It is probably for the best that several of our high-ranking composers of yore steered clear of opera — ach, Brahms, Bruckner, and Sibelius, for instance. Dramatic as their scores could be on a musical level, one suspects their gifts for stageworthy sung drama might have been limited.
The closest Bach got was in a few of his secular cantatas that one could imagine being acted out as comedic scenes. The New Mexico Performing Arts Society presents one of them, his “Coffee Cantata” (Schweigt stille, plaudert nicht), in which a father (tenor André García-Nuthmann) and daughter (soprano Christina Martos) tangle about whether or not she should be allowed to drink the caffeinated elixir, their argument framed by the explanations of a narrator (baritone Carlos chuleta). In this semistaged presentation, Franz Vote conducts a small instrumental group that includes members of Albuquerque’s Chatter ensemble. The performance takes place at 7 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 13, at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Chapel (50 Mt. Carmel Road). Tickets ($28.50, with discounts available) can be purchased through www.holdmyticket.com. — James M. Keller