Achilles. An opera.

Achilles. An opera.

Date: 1733
Creator: Gay, John, 1685-1732
Description: John Gay is credited with inventing the ballad opera, a genre that blends spoken plays and previously composed songs to new texts. Although The Beggar’s Opera (1728) was his most successful endeavor, he continued to compose English musical dramas. Achilles was finally performed in 1733, one year after Gay died. In this story, Achilles appears as a girl named Pyrrha, unknown to most of the inhabitants of the island of Scyros, in order to circumvent a prediction that he will die in battle. Deidamia (the king’s daughter) knows the secret, however, because she is carrying the disguised man’s child. After Achilles’s identity is revealed, he and Deidamia are able to wed. Then, in a fateful twist of irony, Achilles plans to join the Greeks in the Trojan War.
Contributing Partner: UNT Music Library
Beggar's opera

Beggar's opera

Date: 1735
Creator: Pepusch, John Christopher, 1667-1752.
Description: This is a 1735 fourth ed. of the three-act ballad opera "The beggar's opera" by John Christopher Pepusch and John Gay. It includes the score for the overture (for violins (2), viola, and bass ensemble) and the melodies of each song. The inscription, "Nos haec novimus esse nihil" (transl. as, We know these to be nothing) that appears on the t.p. is an epigram by Marcus Valerius Martialis from his Books of Epigrams. On the back of the t.p. appears the advertisement of these works printed by John Watts: Fifty one new fables in verse; The tunes to the songs in the Beggar's Opera, transposed for the flute; and Gay's opera "Achilles." A table of songs shows the first lines of text for each act. The item includes a list of characters.
Contributing Partner: UNT Music Library