Glory Denied


Glory Denied

Saturday, April 2, 2011 at 8 p.m.

Sunday, April 3, 2011 at 7 p.m. (part of Series I)

Thursday, April 7, 2011 at 8 p.m. (part of Series II)

Saturday, April 9, 2011 at 9 p.m.

Sunday, April 10, 2011 at 2 p.m.

Capt. Floyd “Jim” Thompson was shot down over Vietnam on March 26, 1964.  He was captured by the Viet Cong, and held for nine years; his wife Alyce was uncertain if he was alive. Faced with the prospect of raising their four children alone, she decided to move on, and settled down with another man.  When Thomson returned, his long-held vision of Alyce was crushed, and his family’s lives were thrown into turmoil.  Based on the book by Tom Philpott, the opera Glory Denied tells the story of Jim and Alyce – their relationship, their choices, their joys, their disillusionment.

Older Thompson:  Michael Chioldi

Older Alyce:  Caroline Worra

Younger Thompson:  Kevin Vortmann

Younger Alyce:  Colleen Daly

Directed by Scott C. Embler

Conducted by Robert Wood

Production and Lighting Design by D.M. Wood; Costume Design by Paul Carey; Projections by Kevin Frech

About the Artists

Michael ChioldiMichael Chioldi is one of the world’s premiere operatic baritones. Known for his “riveting stage presence and beautiful, powerful voice” (The New York Times), he has performed leading roles across the United States and throughout the world. He made his Metropolitan Opera debut in 1996 with Luciano Pavarotti, and has also performed with the San Francisco Opera, Houston Grand Opera, New York City Opera (over 150 performances from ‘99-‘09), Santa Fe Opera, Washington National Opera (conducted by Placido Domingo ‘04), Los Angeles Opera, San Diego Opera, Spoleto USA, Minnesota Opera, and Glimmerglass Opera. Internationally, he has appeared with the Macau International Music Festival in China, L’Opera de Montpellier in France, Opera de Oviedo in Spain, in Tokyo, Japan (on tour with Maestro Seiji Ozawa), at Canada’s Opera Atelier, at the Stadttheater Pforzheim in Germany and numerous other companies.

Mr. Chioldi’s 2010 appearances included Count Almaviva in Hawaii Opera Theatre’s Le nozze di Figaro, Richard Nixon in Long Beach Opera’s Nixon in China, the title role in Hamlet with the Washington National Opera, Cavalleria Rusticana and I Pagliacci with Chautauqua Opera, and Salome at the Saito Kinen Festival in Japan. He also appeared as Escamillo in Carmen with Opéra National de Bordeaux, as Tonio in I Pagliacci with Opera Cleveland, and with the Santa Fe Concert Association in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. Later this year, he returns to Utah Opera in the role of Ford in Verdi’s Falstaff and to Lyric Opera of Kansas City in Turandot. The fall of 2011 sees his return to Washington National Opera to sing Enrico in Lucia di Lammermoor.

Of his debut in the title role in Der fliegende Holländer in ‘08, Orpheus International Magazine praised him as “authoritative and tonally burnished. Mr. Chioldi as the Holländer gave a Bayreuth-worthy performance. This amazing young singer has a huge Wagnerian career ahead of him.” He starred as Sharpless in New York City Opera’s ‘08 Emmy Award-winning Madama Butterfly, broadcast nationwide on PBS. Mr. Chioldi as the U.S. Consul was “focused, forceful, and sympathetic. He gave Sharpless a soul.” (The New York Post)

Mr. Chioldi’s awards include The Metropolitan Opera National Council, Puccini Foundation, Pavarotti Competition, Gerda Lissner Foundation, Miami Competition and the MacAllister Awards. Mr. Chioldi is recorded on Sony Classical, BMG, Decca, Accord, and Newport Classics labels.

