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The Beggar's Opera (English Edition) [Format Kindle]

John Gay

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Présentation de l'éditeur

This book was converted from its physical edition to the digital format by a community of volunteers. You may find it for free on the web. Purchase of the Kindle edition includes wireless delivery.

The Merriam-Webster Encyclopedia of Literature

A ballad opera in three acts by John Gay, performed at Lincoln's Inn Fields Theatre, London, in 1728 and published in the same year. The work combines comedy and political satire in prose interspersed with songs set to contemporary and traditional English, Irish, Scottish, and French tunes. In it, Gay portrays the lives of a group of thieves and prostitutes in 18th-century London. The action centers on Peachum, a fence for stolen goods; Polly, his daughter; and Macheath, a highwayman. Gay caricatures the government, fashionable society, marriage, and Italian operatic style. Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill based their ballad opera Die Dreigroschenoper (1928; The Threepenny Opera) on Gay's work.

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 176 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 66 pages
  • Pagination - ISBN de l'édition imprimée de référence : 1490530061
  • Utilisation simultanée de l'appareil : Illimité
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ASIN: B004TS08LU
  • Synthèse vocale : Activée
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  • Word Wise: Non activé
  • Composition améliorée: Activé
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: n°8.979 des titres gratuits dans la Boutique Kindle (Voir le Top 100 gratuits dans la Boutique Kindle)

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Amazon.com: 4.2 étoiles sur 5  13 commentaires
12 internautes sur 14 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Crime, Love and the Opera 30 mars 2000
Par Un client - Publié sur Amazon.com
The Beggar's Opera by John Gay is an artful yet honest representation of London in the early 1700s. As the Editor's introduction notes, it is a political satire that brings to life the actions of such notorious figures as Jonathan Wild and Robert Walpole. In the Beggar's introduction the reader is made aware of the author's intent to mock the recent craze of the Italian Opera, which is considered by Gay to be thouroughly "unnatural." Immediately after that we are exposed to the corruption of a city offical, Peachum (whose name means "to inform against a fellow criminal"), as he is choosing which criminals should live, as they are still profitable, and who should not, as they have turned honest. Peachum's character of both an arch-criminal and law man is interesting enough in his daily dealings; add to that his daughter's recent marriage to a highwayman (who the father then plots to send to the gallows). Not to mention what happens when the highwayman runs into an old aquaintance of his, who visibly shows his earlier affection, and you have what makes to be a highly entertaining, emotional, and educational story of 18th century London. The dialogue is well written, and the only problem a modern reader might have is the operatic aspect. I suspect that the mockery of the opera is not felt as much when read but rather when performed. Note to reader: it makes it much easier to understand if you read the introduction. There you will find instances of "real" London that the playwrite is satirizing. For all lovers of period English pieces who enjoy a cynical wit.
6 internautes sur 6 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Birth of the Modern Musical - John Gay's Genius Overwhelms Italian Opera 13 mai 2007
Par Michael Wischmeyer - Publié sur Amazon.com
From its first performance, January 29, 1728, The Beggar's Opera was an absolute success. In that period a box office hit might be continued for four or five nights. Remarkably, The Beggar's Opera ran sixty-two nights in London, and was produced nearly every year thereafter to 1886. Its popularity quickly spread to Wales and Scotland, France and Germany, and even to the New England colonies (and became a favorite of George Washington).

A London revival in 1920 ran 1,463 performances. A Beggar's Opera Club had membership limited to those that had seen at least 40 performances. Bertholt Brecht's twentieth century version, Three Penny Opera, was immensely successful too. A jazzy rendition of one of Brecht's songs, Mack the Knife, became Number One on the Hit Parade in the early 1960s.

John Gay's innovative musical appealed to the masses with its rollicking, rowdy, English lyrics overlain on old, sentimental melodies. Formal, highly structured, Italian opera was shoved aside by this novel musical form.

The cast was equally original, being comprised of cutthroats, pickpockets, thieves, streetwalkers, highwaymen, and a corrupt jailer. Polly Peachum, the sweet, trusting daughter of the roguish Peachum, was the only honest character in the play. Miss Lavina Fenton, perhaps the best theatrical singer of her day, became immensely popular for her role as Polly and at end of the run - the sixty-two performances - she married the Duke of Bolton and retired from acting.

The audience was quick to associate Newgate Prison with Whitehall; the deceitful, avaricious Peachum (Polly's father) with Robert Walpole, the Prime Minister; Macheath's band of rogues (Jemmy Twitcher, Crook-Fingered Jack, Nimming Ned, etc.) with aristocratic courtiers, and Macheath's women of the streets (Mrs. Coaxer, Dolly Trull, Mrs. Vixen, Molly Brazen, etc.) with ladies of high society.

This short three-act play has some forty-five scenes, almost all with musical interludes. Gay holds this myriad of scenes together through nearly continuous action, more akin to a modern film than to the conventional eighteenth century play.

The Penguin Classics edition (titled The Beggar's Opera, as might be expected), edited by Brian Loughrey and T. O. Treadwell, is quite good and not difficult to find.

