Cincinnati Opera Drops Album of McCarthy Era Opera’s Premiere

By James Monroe Števko

After a successful premiere at the Cincinnati Opera last summer, “Fellow Travelers” is making it’s digital release on Sept. 15, before a physical release on Sept. 29.

The new opera, written by Gregory Spears and Greg Pierce revisits the ‘lavender scare’ of the 1950’s McCarthy era, based on the 2007 novel by Thomas Mallon. The story of a love affair between two men in the nation’s capital brings to light the mid-century bought of homophobia, which led to gays and lesbians being fired from government level jobs, claiming this targeted group was a threat to national security.

The New York Times described it as having a ‘near-perfect’ opening act and assured it would have a ‘lasting appeal” by providing profound topics for discussion.

The performance, conducted by Mark Gibson and directed by Kevin Newbury, features tenor Aaron Blake and  baritone Joseph Lattanzi in the roles of Timothy Laughlin and Hawkins Fuller.

Following its premiere and the recording release, the opera will be featured at the PROTOTYPE: Opera/Theater/Now in New York City, The Lyric Opera of Chicago (March 2018), the site of Newbury’s acclaimed “Bel Canto” production and Minnesota Opera in a new production.