Description: English libretto to Charles Coffey's ballad opera The devil to pay or, The wives metamorphos'd. The Devil to Pay is an adaptation of Thomas Jevon’s play The Devil of a Wife (1686). Nearly fifty years later, the ballad opera appeared at Drury Lane with Charles Coffey and John Mottley each responsible for half of the three acts. However, a much shorter and more well-received one-act version, edited by Theophilus Cibber, is represented in the printed libretto. Today Coffey is generally the only name widely attached to The Devil to Pay. The opera’s popularity is attested by the frequent performances and a translation into German, which contributed to the development of the Singspiel.
Creator: Coffey, Charles, d. 1745; Mottley, John, 1692-1750 & Jevon, Thomas, 1652-1688