Music and Libretto by Tom Cipullo


Based on the oral history by Tom Philpott

Floyd “Jim” Thompson was held for nine years in Vietnam, his wife Alyce unsure if he was alive. When he was released, he returned to a very different country – and a very different marriage.

Glory Denied is a deeply compelling drama with achingly beautiful music.

Thursday January 16 at 8 p.m.
Friday January 17 at 8 p.m.
Saturday January 18 at 8 p.m.
Sunday January 19 at 2 p.m.



The Keegan Theatre in Dupont Circle (1742 Church St NW)

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Tickets are $45/$40

*Veteran and Military Support Organizations – contact us for special rates!

90 minutes long with no intermission; an audience talk-back will follow each performance.

TALKBACKS ON JANUARY 17 and 18 will feature TOM PHILPOTT, author of the oral history GLORY DENIED!

“continuously absorbing and musically rewarding.” – Joshua Rosenblum, Opera News

“. . . a luminous score that offered vivid embodiments of the protagonist’s mental states.” – Joan Reinthaler, The Washington Post

Parental Advisory: Glory Denied contains mature references, and may not be suitable for young children.


Timothy Mix as Older Thompson
Caroline Worra as Older Alyce
John Riesen as Younger Thompson
Cree Carrico as Younger Alyce

Conducted by Robert Wood
Directed by Kristine McIntyre
Scenic Design by Adam Crinson
Lighting and Projection Design by Kathy Maxwell
Costume Design by Grace Santamaria

Featuring members of Inscape Chamber Orchestra

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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 Thompson returned, his long-held vision of Alyce was crushed, and his family’s lives were thrown into turmoil. Based on the oral history by Tom Philpott, the opera Glory Denied tells the true story of Jim and Alyce – their relationship, their choices, their joys, their disillusionment.

For further reading about Thompson, you can visit wikipedia here. The article is a good summary of his life and background. For a very detailed chronicle of Thompson’s life, we recommend the oral history by Tom Philpott. The opera deals with only a portion of the events surrounding Jim and Alyce’s lives – some things had to be condensed for the theater. You can read the New York Times review of the book here, and it is also available for purchase wherever you buy books.


CLICK HERE to read the libretto of Glory Denied



If you’re curious about Glory Denied, we invite you to listen to the fantastic recording from Fort Worth Opera and Albany Records, featuring Caroline Worra, who also stars in our production!



Finnish-American baritone Tim Mix was last seen at UrbanArias in the world premiere of Peter Hilliard and Matt Boresi’s The Last American Hammer, in which he created the role of conspiracy theorist Milcom Negley. Last season, Tim also sang the American premiere of Alexander Zhurbin’s song cycle Tsvetaeva with the Russian Chamber Art Society, debuted with the Bergen National Opera as Albert in Werther, and sang Joseph De Rocher in Dead Man Walking at Opera Delaware.

Tim recently returned to The San Francisco Opera as Monsieur de Brétigny in Manon, performed Jack Hubbard in the Santa Fe Opera’s new production of Doctor Atomic directed by Peter Sellers, debuted with Virginia Opera as Enrico in Lucia di Lammermoor, debuted at Finnish National Opera as Escamillo in Carmen, returned to the Santa Fe Opera to sing Tsar Dodon in The Golden Cockerel, and returned to Opera Colorado as Enrico in Lucia di Lammermoor.

Other career highlights include Capulet in Romeo and Juliet at Santa Fe, Amonasro at Opera Southwest, baritone soloist and narrator for Ginastera’s Estancia at the Bard Festival, Elder Ott in Susannah at San Francisco Opera, Belcore at Opera Theatre of St. Louis, and Renato in Un Ballo in Maschera and Ford in Falstaff at Washington National Opera. With the New York City Opera he performed Ford and Edward Gaines in the New York debut of Richard Danielpour and Toni Morrison’s Margaret Garner, for which he received the Christopher Keene award. He has also performed in concert with Gustavo Dudamel and the L.A. Philharmonic as Ping in Turandot. Other appearances include the Arizona Opera, The Dallas Opera, Michigan Opera Theatre, Palm Beach Opera, Portland Opera, and Washington Concert Opera.

