Picture of John Gay, poet, dramatist, and author of The Beggar's Opera; eighteenth century British Literature / English Literature
Book Art by Jim Rosenau
John Gay's MacHeath
On this day in 1728 John Gay's The Beggar's Opera opened in London. Its satire and singability made it a first-run sell-out, a cultural craze across England, the most produced play of the 18th century, and the original "ballad opera," first in the Gilbert and Sullivan line. As one first-week review reported, "it hath made Rich [the theater manager] very Gay, and probably will make Gay very Rich."

 

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January 29, 2017
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