A notable cultural event occurred in Atlanta on January 28 and 29 with the world premiere of Treemonisha, a long-neglected folk opera by the black ragtime composer Scott Joplin (1868-1917) . Under the overall direction of Robert Shaw and the stage direction of the legendary dancer Katherine Dunham, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra combined with an all-black company to give the opera a rousing production.
Joplin began writing Treemonisha around 1905, when he was at the height of his fame, “King of the Ragtime.” With royalties from “Maple Leaf Rag” (1899), Joplin had moved in 1903 from Sedalia, Missouri, to St. Louis and bought a 13-room house in a good neighborhood. He gave up the life of iti...
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