The New School recently announced the launch of the Philip Glass Institute, which will have composer/singer Lisa Bielawa as its inaugural Composer-in-Residence and Chief Curator. Bielawa's opera VIREO LIVE will receive a workshop production at the Philip Glass Institute in March 2020. The Philip Glass Institute Launch Event on Sunday, January 5, 2019 will feature a performance of an excerpt from the opera. RSVP here
VIREO LIVE is a groundbreaking hybrid film-opera experience based on Vireo: The Spiritual Biography of a Witch's Accuser, an award-winning made-for-TV-and-online opera by Lisa Bielawa, which premiered in 12 episodes on public television station KCET in Los Angeles. A production of Grand Central Art Center, KCET, and Single Cel, Vireo follows the path of a visionary teenage girl, "Vireo," played by soprano Rowen Sabala, who exists in three centuries, as various communities of men (priests, doctors, and artists) attempt to interpret her. Orange Mountain Music will release Vireo as a DVD/CD box set in spring 2019.
This new, 90-minute production will incorporate video projection of the film with live performance. With projected backdrops, costumes, and a small ensemble of five singers, string quartet, keyboard, and percussion, VIREO LIVE provides the audience with a unique opera experience combining the intense immediacy of live performance in dialogue with the fantasy created on screen.
The award-winning work has been described as "poetic and fantastical, visually stunning and relentlessly abstract ...” by the San Francisco Classical Voice. Vireo is the winner of the 2015 ASCAP Foundation Deeps Taylor/Virgil Thomson Multimedia Award, and a prestigious MAP Fund Grant. Lisa Bielawa and Charles Otte were both nominated for Los Angeles Area Emmy Awards in 2018.
Learn more about Vireo's journey from a senior thesis at Yale, to a television production, to a staged opera at www.operavireo.org