Lyric Opera of Chicago Stages Regional Premiere of FELLOW TRAVELERS

Lyric Opera of Chicago Stages Regional Premiere of FELLOW TRAVELERS

Lyric Opera of Chicago is excited to present the Chicago premiere of Fellow Travelers, the critically acclaimedopera based on the 2007 landmark novel of the same title by Thomas Mallon. With music by Gregory Spears and libretto by Greg Pierce, the opera reflects the tension between two men's professional and public lives, and their private, forbidden longings during the height of the McCarthy era in 1950s Washington, D.C. Daniela Candillari (Lyric debut) will conduct the 17-piece orchestra and Kevin Newbury will direct.

Sung in English with projected English texts, Fellow Travelers is the latest offering from Lyric Unlimited, Lyric's department devoted to education, community engagement, and new artistic initiatives. The production runs March 17-25 for four performances at the Athenaeum Theatre, 2936 N. Southport Avenue, Chicago. Tickets are on sale now at or by calling 312-827-5600.

Tenor Jonas Hacker and baritone Joseph Lattanzi will sing the lead roles of Timothy Laughlin and Hawkins Fuller. Soprano Devon Guthriewill sing the role of Mary Johnson, Hawkins's assistant and Timothy's confidante. The Chicago premiere of Fellow Travelers will also feature soprano Vanessa Becerra as Miss Lightfoot, baritone Marcus DeLoach as Senator McCarthy, soprano Amy Kuckelman as Lucy, baritone Will Liverman as Tommy McIntyre, baritone Reginald Smith, Jr. as Senator Charles Potter, and bass-baritone Sam Handleyas Potter's Assistant. Liverman and Handley are both alumni of The Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center at Lyric. Design team members are Vita Tzykun (sets), Paul Carey (costumes), andThomas C. Hase (lighting).

The work was praised for "some of the most gorgeous opera music in recent memory" by BroadwayWorld after its recent New York City premiere at the Prototype Festival. The New York Times described Spears's score as "daring to envelop these men in rapturous music of almost cinematic lushness, with opulent chords and fidgety inner voices..." and called the production "simple...effective...fluidly directed by Kevin Newbury." The Financial Times gave the premiere 5 stars, and Super Conductor called it "the most powerful and politically relevant opera to be mounted in New York this season."

Following its 2016 world premiere at the Cincinnati Opera, Lattanzi, who created the role of Hawkins Fuller, was described as "superb" byThe Wall Street Journal and as delivering a "career-making performance" by Seen and Heard International. The Chicago Tribuneclassical music critic called Fellow Travelers "one of the most accomplished new American operas I have encountered in recent years" and a "poignant and and sharp-edged...deeply human love story."

Tickets for Fellow Travelers are on sale now at or by calling 312-827-5600.

PHOTO: Philip Groshong/ Cincinnati Opera

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