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An Opera Production About Coffee is Taking Over an NYC Coffee Shop

Coffee Cantata Lost Draft

Images courtesy of On Site Opera.

A New York city opera company that creates immersive site-specific opera experiences is lending its formidable artistic and lung and capacities to coffee.

From Feb. 14-24, the group On Site Opera will be taking over The Lost Draft coffee shop in Soho for what they’re calling the Immersive Coffee Cantata Experience.

The operatic performance involves a new English-language libretto (text) of a short comedic piece from Johann Sebastian Bach called “Schweigt stille, plaudert nicht,” a.k.a. the Coffee Cantata.

The cantata is about a spirited young woman who is obsessed with (if not dependent on) coffee, much to the dismay of her father, who tries to manipulate her into giving up the drink.

Coffee Cantata NYC

According to On Site Opera, the performance will be augmented by guided coffee tastings and some sweet treats.

The production setting is naturally dramatic in its own right. The Lost Draft was created in 2022 by an anonymous screenwriter. Using coffees roasted by Brooklyn’s Pulley Collective, the shop is designed to inspire and accommodate people working in the television and film industry, offering directors’ chairs and a table-reading room.

There are currently six scheduled dates for the Immersive Coffee Cantata Experience. The first is Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14 — a fitting occasion.

“I am so excited that with our next production, On Site Opera will present a truly archetypal love story — the tale of one woman’s profound affection and unwavering commitment to… her coffee,” On Site Opera Artistic Director Sarah Meyers said in a statement shared with DCN. “In a fresh new translation from music director Geoffrey McDonald, the Coffee Cantata showcases Bach’s gifts for comedy as well as counterpoint.”

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