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David Porter » Entries tagged with "song"

The Beggar’s Opera: How One Work Feeds Many Reinventions

Like body part transplants, ideas get recycled. One 18th century play with music inspired other art forms in entertainment history, and still speaks today. On the principle that in life nothing is ever wasted, no experience is too insignificant that some creative can’t turn it into a novel, play, movie, painting or song, The Beggar’s Opera is a study in how the arts feed off each other. It also shows how later work can be far more ‘original’ than the first works. The Beggar’s Opera First hitting the London stage in 1728, John Gay’s piece was an immediate success being performed more than any other work in the whole century. It was original in the sense that it broke from contemporary Italian operatic conventions: it used dialogue and music to push plot that … Read entire article »

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