Marches Madness: High-Stepping To Scott Joplin
It's Marches Madness! Throughout this month, we're posting some of our favorite marches — from the concert hall, opera stage and parade ground. Got one we should hear? Played any yourself? Let us know in the comments section.
From the "Maple Leaf Rag" to " Solace," Scott Joplin wrote some of the jauntiest and most haunting music of the years before World War I. While he's the undisputed king of ragtime, he didn't realize his long-held dream of conquering the opera stage.
He wrote his first opera, A Guest of Honor, about Booker T. Washington dining at the White House with Theodore Roosevelt. The score is lost.
Treemonisha,about a young African-American woman helping her community overcome superstition and lack of education, has fared better, though well after Joplin's death. Multiple productions since the score's rediscovery in 1970 — such as the Houston Grand Opera one excerpted above — have brought its gentle charms to audiences around the world.
In the finale, after a short introduction, the chorus is "marching onward, marching onward," led by Carmen Balthrop as the title character, "marching to that lovely tune."
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