A&E » Arts

Coffee is something to sing about

Bach's Coffee Cantata one of two comedic Baroque opera showings




What: Opera Appassionata

Where: The Brackendale Art Gallery

When: Saturday, Oct. 22, 8 p.m.

How much do you love coffee?

Is your passion for a mochachino so great that you leapt from your steaming mug of jo to compose a song worthy of its greatness?

Well Bach did, although Behind the Grind wasn't around in the 18 century, and composed a whole cantata on the caffeine brew, which will be presented at an evening of comedic opera Saturday, Oct. 22 at 8 p.m. at the Brackendale Art Gallery near Squamish.

The show includes two short acts: Bach's Coffee Cantata and Telemann's Pimpinone.

The full name of Bach's cantata was called "Schweigt stille, plaudert nicht," which means, "Be quiet, do not chat" in English. A sentiment 21st-century non-morning people can attest to.

The satirical opera pokes fun at the distempered attitudes towards java during the early 18 century when local beer was preferred for a morning wake me up and foreign beans were distrusted by German folk, along with any other product not from German soil.

In the comedic tale, the cantata relays how a father, objecting to his daughter's coffee-drinking ways, threatens to make her chose between her husband and coffee. Who will win out? Only a coffee drinker in the middle of the woods suffering from the shakes at noon and no Tim Hortons in sight would know.

The fully staged production presented by Opera Appassionata is headed by musical director Frank Klassen and directed by Riad Klassen with principal singers Alison Nystrom, Michelle Keobke, David Gibbons and Arne Larsen performing.

The songbirds will also strike up for a performance of Pimpinone, otherwise known as The Unequal Marriage.

The Baroque opera tells the classic tale of a rich old geezer who falls in love with a beautiful, mad maid who schemes to ensnare the wealthy merchant, which follows with the never ending trail of pranks expected of opera buffa.

Culture, comedy and coffee promises a perfect and rare evening of opera music staged at the art gallery, a 30-minute drive south of Whistler.

Tickets are $20 for adults and $15 for seniors and students. Tickets are available at the gallery or Mostly Books in Squamish.