Opera portrays young woman’s love for coffee

The College of Musical Arts hosted a performance of Bach’s Coffee Cantata at Grounds for Thought on Thursday.

“Schweigt stille, plaudert nicht” also known as the Coffee Cantata, is a secular cantata written and composed by Johann Sebastian Bach circa 1735.

The short comic opera is about a vivacious young woman, Aria, who has a profound love for coffee. As Aria states in the cantata “If I don’t, three times a day, drink my cup of coffee, I shrivel up in torment like a spoiled goat cheese.”

However, Aria’s father forbids the young coffee connoisseur from her beloved caffeinated drink, causing all torment. The rest of the cantata is banter between the two about the forbidden beverage.

The faculty members involved were Chelsea Cloeter, soprano; Gregory Decker, tenor; Lance Ashmore, baritone; Conor Nelson, flute; Per Broman and Mary Natvig, violin; Elaine Colprit, violoncello; Arne Spohr, viola de gamba; Kalindi Bellach, viola; and Kevin Bylsma, harpsichord. Anne Spohr played viola de gamba.

Grounds for Thought was packed with students and citizens from wall to wall. People laughed at the comic bits and applauded for more. Overall, the crowd seemed very pleased.

Jonathan Jandourek, a music major at the University, enjoyed the performance.

“I thought the performance was great,” Jandourek said. “I wanted to see it because my teacher from my Music in the Americas class told me I should go see it. My favorite part was the dialogue between the daughter and the father.”

Eun Hae Oh, a flute student at the University, agrees with Jandourek and would love to see CMA put on more performances like the Coffee Cantata.

“I think it is really nice that they are reaching out to the community. I wish they would do more of this stuff— it was perfect,” Eunhaeoh said.