November 17, 2018 - Oregon Arts Watch

Resonance Ensemble: amplifying ‘Hidden Voices’

"Dunphy’s music flowed gracefully from sorrow to joy to terror, hints of the U.S. national anthem (that iconic descending trumpet call) turning sour and grief-stricken. Whenever the music was not itself outright provocative, it was transparent to let the text’s poignancy come through and do the challenging."

May 28, 2018 - St Louis Post-Dispatch

St. Louis Chamber Chorus closes season with works of beauty and imagination

"SLCC composer-in-residence Melissa Dunphy concluded her term with this concert and the world premiere of “Suite Remembrance.” [...] The result is engaging, ranging from the melancholy to the sprightly"

March 19, 2018 - WOSU Public Media

A Gender-Bending Viking Warrior Claims Her Birthright in Three Songs by Composer Melissa Dunphy

"[Hervararkvida]’s stunning instrumentation gives voice to a journey unlike any other. The mezzo-soprano sings the gender-bending role of Hervor/Hervarth, accompanied by a Hardanger fiddle-style violin part and a harp part that extends the instrument from sounds reminiscent of a bardic lyre to frightening spectral noises created by all manner of extended technique..."

January 30, 2018 - San Francisco Classical Voice

Kaleidoscope Chamber Orchestra Lives up to Its Name

"Though only around five minutes in length, Scallops and Bollocks for Tea from Australian Melissa Dunphy was the most fascinating piece on the program. It combines musical history, virtuosic writing for the violin soloist (Alex Granger), and aspects of video game lore."

September 13, 2017 - Broadway World

BWW Review: STL Opera Collective Presents TESLA'S PIGEON and TO HELL AND BACK

"The score by Dunphy requires the soprano to perform across a very wide range, and she does so with aplomb. The concept might seem a bit unusual, but it succeeds, and it manages to carry some emotional weight as well."

February 13, 2017 - St. Louis Post-Dispatch

St. Louis Chamber Chorus delivers on revolution, revelation

"...the loudest and longest applause of the afternoon went to Britten’s atmospheric, harmonically rich and technically interesting “Advance, Democracy” and Melissa Dunphy’s setting of, of all things, public testimony given by Philip Spooner before the state of Maine in 2009 regarding the Marriage Equality Bill."

February 10, 2017 - KWMU St. Louis Public Radio

The Saint Louis Chamber Chorus takes 'Revolution and Revelation' to the Karpeles Manuscript Library

"“[What do you think I fought for at Omaha Beach?] is an extraordinarily powerful piece,” said Saint Louis Chamber Chorus Artistic Director Philip Barnes. “I think it is way up there in the traditions of Copland or Roy Harris.”"

October 3, 2016 - St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Triumphant music on a resurrection theme from St. Louis Chamber Chorus

"[Composer-in-residence Melissa Dunphy's] “The Day of Resurrection” is written for double choir, a Chamber Chorus specialty, with liturgical echoes. Written mostly in 7/8 time, the music has an urgency that reflects the triumphal theme of the words. The new piece is a winner, and the choir gave it a superb performance."

September 25, 2016 - St. Louis Post-Dispatch

St. Louis Chamber Chorus visits 'New Sites, New Sounds' in its 61st season

"“I admire her writing,” Barnes says of Dunphy. “I think she has a very original mind. She’s an exuberant personality, but she’s very disciplined, and she writes exceedingly clearly.”"

December 4, 2015 - Philadelphia Inquirer

Bach - and seven brave new premieres - light up St. Clement's Church

"Melissa Dunphy's O Oriens (O Morning Star) offered no gimmicks - just a model of sincerity, beautiful harmonic changes, and a great sensitivity to pitches and phrases that fall naturally on the human voice."

September 28, 2015 - St. Louis Post-Dispatch

St. Louis Chamber Chorus opens 60th season in spectacular fashion

"The new composer-in-residence, Melissa Dunphy, contributed a new song, “Alpha and Omega.” For two choirs, it effectively juxtaposes texts from “The Pilgrim’s Progress” and the Book of Revelation, in a solidly written piece of choral writing."

