The Beggar's Opera

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EMS20100911

In this month's Early Music Show "opera profile", Lucie Skeaping looks at the inspiration, background and impact of John Gay's celebrated Beggar's Opera which appeared in London in 1728 as a reaction to the excesses and pretensions of fashionable Italian opera.

Far from the exulted realms of the ancient heroes and the classical gods, the opera celebrates the worst of 18th century London street life, featuring beggars, cut-throats, thieves and prostitutes singing the popular ballad tunes of the day.

Lucie considers the London lust for ballads and ballad-singing during this time, and is joined by Jeremy Barlow of the Broadside Band, at Lincoln's Inn Fields, the home to the first performances of The Beggar's Opera, to consider Gay's radical operatic satire the ballads inspired.

Lucie Skeaping looks at the inspiration, background and impact of The Beggar's Opera.

EMS20100911

In this month's Early Music Show "opera profile", Lucie Skeaping looks at the inspiration, background and impact of John Gay's celebrated Beggar's Opera which appeared in London in 1728 as a reaction to the excesses and pretensions of fashionable Italian opera.

Far from the exulted realms of the ancient heroes and the classical gods, the opera celebrates the worst of 18th century London street life, featuring beggars, cut-throats, thieves and prostitutes singing the popular ballad tunes of the day.

Lucie considers the London lust for ballads and ballad-singing during this time, and is joined by Jeremy Barlow of the Broadside Band, at Lincoln's Inn Fields, the home to the first performances of The Beggar's Opera, to consider Gay's radical operatic satire the ballads inspired.

Lucie Skeaping looks at the inspiration, background and impact of The Beggar's Opera.