A composer's moral panic goes millennial
Endangered Productions' intoxicating staging of J S Bach’s ‘Coffee Cantata’ is a staple for 2020 and 2021. It has travelled to country NSW, including Bobin and Taree in April. It formed one half of the Double Trouble Bach and Mozart double bill that played in Sydney in June.
In 1734, J S Bach wrote this secular cantata about the temptation and power of coffee – satirising a growing fad in Leipzig.
Bach's concerns about coffee feel surprisingly modern, and this intimate salon performance is definitely a contemporary take. In our adaptation, an irate father admonishes his coffee cocktail-addicted daughter and tries to forbid her going to the local coffee house/bar. Empowered, no doubt, by the uplift of coffee, the daughter is equally adamant. Who will win?
Performances so far
Bobin and Taree - April 2021
Audiences in Taree and Bobin enjoyed the argy bargy sung with vim by our talented performers: Ed Suttle as a worried father; Leslie Braithwaite as his coffee-addicted daughter; and Michael Handy as the barman.
Our singers are accompanied by an equally talented ensemble. Music Director, Peter Alexander, shares his thoughts on the music of this miniature gem, which is as close to an opera as Bach ever wrote.
customs house, Sydney - June 2021
Audiences loved our punk-Australian version of the Coffee Cantata in Sydney's elegant Barnet Long Room in Customs House at Circular Quay. In our modern take, this strong, young woman takes control of her life.
Soprano Lesley Braithwaite and bass baritone, Ed Suttle, reprised their roles as the angry father and defiant daughter. Tenor Damien Hall joined them as the Tinder-consulting barman who successfully woos the daughter. All are ably assisted by our vocal coach, Steve Walter and our talented chamber ensemble conducted by Music Director Peter Alexander.
In rehearsal, team members were so committed to authenticity, they researched the perils of coffee with a few expresso martinis! (See below).