In Mayhem and Majesty, the sonic hooligans of Squonk Opera push the boundaries of musical athleticism and visual wizardry, while asking the question…“What does music look like?”
Each song evokes different atmospheres and dynamics, which are made vivid through mesmerizing projections and constantly transforming scenery. One moment you are alone in a swarm of stars with a gently swaying keyboard and a sparse lullaby your only guide. The next, you see how romance is just a series of cell mutations set to post-punk beats.
The Squonkers journey from the depths of moody minimalism to the heights of gypsy rock raucous delight. And our award-winning multimedia canvas takes your eyes to those wondrous places your ears have long kept secret.
Visit our Store to purchase or download a CD of the music from this production.
“Squonk Opera crafts audio-visual delights in an innovative theater experience…a symphony of the senses.” - The Gazette
”Mayhem and Majesty is a tsunami of sound and light…a hypnotic celebration of musical sound and what that sound does to the soul.” – Pittsburgh Magazine
“a score that ranges from haunting lullaby to overwhelming cacophony” – City Paper
“a musical experience that’s colorful, chaotic, spiky, elegant, sensuous and surreal” – Tribune-Review
“the band embraces live music and video, movement, film, props and lighting to ‘show’ what music looks like” – Post-Gazette
“transporting the audience to a psychedelic world where listeners could see what music looks like…a show that had no boundaries or limits” – The Daily Gamecock, University of SC
Go to Media for full articles.
The Artistic Directors
Steve O’Hearn & Jackie Dempsey
Piano, Keys & Accordion
Drums, Zen Drum, Djembe
Flute, Sax, Wind Synth, Manybell Trumpet
Jackie Dempsey with Squonk Opera
Design & Staging
Lead Video Design
Buzz Miller, Jessi Sedon-Essad & David Wallace
Paula Ries & Venise St. Pierre
Additional Music & Assistant Musical Direction
Original Stage Direction
Autumn Ayers & Anna Elder
Kinetic Set Works
Bradley N. Litwin
Contributing Video Design
Jessi Sedon-Essad, Bonnie Bogovich, Michael Epstein, Dean Mougianis, Caroline Savage,
Set & Prop Artists
Chris & Robin Letzelter, Michelle Carello, John Teacher, Dave English, Michael Essad
Steve and Jackie would like to acknowledge everyone involved in this production
for their creative contributions, especially the Squonk musicians for adding their
own individual flavor to the music, and the designers, builders and technicians who
added detail and richness to the production.
*Prior to 2013, Autumn Ayers was the vocalist in Mayhem and Majesty and appears in the videos on this website.
Mayhem and Majesty is a proscenium show that requires a stage at least 32′ wide
and 22′ deep and 15′ high. It can be loaded in the same day as the show, with
focus happening the evening before.
For full tech requirements, refer to our Media page.
School show versions have been developed for grades 4-12; please refer to the
Study Guide – a full guide can be downloaded from our Media page.
Bumbershoot Festival … Seattle, WA
Stuart’s Opera House … Nelsonville, OH
College of St. Benedict … St. Joseph, MN
New Hazlett Theater 2013 … Pittsburgh, PA
First Night Pittsburgh … Pittsburgh, PA
Tri-C Presents … Cleveland, OH
Community Arts Center … Williamsport, PA
Kelly-Strayhorn Theater … Pittsburgh, PA
New Hazlett Theater 2011 … Pittsburgh, PA
RVCC Arts … Branchburg, NJ
Rose Lehrman Arts Center … Harrisburg, PA
Kutztown University … Kutztown, PA
Weinberg Center for the Arts … Frederick, MD
UNC Wilmington … Wilmington, NC
Cabarrus Arts Council … Concord, NC
Midlands Technical College … Irmo, SC