Please be introduced to You Us We All, a contemporary version of a baroque opera composed by singer and composer Shara Worden, also known as leader of the band My Brightest Diamond, with a libretto by Andrew Ondrejcak, who also directed and designed the production.
Hope identifies with Beyoncé. Love doesn’t return Death’s emails. Time swigs Stoli in his tighty whities. In the postmodern pop opera, You Us We All, the buttoned-up allegorical figures of 17th-century court entertainment search for meaning amid celebrity crushes, Lucite chairs, and gym culture.
You Us We All was written for a 10 piece Belgium-based baroque ensemble, under the direction of Pieter Theuns, called B.O.X., Baroque Orchestration X, that enlivens the whimsical text by Ondrejcak and the score by Worden, who performs alongside Helga Davis (Einstein on the Beach, 2012 Next Wave) and three other vocalists who inhabit the roles of the allegorical characters Virtue, Love, Hope, Death and Time. As the characters perform, they reflect on the meaning of their lives in our modern world, and Time strips away the layers of pomp and artifice that had given them shape. Pruned of its clothes, roles and story, the opera turns radically inward as everything is destroyed.
The original cast recording of You Us We All will be released on November 6th in advance of the opera's US debut at the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Next Wave Festival in New York and at Carolina Performing Arts at UNC Chapel Hill.