Caroline Worra has been hailed by Opera News as “one of the finest singing actresses around.” She has sung over 90 roles from over 70 operas including 20 World, American, and Regional Premieres. She was internationally acclaimed for her performances of Jenny in The Mines of Sulphur, Grammy nominated CD for Best Opera Recording, and as the title role for The Greater Good; Passion of Boule de Suif, Opera News and New York Times pick for one of the top classical CDs of the year. Her third full opera recording, Glory Denied, was released by Albany Records and was a Washington Post and Opera News pick for one of the top CDs of the year. Her fourth full opera CD, Amleto by Franco Faccio, was recorded live by Naxos and was an Opera News pick for one of the ten best opera recordings of the year. For Caroline’s portrayal of Regina Geltrude, she was reviewed (2017) by Voix des Arts as “singing with emotional directness and white hot charisma” and “exerting a prodigious histrionic presence even in the context of an audio recording.” Just this year, “44 Ambitions for Soprano and Piano” was released by Meyer Media, LLC, which is a CD of art songs by composer Paul Richards with pianist Brian Garman.

Ms. Worra has worked with over 80 different opera companies including The Metropolitan Opera, The Lyric Opera of Chicago, Boston Lyric Opera, Pittsburgh Opera, Fort Worth Opera, Dallas Opera, Long Beach Opera, Opera Santa Barbara, Madison Opera, Cedar Rapids Opera, Opera Memphis, Fargo-Moorhead Opera, Gotham Chamber Opera, UrbanArias, American Lyric Theatre, American Opera Projects, Tanglewood, Opera Saratoga, Berkshire Opera Festival, The Princeton Festival, and six seasons at both Glimmerglass Opera and New York City Opera. Caroline performed on two U.S. National Tours with San Francisco’s Merola/Western Opera Theatre singing Violetta in La Traviata and Rosalinda in Die Fledermaus. She gave a debut recital at Carnegie Hall (Weill Hall) and performed on the main stage of Carnegie Hall as the soprano soloist in Beethoven’s Mass in C, Britten’s Spring Symphony, Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass and Orff’s Carmina Burana. She recently performed as the soprano soloist in Mahler’s Symphony No. 4 and Strauss’ Four Last Songs with the LaCrosse Symphony. Overseas she has performed as Anne Trulove in The Rake’s Progress at Teatro Massimo Bellini in Catania, Sicily, Jenny in The Mines of Sulphur at The Wexford Festival Opera in Ireland (winner of The 2009 Best Opera of Ireland Award), and as Violetta in La Traviata with ECAI in Brasilia, Brazil.

American tenor John Riesen’s growing career boasts a variety of roles in which he excels and includes significant work in Opera, Musical Theater and concert. The 2018/19 season saw many house and role debuts including Prince Charming in Cendrillon (Opera Company of Middlebury), Lensky in Eugene Onegin (Intermountain Opera Bozeman), Alfredo in La Traviata (Gulfshore Opera, Tri-Cities Opera), Younger Thomspon in Glory Denied (Opera Birmingham, Des Moines Metro Opera), Candide in Candide (Chautauqua Opera), and his Lincoln Center debut as Tony in West Side Story Suite (New York City Ballet). In an exciting 2019/20 upcoming season, Riesen will make his professional debut as Romeo in Romeo et Juliette as a guest artist with the Janiec Opera Company and will also be making his Michigan Opera Theater debut performing the role of Pirelli in Sweeney Todd. He will then return to two acclaimed roles, as Prince Charming in Cendrillon with Opera Birmingham, and Younger Thompson in Glory Denied in his Atlanta Opera and UrbanArias debuts. He will also be debuting Bill Calhoun in Kiss Me Kate with Intermountain Opera Bozeman and singing the Tenor soloist in Rachmaninoff’s Vespers with the New York Oratorio Society.

