—Leah-Simone Bowen, playwright
The themes of feminism and black aspiration that Joplin was exploring in his masterwork 'Treemonisha' are so ahead of their time.
with the Moveable Beast Collective
In his masterwork Treemonisha, famed ragtime composer Scott Joplin created a story of black female empowerment that explored the aspirations of African Americans, telling the tale of an abandoned ex-slave girl who grows up to lead her community. The landmark work, written more than 100 years ago, never reached the stage during Joplin's lifetime, but the Toronto-based Volcano Theatre Company is resurrecting the opera and bringing Joplin's fictional African-American town in the post-Reconstruction South to vivid life in this reimagined and partially-staged production. The company has enlisted Leah-Simone Bowen to create a new libretto honoring the politics of Joplin's original, set to new orchestrations of the composer's vibrant and eclectic score, in which he fuses classical and folk sounds with gospel and ragtime.
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Program notes will be available approximately one week before the performance.