Thursday February 22 11:34 am

Spotlighting events along the south shore of Lake Michigan

Lyric Opera presents the critically acclaimed opera "Fellow Travelers" by Gregory Spears and Greg Pierce in its Chicago premie


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 Guthrie will 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 Handley as 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), and Thomas 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” by The Wall Street Journal and as delivering a “career-making performance” by Seen and Heard International. The Chicago Tribune classical music critic called Fellow Travelers “one of the most accomplished new American operas I have encountered in recent years” and a “poignant and moving…smart and sharp-edged…deeply human love story.”

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

About Lyric

Lyric Opera of Chicago’s mission is to express and promote the life-changing, transformational, revelatory power of great opera. Lyric exists to provide a broad, deep, and relevant cultural service to Chicago and the nation, and to advance the development of the art form.

Founded in 1954, Lyric is dedicated to producing and performing consistently thrilling, entertaining, and thought-provoking opera with a balanced repertoire of core classics, lesser-known masterpieces, and new works; to creating an innovative and wide-ranging program of community engagement and educational activities; and to developing exceptional emerging operatic talent.

Under the leadership of General Director, President & CEO Anthony Freud, Music Director Sir Andrew Davis, and Creative Consultant Renée Fleming, Lyric strives to become the great North American opera company for the 21st century: a globally significant arts organization embodying the core values of excellence, relevance, and fiscal responsibility.

To learn more about Lyric’s current season, go to You can also join the conversation with @LyricOpera on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. #Lyric1718 #LongLivePassion

About Lyric Unlimited

Lyric Unlimited is a long-term, evolving initiative that encompasses company activities that are not part of Lyric’s mainstage opera season. Its mission is to provide a relevant cultural service to communities throughout the Chicago area and to advance the development of opera by exploring how opera as an art form can resonate more powerfully with people of multiple backgrounds, ethnicities, and interests. It also leads the development of innovative partnerships with a wide range of cultural, community, and educational organizations to create a breadth of programming through which Chicagoans of all ages can connect with Lyric. In the 2016/17 season, more than 100,000 individuals participated in Lyric Unlimited programs. For more information about Lyric Unlimited program offerings, visit