GCAC Residency Project “Vireo” Releases May 31st on KCET
Artist Residency Project of CSUF Grand Central Art Center (GCAC)
“VIREO: The Spiritual Biography of a Witchâ€™s Accuserâ€Â
To Be Released by KCET
VIREO is a Made-for-TV Opera, Composed and Conceived byÂ
Â GCAC Artist-in-Residence Lisa Bielawa on a Libretto by Erik Ehn and Directed by Charles Otte
Broadcast World Premiere June 13 On KCET and LinkTV
(Images top to bottom: Soprano Debora Voigt, Rowen Sabala as the title
character, mezzo-soprano Laurie Rubin,Â and composer Lisa Bielawa
conducts Kronos Quartet)
BURBANK, Calif. – May 10, 2017 – â€œVIREO: The Spiritual Biography of a Witchâ€™s Accuserâ€ is an Artist ResidencyÂ Project of Grand Central Art Center in Santa Ana, a unit of Cal State Fullerton’s College of the Arts shepherded by DirectorÂ and Chief Curator John Spiak. The new, made-for-TV-and-online opera conceived and composed by Lisa Bielawa on aÂ libretto by Erik Ehn and directed by Charles Otte, is unprecedented in that it is being created expressly for release onlineÂ and on TV. The unique multimedia initiative includes online articles and videos showcasing various facets of the production.Â VIREOÂ is the winner of the 2015 ASCAP Foundation Deems Taylor/Virgil Thomson Multimedia Award and was recentlyÂ awarded a prestigious MAP Fund Grant for 2016 through Grand Central Art Center.
Bielawa says of Spiakâ€™s involvement, â€œJohn Spiak is a visionary collaborator, and his inspired custodianship of VIREOÂ from aÂ crazy idea between just the two of us to a full-blown, epic innovative endeavor at the highest production level would not haveÂ been possible without him and the whole team at CSUFÂ Grand Central Art Center. GCAC is where artists can dream and create outsideÂ the box.â€
KCETLink Media Group, a leading national independent non-profit public broadcast and digital network, announced thatÂ VIREO will make its world broadcast television premiere on Tues., June 13 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on both KCET in SouthernÂ California and Link TV (DirecTV375 and Dish Network 9410) nationwide. Produced in partnership with Cal State Fullertonâ€™sÂ Grand Central Art Center (GCAC), the two-and-a-half-hour broadcast will be a special edition of KCETLinkâ€™sÂ EmmyÂ®Â award-winning arts and culture series ARTBOUND. In a first for the network, KCETLink will release all 12 of the approximatelyÂ 15-minute episodes of VIREOÂ at once for free, on-demand streaming starting Weds., May 31 at kcet.org/vireo, linktv.org/vireo,Â andÂ on Apple TV and Roku.
The eponymous heroine Vireo, played by soprano Rowen Sabala, is a fourteen-year-old girl genius entangled in the historicÂ obsession with female visionaries, as witch-hunters, early psychiatrists, and modern artists have defined them.Based on Bielawaâ€™sÂ own research at Yale, then freely adapted and re-imagined by librettist Ehn, VIREO is a composite history of the way in whichÂ teenage-girl visionariesâ€™ writings and rantings have been manipulated, incorporated and interpreted by the communities of menÂ surrounding them throughout history. From the European Dark Ages, to Salem, Massachusetts, all the way to 19th century FranceÂ and contemporary performance art, VIREO provides a thoughtful, sometimes-humorous look at the universal issues of genderÂ identity, perception, and reality.
VIREO features the work of over 350 musicians including opera star Deborah Voigt, violinist Jennifer Koh, cellist JoshuaÂ Roman,Â mezzo-sopranosÂ Laurie Rubin, Maria Lazarova and Kirsten Sollek, baritoneÂ Gregory Purnhagen, tenor Ryan Glover, drummerÂ Matthias Bossi, soprano Emma MacKenzie and in the title role ofÂ Vireo, teenage soprano Rowen Sabala.
Additionally, the opera features the talents of notable groups and organizations from around the country including Kronos Quartet,Â the San Francisco Girls Chorus, Magik*Magik Orchestra, American Contemporary Music Ensemble, Alarm Will Sound,Â PARTCH, the Orange County School of the Arts Middle SchoolÂ Choir, and many, many more.
For a complete list of VIREO performers, see: http://www.kcet.org/shows/artbound/production-notes-featured-performersÂ
VIREO was shot from New Yorkâ€™s Hudson River Valley to Californiaâ€™s redwood forests. Production began in February of 2015Â in the Los Angeles area at Santa Anaâ€™s Yost Theatre and proceeded to shoot through January of 2017 in iconic locations around theÂ country, including the 16th Street Oakland Train Station and San Franciscoâ€™s Alcatraz Island.
A comprehensive VIREO online content hub is available at kcet.org/vireo, providing viewers of VIREO an immersive second screenÂ experience. Featuring interviews with cast and crew, behind-the-scenes content and exclusive insights into the themes of the production,Â the online hub and social media video content is also available on the @KCET28 and @LinkTV Facebook page.
Upcoming screening events will be held across the country over the summer months and are open to the public. The current list ofÂ screenings includes the following (*subject to change):
Weds., June 21 from 6-10 p.m.Â Day of Music at the Plummer AuditoriumÂ / 201 E Chapman Ave, Fullerton, CA 92832Â (free to the public)
Sun., June 25 at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m.Â Arts nonprofitÂ Fort Mason Center for Arts and CultureÂ (FMCAC)Â Cowell Theater / 2 Marina Blvd., San Francisco, CA 94123 (ticketed event)
Fri., July 7 at 7 p.m.Â National SawdustÂ Screening of all 12 episodes / 80 N. 6thÂ St., Brooklyn, NY 11249 (ticketed event)
ABOUT GRAND CENTRAL ART CENTER
Grand Central Art Center (GCAC), a unit of California State University at Fullerton College of the Arts, is dedicated to the investigationÂ and promotion of contemporary art and visual culture: regionally, nationally, and internationally through unique collaborations among artists,Â students, and the community. GCAC is the result of a unique partnership between the California State University at Fullerton and the CityÂ of Santa Ana. Located ten miles south of the main campus in the heart of downtown Santa Ana, the art center is a mixed residential, commercialÂ and educational complex. The art center is a 45,000 square-foot, full city-block long and half-city block deep, three-level structure that houses:Â live/studio spaces for visual arts graduate students, the Grand Central Main Gallery, Project Room, Education/Teaching Gallery, andÂ artist-in-residence program. To learn more about the GCAc artist-in-residence program, please www.grandcentralartcenter.com/artist-in-residence-program/.Â
ABOUT KCETLINK MEDIA GROUPÂ
KCETLink Media Group, formed by the merger between KCET and Link Media, is a national independent, nonprofit, digital and broadcastÂ network that provides high-quality, culturally diverse programming designed to engage the public in innovative, entertaining and transformativeÂ ways. With a commitment to independent perspectives, smart global entertainment, local communities, and opportunities for engagement andÂ social action, KCETLink depicts people and the world through a lens unavailable elsewhere in U.S. media. A viewer-supported 501(c)(3)Â organization, KCETLink content is distributed nationally via satellite on Link TV – DIRECTV channel 375 and DISH Network channelÂ 9410Â – and on KCET in Southern and Central California via broadcast and cable, as well as through various digital delivery systems. For additionalÂ information about KCET and Link TV productions, web-exclusive content, programming schedules and community events, pleaseÂ visit kcet.org or linktv.org. Select programming from KCET and Link TV is also available for streaming on Hulu, Apple TV, and Roku platforms.