William Hogarth: A Rake's Progress, Plate 4: Arrested For Debt, Engraving, 35.5 x 41cm.
Elric Hooper & Des Wilson present an introduction Stravinsky’s opera The Rake’s Progress.
It tells the story of Tom Rakewell who unwittingly makes a bargain with the Devil which includes marriage to a bearded lady, an encounter with a machine that supposedly turns stones into bread, and ultimately confinement to a madhouse.
A 1947 Chicago exhibition of William Hogarth's sequence of paintings depicting "A Rake's Progress" inspired Stravinsky to compose an opera. With an English libretto by WH Auden & Chester Kallman, the work premièred at La Fenice in Venice in 1951.