GREENSBORO, N.C. – The Greensboro College Opera Workshop will present Scott Joplin’s groundbreaking opera “Treemonisha” at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Feb. 1-2, in Gail Brower Huggins Performance Center in Odell Building on campus.
Admission is free, and the public is invited.
“Treemonisha” tells the story of a young woman, the daughter of former slaves, who seeks to lead her community, men and women alike, toward education and away from black magic and superstition.
The opera, composed in 1911, is the first composed by an African American, although it never was performed until 1972 at Morehouse College in Atlanta, 55 years after Joplin’s death.
Joplin, whose archetypal American ragtime music enjoyed a popular resurgence in the early 1970s when several of his compositions appeared on the soundtrack of the 1973 Oscar-winning movie “The Sting,” received a posthumous Pulitzer Prize in music in 1976 for the opera.
Two Greensboro College music alumni and experienced professional singers and dancers, Felecia Broadnax Sims ’94 and Maurio Hines ’08, will join the cast in leading roles. A freshman voice major, Tarron McCord, will sing the role of Treemonisha. The opera was cast blind, so not all roles are played by African Americans.
Sims began her career after graduating from Greensboro College by performing at Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, Va., as a singer and dancer. To further her career she went to New York City, where an audition took her to perform as a singer and dancer at the Lawrence Welk Resort in Escondido, Calif.
More auditions took her to sing and dance in the 1996 “Glory to Gospel” show in the Netherlands. Afterward she performed at Frontier City in Oklahoma City, doing the Country Show and the Magic Show as well as summer runs of “Fiddler on the Roof,” “Guys and Dolls” and “Little Shop of Horrors.” While in Oklahoma, she worked on another bachelor’s degree, in dance education. She now focuses on using her talents in praise and worship in her church.
Hines is a native of Durham. As a participant in the Glimmerglass Young Artist Program, he made his debut as Matthew Kumalo in Kurt Weil’s “Lost in the Stars.” Recently, he worked with Lyric Opera of Chicago in “Porgy and Bess,” was a featured dancer in Hawaii Opera’s production of “The Flying Dutchman,” Torasso in “Passion” with the Confidential Music Theatre Project, and Nikos in “Zorba” at the Clay and Wattles Theatre Company. He also appeared in “The Mikado” with the New York Gilbert and Sullivan Players and “Oklahoma!” with the Denver Center Theatre Company.
He received his B.A. in Vocal Performance from Greensboro College and his M.M. at East Carolina University.
For more information about the college’s opera workshop, contact Jane McKinney, professor and chair of the Department of Music, at 336-272-7102, ext. 5281, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Greensboro College provides a liberal arts education grounded in the traditions of the United Methodist Church and fosters the intellectual, social, and, spiritual development of all students while supporting their individual needs.
Founded in 1838 and located in downtown Greensboro, the college enrolls about 1,000 students from 29 states and territories, the District of Columbia, and seven foreign countries in its undergraduate liberal-arts program and six master’s degree programs. In addition to rigorous academics and a well-supported Honors program, the school features a 17-sport NCAA Division III athletic program and dozens of service and recreational opportunities. Learn more at greensboro.edu.
Think critically. Act justly. Live faithfully.
Lex Alexander, Director of Communications
815 W. Market St.
Greensboro, NC 27401
336-272-7102, ext. 5398