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Treemonisha is an opera by American ragtime composer Scott Joplin. It is sometimes referred to as a "ragtime opera".

The original text

Written in 1911, the opera celebrates African-American music and culture while stressing that education is the salvation of African Americans. The heroine and symbolic educator is Treemonisha, who runs into trouble with a local band of conjurers, who kidnap her.

Its first complete performance was in 1972. Joplin was posthumously awarded the Pulitzer Prize for music in 1976 for Treemonisha.

Translations and adaptations

Performance history in South Africa

2006: Presented by Cape Town Opera (31 March & 1 April)


Wayne Muller. 2018. A reception history of opera in Cape Town: Tracing the development of a distinctly South African operatic aesthetic (1985–2015). Unpublished PhD thesis.

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