Difference between revisions of "The Beggar's Opera"

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''The Beggar’s Opera''  by John Gay (1685-1732). A musical comedy about the love triangle between the highwayman Macheath, his fence's daughter Polly and the jailer's daughter Lucy. First produced in London in 1728. It later formed the basis of Bertolt Brecht’s immensely popular ''[[The Threepenny Opera]]'' (qv.).
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''[[The Beggar's Opera]]''  is a ballad opera[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ballad_opera] by John Gay (1685-1732)[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Gay]  
  
South African performances of Gay’s opera include productions by  [[CAPAB]] in 1964 and [[Louis Burke]], with [[Joan Brickhill]], [[David Holliday]], [[Louis Burke]], [[Maggie Soboil]] and [[Frank Lazarus]] (opened in Cape Town in 1965, and then taken to Johannesburg by [[Theatre International]] in 1966).**.
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== The original text ==
  
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Based on the story of the infamous British thief and jailbreaker '''Jack Sheppard'''[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Sheppard], the play is a musical comedy about the love triangle between the highwayman Macheath, his fence's daughter Polly and the jailer's daughter Lucy. 
  
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John Gay's text uses music consisting largely of poplar tunes of the day,  to which Gay adapted his own words. In the original production these were arranged and orchestrated by Johann Christoph Pepusch (1667-1752)[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johann_Christoph_Pepusch], who also composed the overture.
  
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The original version was first produced in the Lincoln's Inn Fields Theatre in London in 1728.
  
Return to [[ESAT Plays 2 B|B]] in Plays 2 Foreign Plays
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==Translations and adaptations==
  
Return to [[South_African_Theatre/Plays]]
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There was a London revival at the Lyric Theatre, Hammersmith, produced by Sir Nigel Playfair, for which the music was freely rearranged by Frederic Austin.
  
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Since 1920 there had been several "rewrites" of ''[[The Beggar's Opera]]'' and it later formed the basis of Bertolt Brecht’s immensely popular ''[[The Threepenny Opera]]'' (1928)[].
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In 1953 a Technicolor film version was made of Gay's opera,  directed by Peter Brook and starring Laurence Olivier, Dorothy Tutin, [[Stanley Holloway]] and others.[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Beggar%27s_Opera_(film)]
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[[Louis Burke]] made a South African adaptation of Gay's play for the [[CAPAB]] production of 1965.
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== Performance history in South Africa ==
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1922: Staged in Cape Town in 1922 at the [[Opera House]] by an overseas company under the direction of [[African Theatres]] Ltd.
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1965: A production by [[CAPAB]] in 1965 was directed and choreographed by [[Louis Burke]], with [[Joan Brickhill]], David Holliday [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Holliday] and a large cast which included [[Fitz Morley]], [[Paddy Canavan]], [[Yvonne Bryceland]], [[Frank Lazarus]], [[Maggie Soboil]].  Musical direction was by [[Walter Swanson]], decor by [[Bill Smuts]], costumes by [[Joan Brickhill]]. This production was then taken to Johannesburg by [[Theatre International]] in 1966.
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== Sources ==
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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Gay
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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johann_Christoph_Pepusch
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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Beggar%27s_Opera
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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ballad_opera
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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Beggar%27s_Opera_(film)
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''[[The Beggar's Opera]]'' theatre programme, 1965.
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Go to [[ESAT Bibliography]]
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== Return to ==
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Return to [[PLAYS I: Original SA plays]]
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Return to [[PLAYS II: Foreign plays]]
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Return to [[PLAYS III: Collections]]
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Return to [[PLAYS IV: Pageants and public performances]]
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Return to [[South_African_Festivals|South African Festivals and Competitions]]
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Return to [[The ESAT Entries]]
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Return to [[Main Page]]
 
Return to [[Main Page]]

Latest revision as of 05:38, 8 May 2020

The Beggar's Opera is a ballad opera[1] by John Gay (1685-1732)[2]

The original text

Based on the story of the infamous British thief and jailbreaker Jack Sheppard[3], the play is a musical comedy about the love triangle between the highwayman Macheath, his fence's daughter Polly and the jailer's daughter Lucy.

John Gay's text uses music consisting largely of poplar tunes of the day, to which Gay adapted his own words. In the original production these were arranged and orchestrated by Johann Christoph Pepusch (1667-1752)[4], who also composed the overture.

The original version was first produced in the Lincoln's Inn Fields Theatre in London in 1728.

Translations and adaptations

There was a London revival at the Lyric Theatre, Hammersmith, produced by Sir Nigel Playfair, for which the music was freely rearranged by Frederic Austin.

Since 1920 there had been several "rewrites" of The Beggar's Opera and it later formed the basis of Bertolt Brecht’s immensely popular The Threepenny Opera (1928)[].

In 1953 a Technicolor film version was made of Gay's opera, directed by Peter Brook and starring Laurence Olivier, Dorothy Tutin, Stanley Holloway and others.[5]

Louis Burke made a South African adaptation of Gay's play for the CAPAB production of 1965.

Performance history in South Africa

1922: Staged in Cape Town in 1922 at the Opera House by an overseas company under the direction of African Theatres Ltd.

1965: A production by CAPAB in 1965 was directed and choreographed by Louis Burke, with Joan Brickhill, David Holliday [6] and a large cast which included Fitz Morley, Paddy Canavan, Yvonne Bryceland, Frank Lazarus, Maggie Soboil. Musical direction was by Walter Swanson, decor by Bill Smuts, costumes by Joan Brickhill. This production was then taken to Johannesburg by Theatre International in 1966.

Sources

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Gay

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johann_Christoph_Pepusch

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Beggar%27s_Opera

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ballad_opera

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Beggar%27s_Opera_(film)

The Beggar's Opera theatre programme, 1965.

Go to ESAT Bibliography

Return to

Return to PLAYS I: Original SA plays

Return to PLAYS II: Foreign plays

Return to PLAYS III: Collections

Return to PLAYS IV: Pageants and public performances

Return to South African Festivals and Competitions

Return to The ESAT Entries

Return to Main Page