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The Beggar’s Opera

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About the Show Less...

A new production of Britten’s masterly reworking of one of the most popular of all operas written for the British stage. Read More >

The Royal Opera continues its series of chamber operas by Benjamin Britten with a new production of Britten’s masterly reworking of one of the most popular of all operas written for the British stage: The Beggar’s Opera.

First seen in 1728, the Beggar’s Opera combined popular tunes of the day from England, Scotland and Ireland (with some Handel and Purcell thrown in) as it depicted the goings-on in London’s criminal underworld.

Darkly satirical of human nature – its vices much more than its virtues – the story follows Macheath and his love Polly Peachum from criminal success to the gallows.

Many different versions have been made of The Beggar’s Opera, but Britten’s version, from 1948, stands out through its skilful, sensitive treatment of the original music that recast the work as a particularly fine fusion of old and new.

A strong cast of familiar Royal Opera performers appear alongside the City of London Sinfonia in this new production of The Beggar’s Opera directed by Justin Way.

Learn more about London operas within the West End.


Important Dates & Timing

Opening Night: 20/01/2009

Closing Night: 27/01/2009

Running time: 2h30

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Cast & Creative


Tom Randle, Leah-Marian Jones, Sarah Fox, Jeremy White, Susan Bickley, Donald Maxwell, Robert Anthony Gardiner, Frances McCafferty


Director - Justin Way

Producer - Royal Opera

Designer - Kimm Kovac, Andrew Hays

Conductor - Christian Curnyn

Music By - Benjamin Britten

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