Beggar's Opera, The (Turner version)


  • John Gay
opera in three acts
Libretto and Lyrics by John Gay. Music selected by J.C Pepusch; arranged by Benjamin Pearce Higgins. Adaptation by David Turner
Instrumentation - hrn - perc(1) - pno(=cel) - db
Published by Warner/Chappell.  Administered for rental and amateur stage rights by Faber Music Ltd worldwide (excluding North America)
The Story
(London, early 18th Century)
Peachum is a receiver of stolen goods.  He transacts most of his business with Captain Macheath, a highwayman who is loved by Peachum’s daughter, Polly.  Macheath and Polly marry secretly and Peachum is no longer able to use Polly in his business.  He gets his revenge, helped by Jenny Diver, Suky Tawdry, and other Ladies of the Town, by informing on Macheath and collecting the reward money. Macheath is imprisoned in Newgate, which is run by the corrupt Lockit, who is in league with Peachum. Lockit’s daughter Lucy becomes infatuated with Macheath and enables him to escape by stealing her father’s keys.  Through the inebriated Mrs Diana Trapes, he is recaptured and is only saved from being hanged by the mock intervention of a beggar and a player.  After all, it would never do to let such a fine hero die. 
Principal Characters (plus Chorus)
Polly Peachum
Lucy Lockit
Mrs Diana Trapes
Jenny Diver
Principal Musical Numbers
Can Love Be Controlled By Advice? (Polly)
Let Us Take To The Road (Chorus of Highwaymen)
When Gold Is At Hand (Jenny Diver)
At The Tree I Shall Suffer (Macheath)
How Cruel Are The Traitors (Lucy)
How Happy Could I Be With Either (Macheath)
In The Days Of My Youth (Mrs Diana Trapes)
The Charge Is Prepared (Macheath)


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