Bittersweet Obsessions

Bittersweet Obsessions: Monteverdi and Bach

In The Arts and Expression by LivingNowLeave a Comment

“Be quiet, stop chattering.”

In 1777, Frederick the Great of Prussia declared beer to be a better beverage than coffee. He argued that the surging popularity of coffee disrupted the country’s beer consumption and that profits from the coffee trade flowed out of the national economy. Frederick’s attempt to ban the consumption of the purportedly befuddling beverage was met with outcry. Quite a caffeinated kerfuffle!

Rumoured to be a coffee addict himself, Johann Sebastian Bach composed a short satirical operetta for a musical ensemble called The Collegium Musicum, who performed in the largest and best-appointed Kaffeehaus of Leipzig, Café Zimmermann. The Coffee Cantata is a rare example of a secular vocal work by the great composer and tells the story of a defiant young woman’s obsession with the diabolical drink, and of her determination to go to any length to secure her fix.

Lieschen’s father Schlendrian (literally stick in the mud), insists his daughter must go cold turkey on her tipple if she is to marry. With the true desperation of an addict, Lieschen submits to her father’s demand, and then quickly begs her suitor to allow her to drink several cups a day.

“If I couldn’t, three times a day, be allowed to drink my little cup of coffee, in my anguish I will turn into a shrivelled-up roast goat”

Do not miss out on this astonishing Brandenburg production as part of a three-part dramatic concert experience, Bittersweet Obsessions: Monteverdi and Bach.

Tickets selling fast. Book your seat now!

Paul Dyer AO artistic director
Natasha Wilson (New Zealand) soprano
Jakob Bloch Jespersen (Denmark) baritone
Karim Sulayman (USA) tenor
Spencer Darby (Australia) tenor

Constantine Costi director
Genevieve Graham costume designer
Charlotte Mungomery set designer
John Rayment lighting designer

City Recital Hall
Wednesday 25 October
Friday 27 October
Saturday 28 October
Tuesday 31 October
Wednesday 1 November
all at 7:00PM
Matinee: Saturday 28 October 2:00PM

Melbourne Recital Centre
Saturday 4 November 7:00PM
Sunday 5 November 5:00PM

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