Another good choice (and my favorite) is The Beggar's Opera published by Barron's Educational Series, edited by Benjamin Griffith, and illustrated by Keogh with full page ink-line drawings of the key characters. The lengthy, three part introduction - the playwright, the play, and the staging - is quite helpful. The initial musical notes are presented along with the lyrics.

The Beggar's Opera, Regents Restoration Drama Series, Nebraska University Press, 1969 may be more suitable for English majors as it offers a scholarly introduction by Edgar V. Roberts. An extensive appendix, some 140 pages, is a compilation of the music of The Beggar's Opera with keyboard accompaniments, edited by Edward Smith.

The Beggar's Opera and Companion Pieces, Crofts Classics, 1966, edited by C. F. Burgess is particularly valuable - and somewhat unique - for including Gay's enjoyable poem Trivia (subtitled The Art of Walking the Streets of London), other poems (Newgate's Garland, 'Twas When the Seas Were Roaring, Sweet William's Farewell, Molly Mog, An Epistle to a Lady, and The Hare and Many Friends), and extracts from various letters. A possible drawback may be the absence of musical scores in the text, although the lyrics are embedded within the play itself.
4 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 This Kindle edition NOT the same as the Penguin which others review... 2 novembre 2011
Par Words can be music - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle
The Penguin edition of John Gay's Beggar's Opera is indeed a fine piece of work - at least, the edition in paperback edited by Treadwell and Loughrey has terrific footnotes and a fine introductory essay that places The Beggar's Opera in the context of its time. The context includes not only information about the Italian operas that it parodies, but about the real people such as Jonathan Wild, the thief-taker, on whom Mr. Peachum was modeled, and Robert Walpole, the Georgian power broker and womanizer who was the original of Captain Macheath. Fascinating. The dark Satanic mills of Blake's time originated in Georgian times, in the east London of Hogarth's gin mills, which were an economic stimulus pure and simple, to benefit the rich by encouraging the degeneracy of the poor. Your appreciation of Gay's ironic opera will be enhanced by knowing this background.
But you will NOT find it in this edition, which as far as I can tell from the sample, has ONLY the text, no footnotes (footnotes are quite clarifying unless you are an expert in street argot of the time) and no introductory essay. BLEAH. Why does Amazon persist in putting reviews of one edition to work to sell something else that is quite inferior?
If you want JUST the text, get the freebie. This isn't worth $3.
11 internautes sur 15 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A delicious romp 21 novembre 2000
Par Orrin C. Judd - Publié sur Amazon.com
Life is a jest; and all things show it, I thought so once; but now I know it. - John Gay's epitaph As we sit here, nearly 300 years removed from the debut of The Beggar's Opera, it's hard to recapture the effect that it had on the England of 1728. So look at it this way, John Gay was the Sex Pistols of his day and The Beggar's Opera hit London like Never Mind the Bollocks....
Since Italian opera had first come to London in 1705, it had dominated the British stage. Replete with ornate sets, elaborate costumes, unintelligible plots and imported sopranos and castrati, it was less art than event. Audiences attended to share in the spectacle, as chariots swooped through the air & romantic tales unfolded on stage. Into this artificial world, Gay unleashed an opera about the scum of London society, set in taverns and thieves' dens. He tells the story of Peachum, a fence with a lucrative sideline in informing on fellow criminals. His daughter Polly has secretly married MacHeath, a highwayman. Now Peachum and his "wife" fear that MacHeath will inform on them & inherit their loot when they are hanged. After berating Polly for marrying, & not having sense enough to live out of wedlock, they decide to turn MacHeath in, before he can turn them in. As Peachum prepares his daughter for this turn of events he tells her: "The comfortable estate of widowhood, is the only hope that keeps up a wife's spirits. Where is the woman who would scruple to be a wife, if she had it in her power to be a widow whenever she pleased?" However, to the Peachum's disgust, Polly is actually in love with MacHeath and so, to her great surprise, are several other women, including Lucy Lockit who helps him to escape from prison. So, the stage is set for a madcap farce. Mix in a satiric look at the corrupt administration of justice, some political jabs at the political master of the day, Sir Robert Walpole and songs like the following:
A fox may steal your hens, sir A whore your health and pence, sir, Your daughter rob your chest, sir Your wife may steal your rest, sir, A thief your goods and plate. But this is all but picking, With rest, pence, chest and chicken; It ever was decreed, sir, If lawyer's hand is fee'd, sir, He steals your whole estate.
and you've got Gay's recipe for what quickly became the most popular play of the 18th Century, fathering myriad imitations including Brecht's Threepenny Opera. A delicious romp. GRADE: A
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 This was originally just for a class,but a great book! 3 mars 2014
Par AshNicole - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
Originally, I was not thrilled on reading this book. The book was assigned to me in my British studies class and I was not looking forward to it. However, I was pleasantly surprised at two things. First, it was short read and easy to comprehend. Last, it was really funny! John Gay's writing is tough yet flowery, which I love. I'm glad I did read this book because now I want to read some more of his work. On the contrary, this would be strictly for enjoyment purposes.
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