In rehearsal for the Center for Contemporary Opera performance of Glory Denied. (Photo by Richard Marshall.)

Tom Cipullo
Selected Quotes
“…music of inexhaustible imagination, wit, expressive range, and originality.”
                                                                        American Academy of Arts & Letters
                                                                        May 15, 2013
 “…a shrewd dramaturge as well as a compelling composer.”
                                                                        Joshua Rosenblum, Opera News
                                                                        March 2014 (Vol.78, No.9)
 “…a natural master of writing for the voice.” 
                                                                        Thomas May, Backtrack (London)
                                                                        May 12, 2015
“Mr. Cipullo’s vocal writing is angular and declamatory at times, but he has a keen sense of when to let that modernist approach melt into glowing melody, and he has an even keener ear for orchestral color.” 
                                                                        Allan Kozinn, The New York Times
                                                                        November 12, 2010
“Mr. Cipullo’s vocal writing is fresh and natural, and he amplifies it with thoughtful, sometimes picturesque commentary in the piano line.”
                                                                        Allan Kozinn, The New York Times
                                                                        May 26, 2011
“…one of New York’s favorite song composers…”
                                                                        Russell Platt, The New Yorker
                                                                        June 26, 2006
“Cipullo can draw the listener into a unique, elegiac world with his subtle command of melody and texture…”
                                                                        Steven Blier
                                                                        New York Festival of Song
                                                                        November 16, 2006
“Cipullo is an expert on writing for voice.”
                                                                        Robert Croan, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
                                                                        January 27, 1997
“Mr. Cipullo’s music is somewhere between Britten and Broadway,…it has a way with it.”                                      
                                                                        Paul Griffiths, The New York Times
                                                                        June 6, 1997
“Tom Cipullo is rapidly becoming known for his songs, although he is turning out works of distinction in a number of forms.”
                                                                        Elliott Hurwitt, Fanfare
                                                                        May/June 1997
“…a reminder that Mr. Cipullo’s strengths - call it aria, call it Broadway – are in song.”
                                                                        Anne Midgette, The New York Times
                                                                        May 7, 2007
“One composer stood out…, Tom Cipullo, whose songs continue to intrigue us with their quality and variety.”
                                                                        Barry Cohen
                                                                        New Music Connoisseur, 2004
About Glory Denied
“From hope to despair, from love to hatred to forgiveness, the dramatic tension was relentless.”
                                                                        Willard Spiegelman, Opera News 
                                                                        July 2013
“…a luminous score that offered vivid embodiments of the protagonist’s mental states.”
                                                                       Joan Reinthaler, Washington Post   April 3, 2011
“…a powerful drama of great intensity in both music and acting.”
                                                                       Olin Chism, Fort Worth Star-Telegram  April 25, 2013
“Obviously, the themes and conflicts of Thompson's story constitute drama of the highest order, and Cipullo — a shrewd dramaturge as well as a compelling composer — gives magnificent expression to the tragic story… It's strong stuff, to be sure, but the piece is continuously absorbing and musically rewarding.”
                                                                        Joshua Rosenblum, Opera News
                                                                        March 2014
“…profoundly touches the heart.”                                                                                                                                                      
                                                                        Jon Sparks, Commercial Appeal (Memphis)
                                                                        April 8, 2015
“…a powerfully realistic thriller and an unabashedly honest commentary on the America of the 1960s and ’70s.” 
                                                                         Edward Brown, Fort Worth Weekly 
                                                                         May 1, 2013
“Watching Opera Memphis' minimal but mighty production of Tom Cipullo's Viet Nam-era one act, Glory Denied, is like being clobbered by angels and dumped in a freezing river of 1970's pop culture.”                                        
                                                                        Chris Davis, Memphis Flyer
                                                                        April 10, 2015
“ [an] intimate operatic masterpiece.”
                                                                        Wayne Lee Gay, D Magazine
                                                                         April 22, 2013
“Dramatic is an understatement. In its operatic form, it is horrifying, riveting, involving, shocking, inspiring, overwhelming, appalling and devastating—in that order.”
                                                                        Gregory Sullivan Isaacs, Theater Jones     
                                                                         April 23, 2013
“…a work of our time…It holds its own against the greatest of the classical repertoire, while helping to redefine it at the rarer scale of chamber opera.”
                                                                         H. Paul Moon, DC Arts Beat  
                                                                         April 4, 2011
 “It is tonal, melting into aching lushness…, propelled by driving Bernstein-like syncopations where different versions of the same truth converge.”
                                                                        Anne Midgette, The New York Times
                                                                        May 7, 2007
“…intriguing and unconventional…, written in a teeming, hard-edged Neo-Romantic language…, had an impact.”
                                                                        Anthony Tommasini, The New York Times
                                                                        June 6, 2004
About After Life
”Cipullo shows himself to be a natural master of writing for the voice. Within After Life's relatively brief but emotionally eventful duration he successfully differentiates the three characters while at the same time making extraordinary vocal demands of each, from repeatedly stressing the range's outer limits to breathlessly long phrases and sustained notes. Such 'extremist' writing did not distract from but rather intensified Cipullo's lyrical bent, also reinforcing the sense of urgency involved in the questions After Life grapples with.”
