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Opera: Two Baroque Comic Operas

  • Trinity United Church 3300 Alexis Park Drive Vernon, BC, V1T 6G8 Canada (map)

Opera Double-Bill: Two Comic Operas in one Concert.


A. Vivaldi Overture (Sinfonia in C Major) to the Opera "L'incoronazione di Dario" (The Coronation of Darius)

J.S.Bach Coffee Cantata Schweigt stille, plaudert nicht (Be still, stop chattering) BWV 211


G.B. Pergolesi's La serva padrona (The Servant Turned Mistress)

With (fully period-costumed) Kamloops Brandenburg Orchestra and soloists, semi-staged, under music direction of Cvetozar Vutev. Performed in German and Italian with English supertitles.

Catherine Nelidova as Serpina (by  Dmitry Levitzky , 1773)

Catherine Nelidova as Serpina (by Dmitry Levitzky, 1773)

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Sample two early comic operas, opera buffa, or baroque musicals!

Cast, Creative Team, and Synopses

Music director:  Cvetozar Vutev
Kamlooops Brandenburg Orchestra

J. S. Bach Coffee Cantata, BWV 211

Schlendrian (literally: Stick in the Mud): Andrew Greenwod, baritone
Lieschen, his daughter: Mandy Maher, soprano
Narrator: Rodney Simmons, tenor

Coffee Cantata Synopsis 

The Coffee Cantata is lighthearted, as close as Bach comes to comic opera, in which he pokes fun at both coffee drinkers and their old-fashioned critics.
The story concerns the father Herr Schlendrian (“Mr Routine”) portrayed by a plodding lead-footed melody, and his daughter Lieschen, the coffee-lover. She is introduced by a lively and beguiliing Aria.
In an effort to rid his daughter of the evil drink, he progressively forbids her her luxuries. Lieschen refuses to give it up, saying that coffee is “more delicious than a thousand kisses, and sweeter than muscatel wine”. It is only when Schlendrian refuses to allow her to marry that she relents. But even then, as the father goes off to find a husband, Lieschen reveals that she will make it a part of the marriage contract that she be allowed her three cups a day.

G. L. Pergolesi La Serva Padrona

Uberto: Andrew Greenwood, baritone
Serpina: Carlene Wiebe, soprano
Vespone: Josh Sunderman, silent

La Serva Padrona Synopsis

Uberto, an elderly bachelor, is angry and impatient with his maidservant, Serpina, because she has not brought him his chocolate today. Serpina has become so arrogant that she thinks she is the mistress of the household. Indeed, when Uberto calls for his hat, wig and coat, Serpina forbids him from leaving the house, adding that from then on he will have to obey her orders.
Uberto thereupon orders Vespone to find him a woman to marry so that he can rid himself of Serpina. Serpina convinces Vespone to trick Uberto into marrying her. She informs Uberto that she is to marry a military man named Tempesta. She will be leaving his home and apologizes for her behavior. Vespone, disguised as Tempesta, arrives and, without saying a word, demands 4,000 crowns for a dowry. Uberto refuses to pay such a sum. Tempesta threatens him to either pay the dowry or marry the girl himself. Uberto agrees to marry Serpina. Serpina and Vespone reveal their trick; but Uberto realizes that he has loved the girl all along.
They will marry after all; and Serpina will now be the true mistress of the household.

Single ticket: regular $30, senior/student $25, kids under 12 free