Opera Scotland

Beggar's Opera 1974Haddo House Choral & Operatic Society

Read more about the opera Beggar's Opera

Beggar's Opera, a brilliantly successful satire by John Gay, with music arranged from popular sources by Pepusch, had been successfully modernised by Benjamin Britten just after the war.

This particular Haddo production was unusual, in that the company toured it for three performances one weekend in June. Aberdeen Arts Centre, a converted church, was an appropriately intimate venue in the big city. And Pitlochry Festival Theatre had for many years reserved Sunday evenings for one-off attractions, when the hard-working actors had a night off (probably still rehearsing hard during the day).  This version of Pitlochry theatre was, of course the theatre in a tent inside a shed in the founder's garden within the town. The beautiful permanent building on the other side of the valley was still a few years in the future.

The previous year, Phoenix Opera, one of the medium-scale companies that toured around this period, had mounted The Beggar's Opera, and those costumes were made available for this production.

The conductor and orchestra were 'in costume and on stage throughout the Opera' and the production followed the example of Tyrone Guthrie's 1940s original by using the setting of a laundry. This was supposedly the 'great room at St Giles', where the work was given as an entertainment for the assembled beggars.

Performance DatesBeggar's Opera 1974

Map List

Haddo House Hall | Ellon, Aberdeenshire

5 Apr, 19.30 6 Apr, 19.30

Aberdeen Arts Centre | Aberdeen

14 Jun, 19.30 15 Jun, 19.30

Festival Theatre, Pitlochry | Pitlochry

16 Jun, 19.30

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