New York Opera Fest 2017 Preview: ‘Glory Denied’ At Opera Upper West

By Katharine Baran

New York Opera Fest keeps rolling this week, this time with a completely new work. Starting on June 2 at 7:30 p.m. EDT, Opera Upper West is presenting Tom Cipullo’s “Glory Denied,” an opera about Colonel Floyd James Thompson, America’s longest-surviving prisoner of war.  It’s based on the oral history of Tom Philpott and explores what this Vietnam veteran experienced in and out of war and captivity.

The production itself is on the Baylander, a Vietnam aircraft carrier at the West Harlem Piers. It paints a picture of the culture shock in the ’60s and ’70s along with how the media and memory ultimately end up forming America’s identity.

The performance will be unique in its presentation, switching things up constantly for the viewer. About an hour into the performance the setting changes and takes the audience to the Jungle deck for the true story of how Colonel “Jim” Thompson returned to a changed America and to his wife Alyce after nine years.

The cast features baritone Adam Cannedy as an older Thompson, Margaret O’Connell as an older Alyce, Brett Pardue as a younger Thompson, and Jaely Chamberlain as a younger Alice.  The full production is accompanied by pianist Ishmael Wallace and the show will continue on June 3, 9, and 10.