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Bryan Drake in Gay / Britten: The Beggar's Opera

Gay / Britten: The Beggar's Opera

1963 NR

Benjamin Britten puts his own spin on John Gay's "The Beggar's Opera" in this lovingly restored 1963 broadcast of Britten's 20th-century adaptation, featuring Janet Baker as Polly Peachum and Scottish tenor Kenneth McKellar in the role of Macheath. Upon its premiere in 1728, Gay's piece was noteworthy not only for its incorporation of popular songs into the score but also for its blistering satire of Italian opera.