A composer's moral panic goes millennial

Our next production is an intoxicating staging of J S Bach’s ‘Coffee Cantata’ in an intimate salon setting. Performances will take place in Sydney and rural NSW when Covid-19 restrictions are lifted. 


18th century maiden

About the Coffee Cantata salon performance

In 1734, J S Bach wrote this secular cantata about the temptation and power of coffee – satirising a growing fad in Leipzig. In our modern adaptation, an irate father admonishes his coffee cocktail-addicted daughter and tries to forbid her going to the local coffee house/bar. Who will win?

Bach's concerns about coffee feel surprisingly modern, and this intimate salon performance is definitely a contemporary take. It will also include some familiar, and not so well known, numbers from Grieg’s ‘Peer Gynt’, our larger upcoming production, set in a fantasy world of trolls and mythical creatures.

Our talented performers are 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.

Sydney Coffee Cantata fundraiser

Bach's rare comedy, originally planned for April 2020, will be performed in a beautiful Sydney harbour-side home as soon as Covid-19 restrictions are lifted. As well as a unique opportunity to enjoy food, wine, music and song for the audience, tickets sales support our Social Inclusion Program which immerses isolated members of our community into the creative world of theatre.



Community celebrations on rural NSW tour

We are also taking this joyous music to areas of regional NSW devastated by fires and drought, and now by isolation, after Covid-19 restrictions are lifted.

Members of our team come from these regions and know how rural communities pull together in moments of crisis. Our production is very flexible, accessible and entertaining, providing an environment where audiences can ‘eat, drink and be merry’ – something that comes naturally to many in the country. We want to provide a cultural catalyst for rural communities to come together for a fun, uplifting social celebration.

The ABC Rural team are enthusiastic and have suggested communities they think would benefit from our event, such as Bobin, Balmoral, Willawarrin, Cobargo, Batlow, Malua Bay, Capertee and Blackhead.

The rural tour has been made possible through the generosity of our wonderful donors and by funding from Creative Partnerships through the Australian Cultural Fund. It helps us keep ticket prices to a minimum, while still being able paying our hard-hit, talented performers.


Local performers are invited to rehearse

Local performers and/or school children are invited to join our performances at each location. We will offer coaching and tutoring online, and can work with local performers to encourage and motivate them while they’re still in isolation.


Local schools can get involved

Our design team has developed an education package that includes a kit for teachers and support sessions online for children to create their own mythical creature costumes from recycled materials. Instructions for a simple rhythm game will be demonstrated to teachers and via online sessions to students. This will be performed with Grieg’s ‘Hall of the Mountain King’ at the performance with the children in their costumes. Here’s an example of this musical engagement.


Taking tourist dollars to the bush

Another way to assist these communities is for our supporters to attend our country performances once the tour schedule is finalised. It’s a chance to explore the scenic regional areas and help boost the economies of the small communities and surrounding towns. When tour dates and times are finalised, we'll be posting them on social media and they will be advertised in Destination NSW. If you want to get the tour schedule in your inbox contact us.

We also invite volunteers to act as ‘roadies’ which would be an enjoyable way to be part of our touring troupe and see some great parts of regional NSW.