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Friday, November 6, 2015

In Context: YOU US WE ALL

YOU US WE ALL, the pop opera from Shara Worden, Andrew Ondrejcak, and Baroque Orchestration X, comes to BAM on November 11. Context is everything, so get even closer to the production with this curated selection of articles and videos related to the show. After you've attended the show, let us know what you thought below and by posting on social media using #YOUUSWEALL.

Program Notes


Watch & Listen

Helga Davis in Einstein on the Beach (YouTube)
A suspendered Davis was featured in the recent revival of Philip Glass and Robert Wilson’s 5-hour masterpiece.

“Time Drinks Three Shots,” Shara Worden (YouTube)
Baroque strings flit every which way in this instrumental track from YOU US WE ALL, also featured on the compilation Red Hot + Bach.

Q2 Spaces: Inside Shara Worden’s Mystical Detroit Home (WQXR)
The singer-composer now lives happily in Detroit.


"Opera Is The New Black" (Bandcamp)
You can hear YOU US WE ALL before you see it, operatic tradition be damned.

“NWF: Next Wave Fashion” (BAM Blog)
The YOU US WE ALL director is also a fashionista—one of many in this year’s Next Wave Festival.

Andrew Ondrejcak
Take a look at other projects the YOU US WE ALL director has been involved in.

Now your turn...

What did you think? Was Beyoncé a worthy muse for the character Time? Do baroque strings go well with martinis? Tell us what's on your mind in the comments below and on social media using #YOUUSWEALL.


  1. I usually don't comment online, but I loved YOU US WE ALL! It was pure fun. A collage for the senses.

    Gorgeous costumes - like a dream. Shara's voice - a dream. The letters to Beyonce, Celine Dion, etc., and the ever changing "desktop" background - were my favorite parts! The typewriter clacking while she sang - perfect. Also loved the live music: I think the best word is startling.

    Would love to see more collaborations between Shara and Andrew!

  2. Awesome show! Thanks Andrew and Shara!!

  3. I honestly wasn't that blown away by this show. The libretto was silly. Great set. Nice costumes. Music was okay.

  4. What a thrill! What a romp! (And yet it was touching in its humanity.) Shara Worden (playing Hope) has an extraordinarily lovely voice, and is also the enormously talented composer of this opera. It was a thrill to see Helga Davis perform as Virtue (I had first seen her in Einstein on the Beach at BAM in 2012.) Her performance this evening was mind-blowing. Martin Gerke (as Love), Bernhard Landauer (as Death), and Carlos Soto (as Time) were all amazing. Andrew Ondrejcak's set, direction and design was fabulous. Belgium-based B.O.X. (Baroque Orchestration X, directed by Pieter Theuns) blew me away. I honestly wish I could see it again.

  5. I agree with the NY Times review. This opera wasn't mindblowing. It was quaint. Fantasy, transposed into the more audible range of pop culture as language rooted in some existential meaning but it doesn't sustain the reverie. This opera has all the magnetism of a status bar with its familiar mix of impatience and excitement: identity formation in progress, desire definition download not yet complete.

  6. I admired the music but was bored by the immature musings akin to "dear Diary" of the libretto. Seemed like a lot of wasted talent up there on the glossy marley floor. Even a modern opera can have a plot and a plot twist, but if you wish to present a meditation on meaning, you need to get your nose out of your navel...I found this production self-indulgent and random, with emphasis on the visual blinding that of the text that requires a hard look. What a pity.

  7. I don't remember laughing as much as I did at an opera before. This one deals more with universals than a particular plot line, kudos! The royal court was the locus from which power and information eminated, and now it is the internet and celebrity.
    Taking away our masks and costumes, who are we at the core? I can continue to muse here. Excellent contemporary piece of work.

  8. Took a while to reflect on this before writing. I thought the concept was great and the costumes and set design were wonderful ( in fact, Andrew Ondrejcak costume and production design are the real stars here) and clearly many talented singers on stage but the music was simplistic at best, It was not as good as ANDY: A Popera, a fabulous collision of the high and low, the commercial and the artistic, the traditional and the innovative...or Robert Wilson’s Monteverdi cycle in Milan. Overall the score was not complex and left no room for reveal, heartache, narration, or rhythm. The modulation and tonality were actually amateurish. Contemporary...yes. ("Dear Beyonce" is fun at first but an hour and a half of "Dear Celine Dion" and "Dear Mariah Carey" and "Dear Brittney Spears" starts to wear thin.) Interesting? Powerful? Innovative? Not at all. In opera the biggest mistake you can make is to sacrifice composition for costume and set design. 'You Us We All" makes that mistake.


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