DetailsThe Beggar's Opera
was originally produced on 29 January 1728 by the Theatre Manager John Rich at Lincoln's Inn Fields Theatre and was the first musical show to mix dialogue with songs. A story of thieves and highwaymen, it was intended to mirror the moral degradation of society and, more particularly, to caricature the then Prime Minister Sir Robert Walpole. It ran for 62 performances, the longest run then known, and the success of the production enabled John Rich to build a new theatre in Covent Garden, the forerunner of the Royal Opera House. The Beggar's Opera
was first heard of Covent Garden in 1732. New Production generously supported by The Friends of Covent Garden. John's Gay's The Beggar's Opera
is heard for the first time at Covent Garden in an arrangement written by Benjamin Britten in 1948. This arrangement was first performed in 1948 in Cambridge, directed by Tyrone Guthrie and conducted by the composer, with Peter Pears in the role of Macheath.Performers Thomas Randle (Macheath), Leah-Marian Jones (Polly Peachum), Jeremy White (Peachum), Susan Bickley (Mrs Peachum), Donald Maxwell (Lockit), Frances McCafferty (Diana Trapes), Robert Anthony Gardiner (Filtch).
Author John Gay. Producer Royal Opera. Conductor Christian Curnyn. Director Justin Way. Design Kimm Kovac. Design Andrew Hays. Conductor Richard Hickox.