Colleen DalySoprano Colleen Daly is rapidly emerging as a “dramatically powerful” (The Washington Post) singer in today’s operatic arena. Miss Daly’s wide range of roles includes the title roles in The Academy of Vocal Arts’ productions of Lucia di Lammermoor, La Traviata, Kát’a Kabanová, and Manon, the title role in Opera Vivente’s production of Alcina, Cleopatra in Giulio Cesare, Miss Jessel in The Turn of the Screw and Berta in Il Barbiere di Siviglia with the Maryland Opera Studio, Micaëla in La Tragédie de Carmen with Olney Theatre Center for the Arts, Die Königin der Nacht in Die Zauberflöte with Opera New Jersey, the Annapolis Opera and Symphony Orchestra, and the In Series, Madame Herz in Der Schauspieldirektor at the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, and Cunegonde in Candide at the Merle Reskin Theater in Chicago.

Miss Daly’s “glistening soprano” (The Washington Post) is also becoming well-known to concert and recital audiences, performing as a soloist in such works as the Mozart, Brahms, Fauré, and Rutter Requiem Masses, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Händel’s Messiah and Haydn’s Creation and Missa Solemnis, and appearing in concerts with the Master Chorale of Washington (Kennedy Center debut), the Cathedral Choral Society (National Cathedral debut), Washington Concert Opera, the Maryland Philharmonic Orchestra, Opera Lafayette, Ovation Artists, the Washington Arts Club, and the In Series.

Kevin VortmannTenor Kevin Vortmann recently appeared in the Tony Award nominated Broadway revival of A Little Night Music.  Other New York Appearances include: Face the Music (Uncle Sam – Cast Recording), Juno (IRA Man), Lost in the Stars (Burton), Stairway to Paradise (Soldier Soloist), On the Town and Applause with New York City Center’s critically acclaimed Encores! Series; Carnegie Hall: Leonard Bernstein’s Mass (Soloist – also The Kennedy Center and Baltimore Symphony – Grammy nominated Cast Recording on Naxos), Showboat and Mother Russia.

Off Broadway appearance include: For Lovers Only.  National Tour: Camelot (starring Robert Goulet).  Regional credits: Cape Playhouse, Arvada Center, North Shore Musical Theatre, Chautauqua Opera, Sacramento Music Circus, Marriott Lincolnshire Theatre, Gem Theatre, Drury Lane Oakbrook, Theatre at the Center, Drury Lane Evergreen Park, Blumenthal PAC, Westchester Broadway Theatre and Stages St. Louis.  Pre-Broadway and Workshops: Angels, the Musical (Joab), Metropolis, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (Willie), Dangerous Beauty, and Nice Work if You Can Get It (Starring Harry Connick Jr.).  Commercial: Gillette.  Kevin is a proud alumnus of Northwestern University.

Caroline WorraCaroline Worra has sung over 50 different operatic roles including 15 World and American Premieres and several demo recordings.  She received international acclaim for her performances of Jenny in The Mines of Sulphur (Grammy nominated CD for Best Opera Recording) and as the title role in The Greater Good; Passion of Boule de Suif (Opera News’ and The New York Times’ pick for one of the top classical CDs of the year).

Ms. Worra has worked with over 20 opera companies including The Metropolitan Opera, The Lyric Opera of Chicago, Dallas Opera, Boston Lyric Opera, and six seasons at both Glimmerglass Opera and New York City Opera. She recently performed Agrippina in Agrippina with Boston Lyric Opera, and has sung on two U.S. National Tours singing Violetta in LaTraviata and Rosalinda in DieFledermaus and performed a debut recital at Carnegie Hall (Weill Hall).  Overseas she has performed as Anne Trulove in The Rake’s Progress at Teatro Massimo Bellini in Catania, Sicily and Jenny in The Mines of Sulphur at The Wexford Festival Opera in Ireland (winner of The 2009 Best Opera of Ireland Award).

Ms. Worra is a recipient of the Shoshana Foundation/Richard F. Gold Career Grant and has a Doctor of Music degree in vocal performance from Indiana University.

Upcoming Engagements include Myra in Séance on a Wet Afternoon (excerpts) for Charity Wicks Doctoral Recital; Nora in Nora in the Great Outdoors – Composed for Caroline Worra – World Premiere Reading in New York City; Adele in The Beach for NYCO Showcase; Soprano Soloist in Carmina Burana and Lord Nelson Mass at Carnegie Hall; Recital at Luther College; Mrs. Naidoo (cover) in Satyagraha with The Metropolitan Opera; and Rosalinda in Die Fledermaus with Opera Memphis.

