FELLOW TRAVELERS

An Opera by Gregory Spears
Libretto by Greg Pierce
Based on the 2007 novel “Fellow Travelers” by Thomas Mallon

FELLOW TRAVELERS was originally developed and co-commissioned by G. Sterling Zinsmeyer & Cincinnati Opera. Original production directed by Kevin Newbury.

Dates:
Friday, June 21, 2024 7:30 PM
Saturday, June 22, 2024 7:30 PM
Sunday, June 23, 2024 3 PM

Ticket Prices: $50 – $120; $30 (Student)

Venue: Presidio Theatre, 99 Morago Ave, San Francisco | Get Directions

The West Coast premiere of the opera adaptation of Thomas Mallon’s novel Fellow Travelers, a tender love story and political thriller set in the corridors of power during the McCarthy era. Adapted by composer Gregory Spears and librettist Greg Pierce, Opera Parallèle and the Presidio Theatre are proud to bring this contemporary classic to the West Coast, a beautiful opera with the message that love will always flourish under persecution.

Sung in English with supertitles | Runtime: 2 hours, 15 minutes, including intermission

Fellow Travelers follows the story of Hawk and Tim, who become clandestine lovers at the height of the McCarthy Era in 1950’s Washington D.C. Recent college graduate Timothy Laughlin is eager to join the crusade against communism, and a chance
encounter with handsome State Department official Hawkins Fuller leads to Tim’s first job—and his first love affair with a man.

Drawn into a maelstrom of deceit, Tim struggles to reconcile his political convictions and his forbidden love for Fuller. The piece uses the love affair of Laughlin and Fuller to shed light on the ‘Lavender Scare’, an often-overlooked period of McCarthyism that resulted in the mass firings of suspected homosexuals from the United States government. With Senator McCarthy’s investigations into ‘sexual subversives’, Tim struggles to reconcile his political convictions, his love for God, and his love for Fuller.

Sung in English with supertitles | Runtime: 2 hours, 15 minutes, including intermission

Bullhorn Events

A series of events and conversations as part of OP’s Bullhorn Community Programs to help you delve further into this beautiful love story, and the history whose echoes are still felt in this country to this day.

EnhanceYour Experience

These resources are designed to enhance your experience of Fellow Travelers, an opera based on the 2007 novel by Thomas Mallon. “It’s about a part of our history which was almost invisible,” composer Gregory Spears says of Fellow Travelers, “and I think one of the things opera can do so well is to make invisible things visible.”

The Lavender Scare & Homophile Movement

The Lavender Scare, mirroring the anti-communist fervor, sparked a moral panic surrounding homosexuality. Branded as national security threats, gay individuals faced expulsion from state employment, institutionalizing homophobia within bureaucracies. President Eisenhower’s 1953 executive order further marginalized LGBTQ+ individuals from federal government roles. In response, formal organizing emerged in the early 1950s, with “homophile organizations” like the Mattachine Society and Daughters of Bilitis, emphasizing community solidarity over societal misrepresentations. These groups provided support and advocacy against the discrimination rampant in political and social spheres, marking a pivotal moment in LGBTQ+ activism.

You’ve Probably Heard of the Red Scare, but the Lesser-Known, Anti-Gay ‘Lavender Scare’ Is Rarely Taught in Schools

Time Magazine Online Docuseries

'The Deviant's War: The Homosexual vs. the United States of America' by Eric Cervini

'Communists in Closets: Queering the History 1930s–1990s' by Bettina Aptheker

Novel & Limited TV Series

Fellow Travelers by Thomas Mallon

A searing historical novel set in 1950s Washington, D.C., infused with political drama and heartbreak. 

“Mallon establishes a clear link between the ‘red menace’ and what’s been called ‘the lavender scare,’ seeing both purges as part of the same web of suspicion.”

Review by Michael Gorra (New York Times) 

Interview with Thomas Mallon

Excerpts from a 2008 interview with the author inLittoral, the journal of The Key West Literary Seminars. 

