"On Jan. 12, 2018, Gregory Spears and Greg Pierce’s “Fellow Travelers” will get its New York premiere in Kevin Newbury’s acclaimed production first seen at the Cincinnati Opera. The production will get four performances and stars Aaron Blake."
"Some Light Emerges, the new opera commissioned by Houston Grand Opera through its "community collaboration" initiative, dives right into Rothko and de Menil's shared spiritual vision with plaintive, purposefully meandering music by Laura Kaminsky and an audacious libretto by Mark Campbell and Kimberly Reed. The 75-minute chamber piece - written for seven singers and seven instruments - just might be the best articulation of the Rothko Chapel's purpose in modern times."
"In the 75-minute chamber opera [Some Light Emerges], premiered by Houston Grand Opera this week, the chapel exerts its quiet power on five visitors, from a construction worker escaping the Texas heat to a teenager intrigued by art and a woman lingering after a friend’s memorial service. Kaminsky and company interweave their fictional stories with the real-life one of the chapel itself. We see that architectural saga, as portrayed by Dominique de Menil, the Houston art collector and philanthropist who envisioned the chapel in 1964 and spearheaded its creation."
"My curiosity about one such recent music theater work took me to the Queen City last week for Fellow Travelers, the latest project of Opera Fusion: New Works, an ongoing partnership between Cincinnati Opera and the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, created in 2011 to foster the development of new American opera. This was its world premiere."
"So it may be time we stopped tearing up over the lack of a latter-day Verdi and started putting more resources behind such projects as the Opera Fusion: New Works as a means of fostering closer collaboration between wordsmiths and notesmiths. If such projects continue to produce works as viable as Fellow Travelers, they will have earned back the investment with interest."
"The opera [Fellow Travelers] was developed as part of a new works program at Cincinnati Opera. The creative team includes three gay men in their 30s: director Kevin Newbury, librettist Greg Pierce and composer Gregory Spears, who says he and his colleagues were drawn to the personalities in Mallon's novel."
"The completion of Meet John Doe was selected for the winter 2015 residency of Opera Fusion: New Works, which evolved from the 2008 initiative bolstered by a major grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation in collaboration with Gotham Chamber Opera in New York City. With deadlines looming, Diazmuñoz suggested recruiting one or two more composers."
“We’re thrilled to be developing this piece [Fellow Travelers] through Opera Fusion: New Works,” said librettist Greg Pierce. “Thomas Mallon’s novel is a gripping love story that takes place during a chilling and overlooked era in American history, when paranoia destroyed the lives of many gays and lesbians in the State Department. It’s an honor to bring this story to the stage. I can think of no better place to develop it than Cincinnati Opera and CCM.”