September 25, 2015 - KWMU St. Louis Public Radio

Saint Louis Chamber Chorus remembers and renews in its 60th season

"“I perform [What do you think I fought for at Omaha Beach?] because I think first and foremost it’s a wonderful piece of music,” Barnes said. “And I was very gratified that people of persuasions, of different points of view on the argument, came together and said, ‘this is worth doing, this piece, because its musical value is so high.’”"

September 25, 2015 - Philadelphia CityPaper

Fringe Review: Love's Labour's Lost

"Revolution Shakespeare's lively, tuneful – and free – production of Shakespeare's early comedy brims with romance, enthusiasm, and cleverness [...] Melissa Dunphy's pop compositions transform monologues into love songs, arguments into duets – and, yes, we're invited to sing along at times."

September 20, 2015 - Phindie

LOVE’S LABOUR’S LOST (Revolution Shakespeare)

"Directed by Samantha Reading, with an original score composed by Melissa Dunphy and performed by the multi-talented seventeen-person ensemble, this hilarious reinvention successfully delivers all of the Bard’s clever verse and humorous plot points to a country-rock beat."

June 1, 2015 - St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Music review: St. Louis Chamber Chorus mixes music of simplicity and sophistication

"[Dunphy's] “Together” (the words are taken from the Acts of the Apostles, 2:44-46) is a beautiful piece with fascinating complexity. Starting next fall, Barnes announced, Dunphy will be the choir’s composer-in-residence, with a commission for the first concert in the SLCC’s 60th season."

April 3, 2015 - Boston Choral Ensemble

Boston Choral Ensemble Declares Dr. Gregory W. Brown Winner of 8th Annual Commission Competition

"On Dunphy, the jury remarked, “Melissa has a beautiful, clear and direct language. Without being trite or overly sentimental, her music speaks to the heart through gorgeous harmony and lucid text setting.”"

February 18, 2015 - Delco News Network

People's fine ‘Cherry Orchard’

"Melissa Dunphy makes an impressive debut with her soundscape and original compositions for ‘The Cherry Orchard’ even appearing onstage to play violin near the end."

February 17, 2015 - Philadelphia Inquirer

Review: 'Cherry Orchard' blooms beautifully

"Original music [for The Cherry Orchard] composed and performed onstage by Melissa Dunphy enhances each emotion."

February 15, 2015 - Phindie

THE CHERRY ORCHARD (People’s Light): Capturing the comedy, insight, and pathos of Chekhov

"The top-notch acting and direction are enhanced by a splendid artistic design ... and haunting original music provided by Melissa Dunphy (as both composer and in her role as the Musician, performing live on violin)."

October 2, 2014 - Birmingham Post

Classical - "American Declarations"

"The film composer Miklos Rosza's The Lord is My Shepherd, Stephen Paulus's Stabat Mater and Melissa Dunphy's powerful What do you think I fought for on Omaha Beach? are all, in their very different ways, rewarding pieces."

September 23, 2014 - YaleNews

World leaders share their insights in campus talks

"[Croatian President] Josipović played numerous musical examples, including Benjamin Britten's "War Requiem," Shostakovich's "Leningrad" symphony, Tchaikowski's 1812 Overture, John Adams' "The Death of Klinghoffer," and Melissa Dunphy's "Gonzales Cantata.""

September 11, 2014 - Phindie

iHAMLET (The Philadelphia Shakespeare Theatre): Fringe Review 28

"Actor/musician/composer Melissa Dunphy displays a remarkable command of the non-linear script, not once misspeaking a word of her 55-minute solo performance. She also accompanies herself on the latest carbon fiber viola, with expressive music that underscores the protagonist’s moods and emotions."

July 1, 2014 - American Record Guide

Review: American Declarations

"You're also going to want to hear Melissa Dunphy's unique and affecting setting of - of all things - a WWII veteran's testimony on matters of sexual equality given before the Maine State Senate."

June 27, 2014 - International Record Review

Review: American Declarations

"Dunphy's music has hints of an almost Copland-like robustness and makes effective use of imitation in a way that suggests a twenty-first-century composer with a strong sense of counterpoint."