Limited Series Trailer

Trailer for series created by Ron Nyswaner

“How Is Fellow Travelers Different From the Book?” by Adam Rathe (Town & Country)

Learn more about how the TV series expands the world of Fellow Travelers beyond the original novel and the opera.

Why Historical Fiction?

“Why Historical Fiction Matters” (Inside Higher Ed)

Historian Steven Mintz writes, Part of the answer, I am convinced, resides in the current struggle to overcome traumas rooted in the past: to wrestle with past crimes, to come to terms with the past’s persistent presence and to make sense of the legacies of slavery, imperialism, homophobia and more. 

“The Life and Death of Francis Thompson: Intersections of Transgender History, Race, Disability, and Sex Work After the Civil War”

“History is not the past. History is a story we tell in the present, one that reaches back to conjoin what can be known of what has already transpired to our vision of whatever yet may come.” 

Susan Stryker is an award-winning scholar and filmmaker whose historical research, theoretical writing, and creative works have helped shape the cultural conversation on transgender topics. 

“On the Legacy of AIDS — Trauma and Shame Get in the Way of HIV Prevention”

“Shedding my shame required a brave step away from silence, ambivalence and inaction toward open dialogue and education — not just about the effectiveness of PrEP to prevent HIV, but also about the psychological scars of AIDS trauma, with all their generational nuances.” 

Phil Hammack is Professor of Psychology and Director of the Sexual and Gender Diversity Laboratory at the University of California, Santa Cruz.  

Bullhorn Community Event Videos

Go behind the scenes on Opera Parallèle’s process of bringing this opera to the West Coast, and the resonance of its story.

Cast & Creativesfor Fellow Travelers

Cast

Jonathan Pierce Rhodes*

Jonathan Pierce Rhodes*

Timothy Laughlin

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Hometown: Orlando, FL, USA

Known for his “honey-voice,” Jonathan Pierce Rhodes, Tenor, is a native of Orlando, Florida. This season Pierce is expected to continue on in his second-year residency in The Washington National Opera's Cafritz Young Artist Program where he is slated to perform as “Pong” in Puccini’s Turandot, a new production directed by Francesca Zambello. Pierce’s previous roles with WNO include, Frank in the Passion of Mary Cardwell Dawson, a role he originated in 2019 with The Glimmerglass Festival, as well as Police Buddy 2 in the critically acclaimed new Opera Blue by Jeanine Tesori and Tazwell Thompson. This fall, Pierce will be making his house and role debut with New Orleans Opera as "The Son" in their new production of Blue as well. This past summer, Pierce covered the title role of Candide in Leonard Bernstein’s Candide at The Glimmerglass Festival, as well as performed the role of Cacambo, a role for which the Wall Street Journal noted him a "Big-Voiced Standout."

JonathanPierceRhodes.com

Photo credit Julius Sanchez

Joseph Lattanzi*

Joseph Lattanzi*

Hawkins Fuller

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Hometown: Atlanta, GA, USA

Joseph Lattanzi commands attention for his “robust vocalism,” “unmistakable charisma,” and “undeniable star potential.”
Lattanzi established himself as a major artist in the current landscape of opera with his portrayal of Hawkins Fuller in the world premiere of Gregory Spears’ and Greg Pierce's Fellow Travelers. Future engagements include Paul Jobs in The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs at San Francisco Opera, a role and house debut as Belcore in L’elisir d’amore at Minnesota Opera, the title role of Don Giovanni at Arizona Opera, and a world premiere with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra.

