by John Gay and J C Pepusch
(Dover Thrift edition)
Directed by Annee Blott
Musical Direction by Helena Brown
13th - 15th October 2010
(pre-performance talk at 6:30pm)
Isleworth Public Hall
South Street, Isleworth, TW7 7BG
Tickets £12 (concessions £10)
includes entrance to pre-performance talk
Director: Annee Blott
Musical Director: Helena Brown
Conductor: Leslie-Ann Davies
The Beggar's opera is an enduringly popular ballad opera- an 18th century form of comic opera in which the spoken dialogue carries the narrative for a series of satirical songs set to familiar folk tunes. It is the story of Macheath the highwayman,his lovers,betrayers and criminal associates. It is enormous fun.
Following the success of last year's double bill of Charpentier's Acteon and Boyce's A Secular Masque , which built on our reputation for rescuing unperformed or seldom-performed baroque pieces from the archive, Helena Brown has produced a specially-adapted score for The Beggar's Opera. The work consisted, originally, of traditional tunes with a bass line by Dr J.C.Pepusch, and an overture. To this, we have added parts for our wind and percussion players, in order to "bring the score to life", and to give a hint of the present-day, too.
Thus,The Beggar's Opera,though it needs no dusting off, has been tailored to the strengths of singers and players. As artistic director I have relished the opportunity of changing the gender of two of the lead roles and of adapting some scenes to make it accessible to a modern audience. As always we are keen to preserve the integrity of John Gay's ballad opera and our inclusion of a baroque clog dancer is more than an homage to the period.