John Gay, The Beggar's Opera

Download PDF Add to Bookshelf Report an Error
The Beggar's Opera

is Gay's best-known work and an indisputable masterpiece. First produced, to rapturous acclaim, at the Theatre Royal in Lincoln's Inn Fields on 29 January 1728, the opera was a runaway success. Lavinia Fenton, the actress playing the heroine, Polly Peachum, immediately became the toast of the town and, soon after, married the Duke of Bolton, who came nightly to admire her. The opera received sixty-two performances that season and went on to be continuously performed on the English stage each year throughout the eighteenth century. Its popularity continued in the nineteenth century, and in the twentieth was given a number of added boosts, first by Kurt Weill and Bertholt Brecht's famous, pre-World War II adaptation,

The Three Penny Opera

, produced in Berlin in 1928, and…

2287 words

Citation: Gordon, Ian. "The Beggar's Opera". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 04 February 2004 [, accessed 21 May 2024.]

1469 The Beggar's Opera 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

Save this article

If you need to create a new bookshelf to save this article in, please make sure that you are logged in, then go to your 'Account' here

Leave Feedback

The Literary Encyclopedia is a living community of scholars. We welcome comments which will help us improve.