Some of the possible reasons:

  • In baroque Germany, operas were almost exclusively financed by and produced for the princes' private entertainment.
  • Bach's employer(s) might not have had the budget and/or theatre to allow him to write an opera.
  • Operas were supposed to be light entertainment. Bach wasn't famous for anything light at all, his music was considered too somber and complex by most of his contemporaries.
  • Bach did not like operas too much -- presumably because they all were the light entertainment they were supposed to be.
  • He was too busy to write an opera just for fun, after all he had to deliver enormous amounts of music (a cantata every week).

Operas were also not as popular at the time of Bach, and Bach was mainly employed by churches.

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