From Ragtime to Opera – a rare Scott Joplin performance
22 August, 2019 — By Michael White
THE African-American composer Scott Joplin is best-known for his ragtime piano music. But in 1910 he also wrote an opera called Treemonisha that doesn’t get performed very often and, in all honesty, isn’t a great work.
But it IS worth hearing. And it’s worth the journey to Dalston next week when it plays at the Arcola Theatre as part of the 2019 Grimeborn season (not to be confused with Glyndebourne, although the similarity of name is deliberate. And mischievous).
Set among recently freed slaves in the American South, Treemonisha tells the story of a young, self-educated woman who challenges the superstitions of her community and becomes a role-model of leadership.
The music mixes gospel, barbershop and early blues.
• August 27-31, 7.30pm, £12-£20, Arcola Theatre, Ashwin Street, E8 3DL, 020 7503 1646, www.arcolatheatre.com