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King of RagtimeScott Joplin and His Era$
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Edward A. Berlin

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780199740321

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199740321.001.0001

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The Elusive Production, 1911–1913

The Elusive Production, 1911–1913

Chapter:
(p.273) Chapter 17 The Elusive Production, 1911–1913
Source:
King of Ragtime
Author(s):

Edward A. Berlin

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199740321.003.0017

Joplin and his friend Sam Patterson prepared an orchestration for Treemonisha’s opening performance in Atlantic City in 1911. When plans for the performance floundered, Joplin rented a hall in Harlem for a test performance with singers and piano accompaniment; no one in the small audience of invited guests agreed to offer financial backing. He set about rewriting the opera and met with those who might advise him. In 1912 he reportedly met with the African American opera composer Harry Lawrence Freeman. In 1913 Joplin was studying with opera coach and composer Bruto Giannini (who later mentored stride pianist James P. Johnson). He now described Treemonisha as a comic opera and scheduled a performance in Bayonne, NJ which, apparently, did not occur. Another performance planned for in October was cancelled. In 1913, Joplin formed a publishing company with Lottie Stokes, with whom he was now living.

Keywords:   Treemonisha, Sam Patterson, Bruto Giannini, Lottie Stokes, Lafayette Theatre

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