An opera by Gregory Spears
Libretto by Greg Pierce
MARCH 17 – 25
Sung in English with projected English text

Performed at the Athenaeum Theatre
Additional tickets are available through the Athenaeum Theatre Box Office.


Fellow Travelers Opera Overview

At the height of the McCarthy era in 1950s Washington, D.C., recent college graduate Timothy Laughlin is eager to join the crusade against communism. A chance encounter with a handsome State Department official, Hawkins Fuller, leads to Tim’s first job—and his first relationship with a man. Drawn into a maelstrom of deceit, Tim struggles to reconcile his political convictions and his forbidden love for Fuller—an entanglement that will end in a stunning act of betrayal.

Lyric Opera is proud to present the Chicago premiere of this work, which was praised as “a near-perfect example of fast-flowing musical drama” by The New York Times in its 2016 world premiere. The Wall Street Journal raved, “Mr. Spears’s subtle, lyrical music is beautiful without being obvious or sentimental…Kevin Newbury’s directing, particularly of the love scenes, was as honest and touching as the opera.”

This chamber work will be presented in just four performances at the Athenaeum Theatre.

Interested in purchasing the novel Fellow Travelers? Visit our partner at Seminary Co-op Books.


The Wallace Foundation 

with additional support from the Lauter McDougal Charitable Fund, Mary Patricia Gannon, Kenneth R. Norgan, Robert Kohl & Clark Pellett, and Philip G. Lumpkin.

Lyric Unlimited was launched with major catalyst funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and receives major support from the Caerus Foundation, Inc.

An opera by Gregory Spears
Libretto by Greg Pierce
Based on the novel Fellow Travelers
by Thomas Mallon
Developed and co-commissioned by
G. Sterling Zinsmeyer and Cincinnati Opera

Athenaeum Theatre
2936 N. Southport Avenue, Chicago

Approximate Running Time: 2 hours, 5 minutes with 1 intermission



Art by Catrin Welz-Stein/Cincinnati Opera

Fellow Travelers Opera Resources

View Program

Faust opera tickets at Lyric Opera of Chicago

Audio Highlights

The Fellow Travelers live audio recording is available for purchase as a digital download and a CD set on the Fanfare Cincinnati label through all major distributors, including Amazon, Naxos, ArkivMusic, and iTunes.


“Last Night”

“I Worry That's All”

Faust opera tickets at Lyric Opera of Chicago

A Q&A with Fellow Travelers Conductor Daniela Candillari

Gounod’s Faust brings us the riveting confrontation between an old scientist disillusioned with life and Méphistophélès, the messenger of the devil, who offers to make him young again – of course, at a price!

Read More
A Q&A with Fellow Travelers Conductor Daniela Candillari

Two Important New Works are Headed to Chicago

Lyric Unlimited — Lyric’s department dedicated to education, community engagement, and new artistic initiatives — will present two compelling Chicago premieres. Cycles of My Being and Fellow Travelers, which both examine important and timely issues, are sure to leave audiences clamoring for more.

Read More