Subscribe to newsletter
[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
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.
— Birmingham Post
[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."
No one could ask for a more animated, intuitive, funny, and reflective Hamlet than Melissa Dunphy, whose readings and physicality are so astute, you believe Hamlet has come to actual, and not just theatrical, life before your eyes.
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.
Dunphy's Hamlet would be an achievement in a traditional production; in iHamlet, she effortlessly transforms the compilation of Hamlet's lines into what is essentially an hour-long soliloquy.
Dunphy, hailed by Philadelphia Inquirer as "unquestionably the city's leading Shakespeare ingénue", is one of those once-in-a-century talents who burns bright everywhere she points.
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.
— American Record Guide
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.
— International Record Review
[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.
— San Francisco Chronicle
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.
— San Francisco Classical Voice
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.
— MusicWeb International
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.
— Choir & Organ
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.
— Interviews with Alicia Byer
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.
— Philadelphia Inquirer
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.
— Sound American
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!
— Local Arts Live
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."
— Wirral News
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.
— St. Louis Post-Dispatch
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.
— St. Louis Post-Dispatch
— WQXR Operavore
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.
— Philadelphia Inquirer
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.
— Newburyport Arts
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.
— Penn Gazette
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.
— Philadelphia Weekly: Make Major Moves
"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 ..."