Umelodica - a vocal ensemble created and conducted 1984-1989 by Örjan Larsson
Polly is the second part of The beggars opera from 1728, which had great success being played 62 nights for it´s satire on the society.
In contrast, Polly was forbidden for the stage by the King's censur Lord Chamberlain, but printed, it gave Gay "several thousand pounds".
Also in Polly, the satire was directed towards the upper (political) class, whos moral was compared to pirates and contrasted to the Indians.
The moral and persons of "The beggars opera" and "Polly" was adapted by Bertolt Brecht and
Kurt Weil in the Threepenny Opera (Die Dreigroschenoper ).
Polly - a Ballad Opera
by John Gay from 1729 played by Umelodica and David Kettlewell in Febr. 1988.
Polly is labelled ballad opera using some of the conventions of opera, but without the recitative - thus in the same manner as todays musical's. However, the music was taken from a wide variety of contemporary sources, including folk melodies, popular airs by classical composers, children's nursery rhymes and the fund of popular airs to which ballads were set. Hence the name "ballad opera". Thus, John Gay's wrote the libretto and chosed the melodies for his texts.
Interestingly, Polly was written for "amateaur singers". In the "Introduction" to the opera; the poet and the 1:st player concluded that the claims from the singers was unaccepable. Thus, the 'players' had to sing instead of the 'professional singers'.
For Umelodica's staging, the libretto was shorted and translated to Swedish by David Kettlewell and Karin Skoglund, but the songs were sang in English. David Kettlewell also arranged the songs, and the instrumental intersections. Further, he was the master of the capella at his harpsichord and harp.
Files of the Ballad Opera Polly:
- Program Folder
- Players, Singers, Auther, Acts, Indians & Pirates, Umelodica's production etc.
- English Libretto as PDF-file (256kB)
- Swedish Spoken Libretto with English Singing as MP3-files :
- Introduction MP3 (4.8MB)
- ACT 1 MP3 (45.4MB)
- ACT 2 MP3 (53.4MB)
- ACT 3 MP3 (50.3MB)
- English Libretto ,
Swedish Translation of the songs
and English Songs as NWC, MIDI, PDF and MP3-files.
- Exercise files (NWC, MIDI, PDF and MP3-files)
Live-recording (AB-stereo) from the last performance 28 Febr. 1988 at Mimerskolans aula in Umeå. Recorded with a Hi-Fi stereo VHS recorder (JVC HR-D725E). Microphones: Primo UEC-14 (electret with cardioid characteristics).
Sampling with Tascam US-122 (24bits 44.1kHz USB). Converted to MP3 with a Lame coder (128kbit/s, 44.1kHz, stereo, constant bit rate, highest quality).
Digital conversion and editing: DELL Inspiron 8600 (PP02X) with Wavelab 4.0. Recording and production Göran Westling.