Mini opera trilogy

Water, Rye, Hops

Music by Daniel Blanco Albert

Libretto by Roxanne Korda

This trilogy, the first ever opera about beer, tells the story of a medieval brewster living in 1348 AD on the cusp of social change.


Besse is in love with beer and the independence it affords her as she follows in the footsteps of the brewsters and goddesses spanning 5000 years before her. If she does not act fast the power of beer will be taken from her. Against the backdrop of the Black Death and tortured by accusations of witchcraft she navigates through the dangerous world that surrounds her to practice the art of fermentation to its greatest heights.


"Come and enjoy beer made into music – sometimes merrily crispy, sometimes soured with the frozen cold dagger of drama, and sometimes bitterly sweet. These are definitely two hours of refreshingly hoppy music for all.” 

Daniel Blanco Albert

Duration: 90'


Water - 25'

Rye - 25'

Hops - 40'


Created by Infinite Opera

with the support of:


Digbrew Co

Grand Union


Live at Anspach&Hobday, August 2023

I - Water

Scene 1 – A fatidical night at Besse’s tavern the beer runs out and the crowd complains. Desperate for money, Camille forces Besse to serve rotten beer despite her worries about her reputation as a Brewster.


Scene 2 – Besse seeks for advise from the Old Woman in the woods. She tells her that with the new law she will lose the control of her tavern, and therefore her little independence, unless she becomes a widow. The Old Woman suggests her to kill Camille with a herb.

“So in fact, it’s quite fitting that Besse’s tale is told in the kind of environment where she would have lived and worked, as well as enjoyed a night of entertainment. So, head on to Digbrew, purchase a pint and pull up a pew for a slice of medieval entertainment, with a thoroughly modern twist.”

Miranda Heggie (The Cusp) 

II - Rye

Scene 1 – Besse sings an “Ode to Beer” while deciding what to do. She finally decides to use the poison. But, the arrival of a furious horde of plague-sick people distracts her from using the correct dose. They claim she has poisoned them. Camille tries to calm them, but one of them dies, worsening the situation. To defend his business and prove that the beer wasn’t poisoned, he drinks the now-poisoned beer. He hallucinates while everybody dies around him. Besse escapes.


Scene 2 – Besse comes back to the woods seeking for help. The Old Woman is happy to hear that Camille drank the poison and tries to cheer Besse up. But Camille arrives to the woods looking for Besse. He keeps hallucinating, and now he is very sweet saying that he loves her and begging her for forgiveness. To do so, she demands him to sign a contract in which he gives the tavern to her. The Old Woman, however, poisons him again. Besse contemplates his death, thinking he died because of her.

- Jared Ice: “People keep asking how do you make opera cool? Give them beer and pizza man!” 

- Michael Pegher: “There’s not an opera house in the world that’s offering you beer and pizza!”

Sex, Drugs and Opera 

III - Hops

Scene 1 – A crowd has taken the tavern. They want to organise a witch hunt. An Inquisitor leads an investigation, if she can find a proof of witchcraft, she will allow it. Finally, she finds the poisoned beer, evidence enough to lead the witch hunt.


Scene 2 – In the woods the Old Woman buries the corpse of Camille. Besse blames herself for what happened. The Old Woman recommends her to find a cure to the plague and clean her name. She shows her how. But in the middle of this a procession arrives to the hut and captures Besse. The Old Woman escapes.


Scene 3 – The trial takes place at Besse’s tavern. It is a social event, and the crowd drinks beer amused. While the Inquisitor is praying to the crowd, the Old Woman approaches Besse and tells her that she has poisoned the beer and gives her an extra dose and an antidote. The crowd starts getting fatally ill and accuse Besse of being a witch. But she offers to help them, succeeding in curing one of them. That success is her punishment. That proves the Inquisitor she is a witch. Desperate, Besse drinks the poison, leaving the tavern to the Old Woman.




Besse - Soprano

Old Woman - Mezzo

Camille - Baritone

Inquisitor - Soprano


Angry crowd - Choir


Clarinet in Bb













11th October 2022


Besse - concert version

Skylark Opera, Minnesota (USA)


24th August 2022


Besse - full performance

Infinite Opera

Anspach&Hobday, London

Tête à Tête: The Opera Festival 2022


29th July 2021


Besse - concert version

Godella Chamber Music Festival (Spain)


17th June 2020


Screening of Besse
CODA Festival

Royal Birmingham Conservatoire

1st November 2019

Besse - full performance
Infinite Opera 

DigBrew Co, Birmingham, Halloween Special

26th July 2019

Besse - full performance
Infinite Opera

DigBrew Co, Birmingham Beer Week

10th May 2019


Première of Besse - Hops
Infinite Opera

DigBrew Co, Birmingham

12th April 2019

Première of Besse - Rye

Infinite Opera

DigBrew Co, Birmingham


8th March 2019

Première of Besse - Water

Infinite Opera

DigBrew Co, Birmingham