Hydrogen Jukebox
Composer: Philip Glass
Composer Bio: Through his operas, his symphonies, his compositions for his own ensemble, and his wide-ranging collaborations with artists ranging from Twyla Tharp to Allen Ginsberg, Woody Allen to David Bowie, Philip Glass has had an extraordinary and unprecedented impact upon the musical and intellectual life of his times. The operas – “Einstein on the Beach,” “Satyagraha,” “Akhnaten,” and “The Voyage,” among many others – play throughout the world’s leading houses, and rarely to an empty seat. Glass has written music for experimental theater and for Academy Award-winning motion pictures such as “The Hours” and Martin Scorsese’s “Kundun,” while “Koyaanisqatsi,” his initial filmic landscape with Godfrey Reggio and the Philip Glass Ensemble, may be the most radical and influential mating of sound and vision since “Fantasia.” His associations, personal and professional, with leading rock, pop and world music artists date back to the 1960s, including the beginning of his collaborative relationship with artist Robert Wilson. Indeed, Glass is the first composer to win a wide, multi-generational audience in the opera house, the concert hall, the dance world, in film and in popular music -- simultaneously. He was born in 1937 and grew up in Baltimore. He studied at the University of Chicago, the Juilliard School and in Aspen with Darius Milhaud. Finding himself dissatisfied with much of what then passed for modern music, he moved to Europe, where he studied with the legendary pedagogue Nadia Boulanger (who also taught Aaron Copland , Virgil Thomson and Quincy Jones) and worked closely with the sitar virtuoso and composer Ravi Shankar. He returned to New York in 1967 and formed the Philip Glass Ensemble – seven musicians playing keyboards and a variety of woodwinds, amplified and fed through a mixer. The new musical style that Glass was evolving was eventually dubbed “minimalism.” Glass himself never liked the term and preferred to speak of himself as a composer of “music with repetitive structures.” Much of his early work was based on the extended reiteration of brief, elegant melodic fragments that wove in and out of an aural tapestry. Or, to put it another way, it immersed a listener in a sort of sonic weather that twists, turns, surrounds, develops. There has been nothing “minimalist” about his output. In the past 25 years, Glass has composed more than twenty operas, large and small; eight symphonies (with others already on the way); two piano concertos and concertos for violin, piano, timpani, and saxophone quartet and orchestra; soundtracks to films ranging from new scores for the stylized classics of Jean Cocteau to Errol Morris’s documentary about former defense secretary Robert McNamara; string quartets; a growing body of work for solo piano and organ. He has collaborated with Paul Simon, Linda Ronstadt, Yo-Yo Ma, and Doris Lessing, among many others. He presents lectures, workshops, and solo keyboard performances around the world, and continues to appear regularly with the Philip Glass Ensemble.
Librettist: Allen Ginsberg
Librettist Bio: Allen Ginsberg was born on June 3, 1926, in Newark, New Jersey, and eventually became one of the founding fathers of the Beat Generation with his revolutionary poem "Howl." Ginsberg was a prolific writer who also championed gay rights and anti-war movements, protesting the Vietnam War and coining the phrase "Flower Power." Even with his countercultural background, he became recognized as one of American's foremost writers and artistic icons. He died on April 5, 1997, at age 70.
Work Web Site: http://www.philipglass.com/music/compositions/hydrogen_jukebox.php
Premiere Date: April 29, 1990
Producing Company: Spoleto Festival USA
Description: Drawing upon Ginsberg's poetry, this music/theatre piece is a portrait of Amercia that covers the 50's, 60's, 70's and 80's, seen by the collaborators Glass, Ginsberg and Sirlin. Its content ranges from highly personal poems of Ginsberg to his reflection on social issues: the anti-war movement, the sexual revolution, drugs, eastern philosophy, environmental awareness. The six vocal parts represent six archetypal Amercian characters - a waitress, a policeman, a businessman, a cheerleader, a priest, a mechanic.
Character List (Major): 2S, Mz, T, Bar, B
Comments: Described as a music/theater piece by Philip Glass, Allen Ginsberg and Jerome Sirlin.
Length: 01:30
Total Acts: 1
Orchestration: ssx (fl), ssx (tsx, bcl)/ 2 perc (timp, SD, BD, tuned drums, tgl, tamb, cow bells, wdbl, anvil, finger cyms, cym, tpl.bl) 2 syn (1 piano), hand claps
Contact: Dunvagen Music Publishers
Address: 632 Broadway, Suite 802
New York, NY 10012
E-mail Address: info@dunvagen.com
Phone: (212) 979-2080
Composer Web Site: http://www.philipglass.com/
The Opera Fund Awardee Information
Award Category: 2011 Robert L.B. Tobin Director-Designer Showcase
Project Name: Hydrogen Jukebox
Awardee(s): Rafael Gallegos
Director: Rafael Gallegos
Designer: Set and Lighting Designer: Brett J. Banakis, Costume Designer: Sydney Maresca


"Drawing upon Ginsberg's poetry, this music/theatre piece is a portrait of Amercia that covers the 50's, 60's, 70's and 80's, seen by the collaborators Glass, Ginsberg and Sirlin. "
About the 2011 Robert L.B. Tobin Director-Designer Showcase
This bi-annual program is offered as part of OPERA America’s continuing effort to foster emerging opera artists. The showcase, made possible through support from the Tobin Theatre Arts Fund, has been established to bring promising talent to the attention of the field and connect promising directors and designers with those who are in a position to advance their careers. Twenty-seven director-driven teams submitted proposals for consideration in this second showcase round. Four finalist teams were selected by panelists Donald Eastman, designer; Kevin Patterson, general director, Austin Lyric Opera; Tazewell Thompson, stage director; and Diane Wondisford, producing director, Music-Theatre Group. As opera is an intrinsically collaborative art form, the projects chosen were selected not only because they demonstrate the requisite creativity and skill, but because they display true collaboration, creative vibrancy and collective passion.

Each team is given $2,000 to be used toward further research and the production of more comprehensive renderings and models. Up to two representatives from each finalist team receive travel, lodging and registration to attend Opera Conference 2011 in Boston, MA to present their proposals to opera producers at a special session and to network with conference attendees.
Schedule of Performances Listings
Hydrogen Jukebox (Glass)
Saturday, May 30, 2015 - Long Beach Opera
Hydrogen Jukebox (Glass)
Sunday, July 27, 2014 - West Edge Opera
Hydrogen Jukebox (Glass)
Tuesday, May 24, 2011 - Fort Worth Opera
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