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Selections from The Beggar's Opera by Benjamin Britten

(December 2008)

News_9790051933990.jpg Realised from the original airs of John Gay's Ballad Opera.

The Beggar's Opera is a ballad opera in three acts written in 1728 by John Gay. It is one of the watershed plays in Augustan drama and is the only example of the once thriving genre of satirical ballad opera to remain popular today. In 1948, Britten created his own version of the opera. It has been said that 'Britten did not so much 'arrange' his tunes as treat them as if he had composed them himself. He strips them - quite ruthlessly, one might think - of their independent histories and substitutes his own. Indeed, the only history we need to know in the context of his 1948 version of The Beggar's Opera is the composer's, i.e. Britten's' (Donald Mitchell).

This new selection of 13 solos and three duets for various voice types makes Britten's distinctive realisations, which apart from the vocal score have never been published, available at an affordable price. It includes interesting preface articles and helpful plot notes. These are lively and vivid versions of the original colourful tunes.

>  Further information on Work: The Beggar's Opera (edited Britten) see Britten
>  Further information on Selections from The Beggar's Opera - voice & piano

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