Vireo: The Spiritual Biography of a Witch’s Accuser is a new opera composed by Lisa Bielawa with a libretto by Erik Ehn and direction by Charles Otte that is being filmed live and released in ten-minute episodes via broadcast and online media.
The pilot episode was broadcast in 2015 on KCET’s Artbound network and is available online at KCET.org. Currently in production and being performed and filmed in various locations throughout Los Angeles, the first-of-its-kind project will also be released in its entirety in spring 2017 via a live stream on KCET.
Vireo stars 17-year-old soprano Rowen Sabala as a young woman experiencing a form of hysteria. Based on Bielawa’s own research as a Yale Literature major, the opera follows the nature and history of female hysteria. “Vireo is a composite history of the way in which teenage-girl visionaries’ behaviors have been manipulated, incorporated, and interpreted by the communities of men surrounding them throughout history,” state production notes.
Vireo is produced by Bielawa, Anne Marie Gillen, Grand Central Art Center and KCET and Marnie Burke de Guzman. The creative team includes Charles Otte, production designer; Greg Cotten, Arjun Prakash, director of photography; Eric Liljestrand, sound designer; and Christina Wright, costume designer. The project is the winner of the 2015 ASCAP FoundationDeems Taylor/Virgil Thomson Multimedia Award.
For more information and to stay up-to-date on developments, visit operavireo.org/.