May 19, 2014 - San Francisco Chronicle

Volti review: 'Sound From the Bench' a compelling case

"[The program] included the world premiere of Melissa Dunphy's elegant setting of the oath of allegiance that new U.S. citizens (including her) must take, and its sharp-edged shifts - from sustained choral harmonies to martial outbursts and back again - cast new light on a potentially drab piece of writing. "

May 17, 2014 - San Francisco Classical Voice

An Argument for the Oral in Choral

"Dunphy’s musical commentary is straightforward and obviously very personal, and she uses a very rich and colorful musical language to reflect on the antiquated language of the oath and her own mixed feelings about it. "

May 14, 2014 - MusicWeb International

Review: American Declarations

"Melissa Dunphy’s piece What do you think I fought for at Omaha Beach? is quite remarkable ... Dunphy’s music is unsettling and it’s a very individual setting which respects speech rhythms very well. It’s a thought-provoking piece not least for Spooner’s very moving sentiments."

May 1, 2014 - Choir & Organ

Review: American Declarations

"The most individual work is Melissa Dunphy's What do you think I fought for at Omaha Beach?; Dunphy shows great ingenuity and individuality in this powerful setting of Philip Spooner's public testimony before the State of Maine Senate discussing the Marriage Equality Bill."

November 23, 2013 - Interviews with Alicia Byer

Interview with Melissa Dunphy

"Another theme I’m very interested in is getting inside the heads of complicated antiheroes and finding a connection to them – a kind of empathy and love without necessarily a redemption. I think there’s value in that struggle as a way of dealing with history and understanding the present."

August 26, 2013 - Philadelphia Inquirer

Finding a voice in opera

"Melissa Dunphy, 33, has presented major works using the self-produced Fringe Festival model, which could well happen with Ayn (about The Fountainhead author Ayn Rand), which, like Solitro, she's writing for doctoral requirements at Penn."

May 27, 2013 - Sound American

The Philadelphia Issue

"Then, there's Melissa Dunphy: a young and talented composer building her reputation as part of a new generation of Philadelphia composers one piece at a time."

March 3, 2013 - Local Arts Live

Kennett Symphony - Jack and the Beanstalk

"The final piece of the concert was a new composition by local composer, Melissa Dunphy. She favors dramatic or political art music so I was curious to see what she would do with a commission for children's music. The result was brilliant!"

January 30, 2013 - Wirral News

String trio Ensemble Epomeo returning to the Two Rivers Festival for first concert of 2013

"Peter Davison, the festival’s artistic director, said: “This will be a unique event. Melissa Dunphy’s piece received a standing ovation at its premiere performance and many were moved to tears.""

November 12, 2012 - St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Barnes, Chamber Chorus raise the musical bar

"The final piece on the program was Melissa Dunphy’s stunning 2010 “What Do You Think I Fought for at Omaha Beach?” Excerpts from veteran Philip Spooner’s testimony before the Maine Senate, in a hearing on the Marriage Equality Bill, its music ranges from the Coplandesque to the martial."

November 4, 2012 - St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Chamber Chorus asks, 'What Do You Think I Fought For?'

"This piece demonstrates to me how a true artist is able to take even a most unlikely source of inspiration and yet create a new work of art from it."

October 26, 2012 - WQXR Operavore

Top Five Political Satires in Opera

"Top Five Political Satires in Opera: Number 2. The Gonzales Cantata"

October 15, 2012 - Philadelphia Inquirer

Concert at the Annenberg presents new voices with old roots

"Best of all was Melissa Dunphy's "June." [...] The first of the two songs explored Lauren Rile Smith's poem about the lethargy of summer heat with great poetic control, neatly scaling back the electronic activity when necessary but ultimately conveying, with considerable mastery, the delirium of congested thought patterns. More, please."

October 6, 2012 - Newburyport Arts

Amazing journey: Dunphy, Epomeo, the Dreadnaught

"Dunphy likes to put quotation marks around the words “classical” when talking about classical music. She’s interested in music, but especially “the way different genres influence me.” She says her best work is usually inspired by important public events."

October 28, 2011 - Penn Gazette

Brave New Voices

"The final work of the evening was “Tesla’s Pigeon,” a new song cycle by the endlessly inventive Dunphy, whose smash-hit full-length oratorio The Gonzales Cantata rocked the 2009 Fringe Festival."

