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John Gay and the London Theatre

Author: Calhoun Winton
Publisher: Lexington : University Press of Kentucky, ©1993.
Edition/Format:   eBook : Document : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
The Beggar's Opera, often referred to today as the first musical comedy, was the most popular dramatic piece of the eighteenth century -- and is the work that John Gay (1685-1732) is best remembered for having written. That association of popular music and satiric lyrics has proved to be continuingly attractive, and variations on the Opera have flourished in this century: by Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht, by Duke
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Genre/Form: Electronic books
Additional Physical Format: Print version:
Winton, Calhoun.
John Gay and the London Theatre.
Lexington : University Press of Kentucky, ©1993
(OCoLC)26973762
Named Person: John Gay; John Gay
Material Type: Document, Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource, Computer File
All Authors / Contributors: Calhoun Winton
ISBN: 9780813159362 0813159369
OCLC Number: 900344592
Description: 1 online resource
Responsibility: Calhoun Winton.

Abstract:

The Beggar's Opera, often referred to today as the first musical comedy, was the most popular dramatic piece of the eighteenth century -- and is the work that John Gay (1685-1732) is best remembered for having written. That association of popular music and satiric lyrics has proved to be continuingly attractive, and variations on the Opera have flourished in this century: by Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht, by Duke Ellington, and most recently by Vaclav Havel. The original opera itself is played all over the world in amateur and professional productions.

But John Gay's place in all this has not been well defined. His Opera is often regarded as some sort of chance event. In John Gay and the London Theatre, the first book-length study of John Gay as dramatic author, Calhoun Winton recognizes the Opera as part of an entirely self-conscious career in the theatre, a career that Gay pursued from his earliest days as a writer in London and continued to follow to his death. Winton emphasizes Gay's knowledge of and affection for music, acquired, he argues, by way of his association with Handel. Although concentrating on Gay and his theatrical career, Winton also limns a vivid portrait of London itself and of the London stage of Gay's time, a period of considerable turbulence both within and outside the theatre. Gay's plays reflect in varying ways and degrees that social, political, and cultural turmoil. Winton's study sheds new light not only on Gay and the theatre but also on the politics and culture of his era.

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"Winton is a meticulous scholar. His book will be of real value as an introduction for those unfamiliar with Gay's drama and the London stage of the period." -- "Reviews in English Studies"

 
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