Understanding Fellow Travelers

PROJECT: Fellow Travelers Interviews
CLIENT: Madison Opera
OVERVIEW: Introducing a new work to an opera audience and a new audience to opera.

As part of the 2019/20 season, Madison Opera programmed Fellow Travelers, a contemporary opera about two men in Washington DC engaging in a relationship during the height of McCarthyism and the Lavender Scare.

While the piece is artistically astonishing, the performance faced three challenges. First, as a contemporary opera, it was unfamiliar to an audience accustomed to a 250-year-old repertoire. Second, the subject matter threatened a conservative audience. Finally, the subject matter enticed another audience that may feel intimidated or underwhelmed by opera.

Working with limited time and resources I interviewed three principal cast members with the intent of familiarizing the audience with the story and humanizing the emotions. The videos were also recontextualized and packaged to share on Instagram stories. They were shared on Madison Opera’s channel and made available to the cast and crew to share on their own accounts.