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

Performed at the Athenaeum Theatre


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.


The Wallace Foundation 

with additional support from the Lauter McDougal Charitable Fund

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