Project Starting Point

Posted by Jessica White

The main focus of my project is to explore the creation of a multimedia experience with John Gay’s The Beggar’s Opera.

At the moment, it is difficult to understand where the project is heading, as there are a lot of paths that it could take, depending on research coming in the following weeks. The project could end up being an edited version of the text, in which the music that I will have sourced to fit with the Airs in the text is immediately accessible to the reader in order to gain understanding and even to engage more with the comedy or the contextual parts of the text.

It could however, take a different turn if there are not significant sections of the text which have clips of the songs available, in which case the project could become a thematic essay, if the songs can be found for a specific character etc.

Equally, I could fuse these ideas together and create a ‘pilot’ for a digital opera for which I could commision my own works of the music found in the text and put these together with the original scores, lyrics and text surrounding them in the opera – allowing for a discussion about the modern perception of the musical themes in the text and incorporating the original lyrics.

The next step in my project is to do some research using ECCO, EBBA and Youtube to discover the range of music from the opera available to me and then from there I will see which are the most interesting to me and how I wish to use them further.  I will try however, to use musicians to create my own versions of the song, even if I do have the original file to see how we portray the music in modern times. I may also create Sibelius/Finale files where I can compile the scores with the original instruments to get my own copy of the score and my own sound file recreating the song.

Beggar's_Opera_libretto_with_music_VA

image: Andreas Praefcke via commons wikimedia

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