The Beggar’s Opera
Robert Burt (Tenor), Beverley Klein (Mezzo-Soprano), Kate Batter (Soprano), Benjamin Purkiss (Actor), Kraig Thornber (Actor), Olivia Brereton (Actor), William Christie (Harpsichord)
Les Arts Florissants
William Christie (Conductor)
Robert Carsen (Director)
Ian Burton and Robert Carsen’s new take on Gay’s comedic exploration of society
Written in 1728 by John Gay, The Beggar’s Opera is considered to be the first musical comedy set some 300 years before the current fashion for “jukebox” productions that develop a plot around a hit song. Gay took some of the best-known tunes of his day, both classical and popular, and worked them into a bitingly satirical story set among London’s thieves, pimps and prostitutes.
The Beggar’s Opera was hugely popular from its first performance and has since been the basis for numerous stage, musical and film adaptations. It explores a cynical world where capitalist greed, crime and social inequality are the norm. Robert Carsen’s reinterpretation of this classic is indeed “a brilliant tour de force between baroque and modern” (Libération).