Mid Wales Opera To Tour With "Bawdy and Ballsy" Mrs Peachum’s Guide to Love and Marriage
Mid Wales Opera’s SmallStages team romps onto stage this Autumn with a riotous restoration comedy - a radical reworking of John Gay's 1728 work, The Beggar's Opera. Join Mrs Peachum, her daughter Polly and the Beggar himself in their bawdy, ballsy take on relationships and the relative virtues of virginity.
Mrs Peachum’s Guide to Love and Marriage is a brand new one act opera, tailor made by MWO’s artistic team for community scale touring and opening in Llandinam Village Hall, Powys on November 7th with performances from Barmouth to Bridgnorth and Cwmbran to Colwyn Bay!
The story’s an everyday tale of gin-sodden ne’er do wells, filled with as many musical twists as there are in the plot. Though our trio of characters may live in the gutter, musically they are looking to the stars...
Horrified to learn of her daughter Polly’s illicit marriage to an errant highwayman, Mrs P contrives to get the rascal hanged so Polly can claim the reward. Loyalty and love are put to the test as murder, rage and fury drive this rumbustious tragicomedy towards its conclusion.
John Gay’s The Beggar’s Opera has been adapted by MWO’s Artistic Director Richard Studer, with the focus on just three characters and a new musical version by Music Director Jonathan Lyness, for MWO's SmallStages Ensemble of four musicians. The cast of three singers includes the brilliant Northern Irish mezzo Carolyn Dobbin in the title role (Madame Popova, The Bear, SmallStages 2017) and Welsh soprano Alys Mererid Roberts as her feckless daughter Polly.
As with John Gay's original ballad opera, the score is bursting with melodies both familiar and new. The original score was written as single line melodies, and as MWO’s Music Director Jonathan Lyness explained, creating a new version for four musicians has been a labour of love:
“Some of the melodies are well known to this day, such as the Lillibulero and Greensleeves; others are less known. Many are fully-fledged songs of, perhaps, 16 – 24 bars. Elsewhere, short snippets of songs come two a penny, such as Chevy Chase. All of the songs are catchy and full of energy, but in my score none of them have any accompaniments or any sense of how they might have sounded in the original production.”
Lydia Bassett, MWO’s Executive Director, says:
“Our SmallStages tours are absolutely at the heart of what we do, traditionally opera can’t tour to small theatres and community halls, but we’re committed to taking high quality, fully staged opera to every corner of Wales and the borders.
“This is our third SmallStages production – last year’s “A Spanish Hour” sold out in seven of our fifteen venues. The show’s hilarious and lives up to its billing as ‘bawdy and ballsy’. It’s a proper romp, just what we need in these turbulent times, and we’re really looking forward to getting it on the road.
“If you’ve never seen an opera, then this is a great introduction and all of these performances are very relaxed, very much ‘come as you are’, and designed to be a fun night out with great music and a friendly atmosphere.”
After the interval join the team for a medley of delights exploring love and marriage in all its forms - a curtain raiser for our Spring 2020 MainStages tour of Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro. For more details see www.midwalesopera.co.uk
Mid Wales Opera : Mrs Peachum’s Guide to Love and Marriage Tour
November - December 2019
Thurs 7 Hafren, Newtown at Llandinam Village Hall, Powys
Fri 8 The Congress, Cwmbran
Sat 9 Theatr Felinfach, Ystrad Aeron, Ceredigion
Thurs 14 Hafren, Newtown at Abermule Community Centre, Powys
Fri 15 Dragon Theatre, Barmouth, Gwynedd
Sat 16 Neuadd Dyfi, Aberdovey, Gwynedd
Thurs 21 Blackwood Miners’ Institute, Blackwood, Gwent
Fri 22 Hafren, Newtown at Buttington Trewern Community Centre, Powys
Sat 23 Shropshire Music Trust at SpArC, Bishops Castle, Shropshire
Thurs 28 Hay Festival Winter Weekend, Hay on Wye, Powys
Fri 29 Emlyn Williams Theatre, Theatr Clwyd, Mold, Flintshire
Sat 30 Theatr Colwyn, Colwyn Bay, Gwynedd
Thurs 5 Theatr Gwaun, Fishguard, Pembrokeshire
Friday 6 Castle Hall, Bridgnorth, Shropshire – (tickets Ludlow Assembly Rooms)
Sat 7 Presteigne Assembly Rooms, Presteigne, Powys