The Beggar’s Opera isn’t your grandma’s opera. The U of L opera society present the John Gay penned 1728 fun little opera in The David Spinks Theatre, Oct. 28 and Oct. 29.
“It’s a revolutionary piece that split from all other operatic conventions,” described director Dr. Blaine Hendsbee.
“It’s sung in English and it is about the common people— the underbelly of society — highway men and tavern women and people loved it, ” Hendsbee continued.
“It is about a love triangle between a highwayman, MacHeath and Pauline who is rather sweet and demure and Lucy, a tavern woman who is a little more straight-forward and she’s pregnant by MacHeath,” he said.
“It largely surprised theatre audience because it ‘borrowed’ in air quotes operatic music and replaced it with songs that people would have known and able to recognize,” he said.
“In the past 300 years it has been resurrected. Originally it was four hours long but we had to trim it to two hours including the intermission,” he said, adding it has a large cast of 35 people, which has been double cast.
“It’s brisk, fun and lively,” he said.
“It has period costumes designed by Leslie Robison- Greene and professor Douglas MacArthur is in the cast, which is fun,” he said adding they have always wanted to do an opera in the David Spinks Theatre instead of the Recital Hall.
“Usually they are performing in a proscenium arch, but this time it is a three corner stage, which has been a great learning experience for them,” he said adding the concert is already two thirds sold out.
“So we hope people will pick up tickets to avoid being disappointed.”