He has spent 5 years on the roster of the Metropolitan Opera in New York City. His ever-growing operatic repertoire includes Figaro in the Barber of Seville, Escamillo in Carmen, Silvio in I Pagliacci, Don Giovanni in Don Giovanni, Count Almaviva in The Marriage of Figaro, Papageno in The Magic Flute, Orpheus in Matthew Aucoin’s Euridice, Lt. Audebert in Kevin Puts’ Silent Night, Dandini in Rossini’s Cinderella and he has been heard by audiences at Seattle Opera, Chicago Lyric Opera, San Francisco Opera, Merola Opera Program, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Arizona Opera, Virginia Opera, Atlanta Opera, PROTOTYPE festival & Grand Teton Music Festival - among others.

JosephLattanziBaritone.com

Photo credit Patricia Westley

Victoria Lawal

Victoria Lawal

Mary Johnson

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Celebrated for her "smooth-voiced yet strong" soprano (The New York Times), Lawal debuted with Tulsa Opera as High Priestess (Aida), before jumping in for Heartbeat Opera’s acclaimed production of Lady M. She joined the Opera Theatre of St. Louis, covering Despina (Così fan tutte), Mrs. Hayes (Susannah), and the title role in Treemonisha. As a Manetti Shrem Fellow, Victoria was heard in excerpts as Magda (La Rondine), Contessa (Le nozze di Figaro), and the title role of Donizetti’s Lucrezia Borgia with the Festival Napa Orchestra, where she also covered Norina (Don Pasquale). Victoria recently made a dual with Detroit Opera as the Rooster in The Cunning Little Vixen. On Film, Lawal starred in the world premiere of The Knock, commissioned by The Glimmerglass Festival, where she previously appeared as First Lady (The Magic Flute) and both originated and reprised the role of Isabelle in The Passion of Mary Cardwell Dawson, starring Denyce Graves. In tandem, Victoria covered the role of Micaëla in Graves' directorial debut of Carmen. Other highlights include a “confident and charismatic” debut as Marzelline in Heartbeat Opera's touring production of Fidelio (Bachtrack), Musetta with Opera Birmingham (La Bohème) and creating the role of Opal in the world premiere of The Body Female, commissioned by LA Opera.

Kurt Winterhalter

Kurt Winterhalter

Tommy McIntyre

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Hometown: Northridge, CA, USA

Kurt Winterhalter is a baritone with a Master of Music in Vocal Performance from San Francisco Conservatory of Music. This proud Filipino-American is an active musician and actor in the performing fields of Los Angeles and San Francisco, with a diverse resume in both opera and musical theater. Kurt has featured as a soloist with the Santa Clarita Master Chorale, North Valley Chamber Chorale and the Sacramento Choral Society & Orchestra. His latest operatic appearances include Conte Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro (comp. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, lib. Lorenzo Da Ponte) with Prague Summer Nights Young Artists Music Festival, and Pausanias in Une éducation manquée (comp. Emmanuel Chabrier, lib. Eugène Leterrier & Albert Vanloo) with the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.

Photo credit Greg Crowder

Elena Galván

Elena Galván

Miss Lightfoot

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Hometown: Fort Lauderdale, FL, USA

Praised for her “perfectly spun, silvery soprano” and “brilliant, crystalline top,” Elena Galván has gained recognition as a soprano with a “bubbly personality and wicked sense [of] fun.” Elena recently made her house debut at Syracuse Opera, Tri-Cities Opera, and Hawaii Opera Theatre as Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro, a role she also performed at Florida Grand Opera to critical acclaim. Elena has performed roles of Adele (Die Fledermaus), Gretel (Hansel and Gretel), Norina (Don Pasquale), Oscar (Un ballo in maschera), and Lauretta (Gianni Schicchi) at companies across the US such as Opera San José, Florida Grand Opera, and Opera Ithaca. In addition, Elena has been a participant in prestigious Young Artist Programs at Des Moines Metro Opera, Opera Saratoga, Virginia Opera, and Kentucky Opera. Elena holds degrees in Vocal Performance from Ithaca College and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.

www.elenagalvan.com

Photo credit Jessica Osber

 

