BOpS presents Hydrogen Jukebox

The opera is a counter-cultural work that, for this production, will be exploring forms of sexual violence, commenting on failures of ‘the system’, recognising the extent of the problem, and, empowering those that sexual violence affects (i.e. all people). This unique production will combine traditional opera form with physical theatre and Berkhovian aesthetic. By presenting the newfound prominence of sexual violence through quirky theatrical innovation and immersion, you – the audience – will have a unique experience of the issue, regardless of prior personal experience, and we hope to inspire you to become (or continue being) an active member of one of the most important conversations in our society today. Owing to the libretto solely comprising Ginsberg’s off-the-wall beat poetry, there is no narrative in the traditional sense, but rather themes explored. Six archetypal American characters, recognisable as a cheerleader, a waitress, a policewoman, a priest, a businessman and a mechanic, explore these themes throughout the opera. The unifying and overarching theme is sexual violence, which is explored in different contexts – found in the libretto. The music is straight from Glass’ iconic minimalistic repertoire, often consisting of persistent repetition of harmonic patterns and accompaniments. The opera is orchestrated for 5 woodwind instruments, 2 percussionists and 2 synthesisers, giving the music an ethereal and transcendental vibe alternating with total chaos. The cast mostly sing in close harmony, giving the opera a choral twang, broken up by perfectly crafted vocal lines which whether grotesque or beautiful, are very singable melodies.

St Paul's Clifton

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Audience Warnings:

  • Strobe Lighting is used during this performance.
  • Contains themes of sexual nature but there are no depictions of sexual violence


Directed by Sarah E. Cooper
Produced by Beth Mulley
Musical Direction Fintan Kealy
Written By Philip Glass, Libretto by Allen Ginsberg