Rowen Sabala as Vireo (image by Remsen Allard)

Traditionally, operas are grand public spectacles that take place in stately music halls dedicated to the genre. Vireo: The Spiritual Biography of a Witch’s Accuser provides a contemporary twist on this formula: a modern opera made specifically to be viewed on TV and online. Composed by Lisa Bielawa with a libretto by Erik Ehn, the 12-part series follows the titular character, a 14-year-old girl, as she explores historical connections between female visionaries, hysteria, and witch hunts — subjects which are disconcertingly relevant. Over 350 musicians contributed to the production, including the opera star Deborah Voigt, Kronos Quartet, the San Francisco Girls Chorus, Partch, and many more.

A product of the Artist Residency of Grand Central Art Center in Santa Ana, Vireo made its online and TV debut recently on KCET, and, this Wednesday, as part of the town of Fullerton’s Day of Music festival, there’ll be a screening of all 12 episodes, with appearances by Bielawa, Vireo lead Rowen Sabala, tenor Ryan Joseph Glover, CSUF Grand Central Art Center director John Spiak, and others. The event is free, but RSVP is required.

When: Wednesday, June 21, 6–10pm
Where: Louis E Plummer Auditorium (201 E. Chapman Avenue, Fullerton, California)

More info here.

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Matt Stromberg

Matt Stromberg is a freelance visual arts writer based in Los Angeles. In addition to Hyperallergic, he has contributed to the Los Angeles Times, CARLA, Apollo, ARTNews, and other publications.