Monday, September 7, 2015 OperaNova aims to connect Northern Virginia students with Scott Joplin opera 'Treemonisha'

Scott Joplin (c.1867-1917) is profiled at, which features a Bibliography and comprehensive Works List for by Dr. Dominique-René de Lerma,

Grace Gilday and Syrina Gudnitz perform a selection from Mozart's "The Marriage of Figaro" at Opera Nova's annual fundraising brunch, held Sept. 29, 2013, at the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association conference center in Ballston

Posted: Monday, September 7, 2015 2:00 pm

Get young people excited about music early, and the attachment will carry through for a lifetime.
That’s the mantra underlying OperaNova, which has announced an ambitious effort for the 2015-16 season to connect youth with not simply a classic Italian opera, but one from the African-American experience, as well.
The Arlington-based organization next spring will present a production of Scott Joplin’s “Treemonisha,” first performed in 1910 but then largely forgotten by succeeding generations before being resurrected six decades later.
The production – described as the first uniquely American opera and representing something of a departure from Joplin’s roots in ragtime music – follows a group of freed slaves in 1880s Arkansas, as a young woman (the title character) urges the others to embrace education and cast away the superstitions of previous times.
“It’s quite moving,” said Mike Doan, a member of the OperaNova board, who said that given the subject matter, “it is especially meaningful to young people.”
The production is slated for March 2016, with a number of shows for local students and one community offering. But if the production finds success, it may take on a life of its own.


For information, see the Web site at

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