Sunday 12 January 07:00pm

FERUS Festival

Sarah Hennies & Mara Baldwin: "Come ‘Round Right"

6pm doors • 7pm show


What happens when a community’s most deeply held beliefs also lead to its demise? A once thriving utopian society, the Shakers’ numbers have now dwindled to just two members, due to a rigid belief system demanding celibacy and an eventual refusal of new members. Their society is soon to be survived only by their work, most notably their furniture and their songs. 

Taking its name from one of the most famous Shaker hymns, Come ‘Round Right is an opera with no characters — taking place after everyone has left — and explores the persistence of a disappearing community by examining what remains. Blurring the lines between music, visual art, and theater, it concerns itself with labor, identity, survival, love, and the passage of time. 

Come ‘Round Right pairs sculptural set pieces by Mara Baldwin, inspired by Shaker furniture and crafts, with music by Sarah Hennies based on Shaker hymns. Hennies reinterprets this monodic music by replacing horizontal time (melody) with vertical time (harmony), each section of the piece consisting of a block of immersive and hypnotic sound.