Cara Gabrielson

Cara Gabrielson

Lucy

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Hometown: Oakland, CA

Soprano, Cara Gabrielson, was a 2020 National Semifinalist in The Metropolitan Opera Laffont Competition and made her San Francisco Symphony debut as the Soprano Soloist in Bach’s Magnificat. In 2022 Cara joined the roster of The Metropolitan Opera in Mozart’s Idomeneo and returned to the San Francisco Symphony as the Soprano Soloist in Orff’s Carmina Burana and Uematsu’s Distant Worlds: Music from Final Fantasy. Recent performances include solo recitals for the Oregon Bach Festival and Portland Opera Guild, Bach’s Jauchzett Gott in allen Landen (Boise Baroque Orchestra), Galatea in Handel’s Acis & Galatea (Opera Idaho), Parasha in Stravinsky’s Mavra (Berkeley Chamber Opera), Elisena in Porta’s Ifigenia in Aulide (Ars Minerva) and the Soprano Soloist in Messiah (Handel Choir of Baltimore). She is a graduate of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, Georg Solti Accademia di Bel Canto, Opera Saratoga Young Artist Program, Tafelmusik Baroque Fellowship and Houston Grand Opera's Young Artists Vocal Academy.

https://www.caragabrielson.com/

Photo credit Jiyang Chen

Daniel Cilli

Daniel Cilli

Estonian Frank/Interrogator/Senator McCarthy

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Hometown: Emeryville, CA, USA

Baritone Daniel Cilli has performed an array of new and standard works throughout the bay area and the United States. Daniel debuted in 2016 at the San Francisco Opera and has returned for multiple engagements during the current Centennial season. Previously with Opera Parallèle: Le Directeur in Les mamelles de Tirésias by Poulenc/Apollinaire, Thames Captain in Heart of Darkness by Tarik O’Regan/Tom Phillips/Joseph Conrad, title role in Gesualdo, Prince of Madness graphic opera by Dante De Silva/Mitchell Morris.

Some highlight projects elsewhere include: Pa Zegner in Proving Up by Missy Mazzoli and Royce Vavrek (Pasadena Opera); Burton in Sharaku Unframed-premiere by Hiroya Miura (Left Coast Chamber Ensemble); Captain Ladoux in Mata Hari by Matt Marks and Paul Peers (West Edge Opera); the title role in Sweeney Todd; Cervantes/Quixote in Man of La Mancha, Javert in Les Miserables; and he has made special appearances with the wrestlers of Oakland’s Hoodslam! Daniel was a principal artist 2006-2010 at Opera San José where he performed 15 title and leading roles. He has also performed with Earplay Ensemble, SF Contemporary Music Players; West Bay, Livermore, Utah, Des Moines Metro, Utah Festival, Central City opera companies; the Houston Grand Opera Studio, the Tanglewood and Aspen music festivals.

https://www.danielcilli.com/

Photo credit Daniel Cilli

Matthew Worth

Matthew Worth

Senator Potter/General Arlie/Bartender

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Hailed by The New York Times for a voice that is "fully powered and persuasively expressive,” highlights of recent seasons for Grammy award-winning baritone Matthew Worth include the title role in Il barbiere di Siviglia with Boston Lyric Opera, the premiere and recording of the Narrator in Richard Danielpour’s The Passion of Yeshua, the title role in the world premiere of JFK with Fort Worth Opera, the world premiere of The Manchurian Candidate with Minnesota Opera, and Moby Dick at the Kennedy Center with Washington National Opera. He has performed Valentin (Faust) with Santa Fe Opera and Harlequin (Ariadne auf Naxos) with Lyric Opera of Chicago. Other notable roles include the title role in Don Giovanni, Dottore Malatesta (Don Pasquale), Mercutio (Roméo et Juliette), and Tarquinius (The Rape of Lucretia). He has performed leading roles at Santa Fe Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Castleton Festival, Tanglewood Festival, Pittsburgh Opera, and Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, under such luminary conductors as James Levine, Lorin Maazel, and Sir Andrew Davis. Matthew is a committed recitalist and active concert soloist. He performed Schumann’s Dichterliebe and Mahler’s Songs of a Wayfarer with the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, and was praised by The New York Times as “simply superb, singing with exquisite sensitivity.” Matthew made his Carnegie Hall debut in Brahms' Ein deutsches Requiem under James DePriest while still a student at the Juilliard Opera Center. He made his Alice Tully Hall debut with the Richmond Choral Society in Carmina Burana and has since been featured in concerts with the Atlanta Symphony, the Philadelphia Orchestra, and the Boston Pops Orchestra, and has performed with conductors Donald Runnicles, Robert Spano and James Conlon.

