Over sixty years after the premiere of Stravinsky's the rake's progress the young English composer Iain Bell William Hogarths another famous engraving result uses A harlot's progress (1732) as Source of inspiration for his commissioned work for the Theater an der Wien. The libretto created internationally for his historical novels and stories the writer Peter Ackroyd, English History is known. The work evokes Hogarths London, the bustling noise of the streets and markets, but also the dark places, prison, cheap whores dismount, illness and death up.
Young and naive on the search for a better life, Moll Hackabout in London arrives. Hardly a carriage emerged from, she gets into the clutches of the Procuress Needham. First, minor held out by a rich man, She lives in sinful luxury. But then, she in love with the thief James Dalton. With him, she sinks deeper and deeper, is cheap whore, and ends up in prison. Because she has a child, she must leave the prison, but it is too late: Dalton is now dead, and she dies in utter poverty to syphilis. At their funeral ceremony again meet the companions of their descent and summarize - mostly cynical -Moll's fate. The old Needham will assume Moll's daughter and train them.
Iain Bell is intrigued by the possibilities of the voice, he has created so far mainly song-cycles, A harlot's progress is his first opera. With an orchestra of 60 musicians, a 40-Member Choir and six soloists melodic deliberately closes the factory the British Opera tradition of the 20th century. In the 20th century. The chorus commented on the action depth as in the ancient Greek Theatre, Orchestral interludes illustrate the scenes not shown stations of the decline of the Main character.