Glory Denied

Music & libretto: Tom Cipullo
Based on the book by Tom Philpott
Premiere Date: May 5, 2007, Brooklyn College Opera Theater, Brooklyn

Recording Conductor: Nicole Paiement
Assistant Conductor: Valerie Pool
Featuring: The Atlanta Opera Orchestra, Michael Mayes, Kelly Kaduce, David Blalock, and Maria Valdes
Carl W. Knobloch Jr. General & Artistic Director: Tomer Zvulun
Carl & Sally Gable Music Director: Arthur Fagen

Recording Engineers: Joseph Greenway & Mark Fucito
Editing & Mixing Engineers: Mark Fucito & Walter Jeworski
Mastering: Walter Jeworski

America’s longest-held prisoner of war dreams of coming home. But home is a place he will not recognize. Tom Cipullo’s Glory Denied explores the gut-wrenching saga of Col. Jim Thompson as he transitions from the jungles of Southeast Asia to the tree-lined streets of suburban America. Based on interviews collected for the 2001 chronicle by Tom Philpott, the opera Glory Denied pays witness to one soldier’s journey, and to the war raging within the hearts and minds of countless returning veterans.


About The Recording

Glory Denied was recorded at the Morgan Concert Hall, located within the Bailey Performance Center at the Bailey School of Music, Kennesaw State University, between June 13th and June 16th, 2021.

This is the first recording of the work in its full orchestral version. The Atlanta Opera would like to thank Dr. Leslie J. Blackwell and Ivan Pulinkala for providing the recording location.


Act I

Colonel Floyd James Thompson (Jim), America’s longest-held prisoner of war, looks back on his years as a captive.  He sees himself as a young man and recalls episodes from his nine-year ordeal; escape attempts, torture, the overwhelming loneliness of four years in solitary confinement, being forced to sign a propaganda statement.  Through it all, he finds the strength to survive in memories of his wife and family.  He recalls every letter his beloved Alyce sent to him before his capture.

Characters & Cast

Col. Jim Thompson

America’s longest-held prisoner of war

Michael Mayes

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Young Jim

David Blalock

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Older Alyce

Kelly Kaduce

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Young Alyce

Maria Valdes

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The Atlanta Opera Orchestra


Helen Kim
The Loraine P. Williams Orchestra Concertmaster Chair

Jessica Stinson
Assistant Concertmaster

Rafael Veytsblum

Robert Givens

Edward Eanes

Shawn Pagliarini

Adelaide Federici
Principal Second Violin

Angèle Sherwood-Lawless
Assistant Principal Second Violin

Lisa Morrison

Felix Farrar

Patrick Ryan



William Johnston

Joli Wu
Assistant Principal

Ryan Gregory

Elizabeth Derderian-Wood



David Hancock

Mary Kenney
Assistant Principal

Cynthia Sulko

Harrison Cook


Emory Clements

Rob Henson



Kelly Smith-Bryant



John Warren



Debra Clark Grove

John Grove


French Horn

David Bradley



Hollie Lifshey


Richard Brady



John Lawless



Mike Cebulski

Jeff Kershner



Susan Brady


Personnel Manager

Jim Zellers


Musicians employed are represented by the American Federation of Musicians of the United States and Canada.


Tom Cipullo (b. 1956)

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.



Nicole Paiement

Nicole Paiement has gained an international reputation as a conductor of contemporary music and opera. Her numerous recordings include many world premiere works.

Maestro Paiement’s 2012 Dallas Opera debut conducting Peter Maxwell Davies’ 1979 thriller, The Lighthouse earned rave reviews. Subsequently, Paiement was appointed Principal Guest Conductor at The Dallas Opera. Paiement has since returned to Dallas to conduct performances of Tod Machover’s Death and the Powers, as well as the critically acclaimed and highly anticipated world premiere of Joby Talbot’s opera Everest, Benjamin Britten’s The Turn of the Screw and Douglas Cuomo’s Arjunas Dilemma. In 2018, Paiement conducted the US premiere of Michel Van Der Aa’s Sunken Garden.


Carl W. Knobloch, Jr. General & Artistic Director

Tomer Zvulun

General and Artistic Director of The Atlanta Opera since 2013, Israeli born Tomer Zvulun is also one of leading stage director of his generation, earning consistent praise for his creative vision and innovative interpretations. His work has been presented by prestigious opera houses in Europe, South and Central America, Israel and the US, including The Metropolitan Opera, Washington National Opera, Seattle Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Dallas, San Diego, Boston, Pittsburgh, Minnesota, Montreal, Buenos Aires, Israeli Opera, and the festivals of Wexford, Glimmerglass and Wolf Trap, as well as leading educational institutes and universities such as The Juilliard School, Indiana University, and Boston University.