2017 — for Bass-Baritone and Piano/Electronics or Strings (~45′)


Conceived by
Davóne Tines and Zack Winokur
Arrangements, electronics, and orchestrations by
Michael Schachter


Piano and electronics; or Strings (string quartet or orchestra)


Available by request only (see CONTACT page).
External link: American Modern Opera Company



America’s memory is short, fractured, and skewed; this week’s tragedy is last week’s forgotten hashtag. Were You There, a musical and theatrical meditation featuring DAVÓNE TINES, takes up the task of strengthening our collective memory by gathering and channeling some of America’s most prescient voices, from the words and melodies of African-American spirituals to the poetry of Walt Whitman. It is an invitation to give voice to, and shed light on, the memory of those slaughtered at the hands of racial injustice, in the hope that by illuminating past and recent tragedies, we ensure that we do not repeat them.

“Were You There” is not a concert. It’s a lament, a memorial and a catharsis. It’s a calm, measured shaking of the audience’s shoulders.” – The Bay State Banner



World Premiere: December 2017
Loeb Mainstage, Cambridge, MA
American Repertory Theater
Zack Winokur, director
Davóne Tines, Bass-Baritone
Michael Schachter, Piano and electronics

String Orchestration Premiere: March 2018
Big Ears Festival
Bijou Theater, Knoxville, Tennessee
Knoxville Symphony; Aram Demirjian, conductor
Zack Winokur, director
Davóne Tines, Bass-Baritone
Michael Schachter, Piano

Copyright 2013-22 by Michael Schachter. michael.schachter [at] gmail.com