Glory Denied – Valentine’s Day – FREE for Vets

Performance Date

Tuesday, February 14 @ 8:00 PM – Sydney Laurence Theatre in the Alaska Center for the Performing Arts

Anchorage Opera is showing our Alaska veterans some LOVE this Valentine’s Day! Announcing a very special added performance for veterans, and their loved ones, to attend for FREE! One night only.

To reserve TICKETS call 907-279-2557 or online CLICK HERE

About the Show

Anchorage Opera is proud to present the Alaska premiere of Glory Denied by Tom Cipullo. Based on the book of the same title by Tom Philpott, with a foreword by Senator John McCain, the show relates the poignant true story of America’s longest-held prisoner of war, the wrenching agonies faced by his family, and the larger story of a nation divided during the Vietnam era. We are honored to produce this beautiful, socially relevant and dynamic multi-media show so that we may all gain a greater appreciation of the sacrifices made by those who serve.

We’re pleased to announce the addition of a special Valentine’s Day performance for veterans and their loved ones to attend for FREE!

Thank you for your service.


Our Sponsors

Anchorage Opera wishes to express our extreme gratitude to the many generous organizations and individuals without whose support this special performance would not be possible including: American Legion Jack Henry Post 1, Inc., Ukpeaġvik Iñupiat Corporation, Inc., American Legion Auxillary Jack Henry Unit No.1, Amvets Auxiliary Post 2Sons of the American Legion Jack Henry Squadron No.1, Tim Benintendi, Fraternal Order of Eagles Auxiliary, American Legion Auxiliary Peters Creek Unit 33, The Men and Women of Disabled American Veterans, Metro Chapter 7, Alaska Veterans Museum, Auxiliary VFW Post 9785, Anchorage Distillery

The Cast

To read more about the artists, click on their photos

Production Team

To read more about the artists, click on their photos

Older Thompson – Gregory Gerbrandt

Older Alyce – Jennifer Goode Cooper

Stage Director – Helena Binder

Conductor – Douglas Kinney Frost

Younger Thompson – Kevin Newell

Younger Alyce – Ashly Neumann

Set & Video Designer – Scott Holdredge

Hair & Make-up Designer –
Elle Janecek

Production Stage Manager –
Emily Butzi

Glory Denied in reviews

What the critics are saying about the opera Glory Denied

“This is no fictional dialogue…but the real, powerful emotional struggles of two flesh-and-blood human beings caught up in a drama neither one of them wanted or created…a terrifically powerful work, superbly written…”
Lynn René Bayley, Fanfare Magazine Jan/Feb 2014

“…a luminous score that offered vivid embodiments of the protagonist’s mental states.”
Joan Reinthaler, Washington Post April 3, 2011

“…a powerfully realistic thriller and an unabashedly honest commentary on the America of the 1960s and ’70s.”
Edward Brown, Fort Worth Weekly May 1, 2013

“ [an] intimate operatic masterpiece.”
Wayne Lee Gay, D Magazine April 22, 2013

“…a work of our time…It holds its own against the greatest of the classical repertoire, while helping to redefine it at the rarer scale of chamber opera.”
H. Paul Moon, DC Arts Beat April 4, 2011

Free Pre-Opera Talks

free-pre-opera-talk-glory-denied-300-x-300Plan to join us one hour before each performance of Glory Denied to learn the fascinating history and insights into Cipullo’s poignant and compelling opera.

Friday, Feb 10 at 7:00 pm in the Sidney Laurence Theatre
Sunday, Feb 12 at 3:00 pm in the Sidney Laurence Theatre
Thursday, Feb 16 at 7:00 pm in the Sidney Laurence Theatre
Saturday, Feb 18 at 7:00 PM in the Sidney Laurence Theatre





About the Book & Author

GD coverTom Philpott‘s book, Glory Denied: The Vietnam Saga of Jim Thompson, America’s Longest-Held POW, was reissued in paperback in Memorial Day 2012 by W.W. Norton. The book was excerpted in New Yorker magazine and has been made into an acclaimed opera by composer Tom Cipullo. In his foreword to the book, Senator John McCain writes, “Before Vietnam, the truth of war, of honor and courage, was obscure to many of us. Like Jim Thompson, I learned the truth in war. Like Jim, I discovered in Vietnam that faith in myself proved to be the least formidable strength I possessed when confronting organized inhumanity on a greater scale than I conceived possible. In prison, I learned that faith in myself alone was ultimately no match for the cruelty that human beings could devise when they where unencumbered by respect for the God-given dignity of man. This is the lesson many Americans, including Jim, learned in prison. It is, perhaps, the most important lesson we have ever learned. Jim Thompson kept the faith. This is his story.” 

Tom Philpott, syndicated columnist and freelance writer, has covered the military for more than 30 years. His weekly news column, Military Update, has appeared in daily newspapers across the U.S. and overseas since 1994. His freelance articles have appeared in numerous magazines including The New Yorker, Washingtonian, Readers’ Digest and Kiplinger’s.

Military Update, which reaches two million readers, focuses on breaking news affecting pay, benefits and the lifestyle of service people. Philpott also writes a monthly column, Observation Post, for and another, Veterans’ Update, for American Legion Magazine. He is a regular contributor to Military Officer’s Magazine and associate editor (U.S. section) for Jane’s Fighting Ships.

Philpott served a tour in the U. S. Coast Guard as an information officer. He was a reporter and editor for Army Times Publishing Co. from 1977 to 1993, including six years as editor of Navy Times. He is a graduate of St. Vincent College, Latrobe, Pa.

About the Composer

Hailed 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).

A Note on Glory Denied by Tom Cipullo – August 2001
“Glory Denied may be the first opera adapted from an oral history.  As such, it presents no linear narrative. Rather, it jumps from moment to moment, as a man’s mind might leap when subjected to horrific stress. Virtually all of the dialogue in the opera is taken literally from actual statements by the real people involved. On those few occasions where, for dramatic purposes, words have been changed or statements conflated, the composer has taken care not to alter the intent of the speaker.

Based on a book by Tom Philpott, this opera tells the true story of Colonel Jim Thompson, America’s longest-held prisoner of war. The story deals not only with Thompson’s suffering in the jungle of southeast Asia, but also the tragic aftermath that followed his liberation. It is, above all, the story of an American family during one our nation’s most turbulent eras. In its review of Mr. Philpott’s book, The New York Times stated”: ‘Indeed it is not too much to say that Glory Denied and Colonel Thompson’s mixed feelings about it encapsulate something of the moral essence of the Vietnam War and the imperishable bitterness of its legacy.’

For more info on composer Tom Cipullo CLICK HERE