In the last few seasons, John performed across the U.S., including appearances with the Saugatuck Center for the Arts, FAR Conservatory, Marshall Symphony, Jackson Symphony, Texarkana Symphony, Shreveport Symphony and Cuttime productions, as well as in concerts in Texarkana, TX; Pensacola and Miami, FL; Detroit, MI; Tulsa, OK; and more. Theatrically, Mr. Riesen was featured as Gaston in Beauty and the Beast at Shreveport Opera, Tony in West Side Story with the Boulder Philharmonic/Central City Opera, Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly (Pensacola Opera), Rodolfo in La Boheme (Shreveport Opera) and Frederic in The Pirates of Penzance (Opera Ithaca, Shreveport Opera).

Praised by Opera News for her “gleaming tone,” soprano Cree Carrico is an emerging singing actress quickly gaining recognition as an interpreter of 20th and 21st century works. This season, Carrico reprises the role of Zegner Daughter, Littler in Proving Up with Opera Omaha at The Miller Theater in New York, performs Beatrice in Three Decembers with Nashville Opera, Adele in Die Fledermaus with Opera Tampa, Musetta in La bohème with Union Avenue Opera, La Fee in Cendrillon with Opera Company of Middlebury, and covers Eliza and sings in the ensemble of My Fair Lady: in Concert with the Utah Symphony.

Last season she sang Stella in A Streetcar Named Desire with Opera Company of Middlebury, Zegner Daughter, Littler in the world premiere of Missy Mazzoli and Royce Vavrek’s Proving Up with Opera Omaha, Diana in Orpheus in the Underworld with New Orleans Opera, a reprisal of the role of Rosemary Kennedy in JFK for Montreal Opera, Esther in Morning Star for On Site Opera, Adele in Die Fledermaus for Finger Lakes Opera, and Haydn’s Mariazeller Messe for Mid-America Productions at Carnegie Hall.

Cree débuted with the Fort Worth Opera as Rosemary Kennedy in the world première of David T. Little and Royce Vavrek’s JFK. Additionally, Carrico performed Amour in Orphée et Eurydice and Sagredo/Eos in Galileo Galilei with Des Moines Metro Opera, Gilda in Rigoletto with Syracuse Opera, Beatrice in Three Decembers with Opera Memphis, Lauretta in the Merola Opera Program’s production of Gianni Schicchi at San Francisco Opera, the title role of Evangeline in Concert with Longfellow Chorus, and Younger Alyce in Memphis Opera’s production of Glory Denied. Cree can also be heard on the cast recording of David Lang’s chamber opera The Difficulty of Crossing a Field produced by Beth Morrison Projects. A member of Actor’s Equity, Cree earned her union card as an ensemble member in the New York Philharmonic’s performance of Carousel, sharing the stage with Nathan Gunn, Kelli O’Hara, and Stephanie Blythe. She was also seen in Carnegie Hall’s one-night-only performance of Guys & Dolls, starring Nathan Lane and Megan Mullally. Previous musical theatre roles include both Fraulein Kost and Fraulein Schneider in Cabaret, Celeste I/Harriett in Sunday in the Park with George, and the ensembles of Ragtime and Jesus Christ Superstar.

Carrico added the demanding title role in Douglas Moore’s The Ballad of Baby Doe at Chautauqua Opera to her growing repertoire of 20th and 21st centuries leading ladies. She made her New York début as Marie Antoinette in Corigliano’s The Ghosts of Versailles while earning her Master’s degree at Manhattan School of Music. For her performance as the anti-heroine Jenny Smith in Weill’s Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny, The New York Times extolled her “wounded smoothness.”

Conductor Robert Wood founded UrbanArias in 2009. Under his guidance, the company has achieved national recognition as an innovator in the field of opera, and has given over 120 performances in Arlingon, DC, and New York City. He has conducted all of UrbanArias’ productions. Highlights include Paul’s Case (Spears), As One (Kaminsky), The Last American Hammer, Blue Viola and The Filthy Habit (Hilliard), After Life, Josephine, and Glory Denied (Cipullo), Before Breakfast (Pasatieri), Independence Eve (Boquiren), Why Is Eartha Kitt Trying to Kill Me?: A Love Story (Smith), and Three Decembers (Heggie).