Matt Lovell

Matt Lovell

Potter’s Assistant/Bookseller/Technician/French Priest

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Hometown: San Francisco, CA, USA

Bass-baritone Matthew Lovell is an artist praised for his stage presence and musicianship. A native to New England, Mr. Lovell resides in San Francisco and performs throughout the Bay Area. Recent engagements include Zuniga in Carmen - Bizet with Festival Opera and Surin in Pique Dame - Tchaikovsky with West Bay Opera. Other roles Mr. Lovell has performed include Belcore in L’elisir d’amore - Donizetti, Il Conte Almaviva in Le Nozze di Figaro - Mozart, Abimelech in Samson et Dalila - Saint-Saëns, Demitrius in A Midsummer Night’s Dream - Britten, and Leporello in Don Giovanni - Mozart. Recently he was thrilled to be a part of composer Chris Walden’s Missa lubileum Aurem which has been nominated for a Grammy. Upcoming engagements include the roles of Fafner, Hunding, and Hagen in West Edge Opera’s production The Legend of the Ring.

Photo credit Clifton Romig

Composer & Librettist

Author & Original Commissioner

Gregory Spears

Gregory Spears

Composer

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Hometown: Virginia Beach, Virginia, USA

Gregory Spears is a New York-based composer who has been commissioned by The New York Philharmonic, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Santa Fe Opera, Cincinnati Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Seraphic Fire, The Crossing, Volti, BMI/Concert Artists Guild, Vocal Arts DC, New York Polyphony, The New York International Piano Competition, the JACK Quartet, and The New York Youth Symphony among others. Spears' 21-movement solo piano cycle Seven Days was released in the form of a custom designed app produced by the 92Y in fall 2021. His latest opera Castor and Patience, written in collaboration with former U.S. Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith, was commissioned by Cincinnati Opera for their 100th Anniversary and premiered in 2022. The opera, nominated for an International Opera Award, was a New York Times "Critic's Pick." They are currently writing a new opera for Santa Fe Opera (The Righteous) for premiere in Summer 2024.

www.gregoryspears.com

Photo Credit: Dario Acosta

Greg Pierce

Greg Pierce

Librettist

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Hometown: Shelburne, Vermont, USA

Greg Pierce is a playwright, librettist, and lyricist based in New York City.  He wrote the libretto for the opera The Hours with composer Kevin Puts, commissioned and produced by the Metropolitan Opera and The Philadelphia Orchestra.  He wrote the libretto for the opera Fellow Travelers with composer Gregory Spears, which premiered at Cincinnati Opera.  With composer Nico Muhly, he wrote the opera-film The Glitch, commissioned by Catapult Opera.  He has written two musicals with composer John Kander, The Landing and Kid Victory, which was co-produced by the Vineyard Theatre and Signature Theatre.  His play Slowgirl was the inaugural play of Lincoln Center's Claire Tow Theater (LCT3).  His play Her Requiem, a Lincoln Center Theater commission, was also produced by LCT3.  His play Cardinal was commissioned and produced by Second Stage Theater.  The Quarry, written with composer Randal Pierce was commissioned and produced by Vermont Stage Company.  The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, co-written with director Stephen Earnhart, based on the novel by Haruki Murakami, premiered at the Edinburgh International Festival.  Greg has received fellowships from the Edward F. Albee Foundation, Yaddo, The Djerassi Institute, the New York Public Library, and the Baryshnikov Arts Center.  He has a B.A. from Oberlin College and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Warren Wilson College.

