Most Active Stories
- Controversy Over Blackbeard's Queen Anne's Revenge Continues
- Deep Water Shipwreck Discovered Off North Carolina Coast
- The Front Bottoms, 'Laugh Till I Cry'
- Clinton Won't Go As Far As Rivals On Minimum Wage Or Rule Out Oil Pipelines
- Artifacts From Bertie County Site May Help Solve Centuries Old Mystery
Tue March 19, 2013
Marches Madness: High-Stepping To Scott Joplin
Originally published on Wed March 20, 2013 2:16 pm
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."