By Henry Fielding
A tale of seduction, delusion and financial corruption.
Musical Director: Žak Ozmo with L’Avventura London
Stage Director: Harry Fehr
Bury Court Opera presents the modern premiere of The Lottery, Henry Fielding’s smash hit
ballad opera of 1732.
The Lottery is the outrageous tale of Chloe, a beautiful but foolish country girl who is
seduced by the bright lights of London. Among other things, Chloe is defrauded by a
crooked stockbroker and taken in by a confidence trickster. The story is brought vividly to
life by L’Avventura London under music director Žak Ozmo with stage direction by brilliant
young director Harry Fehr.
Ballad opera was the most popular form of musical entertainment in C18 England and the
origin of today’s musical theatre. Witty, satirical and subversive, it was opera for the
common man and typically its stories mocked the high moral values of the Italian opera of
that period. Its music was lifted from the most popular operas, pantomimes, and ballad
tunes of the day, reworked to fit funny, satirical plays performed by the public’s favourite
Novelist and satirist Henry Fielding (1707-1754) wrote eleven ballad operas that are among
the best examples of the genre. The Lottery was one of the most popular of ballad operas,
and still in the repertory well into the C19th. In 1727 Fielding’s family were almost
bankrupted by a dishonest stock-broker, so, the humorous depiction of such a stock-broker
in The Lottery was Fielding’s way of publicly shaming cheats in that profession. Coupled with
the financial success of The Lottery, revenge must have been sweet for Fielding.
Žak Ozmo is a Music Director, lutenist, and scholar in historical performance. He is the
Director of period instrument ensemble L’Avventura London, and the Director of Early Music
at the University of Hull.
Dates for 2014: The Fairy Queen, by Purcell. Sat 22 Feb, Wed 26 Feb, Sat 1st March
The Lottery, by Henry Fielding. Fri 28 Feb, Sun 2nd March
Too Hot to Handel, Sun 23rd Feb.