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Text by John Gay (E)

Scoring

Major roles: S,3M,T,Bar; 24 minor roles; chorus; 1.1.1.1-tpt-perc:TD/SD-clavicembalo(hpd)-strings

Abbreviations (PDF)

World Premiere
19/06/1777
Haymarket Theatre, London
Company: unknown

World premiere of version
30/12/1922
Kingsway Theatre, London
Nigel Playfair, director
Conductor: Eugene Goossens

Roles

POLLY PEACHUM Soprano
MORANO (CAPTAIN MACHEATH) Baritone
JENNY DIVER Mezzo Soprano
MRS TRAPES Mezzo Soprano
MR DUCAT Tenor
MRS DUCAT Mezzo Soprano
VANDERBLUFF, pirate Bass
LAGUERRE, pirate speaking role
CULVERIN, pirate speaking role
HACKER, pirate speaking role
CAPSTAN, pirate speaking role
CUTLACE, pirate speaking role
OTHER PIRATES Chorus (tenors and basses)
POHETOHEE speaking role
CAWWAWKEE speaking role
FIRST FOOTMAN Tenor
SECOND FOOTMAN Bass
WOMEN OF THE TOWN Chorus (sopranos and altos)
TWO SLAVES speaking roles
Time and Place

On an island in the West Indies, early eighteenth century

Synopsis

The coffee planter Ducat is persuaded by Mrs Trapes to acquire one of her young ladies as a servant for his wife. Mrs Ducat, however, suspects her husband may have other employment in mind for the girl – who turns out to be Polly Peachum – and provides her with men's clothing in which to make her escape. Meanwhile Ducat and the island's native inhabitants join forces to repel the lawless pirates, led by Morano – who turns out to be Macheath in disguise. The pirates prove to be no match for the noble Indians, however, and Polly's disguise as a young gallant is eventually seen through. Finally she and Macheath are reunited, while Mrs Trapes and her girls are partnered off with the remaining pirates.

Moods

Comic

Subjects

History, Literary, Relationships, Society




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