Toledo, OH: Toledo Opera will present Broadway’s Ragtime on Friday, April 19, 2024, at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, April 21, 2024, at 2 p.m. at the Valentine Theatre, 400 North Superior, Toledo, Ohio. Performed by Toledo Opera for the first time, this production boasts a star-studded cast and creative team. Toledo Opera will also host a free Pre-Opera Talk one hour before each show in the Grand Lobby of the Valentine Theatre. Local scholars provide historical context and insight and are available to take questions after the talk.

Ragtime is a musical with music by Stephen Flaherty, lyrics by Lynn Ahrens, and book by Terence McNally. It is based on the 1975 novel of the same name by E.L. Doctorow. First performed in 1996 at the then-called Ford Centre for the Performing Arts (now the Meridian Arts Centre) in Toronto, Ragtime ran for 9 months before its 1997 US premiere at the Shubert Theatre in Los Angeles. The Broadway production began previews in December of 1997, and officially opened in January 1998. The Broadway production featured many of the original Toronto cast, including Brian Stokes Mitchell as Coal House Walker, Marin Mazzie as Mother, Peter Friedman as Tateh, and Audra McDonald as Sarah – all of whom were nominated for Tony Awards. The Broadway production ran for 834 performances and boasted 13 Tony Award nominations, winning for Best Featured Actress (McDonald), Original Score, Book, and Orchestrations.

Tracking three diverse families in pursuit of the American dream of the volatile “melting pot” of turn-of-the-century New York, Ragtime confronts the dialectic contradictions inherent in American reality: experiences of wealth and poverty, freedom and prejudice, hope and despair. Over the course of the story, the worlds of a wealthy white couple, a Jewish immigrant father and his motherless daughter, and an African American ragtime musician intertwine. Together they discover the surprising interconnections of the human heart, the limitations of justice, and the unsettling consequences when dreams are permanently deferred. Ragtime will star Derrick Davis (Toledo Opera’s I Dream) as Coalhouse Walker, Broadway soprano Raquel Suarez Groen as Mother, and Joshua Jeremiah as Tateh. The production will be conducted by J. Ernest Green, directed by James M. Norman, and choreographed by Domonique Glover.

Derrick Davis is a dynamic and passionate performer of stage and screen. In his exciting theater career, he has held the roles of The Phantom in the 25th Anniversary Tour of The Phantom of the Opera and Mufassa on the Gazelle Tour of Disney’s The Lion King. Recently, Mr. Davis played the role of Coalhouse Walker with the Bay Street Theatre, with Broadway World noting that he “magnificently portray[ed the role]…Mr. Davis’ take on the role is terrific; energetic and light in the beginning turning into angst ridden and dark as the story progresses.”

Raquel Groen Suarez

Known for her “fresh and clear” sound and her versatile performances of complex characters, Raquel Suarez Groen is a force to be reckoned with on both Opera and theatre stages. Ms. Suarez Groen made her Broadway debut in the iconic role of Carlotta Giudicelli in The Phantom of the Opera which she has since performed close to 1,000 performances in her two years with the company. The Huffington Post has lauded her for her “poignant and witty” performances.

Hailed as “rich-voiced” (The New York Times) and praised for his “warmly appealing, burnished baritone” (Opera Today), Joshua Jeremiah enjoys an impressive national career. Engagements in the 2022-2023 season included his debut with Seattle Opera and Virginia Opera. He has also performed with Hawaii Opera Theater, Nashville Opera, Opera Tampa, Houston Grand Opera, and Minnesota Opera.

Davis, Suarez Groen, and Jeremiah’s fellow leads –mezzo-soprano and Toledo Opera Resident Artist Imara Miles as Sarah, tenor Nicholas Kottman as Mother’s Younger Brother, tenor and former Toledo Opera Resident Artist Brendan Boyle as Father, mezzo-soprano Elizabeth Mitchell as Emma Goldman, soprano and Toledo Opera Resident Artist Sara Mortensen as Evelyn Nesbit, baritone and Toledo Opera Resident Artist Evan Fleming as Harry Houdini, and baritone Bernard Dotson as Booker T. Washington, bring national musical prowess of their own, with past performances at The Glimmerglass Festival, Pensacola Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera, Ohio Light Opera, Detroit Opera, The New York Philharmonic among many others. Also joining the cast are Elias Fox (The Little Boy), Sophia Bernard (The Little Girl), tenor and Toledo Opera Resident Artist Jon Suek (Henry Ford), baritone Kris Krotzer (J.P. Morgan), baritone Christopher Stack (Willie Conklin), soprano Darla Arnett (Sarah’s Friend), and baritone David P. Engel (Grandfather).

“Ragtime is a crossover musical theater piece similar to Candide or Sweeney Todd – both of which Toledo Opera has performed in the recent past,” shared Executive Director Suzanne Rorick. “You can expect exciting vocal performances and storytelling that will relate to some part of your personal history as it is the story of immigration and ultimately the acceptance of differences. We are all a part of this melting pot and this historical piece helps to examine and explain that humanity.”

Toledo Opera will perform Ragtime at the Valentine Theatre on Friday, April 19 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, April 21 at 2 p.m. Ragtime is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI). To learn more about Ragtime cast and production team and to buy tickets, visit: Ragtime  is made possible by Owens Corning. For media access, please contact Rachael Cammarn at