Ballad Opera - The Singspiel Connection

The Singspiel Connection

In 1736 the Prussian ambassador in England commissioned an arrangement in German of a popular ballad opera, The Devil to Pay, by Charles Coffey. This was successfully performed in Hamburg, Leipzig and elsewhere in Germany in the 1740s. A new version was produced by C. F. Weisse and Johann Adam Hiller in 1766. The success of this version was the first of many by these collaborators, who have been called (according to Grove) "the fathers of the German Singspiel". (The storyline of The Devil to Pay was also adapted for Gluck for his 1759 French opera Le diable à quatre).

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