Thomas Mallon

Thomas Mallon

Author

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Thomas Mallon’s ten books of fiction include Henry and Clara, Fellow Travelers, Watergate (a Finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award) and the just-published Landfall.  He has also written volumes of nonfiction about plagiarism (Stolen Words), diaries (A Book of One’s Own), letters (Yours Ever) and the Kennedy assassination (Mrs. Paine’s Garage), as well as two books of essays (Rockets and Rodeos and In Fact).  His work appears in The New Yorker, The New York Times Book Review and other publications. Mallon received his Ph. D. in English and American Literature from Harvard University and taught for a number of years at Vassar College.  His honors include Guggenheim and Rockefeller fellowships, the National Book Critics Circle citation for reviewing, and the Vursell prize of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, for distinguished prose style.  He has been literary editor of Gentlemen’s Quarterly and deputy chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities, and in 2012 he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.  He is Professor Emeritus of English at The George Washington University and lives in Washington, D.C.

G. Sterling Zinmeyer

G. Sterling Zinmeyer

Original Commissioner

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G. Sterling Zinsmeyer is a veteran producer of films and stage productions.
His interest has been to tell the stories of our gay community. His film
production credits include The Deception, which premiered at the 2015
Santa Fe Film Festival, and Latter Days, which was released to wide acclaim
in 2004. Latter Days has since been selected by The Library of Congress to
be archived in their collection of important American films.

After reading Thomas Mallon’s novel Fellow Travelers, Mr Zinsmeyer enlisted
his friend Kevin Newbury to help him bring this story to the stage as a
chamber opera. Together they brought Gregory Spears and Greg Pierce
aboard as composer and librettist. The opera premiered in Cincinnati in 2016 to rapturous reviews, and was named by The New York Times as one of the ten best classical music events of that year. Mr Zinsmeyer is currently the Acting Director of the Center for Contemporary Arts, Santa Fe, NM.

Creative + Production

Jaymes Kirksey

Jaymes Kirksey

Guest Conductor

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Jaymes Kirksey Jr. made his conducting debut in 2014 with Young Musicians Choral Orchestra (YMCO), filling in for famed Los Angeles conductor musician Anthony Parnther, leading rehearsals in arias by Verdi, Donizetti, Mozart and Aaron Copeland’s Lincoln Portrait with narration by famed actor Delroy Lindo. He serves as Music Director for the Bay Area’s acclaimed Young Musician Choral Orchestra and frequent guest artist/conductor for Golden Gate Symphony.

A frequent guest soloist to orchestras, Kirksey brings with him versatility, precision, and an exciting stage presence. As a conductor and educator, he has created high quality musical interpretations ranging from Baroque to modern symphonic repertoire.

As a resident of the Bay Area, Kirksey strives to bridge gaps between societal norms for classical music and the presence of African American musicians on the concert stage. Many of his students of color often join him on stage and go off to receive training from many renowned artists and institutions including Curtis, Peabody, Juilliard, USC and others. Kirksey has performed in venues across Europe and the US and remains a steadfast performer in the Bay Area.

Brian Staufenbiel

Brian Staufenbiel

Stage/Creative Director

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Brian Staufenbiel is the creative director for Opera Parallèle where he has directed and spearheaded the conceptual designs of the company’s productions since it was founded in 2010. Specializing in multimedia, immersive, and interdisciplinary productions, he actively works across a wide range of artistic disciplines collaborating in film and with media designers, choreographers and dancers, circus and fabric artists, and designer fabricators. His progressive approach to stagecraft has garnered critical acclaim for many of the company’s productions, including WozzeckOrphéeChampion and Dead Man Walking. Most recently he finished the Cocteau Trilogy with Opera Parallèle’s acclaimed production of La Belle et la Bête, and the first fully immersive opera experience of Talbot and Scheer’s Everest.

