Scott Joplin Opera Leaps Back to Life” (headline)

 – The San Francisco Chronicle

An opera in three acts performed by
The Paragon Ragtime Orchestra & Singers.

Scott Joplin’s operatic masterpiece is an uplifting look at an African-American community’s emergence from slavery into the promise of freedom. Led by a mysterious young woman – Treemonisha – an isolated black community struggles to overcome superstition and violence to embrace a future of self-determination and enlightenment. As the only opera about the “Up from Slavery” experience created by an African-American composer who actually witnessed it, Treemonisha is a priceless cultural treasure. Scott Joplin’s hauntingly beautiful music – inspired by the “field hollers,” spirituals, fiddle tunes, revival hymns, and sensual African dances of his childhood – still speaks powerfully to the hearts of modern audiences. Since 2003 The Paragon Ragtime Orchestra and Singers has toured this acclaimed and historically correct production of Treemonisha, offered in fully-staged, semi-staged, and concert versions.

“Ragtime and opera joined hands and danced together in the most joyous fashion at Stern Grove on Sunday afternoon, with a vigorous and utterly charming performance of Scott Joplin’s Treemonisha…the score, superbly led by conductor Rick Benjamin, is a resourceful marvel…. For this performance Benjamin…unveiled his new arrangement of Treemonisha for the 11-piece Paragon Ragtime Orchestra. That lithe, pungent blend of strings, woodwinds and brass…gave the performance a lively grace that helped fill the sunny meadow to perfection.”

– The San Francisco Chronicle








“Treemonisha as It Was Intended to Be” (headline)
– the Wall Street Journal

(Read the Wall Street Journal‘s feature story on PRO’s Treemonisha by Barrymore Laurence Scherer here: “Treemonisha as It Was Intended to Be”.)


“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”)

(Read the Gramophone‘s full review by Philip Clark here: “PRO’s Treemonisha.” )


“…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 Russell Platt here: “Eleven for 2011”.)


“It’s a project triumphantly realized…. their performance
is wonderfully lively and incisive….”

– OPERA magazine

(Read OPERA‘s full review by Christopher Ballantine here: “Treemonisha”.)


For information on North American presentation,
please contact the Paragon office:
(570) 524-9511

For information on European, South American, and Far Eastern presentation,
please contact:
+43 (676) 500-9036


Downloadable publicity and press information coming soon!


*NEW* Have an historic American theater? We have an NEA presenting grant! Click here for details: Paragon Live in Historic American Theaters!

For information about PRO’s acclaimed Treemonisha cast recording and book, please click here:

PRO Treemonisha recording & book


SCORE RENTALS AVAILABLE: The Paragon’s TREEMONISHA performance scores and materials can be rented for your productions. Please call +1 (570) 524-9511 or e-mail for information.





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