September 9, 2011 - Philadelphia Weekly: Make Major Moves

Interview: Philadelphia Composer Melissa Dunphy talks Voice Of This Generation, the new classical scene, and Tesla’s Pigeon

"Make Major Moves got the Fringe veteran - Melissa presented her concert opera “The Gonzales Cantata” at Fringe 2009 -on the telephone to talk about Kanye West, the decline of the Philly Orchestra, the new classical scene, her rock band Up Your Cherry, and how Nikola Tesla fell in love with a bird."

September 27, 2010 - InsidersTalk

Melissa Dunphy - Composer (interview)

""I think that music is very linked to language, and I think it's linked to us physically very much. We have a heartbeat, and our heartbeat is kind of in triple time ... when we walk, we walk in duple time ... and we have this pitch range in our voice, and every language has a different kind of pitch contour ...""

May 29, 2010 - Kansas City Star

Performance by Simon Carrington Chamber Singers was worth the wait

"A newly commissioned work by Melissa Dunphy followed: “What do you think I fought for at Omaha Beach?” Dunphy’s music was exceptional, with supple lines effectively depicting the words of a veteran, and acerbic harmonies specifically setting the text “I’ve seen so much, so much blood and guts.”"

May 26, 2010 -

PROFILE: Melissa Dunphy, composer

"Australian-born Melissa has already achieved a level of success and recognition on a national level, including a spot on The Rachel Maddow Show for another large choral work, The Gonzales Cantata."

April 20, 2010 - Philadelphia Citypaper

Let's Play Two

"Macbeth shows Khan's willingness to experiment, focusing on Macbeth and his wife in a 90-minute paring driven by Melissa Dunphy's beautifully haunting music."

April 13, 2010 -

Melissa Dunphy wins Simon Carrington Chamber Singers Composition Competition

"Simon Carrington gave his reasoning behind selecting Dunphy's work as the winner. "There were plenty of excellent pieces in the sweet-sounding modern idiom which SCCS would make very beautiful, but the strongest (and most individual) piece was Melissa Dunphy's What do you think I fought for at Omaha Beach? - a bold and highly effective setting of a thought-provoking text."

March 28, 2010 - Philadelphia Inquirer

An all-too-brief Macbeth

"Composer Melissa Dunphy has provided a soundscape for an assortment of exotic instruments played onstage: a Chinese ehru, Tibetan ringing bowls, and a varity of drums and gongs. The result not only heightens the atmosphere of the play, but in fact signals how we're supposed to feel about the action."

February 23, 2010 - The Pennsylvania Gazette

Scoring a Hearing

"A few days before starting her doctoral studies at Penn, Melissa Dunphy Gr’14 woke up to discover that she was a celebrity. The torrent of interviews and articles wasn’t confined to the arts and culture sections, either. Instead, the 29-year-old composer’s name was popping up on everything from the Huffington Post to Fox News."

January 7, 2010 - Fox & Friends - Fox News

Woman Plays Bach on Piano Upside Down

""All right, check out this amazing "Shot of the Morning" that's become a hit online: this teenage girl [sic] playing Bach's Prelude in C, and apparently it's so easy, she can do it upside down! At least her parents can't be mad at her for not practising her piano, right?""

October 27, 2009 - University of Pennsylvania SAS Frontiers

Sympathy for the Attorney General

"Fellow graduate student Thomas Patteson, who attended one of the performances, observes, “The Gonzales Cantata is effective both as a work of art—the music is exquisite—and as mordant political commentary.”"

September 11, 2009 - The Rachel Maddow Show

Moment of Geek

"That was the “Gonzales Cantata,” an opera composed of the transcripts from Alberto Gonzales‘ testimony to the Senate and his resignation in 2007. The young composer behind that masterful aria, 29-year-old Melissa Dunphy, lists among her musical influences the composers John Adams and Phil Klein, both of whom have used politics to make high art of their own. "

September 7, 2009 - J's Theater

The Gonzales Cantata @ The Rotunda, Philadelphia

"...confident, charged composition and orchestration, [with] pragmatic inventiveness in the cantata's construction, [and] frequent wittiness and use of irony."

