Fringefeed Woodside

Coffee Cantatas


What do you get when you bring coffee and opera together? Say hello to Coffee Cantatas, an amusing combination of 18th century love songs and the most celebrated beverage in recent history.

Contrary to popular belief, opera isn’t all serious, as Perth-grown soprano Brianna Louwen and UWA’s own Irwin Street Collective easily prove.

Get ready to lay back in the gothic arches of St Andrew’s Church and be charmed and enraptured by their beatific voices, luring you into a comic world of coffee addiction and grumpy dads bent on taking away coffee rights in exchange for smashed avo and Gorman dresses.

Based on Bach’s Be Still, Stop Chattering cantata, aka Coffee Cantata, the performance is a unique blend of raw talent and an original masterpiece that hasn’t lost sight of the subtle enjoyments in life.

Although sung in German, the live translation is projected onto large screens and modernised for the millennial era, eliciting laughs all around.

Lieschen, the errant coffee-loving daughter portrayed by Louwen, is willing to give up every millennial thing her father threatens to withhold if her addiction continues.

After rejecting everything with a toss of her head, she finally caves when she is faced with the most damning thing of all: to drink coffee means to never have a husband.

The quirky piece continues with her father’s pleas for a suitable husband from the audience, then hosting a dance and whisking various members from the front rows to join in.

When you think you know where the music is taking you, you’re hit with more twists and turns up until the hilarious grand finale, but I’ll let you see it for yourself.

So what are you waiting for? Head on down to see this exceptional show – Coffee Cantatas is for sure a unique experience that you won’t get anywhere else.

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Review by Tiffany Ko on 06 Feb 2019

Tiffany is a fresh graduate and an aspiring novelist, but loves all forms of writing, having complete trust in her pen to take its own course. Her guilty pleasures include staying indoors to catch up on a book and making spaghetti with too much salt, then eating it straight out of the pot.