November 17, 2023

CIM Opera Theater considers impact of war with Tom Cipullo’s "Glory Denied"

Side-by-side portraits of Kamna Gupta and Kathryn Frady.
Kathryn Frady, right, will direct CIM Opera Theater’s January production of Tom Cipullo’s ‘Glory Denied’ at the Cleveland Museum of Art. Kamna Gupta, left, will conduct.

While war rages on multiple fronts around the world this fall, CIM has planned a special production exploring the broad impact such conflicts have on those involved.  

On Jan. 27 and 28, CIM Opera Theater will stage Tom Cipullo’s Glory Denied, a 2007 work based on the Vietnam War and the true story of the longest-held American prisoner of war.  

The company will mount the production in Gartner Auditorium at the Cleveland Museum of Art, taking one of its shows on the road for the first time in recent memory.  

“Tales of war remain all too relevant and I admire our students and faculty for confronting this one with such care,” said Scott Harrison, CIM’s Executive Vice President & Provost. “We hope the community will find meaning and perspective via the artistry and compassion CIM Opera Theater will undoubtedly bring to Glory Denied.”  

Hailed by Opera News as a “drama of the highest order...continuously absorbing and musically rewarding,” Glory Denied tells the true story of Col. Jim Thompson, a longtime prisoner of war in Vietnam who survived on memories of his wife and children, who sadly assume he is dead.  

The work ranks as one of the most widely performed contemporary operas, having been produced by more than 30 companies large and small across the U.S. 

At CIM, Glory Denied will be guest directed by Kathryn Frady, a specialist in new American opera and head of both Opera Louisiane and Marble City Opera. The two performances will be led by Kamna Gupta, an American Prize-winning conductor in regular demand at festivals and opera companies nationwide.  

The cast will consist almost entirely of students, each of whom auditioned for their roles. They are baritone Armando Contreras (BM ’14, Cole), tenors Heedo Park and Jingdian Zhou; and sopranos Emma Potts, Isabella Sobkowicz, Kiana Lilly, and Ruby Pine. 

Performances of Glory Denied will be at 3pm Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 27 and 28 in Gartner Auditorium at the Cleveland Museum of Art, 11150 East Blvd., Cleveland. Tickets, $18 ($15 for CMA members and $10 for students), are available now at  

CIM Opera Theater is supported by a grant from the John P. Murphy Foundation.