Earlier this semester, Opera Society lived up to their potential with a successful performance of Orpheus in the Underworld. Twisting the passionate love between Orpheus and Eurydice into hate, the show brought an intriguing mixture of opera and satire to the
Byre. The Saint’s reviewer Beatrice Morgan Peters concluded, “more than a few of us
turned back for one last look.”

Opera Society are back for On The Rocks. This time, they are adapting Johann Sebastian
Bach’s renowned comic opera Schweigt stille, plaudert nicht (Be still, stop chattering), also
known as Coffee Cantata. The latter title accurately describes its plot’s primary conflict: too much coffee. Herr Schlendrian is growing increasingly concerned with the amount his daughter Lieschen consumes. Lieschen disagrees, leading to her father setting ultimatums
and eventually threatening to deprive her of her possessions. Their quarrel culminates in Schlendrian taking a step too far: he will prevent her from getting married. Lieschen
vows to quit, but addictions are difficult to overcome: while her father sets out to find
her a husband, he also sort of lives up to his name (the word “Schlendrian” meaning “inefficiency”). Lieschen also goes on the hunt for a spouse, and sets the allowance of coffee consumption as the condition of marriage. Chaos ensues.

Having finished their ambitious staged production of Orpheus in the Underworld, the
crew’s aim for their next show was to take a step back on the scale and attract audiences
with the promise of something smaller, more personal. What better place to bring an opera
(especially one revolving around coffee) closer to viewers than a café? Coffee Cantata
will be performed in Bibi’s Café tomorrow, 13 April. According to the crew, one of the show’s main attractions will be the costumes. With a keen eye for detail, plenty of effort has been put into recreating the look and feel of Bach’s work. Expect a wide range of costumes that will elevate the satirical element of the show.

When asked about what makes their event unique, the crew replied, “We believe this is
a really different way to experience opera, by making it immersive and allowing performers to move among the audience members and interact with them, rather than being distanced from them on a raised stage.” Coffee Cantata is quite the leap forward for the relatively new Opera Society. With the major success of Orpheus in the Underworld behind them, it is fair to expect a night of laughs and memorable vocal performances.

Visit the Byre website for tickets (£5 for society members and £6 for non-members).


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