un esempio di opera comica – John Gay

John Gay (1685-1732) was born in England and lived in London where he started writing. He was friend of Alexander Pope, Jonathan Swift and had numerous patrons, for example Prince William, afterwards duke of Cumberland to whom he dedicated Fifty-one Fables in Verse, in1727.
He totally devoted his life to writing for the theatre, and became famous for his witty satires against his contemporaries. In 1714, Gay wrote The Shepherd’s Week, a series of six pastorals about English rustic life. Thanks to J. Swift’s suggestions, the next year he wrote Trivia, or the Art of Walking the Streets of London, a graphic and humorous descriptions of the capital and then the comedy of Three Hours after Marriage (1717) which was, instead, a complete failure (=fallimento).
In 1728 Gay wrote his most famous work, The Beggar’s Opera, a lyrical drama produced by John Rich, in which Sir Robert Walpole was caricatured.
Its sequel was Polly which was not produced on stage during Gay’s lifetime. Robert Walpole found the satire too strong and banned (= proibì) its production. Although (=sebbene) it was not produced, Gay made a lot of money from Polly’s written publication.
Gay died in 1732 and was buried (= sepolto)in Westminster Abbey. The epitaph on his tomb is by Pope, and is followed by Gay’s own mocking couplet:
Life is a jest (joke =  burla), and all things show it,
I thought so once, and now I know it.