                                                                        Thomas May, Bachtrack (London)
                                                                        May 12, 2015
“…a compelling hour of musical theater.”      
                                                                        Alice Bloch, Seattle Gay News
                                                                        May 15, 2015 
“…the opera was inventive, pitch-perfect, thought-provoking and refreshing.”
                                                                        Angela Allen, Oregon Arts Watch                                                                               
                                                                        May 22, 2015 
About The Husbands
“a poignant mini-drama.  …Finishing each other’s sentences, sometimes using heightened speech, sometimes full-throated song, Julia Bentley and Jeffrey Strauss found both pathos and bravery in Cipullo’s “Husbands.”
                                                                        Wynne Delacoma, Chicago Sun Times
                                                                        May 3, 2005
“The music…surrounds the text with a bittersweet aureole of sound.”
                                                                        John von Rhein, Chicago Tribune
                                                                        May 2, 2005
“…this work has surprises and fine details, …richly harmonic, vocally expansive…”
                                                                        Anthony Tommasini
                                                                        The New York Times
                                                                        June 5, 1998
“…turns an excerpt from William Carpenter’s Rain into a haunting tale of elderly widows reunited with their husbands.  A smooth, through-composed blend of recitative and arioso weaves the melody back and forth between the soloists, the music capturing the essential mystical and emotional quality of Carpenter’s prose poem.  …The Husbands…effectively moved the audience…”
                                                                        Ken Smith, Chorus! Magazine
                                                                        July 1993
About Drifts and Shadows
“…the songs are truly beautiful.”
Judith Carman, Journal of Singing
                                                                        May/June 2007
About Toccata for Piano
“…cast in the rippling water imagery of Debussy and Ravel, but had enough surprising turns to sound fresh.”
                                                                        Allan Kozinn, The New York Times
                                                                        June 14, 2006
About glances
“subtle…seven snatches of song that seemed simpler than they were…”
                                                                        Anne Midgette, The New York Times
                                                                        April 23, 2005
“the musical settings are also delicate and transparent for both voice and piano, …accessible and lovely.”
                                                                        Judith Carman, Journal of Singing
                                                                        March/April 2004
About Late Summer
“…expressive, …attractive…”
                                                                        Judith Carman, Journal of Singing
                                                                        January/February 2004
“…as good as it gets.  This song is the kind that will grace Mr. Cipullo’s repertoire in big fashion and create a legacy for him that will be hard to match.”
                                                                        Barry Cohen
                                                                        New Music Connoisseur, 2004
About Sparkler
“…it engaged the orchestra in a technical repartee that almost left sawdust on the stage.  Each section of the orchestra took a turn at demonstrating its virtuosity…[Sparkler] was received with enthusiasm.”
                                                                        Dr. Daniel Heslink
                                                                        The Intelligencer, February 27, 2005
“…an unashamedly picturesque piece, actually opening with a literal evocation of a sparkler and reveling in spectacular instrumental effects throughout its course… The use of thematic material is as impressive as the orchestration.”
                                                                        Elliott Hurwitt, Fanfare
                                                                        May/June 1997
About A Visit with Emily
“…a major vocal masterwork.”
                                                                        Barry Cohen
                                                                        New Music Connoisseur,2002
“an interesting musical structure, …intriguing…”
                                                                        Judith Carman, Journal of Singing
                                                                        January/February 2004
About The Shadows Around the House
“…fresh, attractive music…”
                                                                        Philip Greenfield
                                                                        American Record Guide, January 1998
“Cipullo’s habitually sustained choral sonorities and Katherine Harris’ effective soloing enhance the complex twists of image and metaphor in the text.  Cipullo…filters his emotions through objective compositional process and…his music…reflects good craft.”
                                                                        Haig Mardirosian, Fanfare
                                                                        January/February 1998
About Voices of the Young
“Tom Cipullo Voices of the Young received a major ovation last night… The difficult a cappella writing [of the final movement] represented the finest choral work of the evening…”
                                                                        Paul Somers
                                                                        Classical New Jersey
 May 26, 1999
“[the sixth movement] was a hushed and reverent finale.”
                                                                        Peter Spencer
                                                                        The Newark Star-Ledger
                                                                        April 19,1999
“But it was a spanking new work [Voices of the Young] that was really the high point of the evening… a haunting and deeply moving setting of great beauty…”
                                                                        Albert Cohen
                                                                        Asbury Park Press
                                                                        April 20, 1999
About Rain
“…prosody is just right for the words and at the same time very singable.  His [Cipullo’s] instrumental depictions of rain in various sound modules were no less apt.”
                                                                        Robert Croan
                                                                        Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
                                                                        January 27, 1997
About Landscape with Figures           
“The most impressive piece [on the program] was the last: Tom Cipullo’s Landscape with Figures, setting a narrative poem by William Carpenter about a family afternoon, with the roles of father and son half-enacted in the vocal lines for baritone and boy soprano.”
                                                                        Paul Griffiths
                                                                        The New York Times
                                                                        June 6, 1997
About The Land of Nod
“…brought genuine smiles with its clever linking of matricidal emotion to Handel, Verdi, and Puccini favorites.”       
                                                                        Bernard Holland
                                                                        The New York Times
                                                                        June 13, 1994