Coffee Cantata’s plot is based on themes from Italian Commedia dell’Arte. When a father is concerned with his daughter’s scandalous habit of drinking coffee, he forbids her to marry unless she’ll change her ways. The daughter still finds a way to sneak cups of coffee into her marriage. Scenes from “Spamalot” and Lalo’s “Le Roid d’Ys” will also be featured.
If you go
What: UTC Opera featuring Bach’s Coffee Cantata
When: Friday, Nov. 3, 7:30 p.m.
Where: Roland Hayes Concert Hall, Fine Arts Center
Admission: Purchase tickets online here or call UTC Fine Arts Center Box Office at 423-425-4629
Though it is listed in the catalog of Bach’s works as a cantata, this work is more in the form of the Italian intermezzo, a one-act precursor of comic opera. The father, Schlendrian, is anxious that his daughter stop her scandalous habit of drinking coffee. Liesgen, his daughter, rebuffs all his attempts until he threatens to never allow her to marry. Liesgen then swears she will give up coffee, but secretly writes it into the marriage contract that her husband must allow her to drink coffee whenever she desires!
UTC Opera is directed by Perry Ward with musical direction by Tim Hinck. The performance will feature Benjamin Brooks, tenor, as the Narrator, Kayla Smith, soprano, as Liesgen, and Mr. Ward, baritone, as Schlendrian.
Perry Ward has enjoyed a diverse musical career as a singer, teacher, director and conductor. During a performing career that has spanned more than thirty years, Ward has performed with many major regional opera companies in the United States, including Opera Theater of St. Louis, Opera Company of Philadelphia, Des Moines Metro Opera, Palm Beach Opera, Opera Memphis, Knoxville Opera and Chautauqua Opera. His symphonic engagements include performances with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Chautauqua Symphony, the West Virginia Symphony and the Knoxville Symphony. Ward made his Metropolitan Opera debut on twenty minutes notice on opening night of the new production of Puccini’s La Fanciulla del West in October 1991. Additional Metropolitan Opera credits include roles in Britten’s Billy Budd, Offenbach’s Tales of Hoffmann; and Rossini’s Il Barbiere di Siviglia. He made his Carnegie Hall debut with the Opera Orchestra of New York under Eve Queler in performances of Verdi’s Jerusalem in February 1997. He has worked with many distinguished conductors and directors including Seiji Ozawa, Leonard Slatkin, Colin Graham, Christian Badea, Gian Carlo Del Monaco, Stephen Lord, Dottie Danner, Josh Major, Robert Lyall and Lucas Richman.
For the past ten years, Ward has devoted his time to teaching voice and stagecraft for singers. Before coming to UTC he taught previously at Carson-Newman College and Pellissippi State Community College. At Carson-Newman, he formed the first opera workshop program in the college’s history. As director of Lyric Theatre he produced or directed several musicals, including You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown, Carousel, Brigadoon and The Secret Garden. His students have consistently performed well in NATS auditions and in graduate school.
Tim Hinck is a concert pianist, composer and a former Fullbright Scholar to the Netherlands. His musical compositions and multimedia performances have been presented regionally across the Southeast and abroad in Spain and the Netherlands. Exploration and discovery are the fundamental elements of Hinck’s performances. His passion for wine and the culinary world combine with his discipline as an athlete and rock climber to inspire his multi-sensory performance experiences in unexpected places. Whether conducting an orchestra of electronic instruments in an abandoned warehouse or performing Beethoven on a grassy field, Hinck brings clarity to the tumultuous, human experience.
Hinck is a musical coach at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, frequent music director at the Chattanooga Theatre Centre and a teacher at St. Peter’s School and the McCallie School. His recent commissions have included multimedia works and original compositions for CreateHere, the Chattanooga Public Library, EPB’s GigTank Demo Day and the River Rocks Festival in Chattanooga. Hinck’s latest opera Eve Apart premiered in Pittsburgh, PA in 2015.