Beggars, Ballads And A Brouhaha!

Lucie Skeaping looks at the inspiration, background and impact of John Gay's celebrated Beggar's Opera which first performed 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 ballads of the day.

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EMS20050402

Lucie Skeaping looks at the inspiration, background and impact of John Gay's celebrated Beggar's Opera which first performed 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 ballads of the day.

EMS20050402

Lucie Skeaping looks at the inspiration, background and impact of John Gay's celebrated Beggar's Opera which first performed 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 ballads of the day.