On November 17, Vireo: The Spiritual Biography of the Witch's Accuser will receive the 47th Annual Deems Taylor/Virgil Thomson Multimedia Award, recognizing the new opera's outstanding inter-related components. Vireo, composed by Lisa Bielawa on a libretto by Erik Ehn and directed by Charles Otte, stars 17-year-old soprano Rowen Sabala as "Vireo," a teenage girl visionary genius who lives in the 16th, 19th and 21st centuries all at once, as she encounters those who manipulate, incorporate and interpret her visions according to their own world views. The unprecedented work is being created expressly for episodic release via broadcast and online media, in partnership with KCET's Artbound.
Vireo shot its first two episodes, The Blow and Mercury, in February 2015 at The Yost Theater in Santa Ana and was broadcast on KCET's Artbound on March 31. Those episodes are now free and available on KCET's website. Episodes 3 and 4, Talon and Needle, were shot in The Actors' Gang Theatre in Culver City and are in post-production. Photos from the tapings can be viewed here. Vireo will have twelve episodes in total, shot in locations across the country and featuring world-class musicians and ensembles alongside its core cast.
Vireo is an artist residency project of Grand Central Art Center (GCAC), Director/Chief Curator John Spiak.