About the Composer

Tom CipulloComposer Tom Cipullo’s works have been heard at major concert halls on four continents, from San Francisco to Tel Aviv, from Stockholm to LaPaz. He has received commissions from the Mirror Visions Ensemble, SongFest at Pepperdine, the Joy in Singing, Sequitur, Cantori New York, tenor Paul Sperry, mezzo-soprano Mary Ann Hart, the Five Boroughs Music Festival, pianist Jeanne Golan, soprano Martha Guth, the Walt Whitman Project, baritone Jesse Blumberg, and the New York Festival of Song; and he has received awards and fellowships from Yaddo, the MacDowell Colony, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Copland House, the Liguria Study Center (Bogliasco, Italy), the Fundacion Valparaiso (Spain), the Oberpfaelzer Kuenstlerhaus (Bavaria), ASCAP, Meet the Composer, and the Jory Copying Program. The New York Times has called his music “haunting,” and The Boston Globe remarked that his work “literally sparkled with wit.” The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has called him “an expert in writing for the voice.” Recent honors include the Minneapolis Pops New Orchestral Repertoire Award (2009) for Sparkler, the National Association of Teachers of Singing Art Song Award (2008) for the song-cycle Of a Certain Age (commissioned by the soprano Hope Hudson), the Aaron Copland Award from Copland House (2007), and the Phyllis Wattis Prize for song composition from the San Francisco Song Festival.

Mr. Cipullo’s recent events include the premiere of Excelsior, a new song cycle commissioned by baritone Jesse Blumberg. The coming year will also see the premiere of Something About Autumn, a song cycle written for soprano Martha Guth, and the New York premiere of Insomnia by the Mirror Visions Ensemble at Weill Recital Hall in late May.

Tom Cipullo’s song cycles A Visit with Emily, Another Reason Why I Don’t Keep a Gun in the House, and Of a Certain Age are published by Oxford University Press. Other works are distributed by Classical Vocal Reprints. His music has been recorded on the Albany, CRI, PGM, and Capstone labels.

Mr. Cipullo received his Master’s degree in composition from Boston University and his B.S. from Hofstra University, Phi Beta Kappa with highest honors in music. He studied composition and orchestration with David Del Tredici, Elie Siegmeister, and Albert Tepper. Mr. Cipullo is a founding member of the Friends & Enemies of New Music, an organization that has presented more than 80 concerts featuring the music of over 200 different American composers.

About the Production Team

Scott C. Embler (director) is a Founding Member and the former Producing Director of the OOBR-award winning Vital Theatre Company.  NYC directing credits include:  the developmental collaboration of Ned Massey’s Bloodties (invited show at 2010 New York Musical Festival; recipient of  Special Notice for Best Music); Stain (Off-Broadway play); the world premiere of Margot Alone in the Light (opera adaptation of Ray Bradbury’s short story “All Summer in a Day” with operamission);  Death in England (Vital); Burning Botticelli (NYCFringe); opera premieres Faith and Caliban (Vital); many short plays including Save Me, Wonder Full, Trish at 10 (all at Vital)and Orpheus and the Dragon for the Drilling Company.

Readings include The Seventh Monarch (with Tony-winners Karen Ziemba and Harriet Harris), At Daybreak (Rattlestick Theatre); Breasts of Fortuna (with Lea Michele); the musical Masada (with Maya Days) at the York Theater; and numerous reading series over the years for Stephen Sondheim’s Young Playwrights, Inc.  Out of town credits include:  A Tribute to Miriam Makeba with Tsidii le Loka (at Colorado World Theatre Festival and also Theatre Outlet in Allentown, PA); Galileo’s Daughters (Piccolo Spoleto); Faith (World Science Fiction Convention, Chicago); Pieces in Short (Lake George Opera Festival); and Die Fledermaus (Albion College, Michigan).  Recently, he created and adapted the Little Tales series, a theatre program for pre-school kids that ran for two seasons at Manhattan Children’s Theatre.  He was fortunate enough to be a SDC Observer to Walter Bobbie on the Encores production of No, No, Nanette and to serve as the Arts Department Coordinator on the feature film Junction (to be released in 2012).

