COVID Bake-Off

for mezzo-soprano, soprano, baritone, cello, and piano

A one-act comedic opera about baking and revenge

Music by Monica Chew, libretto by Sandra Flores-Strand


Instruments: piano, cello (contact for different arrangements)


Lilly, an up-and-coming celebrity baker, has been invited to go toe to toe with her nemesis Bobby V. in a baking competition. Her reputation, her business and a large cash prize are on the line. It’s the day before the competition and Lilly has no taste or smell due to COVID.


Act 1 Scene 1 (Lilly’s Bedroom)

Lilly wakes up and she still has no taste or smell. She sings about wanting to regain her senses before the big competition. She reads an article that makes her feel encouraged that she might get her taste back by tomorrow. She decides to call Eve, her sous chef, to help her come up with a plan to get her taste back. As she goes to call Eve, Bobby, her nemesis, calls to antagonize her before the competition.

Act 1 Scene 2 (The Competition)

On the day of the competition, Lilly and Eve try a variety of methods to help her regain her taste. Lilly worries that Bobby might sabotage her again and Eve confirms her suspicions about Bobby and his cheating family. Before the competition begins, Bobby unintentionally confesses that he sabotaged Lilly’s ingredients in the first round. It’s announced that Bobby’s sous chef, Vinny V., failed his covid test, so Bobby will have to compete alone. Lilly and Eve rejoice and delight in making jabs at Bobby throughout the competition. Lilly is announced the winner, she and Eve celebrate. 

Aria List


Sandra Flores-Strand and Monica Chew met and conceived COVID Bake-off under the auspices of Really Spicy Opera's Aria Institute, 2022 mezzo-soprano online edition. Catalyzed by their new partnership, they wrote scene 1 and workshopped it at Four Corners Ensemble's Operation Opera in Spokane, WA in June 2022. In October 2022 COVID Bake-off was premiered at Old First Church in San Francisco with Nikola Printz as Lilly, Winnie Nieh as Eve, Sidney Chen as Bobby V., and Monica Chew at the piano and Douglas Machiz on cello.

Contact for score information. We deliberately made the music to be accessible to performers and listeners and would love to see more productions.