Above: Timothy Laughlin (Aaron Blake) and Hawkins Fuller (Joseph Lattanzi) in Cincinnati Opera’s world-premiere production of Gregory Spears and Greg Pierce’s "Fellow Travelers." (Photo by Philip Groshong)


Minnesota Opera will perform in Minneapolis for the first time since 1993.

The company announced Thursday that it will stage a contemporary American opera set to the "lavender scare" of the 1950s, a time when gay men and lesbians were surveilled and fired en masse from the U.S. government. "Fellow Travelers" will run June 16-23, 2018, at the Cowles Center in downtown Minneapolis. All other shows in the 2017-18 season will remain at St. Paul's Ordway Center, Minnesota Opera's home since 1985.

"We wanted to do something a little different to celebrate our 55th anniversary season," explained the opera's president, Ryan Taylor. "If the community is interested and supports the piece, I would hope we can retain a performance presence on both sides of the Mississippi." 

Based on the 2007 novel by Thomas Mallon, "Fellow Travelers" premiered at Cincinnati Opera in June 2016 to strong buzz and positive reviews.  Early music specialist Gregory Spears wrote the score, mixing contemporary sounds with "baroque vocalism and flair," according to Taylor. The libretto is by New York playwright Greg Pierce.

The Minneapolis run will coincide with Twin Cities Pride Festival. Single tickets ($25-$65) will be available through The Cowles Center Box Office early next year.