Australian Lefty on Politics, Governance, Science and Info Management

A decent operatic heroine

Posted by Dave Bath on 2009-03-13

Whether male or female, it’s probably hard to find operatic heroine who you can relate to.  They are either overly sentimental, stupid, cow-eyed, just plain vicious… or all of them!

So, I recommend an 18th century opera (or being pedantic, a cantata generally performed like an opera) about a woman seeking a pre-nuptial agreement… to be allowed to drink lots and lots of coffee.

So, look at the Synopsis of BWV211, Bach’s "Coffee Cantata", and listen to the very sweet "love song"…. to coffee!

Surely at least ONE of the Glenferrie Road (Malvern) coffee-dens will play it instead of muzak!  Anybody know one?

See Also/Notes:

  • The libretto had already been used by other composers, but Bach added the extra plot twist about seeking the pre-nuptial agreement to be allowed to brew coffee whenever she wanted.
  • Libretto, with the heroine (Lieschen) singing

    "If I can’t drink my bowl of coffee three times daily, then in my torment I will shrivel up like a piece of roast goat.  Mm!  how sweet the coffee tastes, more delicious than a thousand kisses, mellower than muscatel wine.  Coffee, coffee I must have, and if someone wishes to give me a treat, ah, then pour me out some coffee!

  • Score as PDF
  • I’ve got a couple of versions, and while I haven’t got this one, I’m after it, because Emma Kirkby is always good value (hmmm, she’s almost as pure as a boy sop).
  • Downloadable free mp3 of the love song to coffee

One Response to “A decent operatic heroine”

  1. […] …that or Nyman could write an opera about chocolate, just like Bach wrote a cantata about coffee (and pre-nup agreements). […]

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