Satirical Opera: Abraham Rattner, The Beggar’s Opera and Jack Levine, The Threepenny Opera

Exhibition Website

Oct 2 2016 - Dec 30 2016

Featuring two portfolios by two accomplished printmakers, Abraham Rattner’s The Beggar’s Opera and Jack Levine’s The Threepenny Opera finely illustrate two related tales of corruption and injustice separated by 200 years. The life of the social underdog resonates in Rattner’s and Levine’s work as the drama unfolds through each artist’s interpretation and energetic drawing style, which is captured through lithography and soft ground etching techniques.

The Beggar’s Opera was the first ballad opera, written in 1728 by John Gay for the London Stage. The ballad opera is a musical play that includes elements of formal opera that employs satire to denounce politics, poverty and injustice.

The Three Penny Opera is an adaptation of The Beggar’s Opera and a reflection of the political climate in Germany between the World Wars, was written by Bertolt Brecht and composer Weill in 1928. One of the opera’s compositions, The Ballad of Mack the Knife, has been recorded by a number of artists include Bobby Darin, whose version became a number-one hit in 1959.

Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website.

  • Works on Paper
  • 20th Century
  • Abraham Rattner
  • Jack Levine

Exhibition Venues & Dates