FREE Valentine's Day Show - ALL VetsAnchorage Opera (AO) presents Glory Denied by Tom Cipullo, a powerful contemporary show honoring those who serve in our military, on February 10, 12, 16 and 18, 2017 at the Alaska Center for the Performing Arts. Based on a book of the same title, with a foreword by Senator John McCain, the dynamic multi-media production relates the poignant true story of Colonel Jim Thompson, America’s longest-held POW (1964-1973), the wrenching agonies faced by his family, and the larger story of a nation divided during the Vietnam era. After being a prisoner for almost a decade, Thompson returns to a country he no longer recognizes and a family who barely recognizes him.  Glory Denied speaks to the plight of so many of our veterans who nobly fight for their country but face huge challenges when it comes to re-assimilating into society, and their longed-for normal lives, after service.  This contemporary masterpiece, sung in English, has been performed to critical acclaim across the nation and now receives its Alaska premiere with Anchorage Opera’s production. The show explores the unimaginable bravery asked of soldiers and even the nature of hope itself.

To honor our veterans, Anchorage Opera announces they have added a special Valentine’s Day performance for vets, and their loved ones, to attend free of charge. “We want to thank them for their service in this way, and we’re extremely grateful for the generous support of many organizations and individuals in our community who helped us”, stated Smith. Sponsors of Glory Denied include American Legion Jack Henry Post 1, Inc., Ukpeaġvik Iñupiat Corporation, Inc., American Legion Auxillary Jack Henry Unit No.1, Amvets Auxiliary Post 2, Sons 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, Anchorage Distillery and Auxiliary VFW Post 9785.

AK Vets Stories image with flag_300dpiAnchorage Opera also invites the community to be a part of their special AK Vets Stories Project. As part of each performance, the company is highlighting personal recollections and memories from veterans in our community, in order to put the theater experience into the perspective of our own social landscape in Alaska. Stories from veterans, will be placed on each of the theater seats, for attendees to reflect upon before the curtain goes up. “We hope patrons will be engaged with the story on a more personal level, as they read their own seat card, and that the significance of the show, will be made even greater.” Alaska veterans and family members who wish to be a part of this project, are invited to share a story, a memory, a feeling, or a thought about their time in the service. “Each veteran is free to express themselves however they wish, in an unfiltered manner, so that each seat card is as different as the person whose story it relates,” said Smith. “A sentence or two, a paragraph, a page, a poem, a stream of thought narrative, an expression of feeling, a drawing, signed or anonymous; all submissions are welcomed.” Glory Denied relates the story of one particular veteran, but with AK Vet Stories Anchorage Opera hopes to make an evening of theater more real, and bring it a bit closer to home.

To participate and/or find out more about AK Vet Stories and to reserve seats for the Vets Valentine’s Day show contact Anchorage Opera at 907-279-2557 or email

Anchorage Opera’s 55th Anniversary Season continues with Glory Denied (February 10, 12, 16 & 18, 2017) and Opera Extravaganza (April 7, 8 and 9, 2017). Anchorage Opera is one of the largest producers of the performing arts in Alaska. Founded in 1962, it was the first North American opera company in the circumpolar North.