Friday, July 12, 2024

There’s a free baroque opera touring coffee shops in and around Victoria this week

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If a free opera while you eat brunch isn’t on your bucket list, it should be!

Creative collective Gay4Nature will be presenting their first-ever touring production across cafes and galleries—choosing Bach’s 30-minute Coffee Cantata as the perfect inspiration for entertainment. 

From Thursday, May 2nd to Saturday, May 4th, several locations around Victoria will be hosting this enthralling version of Bach’s work, including Friends of Dorothy and Caffe Fantastico. 

Dive into this revised and whimsical baroque opera about a girl’s unquenchable thirst for coffee, which wonderfully touches on the relationships between daughter and father and the lengths people go to caffeinate themselves. 

The storyline follows Lizzy, an entitled nepo-baby who is obsessed with iced coffee. Her dad, Schlendrian, is more of an old-school black coffee kind of guy. Will Lizzy give up her favourite beverage in order to inherit the family café?

“The Coffee Cantata is so wonderfully silly! We tend to imagine classical composers as very serious individuals, but they weren’t above splitting hairs about a beverage order,” said Alex Chen, co-producer and singer.

“The music is still delectably Bach, but with the shared joys of everyday life that modern audiences can relate to.” 

The full schedule is below:

(Bach’s Coffee Cantata / Gay4Nature)

“Site-specific performances are the best way to fully immerse yourself into the show!” said Perri Lo, pianist.

“Bach’s Coffee Cantata shows a more humorous side of him that people may not know considering the amount of sacred music he is known for.” 

Directed by Loreto Espinoza, the show features Anna Bigland-Pritchard as Lizzy; Alex Chen, playing Lizzy’s dad, Schlendrian; Tim Carter as the narrator; and Perri Lo, the pianist and Music Director.

This show has been funded by the City of Victoria’s Music Strategy Grant, and is supported by Oak Bay United Church.

Gay4Nature is a creative music collective dedicated to community connection and queer joy, drawing from classical music, theatre, and film.

As described, founders Anna Bigland-Pritchard and Alex Chen assemble teams of innovative artists to grapple with experiences of climate crisis, queer love, friendship, and finding a way forward in a fraught modern world.

Bach’s Coffee Cantata

  • Where: 
    • Thursday: Oak Bay United Church, 1355 Mitchell Street
    • Friday: Gage Gallery, 19 Bastion Square
    • Friday: Cafe Fantastico, 965 Kings Road
    • Saturday: Friends of Dorothy, 537 Johnson Street
  • When: 
    • Thursday, May 2nd at 7:30 p.m.
    • Friday, May 3rd at 12 p.m.
    • Friday, May 3rd at 3:30 p.m.
    • Saturday, May 4th at 11 a.m.

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