Robert WoodConductor Robert Wood founded UrbanArias in 2009. Primarily an opera conductor, he made his debut with the San Francisco Opera in 2004 with performances of La Traviata featuring Rolando Villazon. He also conducted Vivica Genaux’s debut with the San Francisco Opera in L’italiana in Algeri in 2005.  He was appointed Conductor in Residence at the Minnesota Opera, leading productions of L’italiana in Algeri, Le nozze di Figaro, La donna del lago, Rusalka, and Il barbiere di Siviglia. Mr. Wood has also conducted L’italiana in Algeri at Vancouver Opera, Die Entführung aus dem Serail for Hawaii Opera Theater, The Love for Three Oranges at Indiana University Opera Theater, La cenerentola at New Jersey Opera Theater, Lakmé at Minnesota Opera, and The Nutcracker for San Francisco Ballet. Mr. Wood’s conducting appearances with the Wolf Trap Opera Company include Le Comte Ory and Die Zauberflöte. He will return to the San Francisco Opera in the summer of 2011 to conduct the Merola Opera Program’s concert of extended scenes, and is slated to conduct Roméo et Juliette at Opera Colorado in 2013.

Mr. Wood served as Chorus Master at The Santa Fe Opera for many years; his collaborations there included the American premiere of Kaija Saariaho’s L’amour de Loin, and the world premiere of Bright Sheng’s Madame Mao.  He also conducted numerous productions at Opera San José, including Tosca, Faust, Manon, La Bohème, Rigoletto, L’elisir d’amore and Carmen.

D.M. WoodProduction and Lighting Designer D.M. Wood’s recent design credits include:  Anna Nicole (world premiere co-design: Royal Opera House, Covent Garden), Maria Stuarda, Roberto Devereux, Il barbiere di Siviglia, Il Trovatore (Minnesota Opera), Roberto Devereux (Opéra de Montréal), A History of the American Film (Krannert Center), Annie Get Your Gun (Co-design: Young Vic, London), La Cenerentola (Glimmerglass Opera), Die Zauberflöte (Houston Grand Opera), The Sound of a Voice/Hotel of Dreams (Long Beach Opera), Die Zauberflöte (Opera Colorado), Les Misérables (Copenhagen, Denmark), Tosca (Canadian Opera Company), La Cleopatra/Oedipus Rex (Opern-Haus Graz, Austria), Tristan und Isolde (Savolinna Opera, Finland), and A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Lyric Opera of Kansas City). Ms. Wood’s work in theater includes designs for American Repertory Theatre (A.R.T.), Contemporary American Theater Festival (CATF), Primary Stages (NYC), NYSF – The Public Theatre, Children’s Theatre Company – Minneapolis, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Baltimore Centerstage, Trinity Repertory Company and Philadelphia Theatre Company.

Upcoming designs include: Moskva, Cheremushki (Lon Beach Opera), The Insurgents and Ages of the Moon (Contemporary American Theater Festival), Die Liebe der Danae (Bard Summerscape), Il Trittico(Royal Opera House, Covent Garden), Hansel and Gretel (Virginia Opera), Werther and Anna Bolena (Minnesota Opera).

Projection Designer Kevin Frech is a Sundance Theatre Lab Fellow, and his projection design work for theater began with a decade-long collaboration with international performance artists Blue Man Group. During that time he won an EDDY award for design excellence for Blue Man Group: Live at Luxor, Las Vegas and was involved with some of their most memorable performances, including a Grammy Awards appearance along with Moby and Jill Scott, “The Complex” rock tour, as well as seven appearances on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. Memorable gigs include the 400th anniversary of The Tempest as part of the Bermuda Theatre Festival, Christine Jorgensen Reveals, East to Edinburgh, and The Regard Evening with Bill Irwin at Signature Theater. Mr. Frech also recently designed the projections for the new musical Bloodties by Ned Massey.