The Beggar's Opera
by John Gay, adapted by Benjamin Britten
Mar 1-4, 2012
7pm | Thursday
8pm | Friday & Saturday
3pm | Sunday
Alma Thomas Theater, Sarofim School of Fine Arts, Southwestern University
A Special Theatre and Music Department Collaboration
Muggers, smugglers, prostitutes, and thieves. Nobody plays by the rules, least of all MacHeath-bandit, hedonist, superhero to some, villain to others. John Gay’s opera brings to life the greed, lust, and corruption of 18th Century London. A dark, seedy, absurd, visually rich, and cruelly comic production.
The Beggar’s Opera premiered at the Lincoln’s Inn Fields Theatre on 29 January 1728 and ran for 62 consecutive performances, the longest run in theatre history up to that time.
In 1920, The Beggar’s Opera began an astonishing revival run of 1,463 performances at the Lyric Theatre in Hammersmith, London, which was one of the longest runs in history for any piece of musical theatre at that time.
According to The New York Times: “Gay wrote the work more as an anti-opera than an opera, one of its attractions to its 18th-century London public being its lampooning of the Italian opera style and the English public’s fascination with it.”