Maestro Wood made his debut with the San Francisco Opera in 2004 with Verdi’s La traviata, and has also conducted L’italiana in Algeri and several concerts there. He recently conducted Rigoletto at Austin Opera, Silent Night at the University of British Columbia, As One at Lyric Opera Kansas City and Hawaii Opera Theatre, Three Decembers at Kentucky Opera, Carmen at Annapolis Opera, Die Fledermaus at Hawaii Opera Theater, and Roméo et Juliette and Carmen at Opera Colorado.

Mr. Wood was appointed Conductor in Residence at the Minnesota Opera from 2006-2008, 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 Opera New Jersey, and The Nutcracker for San Francisco Ballet. Mr. Wood’s collaborations with the Wolf Trap Opera Company include Le Comte Ory and Die Zauberflöte.

He served as chorus master for the Santa Fe Opera from 2001 – 2004, and has also conducted for companies including Opera San Jose, Vermont Opera Project, and the Merola Opera Program.

Stage director Kristine McIntyre has directed more than 90 operas across the U.S. with a focus on new, contemporary, and American works. Productions include Jake Heggie and Gene Scheer’s Moby Dick (Utah Opera, Pittsburgh Opera, Chicago Opera Theater, Opera San Jose); Dead Man Walking (Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Des Moines Metro Opera, Madison Opera); the world premiers of Louis Karchin’s Jane Eyre (Center for Contemporary Opera, New York) and Mark Lanz Weiser and Amy Punt’s The Place Where You Started (Art Share, LA); new productions of Wozzeck, Billy Budd (regional Emmy award) and Peter Grimes as well as As One (Kaminsky/Campbell/Reed), Glory Denied and Soldier Songs (Des Moines Metro Opera), Jonathan Dove’s Flight (Pittsburgh Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera, Austin Opera), Jake Heggie’s The End of the Affair (Lyric Opera of Kansas City) and Three Decembers (Des Moines Metro Opera); Florencia en el Amazonas (Madison Opera), Elmer Gantry (Tulsa Opera), Of Mice and Men (Utah Opera, Austin Opera, Tulsa Opera), the world premier of Kirke Mechem’s John Brown (Lyric Opera of Kansas City); new productions of Street Scene, The Tender Land (Michigan Opera Theater) and Lee Hoiby’s Bon Appétit; a staged concert version of Vanessa (Toledo Opera) and the world premier of The Canticle of the Black Madonna (Newmark Theater, Portland).

Other recent directing credits include a film-noir style Don Giovanni (Utah Opera, Palm Beach Opera, Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Kentucky Opera, and upcoming at Pittsburgh Opera); an Emmy-award winning production of Manon (Des Moines Metro Opera, Opera Santa Barbara); Otello, La Cenerentola, Tosca, Le nozze di Figaro, Il ritorno d’Ulisse in Patria and La clemenza di Tito (Pittsburgh Opera); The Pearl Fishers (Utah Opera); Jenůfa, Eugene Onegin and La bohème (Des Moines Metro Opera); Lucia di Lammermoor and Madama Butterfly (Arizona Opera); Così fan tutte, Norma, and The Turn of the Screw (Lyric Opera of Kansas City); Il ritorno d’Ulisse, Lucia di Lammermoor and La traviata (Portland Opera); The Tales of Hoffmann, Un Ballo in Maschera, Cavalleria Rusticana/I Pagliacci and Così fan tutte (Madison Opera); Verdi’s Un giorno di regno (Wolftrap Opera); Don Giovanni, Madama Butterfly, Cavalleria Rusticana/I Pagliacci, Carmen and Werther (Kentucky Opera); a new American setting of Hansel and Gretel (Skylight Opera Theatre); Tancredi (Opera Boston); and La Rondine (Oberlin in Italy).

