The true story of America’s longest-held prisoner of war is coming to the small stage by the Kentucky Opera.
Upon returning home from Vietnam 9 years after his capture, Colonel Jim Thompson was greeted only by his wife, Alyce. Based on the book of the same name by Tom Philpott, Glory Denied may be the first opera adapted from an oral history, with much of the dialogue based on statements from the actual people involved.
Glory Denied is the story of Jim and Alyce’s painful reunion in the aftermath of war. The main characters, Jim and Alyce Thompson, are each played by
two singers. While young Alyce presents the character as Jim remembers her from letters written long ago, older Alyce is the person she has become since
his capture. Likewise, the older Jim reflects back on his imprisonment while the younger represents his character during the ordeal. On occasion, the
singers may assume the voices of other figures within the opera.
Jim and Alyce’s story inspires us to understand the experiences of our local combat veterans. How do they want to be welcomed home? How do they
integrate from military to civilian life? How can we support them in this process? How can the arts help to share their stories?
Glory Denied is, above all, the story of an American family during one of our nation’s most turbulent eras.
Performances of Glory Denied take place at the Brown Theatre on Friday, Nov. 8 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 10 at 2 p.m.
Tickets start at $20 and can be purchased by clicking here or by calling 502-584-7777.