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[The Gonzales Cantata] is honestly, probably the coolest thing you've ever seen on this show. I know. I'm totally freaking out about it ... I spent all day obsessing about this, and watching clips of it online, and listening to the music, and I have to tell you, in my opinion, it is both great and kind of moving ... this is so cool, I could not contain myself.
— Rachel Maddow, The Rachel Maddow Show
My fear that I would hear atonal music that I usually only can stomach when performed by modern ballet dancers dissipated within seconds: This music made me want not only to eat more pies, but more importantly listen to sounds that made me feel at home, but also lyrics that made me think.
[Dunphy's] Halcyon Days (text Jacqueline Goldfinger) is a radiant meditation of the sacred, the familiarity of ‘well-worn prayers’ and a rising up towards a dawn of joy and peace.
— Seen and Heard International
Melissa Dunphy’s Halcyon Days is a Rutter-esque ditty: a lovely ensemble narrative in which VOCES8 affectionately shaped the phrases and pointed the text; counterpoint and dialogue were counterposed with homophony, and the result was a beautifully concordant and consoling prayer.
— Opera Today
Dunphy gets laughs from the contrast between bureaucratic blather and Handelian arioso, at one point giving Gonzales, played by a soprano, a coloratura showpiece in which “I don’t recall” is repeated, as it was in the hearing, 72 times. (All the roles, including Senator Dianne Feinstein, the committee’s only woman, are gender-reversed.)
— The New York Times
Composer Melissa Dunphy has taken the transcripts from the 2005 congressional hearings on then-Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, accused of improperly firing several attorneys, and has had performers sing those texts operatically, accompanied by organ.
— DC Metro Theater Arts
— Opera Philadelphia
Composer Melissa Dunphy’s work reminds us, perhaps even comforts us – we’ve been on the brink of political and moral disaster before.
— DC Theatre Scene
“Listen, Biden is aggressively fine for this moment in American history,” said Melissa Dunphy, a musician who joined the rally with a sign—featuring Philadelphia Flyers mascot Gritty—that read, “Fuck Around and Find Out.” Biden’s likely victory was, as Dunphy said, a “first step,” but nowhere close to the last gasp for Philadelphia’s progressive movement.
— Mother Jones
"I'm here because American democracy is at risk," said Melissa Dunphy, a college professor demonstrating with "Count Every Vote."
Melissa Dunphy’s The Gonzales Cantata, which will begin its run on In Series’ website November 3, is an opera with a unique libretto – transcripts of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s hearings on Attorney General Alberto Gonzales’ December 7, 2006 decision to fire seven United States Attorneys.
— DC Theatre Scene
Melissa Dunphy’s choice of words from Psalm 30 (‘Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing’) is adroit; the words bridge nicely from the introspection of Dickinson back to extrovert dancing for the last movement of this attractive Suite.
— MusicWeb International
I’m primarily a storyteller in my work, though, which is why I’ve always been particularly drawn to vocal music as a composer. And I tend to tell stories about the things that move me, whether that’s politics or social justice or complicated antiheroes.
— Classical Post
Inspired by Dunphy’s experiences with her husband as amateur archeologists, Alice Tierney focuses on the perspectives of four archeologists who unearth clues surrounding the mysterious death of the titular woman.
— Oberlin College & Conservatory
— Choral Arts
Alice Tierney follows four archaeologists as they unearth the mysterious history of the infamous Tierney, and each draw their own conclusion, Rashomon-style, from the evidence found.
— Broadway World
Acclaimed composer Melissa Dunphy visited Kennewick High School's choirs while in town for Mid-Columbia Mastersingers' weekend of concerts.
— Kennewick School District
The city of Philadelphia—and all of us—would be worse off if more people wanted to dig up privies for fun like the Dunphies. But the world would be a better place if more people had the raw wonder and enthusiasm of the Dunphies and if more people recognized the value of preserving and digging up privies.
— The Public Historian
Dunphy dijo en un comunicado que está "profundamente comprometida a llevar las voces de las minorías al escenario, ya sea contando sus historias o contando historias desde su perspectiva".
— El Pregonero
American Dreamers shares the stories of five young immigrants from around the world who risked their lives for a better life. Her ultimate goal is to help heal the divide within our country and give hope to those who feel they don’t belong.
— YakTriNews KAPP-KVEW
“The experiences in this piece feel familiar to me because I’ve been hearing about them and living them my whole life,” she said.
— Tri-City Herald
— ECS Publishing Group Podcast
Dunphy draped the traditional modal plainchant in close harmonies and chromatic colorations, making it both old-fashioned and new-fangled in a deliciously Cappella Romana sort of way. I always look forward to Dunphy’s contributions to Resonance concerts, and this one delivered magnificently.
— Oregon Arts Watch
I feel, on a deeper level, as though this is part of what Resonance can do. We can help bring innovative new choral works to life, works that can shine a light on some of the most challenging issues our society faces today. We can promote existing works that haven’t yet found a wide audience. And we can partner closely with visionary composers like the amazing Melissa Dunphy, who I am now grateful to call my friend.
— Resonance Ensemble
Dunphy chose five epitaphs from Australian and New Zealand graves (“How much of love and light and joy/is buried with our darling boy”), framed by verses by an Australian veteran, Leon Geliert, and filled with the sounds of the swelling surf. The result, commissioned by Dorsey and Sondra Ellis, is complex but accessible, heartbreaking and harmonically rich.
— St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Matt and Melissa have created a podcast called The Boghouse, in which they recount, in a richly informative and, at times, highly amusing way, their story of buying the building at 103 Callowhill Street, discovering the privy, and reconnecting with American history through objects made and used when America was in its infancy.
— Hidden City Philadelphia