Front cloth design for Treemonisha

Maker and role
Artist: Franco Colavecchia, American, born England, 1937

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Collage and watercolor on paper
sheet, 20 x 30in (50.8 x 76.2cm)
Credit line
Gift of the artist
Accession number
Theatre production information
Opera by Scott Joplin. Produced by the Houston Grand Opera, 1975.
Further information
Franco Colavecchia's curtain pays homage to Treemonisha's composer, ragtime great Scott Joplin, and to artist Romare Bearden, whose photomontages often capture the rhythms and milieu of African-American music.

Treemonisha received a reading at the Lincoln Theatre in Harlem in 1915, but it was not staged until 1972, at Morehouse College, after the rise of African-American studies and amidst the revival of ragtime. The Houston Grand Opera, conducted by ragtime enthusiast and jazz historian Gunther Schuller, staged Treemonisha in 1975.


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