On film Staufenbiel recently directed pieces for the online festival season of the Sun Valley Music Festival, a film of Dove/Angelis’ Flight for Seattle Opera, a graphic novel opera film of Talbot/Scheer’s Everest with Opera Parallèle, and a feature length film of Gordon Getty’s opera Goodbye, Mr. Chips. Upcoming film projects include a documentary about the life of Frederica von Stade with Paper Wings Films, and Out of the Darkness, a dance film about Japanese incarceration camps in the United States during World War II. Staufenbiel recently directed Golijov/Hwang’s Ainadamar at L’Opéra de Montréal which will be reprised at Victoria Opera next season. Other upcoming directing engagements include Das Rheingold for Seattle Opera and Calgary Opera and The Shining for Atlanta Opera.

Photo Credit: Cory Weaver.

Jacquelyn Scott

Jacquelyn Scott

Scenic & Props Designer

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Jacquelyn Scott works as a production designer, art director, scenic designer and props designer for theater and film across the Bay Area. Her work has been seen at American Conservatory Theater, San Francisco Playhouse, Magic Theatre, Shotgun Players, The Cutting Ball Theater, Word for Word, and Z Space. Past favorite credits include Kander and Ebb’s Cabaret and Nia Vardalos’ Tiny Beautiful Things at the SF Playhouse, Lloyd Suh’s The Chinese Lady at the Magic Theatre, Henrik Ibsen’s Hedda Gabbler at The Cutting Ball Theater, and Talbot’s Everest with Opera Parallèle.

Y. Sharon Peng

Y. Sharon Peng

Costume & Hair and Make-Up Designer

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Y. Sharon Peng is a guild member of IATSE Local 706 and an alum of FIDM. Recent stage costumes include La Muerte Baila (Teatro Visión), Rent (South Bay Musical Theatre), Head Over Heels (Berkeley Playhouse), and Chriskirkpatrickmas (Edinburgh Fringe Festival). Recent titles in Film & Television include Ride (Costume Supervisor), Finger (Costume Designer), Anime Crimes Division Season 2 (Costume Designer), and Stranger Things Season 4 (Makeup Artist). Sharon is a Wig & Makeup foreperson at San Francisco Opera and heads the Wigs & Makeup Departments of both Opera San José and the Merola Opera Program. Recent Wig & Makeup design in opera include The Rape of Lucretia (Merola Opera Program), The Shining (Opera Parallèle), and The Barber of Seville (Opera San José). Visit ysharonpeng.net for more work across two decades.

Spense Matubang

Spense Matubang

Lighting Designer

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Hometown: Oakland, CA, USA

 

Spense Matubang is a freelance lighting and projections designer currently based in Oakland, California. They have been making theatre in the Bay Area since 2018. They received their degree in Theater Arts from the University of California, Santa Cruz in 2020.

 

Spense uses their career as a never-ending outlet for exploration, creative experimentation, and community building. They have previously designed for The Chikahan Company, City Lights Theater Company, EnActe Arts, Town Hall Theater Company, Ferocious Lotus, New Conservatory Theatre Center, Shotgun Players, SF Playhouse, West Valley Light Opera, Crowded Fire, Hillbarn Theatre, ACT Youth Conservatory, and Jewel Theatre.

 

Photo credit Ash Brown

Nora Winsler*

Assistant Stage Director & Intimacy Coordinator

*Making Opera Parallèle debut this season

Supporters

Support for Fellow Travelers is provided in part by Gordon Getty, Helen Berggruen & Hilary Rand, Philip Goward & Theodore Ueki, Stephen & Diane Heiman, and Robert Ripps & Steven Spector.

Used by arrangement with European American Music Distributors Company, sole U.S. and Canadian agent for Schott Helicon Music Corporation, New York, publisher and copyright owner.