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Philip Glass

Publisher: Chester Music

Hydrogen Jukebox (1990)
commissioned by the Spoleto Music Festival USA, Charleston, SC and the American Music Theater Festival, Philadelphia, PA
Work Notes
Music-theatre piece by Philip Glass, Allen Ginsberg and Jerome Sirlin. Libretto (English) by Allen Ginsberg.
Text Writer
Allen Ginsberg
Dunvagen Music Publishers Inc
Opera and Music Theatre
Sub Category
Operetta / Musical Theatre
Year Composed
1 Hour 30 Minutes
2 Sopranos, Mezzo Soprano, Tenor, Baritone, Bass
Programme Note
Philip Glass Hydrogen Jukebox (1990)

Drawing upon Ginsberg's poetry, this music/theatre piece is a portrait of America that covers the 50's, 60's, 70's and 80's, seen by the collaborators Glass, Ginsberg and Sirlin. Its content ranges form 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 American characters - a waitress, a policeman, a businessman, a cheerleader, a priest, a mechanic.

Preview the score:

  • Ensemble
    Philip Glass Ensemble
    Martin Goldray
  • 22 SEP 2017
    Lang Recital Hall at Hunter College, New York, NY
    Utopia Opera
    William Remmers, conductor

    Other Dates:
    23 September - Lang Recital Hall at Hunter College, New York, NY
  • 27 JUL 2017
    Norton Hall, Chautauqua, NY
    Chautauqua Opera
    Steve Osgood, conductor

    Other Dates:
    1 August - Norton Hall, Chautauqua, NY
  • 04 APR 2017
    Binghamton, NY
    Tri-Cities Opera Company

    Other Dates:
    5,6 April - Binghamton, NY
  • 14 OCT 2016
    Boston, MA
    Boston University School for Arts
    Allison Voth, conductor

    Other Dates:
    15,16 October - Boston, MA
  • 05 MAY 2016
    Los Angeles, CA
    California State University
    Kristof Van Grysperre, conductor

    Other Dates:
    6-8 May - Los Angeles, CA
  • 21 JAN 2016
    Pittsburgh, PA, United States
    Carnegie Mellon University
    Christopher Larkin, conductor

    Other Dates:
    22-24 January - Pittsburgh, PA, United States
  • 05 NOV 2015
    Rochester, NY
    Eastman School of Music
    Benton Hess, conductor
  • 16 OCT 2015
    Modesto, CA
    Townsend Opera Players

    Other Dates:
    17 October - Modesto, CA
  • 30 MAY 2015
    Long Beach, CA
    Long Beach Opera
  • 09 MAR 2013
    Wageningen, Holland
    Atacca Ensemble
    Fokko Oldenhuis, conductor

    Other Dates:
    27 September - Middelburg, Holland
  • 23 FEB 2013
    Hydrogen Jukebox Country Premiere
    Enschede, Holland
  • 24 MAY 2011
    Fort Worth, TX
    Fort Worth Opera Association
    Steven Osgood, conductor

    Other Dates:
    25,26,28,29 May; 1,2,4,5 June - Fort Worth, TX
  • 24 MAY 2010
    Fort Worth, TX
    Fort Worth Opera

    Other Dates:
    25-31 May; 1-5 June - Fort Worth, TX
  • 16 JAN 2009
    Washington, D.C.
    Georgetown University
    Timothy Nelson, conductor

    Other Dates:
    17,18 January - Washington, D.C.
  • 12 JAN 2009
    Nantes, France
    Ars Nova

    Other Dates:
    13,14 January - Nantes, France
    28,29 January - Angers, France
  • 12 JAN 2009
    Théâtre Graslin, Nantes, France
    Opera Nantes; Ars Nova Ensemble Instrumental
    Philippe Nahon, conductor

    Other Dates:
    13,14 January - Théâtre Graslin, Nantes, France
    22,24,26 January - Le grand T, Nantes, France
    28,29 January - Grand Théâtre, Angers, France
  • 26 APR 2007
    Halle, Germany
    Ensemble Creativ
    Erik Kross, conductor

Twenty-one years after its premiere, the work remains provocative for its critiques of misjudged wars, corporate abuses and political flimflammery, and its embrace of homosexuality and drug use. Glass's score has his familiar undulations and pulsings, but also surprisingly lush harmonies....gathering emotional intensity.
Scott Cantrell, Opera,01/10/2011
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