The New Paragon Recording –
SCOTT JOPLIN’S “TREEMONISHA”
An Opera in Three Acts
- World premiere recording of PRO’s acclaimed new production of
Scott Joplin’s theatrical masterpiece.
- 2-CD set of the complete opera, with bonus tracks.
- Includes a 116-page illustrated BOOK by Rick Benjamin and
Chris Ware revealing astounding new discoveries about Scott Joplin and his creation of Treemonisha.
SCOTT JOPLIN’S “TREEMONISHA”: AN OPERA IN THREE ACTS (1911)
(New World Records 80720-2; 2 CDs):
Performed by the Paragon Ragtime Orchestra & Singers, Rick Benjamin conductor;
Produced and engineered by Judith Sherman.
Featuring (in order of vocal appearance):
Edward Pleasant (Zodzetrick), AnnMarie Sandy (Monisha), Frank Ward, Jr. (Ned),
Anita Johnson (Treemonisha), Chauncey Packer (Remus), Robert Mack (Andy),
Janinah Burnett (Lucy), Darren Stokes (Parson Alltalk), Todd Payne (Simon),
Phumzile Sojola (Cephus), and Frederick Jackson (Luddud).
DISC ONE (53:21)
- The Bag of Luck.
- The Corn-Huskers.
- We’re Goin’ Around.
- The Wreath.
- The Sacred Tree.
- Treemonisha’s Bringing Up.
- Good Advice.
- Treemonisha in Peril.
- Frolic of the Bears.
- The Wasp-Nest.
- The Rescue.
- We Will Rest Awhile.
- Going Home.
- Aunt Dinah Has Blowed de Horn.
DISC TWO (45:46)
- Prelude to Act 3.
- I Want to See My Child.
- Treemonisha’s Return.
- Wrong Is Never Right.
- When Villains Ramble Far and Near.
- Conjurers Forgiven.
- We Will Trust You as Our Leader.
- A Real Slow Drag.
- Bowing Music on Themes from the Opera.
- Scott Joplin’s Treemonisha Preface read by his closest living relative, Grandniece Mrs. LaErma White of Texarkana, Arkansas.
“Treemonisha as It Was Intended to Be” (headline)
- the Wall Street Journal
(Read the Wall Street Journal‘s feature story on this new recording and its creation by clicking here: “Treemonisha as It Was Intended to Be” by Barrymore Laurence Scherer.)
“This is the most important document about the history of American
composed music to have appeared in a long, long time.”
- Gramophone (“Editor’s Choice” album)
(Read the Gramophone‘s full review by clicking here: “PRO’s Treemonisha” by Philip Clark.)
“…sweetly foursquare arias (Joplin’s libretto is touching and earnest)
alternate with choruses that could make you weep with joy.
There is nothing else like it, and Benjamin, aided by his
excellent orchestra and singers, has finally made it whole.”
- the New Yorker
(Read the New Yorker‘s full review by clicking here: “Eleven for 2011″ by Russell Platt.)
“It’s a project triumphantly realized, as these CDs reveal…their performance is wonderfully lively and incisive….The CD package is built as a hard-cover book…so informative and finely designed that it really ought to set a new benchmark.”
- OPERA magazine
(Read OPERA‘s full review by clicking here: “Treemonisha” by Christopher Ballantine.)
Scott Joplin’s Treemonisha is the only opera in existence about the Reconstruction era African-American experience written by a black man who actually lived through it. This fact alone makes it a work of tremendous significance. Further, Joplin’s score is profoundly expressive and as stylistically unique as anything ever created in America. Through it, the composer vividly documents the echoes of the “field hollers,” spirituals, fiddle tunes, revival hymns, and ancient African dances of his rural childhood, together with the vanished dialects of his people in their rising up from slavery. Treemonisha is Scott Joplin’s statement of deep racial pride and an act of true artistic heroism – his creation of beauty in the face of almost unbearable ignorance, racism, poverty, and physical and emotional pain. Joplin’s original 1911 performance materials for the opera were almost entirely destroyed in the early 1960s. But here now after 18 years of research is an authentic, historically correct reconstruction of this “Sleeping Beauty of American Music,” performed on this world premiere recording. Listen as Scott Joplin – “The King of Ragtime Writers” – sings the song he wanted America to hear.
SCORE RENTALS AVAILABLE: The acclaimed orchestrations and score materials heard on this recording can be rented for your performances. Please call +1 (570) 524-9511 or
e-mail [email protected] for information.