery, but true self-government has been hard to achieve. Superstition and fake news pervade the fractured community and it falls to the young heroine, Treemonisha, to speak truth to power and lead her elders towards enlightened thinking.
Written by ‘King of Ragtime’ Scott Joplin in 1911, and influenced by his own experience as a young African American during the Reconstruction period, Treemonisha was one of his proudest achievements – but he never saw it staged in his lifetime.
Now, Spectra Ensemble returns to Grimeborn with this all-singing, all-dancing piece which fuses African American spirituals, barbershop and early blues styles to create ‘an entirely new form of operatic art’.
Image © Ali Wright