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New affiliate artist in classical composition headlines PROTOTYPE Festival

Gregory Spears, a new affiliate artist in our classical composition program, is headlining PROTOTYPE, a progressive opera festival.

The PROTOTYPE Festival, celebrating its sixth annual showcase of progressive opera and music-theatre, will showcase seven new presentations, including three world premieres, two U.S. premieres, one New York premiere, and one work-in-progress. The festival kicks off with soprano superstar Renée Fleming hosting the PROTOTYPE Soiree at City Vineyard on January 7, 2018, an intimate evening to mingle with artists, festival directors, and Metropolitan Opera stars.

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, which starsAaron Blake, will have four performances.

At the height of the McCarthy era in 1950s Washington, D.C., recent college grad Timothy Laughlin is eager to join the crusade against Communism. A chance encounter with handsome State Department official Hawkins Fuller leads to Tim’s first job, an illicit love affair with a man, and an entanglement that will end in a stunning act of betrayal. Based on Thomas Mallon’s 2007 novel, Gregory Spears and Greg Pierce’s Fellow Travelers is an extraordinary personal journey through the intriguing, gut-wrenching world of the 1950s American witch-hunts, and the often overlooked “Lavender Scare.” Directed by Kevin Newbury and featuring the American Composers Orchestra in the opera’s New York debut, this acclaimed Cincinnati Opera production pairs American minimalism with medieval troubadour melodies, reflecting the tension between two men’s professional, public lives and their private, forbidden longings. 

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