September 6, 2009 - The Philadelphia Inquirer

The Gonzales Cantata (review)

" Her Gonzales Cantata - more PDQ Bach than Nixon in China - uses Handel's formality and symmetry as a starting point, humorously colliding with Gonzales' anything-but-symmetrical train of thought, quoted from the 2007 Senate Judiciary Committee hearings"

September 5, 2009 - Sequenza21

Forget Gonzo Journalism…Philly’s got a Gonzo Cantata!

" Take heed, folks, not only should you go see this work – you should examine how this 29-year-old graduate student has received more press about her cantata than most major composers do when they win the Pulitzer Prize"

September 5, 2009 - CityPaper (Philadelphia)

The Gonzales Cantata (review)

"Lovely conductor/composer Melissa Dunphy has seamlessly re-created former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales’ 2007 judiciary hearings as an opera, with epic results."

September 4, 2009 - Edge Philadelphia

Opera illuminates dark days of Bush Administration

"Dunphy is just as passionate about politics as she is about the arts. She veers away from musical theory to cheer on Barney Frank for his blunt comments at a recent health care town hall. But she does not espouse any political bent in the opera."

September 3, 2009 - Harper's Magazine

And Now: Fredo, the Opera

"The career path of Alberto Gonzales provides perfect material for an opera in the tradition of George Frederick Handel. It has its earnest moments, flashes of heroism (involving Gonzales’s victims, of course, not the protagonist), and yet there is a steady undercurrent of opera buffa."

September 3, 2009 - The Chicago Tribune

Bravo! Alberto Gonzales: the Opera

"Every word in composer Melissa Dunphy's 40-minute choral production comes from Gonzales' Senate testimony. They never sounded more beautiful (Except maybe to the ears of relieved Team Bush members back in the White House) than when they are sung, especially by this bunch. "

September 3, 2009 - Fox News

Special Report with Bret Baier

"And if congressional hearings are your idea of a good time - aren't they all - a theater in Philadelphia has a night on the town for you."

September 3, 2009 - The Rachel Maddow Show - MSNBC


"[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."

September 2, 2009 - The Wall Street Journal law blog

Alberto Gonzales, the Concert Opera (No, We’re Not Kidding)

"I’ve had both Republicans and Democrats come to the show and remark that it really wasn’t about party politics. It’s about a man who made some mistakes and is facing the music. It’s also an exploration of how a man could so brazenly politicize the Department of Justice without really standing up for the reasons he went into politics in the first place."

August 31, 2009 - Broad Street Review

The Gonzales Cantata - Interview of Melissa Dunphy

""I am a liberal, but this is not a partisan piece. This piece is not about Democrats or liberals, this piece is about a man who made mistakes and has to face the consequences of his mistakes.""

August 29, 2009 - Broad Street Review

Sympathy for Alberto Gonzales

"Dunphy's musical piece overwhelmed me with the way it transformed the tedious machinations of an insider industry into a brilliant work of art."

January 28, 2008 - WRTI Critic-At-Large Podcast

Poetry Project – Network for New Music

"Melissa Dunphy's setting of Luke Stromberg's Black Thunder reflects the extravagance and paranoia of young love and its powerful ending."

January 19, 2008 - Philadelphia Inquirer

Though little heard, he would have approved

"In the second half, Luke Stromberg's marvelous poem "Black Thunder," about the aftereffects of drink, was given an appropriately bluesy haze by Melissa Dunphy."

March 17, 2005 - Patriot-News

Classic 'Glass' explores frailties

"Ambient music played onstage by violinist Melissa Dunphy also helps to create a dreamlike atmosphere."

June 6, 2004 - Patriot-News

Company presents lively 'Dream'

"Even the background players in this production are noteworthy: the raucous fairies double as musicians and singers, playing rustic but graceful tunes by Melissa Dunphy"

September 27, 2010 - InsidersTalk

January 7, 2010 - Fox & Friends - Fox News

September 11, 2009 - The Rachel Maddow Show

September 3, 2009 - Fox News

September 3, 2009 - The Rachel Maddow Show - MSNBC

August 31, 2009 - Broad Street Review