MU Opera Theatre Hydrogen Jukebox

 Young men and women dressed in sixty's era clothes lounging in front of an old and rusty sign that reads "art"
 
Hydrogen Jukebox
 

Music by Philip Glass

Poetry by Allen Ginsberg 

Enter the mind of American poet Allen Ginsberg in this dream-like exploration of Ginsberg’s poetry and the Beat Generation.

The opera was recorded during the pandemic and filmed in the summer of 2021. The project includes collaborations with Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park, the American Sign Museum, dancers from Cincinnati’s Dance Emporium, and a lighting design by Cincinnati Opera’s Thomas Hase. The work includes adult themes and explores themes such as sexual identity, environmental destruction, social unrest, love, and the effects of capitalism. Ginsberg states that, “Ultimately the motif of Hydrogen Jukebox, the underpinning, the secret message, is to relieve human suffering by communicating some kind of enlightened awareness of various themes, topics, obsessions, neurosis, difficulties, problems, perplexities that we encounter as we end the millennium." Hydrogen Jukebox’s libretto is comprised of the poems or excerpts from Ginsberg’ major works and requires the audience to surrender to the eclectic fervor of this unique time in our history. The score contains some of Glass’ most sensuous melodic composition as well as choral numbers breaming with emotional transparency and wit.

The work was premiered at the Spoleto Festival in 1990. Hydrogen Jukebox contains adult subject matter and is intended for a mature audience.

MU Opera Theatre collaborators

American Sign Museum, Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park, lighting designer Thomas Hase, artist Steinunn Thorarinsdottir, and Movement Emporium. This project was made possible by the generous support of Philip Glass and Dunvagen Publishing, the William E. Schmidt Foundation, the Jim and Recie Scott Opera Endowment, and the Miami University Parent's Fund.

Sneak Peek at the Film

Actors in army uniforms next to an Uncle Sam "I want you for the U.S. Army" poster Actors in army uniforms next to an Uncle Sam "I want you for the U.S. Army" poster
 Outdoor scene with actors playing hippies on a hill at sunrise  Outdoor scene with actors playing hippies on a hill at sunrise
 Actors three women and two men in sixties era cloths having a conversation in front of a graffiti covered wall  Actors three women and two men in sixties era cloths having a conversation in front of a graffiti covered wall

YouTube Trailer