Shenandoah Conservatory’s production of “Hydrogen Jukebox” was featured as part of a three-way-tie for first place in the National Opera Association’s (NOA) 2022/23 Opera Production Competition Division I category, alongside Baylor University’s “Monsieur et Madame Denis” by Jacques Offenbach and Laurencin and Michel Delaporte and SUNY Potsdam – Crane School of Music’s “The Enchanted Pig” by Jonathan Dove and Alasdair Middleton.
“‘Hydrogen Jukebox’ was a performance project that embodies Shenandoah Conservatory’s mission to be a collaborative community,” said Director of Opera and Associate Professor Ella Marchment, B.Mus. “It’s a huge honor to be the winners of this national competition and the result is testament to the commitment and investment of all students involved who collectively were on stage in character for the entire evening. Opera at Shenandoah is growing exponentially and to receive this accolade shows us that we are perceived as a center of innovation, experimentation and collaboration, preparing well-rounded artists for the future profession.”
“Hydrogen Jukebox” was directed by Marchment, and featured original choreography by Adjunct Instructor of Dance Lindsay Browning, B.F.A.; music direction by Adjunct Assistant Professor of Vocal Coaching Wei-Han Wu, D.M.A., and lighting design by Oak Neel ’24 (Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre Design & Production – Lighting Design).
“Hydrogen Jukebox” (1990) is a compelling and provocative chamber opera set to music by Philip Glass and the words of iconic beat poet Allen Ginsberg. Named for and inspired by Ginsberg’s 1955 poem “Howl,” “Hydrogen Jukebox” is a melodrama that creates a portrait of the sensory overload and upheaval of America from the 1950s through the 1980s — covering the end of World War II through the thick of the Cold War. Through a special collaboration with the Dance Division, and accompanied by a live chamber ensemble, the production explored the difficult, often ugly, growing pains of our country.
View the “Hydrogen Jukebox” digital program to learn more about the November 2022 production.