A Harlot's Progress

A Harlot's Progress
The world premiere production of the new opera A Harlot's Progress by Iain Bell will take place in Vienna, Austria on October 13. Commissioned by Theater an der Wien, the opera reflects on the life of Moll Hackabout, a naive young woman in London of the early 18th century. Moll is sung by Diana Damrau, for whom the opera is written. Further performances in the premiere run will take place on October 16, 18, 21, 24 & 27.  

Like Igor Stravinsky, Bell took the inspiration for his opera from the engravings by William Hogarth.  In search of a better life Moll Hackabout travels to London to get involved with the matchmaker Needham, starting an affair with a rich man, she falls in love with the thief James Dalton. Moll degenerates into a cheap whore and ends up in prison, dies of syphilis and leaves behind a little daughter. 

The libretto is inspired by the Hogarth series and has been written by the well known British writer Peter Ackroyd. Under the direction of Mikko Franck, the Vienna Symphony and the Arnold Schoenberg Choir will perform the world premiere in a staging by director Jens-Daniel Herzog, Director of Dortmund Opera. Alongside Diana Damrau as Moll, the charming thief James will be presented by the baritone Nathan Gunn. The role of the matchmaker will be taken by the Scottish soprano Marie McLaughlin.

Read the full synopsis here.

Preview the score for A Harlot’s Progress here on ISSUU.

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