Upcoming projects include new productions of Dead Man Walking, Sweeney Todd and Glory Denied, an adaptation of La Voix Humaine and the world premier of Celka Ojakanga and Amy Punt’s Mirror Game (winner of an Opera America Female Composer Discovery Grant).

Kristine began her career at the San Francisco Opera and then spent eight years on the directing staff of the Metropolitan Opera where she directed revivals of La traviata, Il barbiere di Siviglia, and Luisa Miller, and directed La traviata on tour for the company in Japan and for HD broadcast as part of the Renée Fleming gala. Her recent bilingual adaptation of The Barber of Seville was produced to great acclaim at Atlanta Opera, Portland Opera, Fort Worth Opera, Houston Grand Opera/HGO CO and Chautauqua Opera.

With a background in theater, Kristine was the founder and artistic director of everyman, a San Francisco-based theater company for which she directed and designed critically acclaimed productions of works by Shakespeare, Ben Jonson, and Howard Brenton. Kristine has a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Georgetown University and a Master’s in Theatre from the University of Hull in England.



Tom CipulloHailed by the American Academy of Art & Letters for music that displays “inexhaustible imagination, wit, expressive range and originality,” composer Tom Cipullo’s works are performed regularly throughout the United States and with increasing frequency internationally. The winner of a 2012 Guggenheim Fellowship, the 2013 Sylvia Goldstein Award from Copland House, and the 2013 Arts & Letters Award from the American Academy, Mr. Cipullo has received commissions from Music of Remembrance, SongFest, Joy in Singing, the Cecilia Chorus, the New York Festival of Song, the Mirror Visions Ensemble, Sequitur, Cantori New York, tenor Paul Sperry, mezzo-soprano Mary Ann Hart, the Five Boroughs Music Festival, pianist Jeanne Golan, soprano Martha Guth, soprano Hope Hudson, the Walt Whitman Project, baritone Jesse Blumberg, and many others. He has received multiple fellowships from Yaddo, the MacDowell Colony, and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and awards from the Liguria Study Center (Bogliasco, Italy), the Fundacion Valparaiso (Spain), the Oberpfaelzer Kuenstlerhaus (Bavaria), and ASCAP. The New York Times has called his music “intriguing and unconventional,” and The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has called him “an expert in writing for the voice.” Other 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, and the Phyllis Wattis Prize for song composition from the San Francisco Song Festival for Drifts & Shadows (2006).

Mr. Cipullo is the composer of four operas. The most recent, Mayo, was the recipient of the Domenic J. Pellicciotti Prize from the Crane School of Music at the State University of New York at Potsdam in 2018. Josephine is a monodrama and tour-de-force based on the life of chanteuse/dancer Josephine Baker. Josephine was commissioned and premiered by UrbanArias in Washington D.C. in 2016. After Life was commissioned by Music of Remembrance and premiered by that organization in Seattle and San Francisco in 2014.

Glory Denied (2007), after the book by journalist Tom Philpott, is based on the true story of America’s longest-held prisoner of war. With over 20 productions, the piece is one of the most frequently performed operas of the 21st-century. Glory Denied has been produced by Houston Grand Opera (HGOCO), Fort Worth Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera, Nashville Opera, Opera Memphis, Opera Idaho, Syracuse Opera, Tri-Cities Opera, the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, Chelsea Opera (twice), UrbanArias, Pensacola Opera, Anchorage Opera, and many more. Upcoming productions in 2019 include Pittsburgh Opera and Union Avenue Opera (St. Louis). A production by UrbanArias in Arlington, Virginia (2011) was reviewed by The Washington Post. Under a headline that exclaimed “Vietnam-Era Saga Glory Denied Doesn’t Withhold a Single Musical Wish,” the Post praised a “luminous score that offered vivid embodiments of the protagonist’s mental states.”

Tom Cipullo’s music is published by E.C. Schirmer, Oxford University Press, and Classical Vocal Reprints. His music has been recorded on the Naxos, Albany, CRI, PGM, MSR Classics, GPR, Centaur, 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.