Monday, March 15, 2010

Waiting for Treemonisha

Did you know that the king of ragtime, Scott Joplin, actually wrote an opera? Well, I didn't!

The Artistic Management of the Théâtre du Châtelet had a good idea to program an opera by an African-American composer -- 1 year after the US elected the first African-American president: it will be Treemonisha by Scott Joplin. The 6-shows series of this new production will be premiered on March 31.
What to expect? To get an idea about the musical content, a DG recording is always helpful.
The Châtelet website propose a short video-presentation -- which is nice but not really informative. More (but not too much) information about Treemonisha can be found on wiki.

I'm not sure a ragtime opera will be my thing, but I'm ready to give it a try.

The production will be directed by Mark Dornford-May, the choreography arranged by Blanka Li, while a young American conductor, Kazem Abdullah, will be in charge of music.
In the title role we should "discover" Adina Aaron...

What prompted many people to pay extra attention to this opera was the announcement that legendary Grace Bumbry will hit the stage again. 

Here is a YT-video from some other production of Treemonisha [posted by vincero1979]

and, of course, an excerpt from the famous documentary about Grace Bumbry :)

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