The beggar’s opera / written by Mr. Gay ; to which is prefixed the musick to each song.
New York : Doubleday, Page & Co., , xviii p., 93 p. of music : col. ill. ; 26 cm.
Today’s post shows off this delightful edition of John Gay’s ballad opera, The Beggar’s Opera. The work was adapted by Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill in the 1920s as The Threepenny Opera, which included the (somewhat odd) musical hit, “Mack the Knife”. The work has enjoyed popularity with audiences in both its original and re-imagined forms.
This edition includes a tribute to production designer, Claud Lovat Fraser, who died shortly after working on a 1920 revival of The Beggar’s Opera. The costume sketches above for Mrs. Peachum, Macheath, and Polly Peachum are Fraser’s.
The other highlight of this edition - and a trait common to many editions of Beggar’s Opera - is the inclusion of the tunes that were used throughout the show. Collaborator Johann Christoph Pepusch selected tunes from every corner of life that were then used to score Gay’s text. Their inclusion in this edition is why our copy is shelved with full opera scores (M1500) as opposed to with libretti (ML50).
“Screw writing “strong” women. Write interesting women. Write well-rounded women. Write complicated women. Write a woman who kicks ass, write a woman who cowers in a corner. Write a woman who’s desperate for a husband. Write a woman who doesn’t need a man. Write women who cry, women who rant, women who are shy, women who don’t take no shit, women who need validation and women who don’t care what anybody thinks. THEY ARE ALL OKAY, and all those things could exist in THE SAME WOMAN. Women shouldn’t be valued because we are strong, or kick-ass, but because we are people. So don’t focus on writing characters who are strong. Write characters who are people.” – Lori
Musical challenge: 07/08 Costumes - Cosette’s black dress Les Miserables
my favorite friendships in musical theatre (1/?): mark cohen and roger davis in rent.
Never meet your followers; you end up going to the same college and spending lunchtimes together.
And suddenly I’m flying, flying like a bird, like electricity, electricity, sparks inside of me and I’m free, I’m free.
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me when I wake up