Composer Lisa Bielawa and Director Charles Otte Receive LA Emmy Nominations for VIREO
The Television Academy has announced 155 nominations in 47 categories for the 70th Los Angeles Area Emmy Awards. Composer Lisa Bielawa and director Charles Otte are nominees for their work on VIREO: The Spiritual Biography of a Witch's Accuser, the first episodic made-for-TV & online opera. Bielawa is nominated in the Creative Technical Crafts - Composer category and Otte's nomination is forOutstanding Director - Programming.
Winners will be announced on June 26, 2018, and will receive their Emmy statuette July 28, 2018 at the 70th Los Angeles Area Emmy Awards ceremony at the Television Academy's Saban Media Center. Los Angeles Area nominees were selected by national active and Los Angeles Area Peer Group active members within the Television Academy. A complete list of today's nominations, tabulated by the Academy's accounting firm Ernst & Young LLP, is available here: http://m.emmys.com/news/awards-news/70th-los-angeles-area-emmy-awards-nominations-announced
Composed and conceived by Lisa Bielawa on a libretto by Erik Ehn and directed by Charles Otte, Vireo removes the set limitations of a staged opera, visiting locations across the country - Alcatraz Prison, a monastery on the Hudson River, an abandoned train station in Oakland, the California Redwoods. An orchestra in the pit is replaced with world-class musicians on camera, inside the action - soprano Deborah Voigt, Kronos Quartet, violinist Jennifer Koh, San Francisco Girls Chorus, cellist Joshua Roman, Alarm Will Sound, ACME, harpist Bridget Kibbey, and many more. The eponymous heroine Vireo, played by Rowen Sabala, is a fourteen-year-old girl genius entangled in the historic obsession with female visionaries, as witch-hunters, early psychiatrists, and modern artists have defined them.
Vireo was shot from New York's Hudson River Valley to California's redwood forests. Production began in February of 2015 in the Los Angeles area at Santa Ana's Yost Theatre and proceeded to shoot through January of 2017 in iconic locations around the country, including the 16th Street Oakland Train Station and San Francisco's Alcatraz Island.
VIREO features the work of over 350 musicians including opera star Deborah Voigt, violinist Jennifer Koh, cellist Joshua Roman, mezzo-sopranos Laurie Rubin, Maria Lazarova and Kirsten Sollek, baritone Gregory Purnhagen, tenor Ryan Glover, drummer Matthias Bossi,soprano Emma MacKenzie and in the title role of Vireo, teenage soprano Rowen Sabala.
Additionally, the opera features the talents of notable groups and organizations from around the country including Kronos Quartet, the SanFrancisco Girls Chorus, Magik*Magik Orchestra, American Contemporary Music Ensemble, Alarm Will Sound, PARTCH, the Orange County School of the Arts Middle School Choir, and many, many more.
For a complete list of VIREO performers, see: http://www.kcet.org/shows/artbound/production-notes-featured-performers
About Lisa Bielawa
Composer-vocalist Lisa Bielawa is a 2009 Rome Prize winner in Musical Composition. She takes inspiration for her work from literary sources and close artistic collaborations. The New York Times describes her music as, "ruminative, pointillistic and harmonically slightly tart." She is the recipient of the 2017 Music Award from the American Academy of Arts & Letters.
Bielawa began touring as the vocalist with the Philip Glass Ensemble in 1992, and in 1997 co-founded the MATA Festival, which celebrates the work of young composers. Bielawa was appointed Artistic Director of the San Francisco Girls Chorus in 2013 and recently completed her residency at Grand Central Art Center in Santa Ana, California. Her discography includes albums on the Tzadik, TROY, Innova, BMOP/sound, Orange Mountain Music and Sono Luminus labels.
Bielawa's music is frequently performed throughout the US and Europe, with recent and upcoming highlights including two world premieres at the 2016 NY PHIL BIENNIAL, Drama/Self Pity premiered by the Orlando Philharmonic, performances as both composer and soloist at The Kennedy Center's KC Jukebox series and SHIFT Festival, and a concert of her works at National Sawdust. Bielawa's music can be found outside the concert hall as well: Chance Encounter was premiered by soprano Susan Narucki and The Knights in Lower Manhattan's Seward Park; and Airfield Broadcasts, a 60-minute work for hundreds of musicians, was premiered on the tarmac of the former Tempelhof Airport in Berlin in May 2013 and at Crissy Field in San Francisco in October 2013. Bielawa recently completed her unprecedented, made-for-TV-and-online opera Vireo: The Spiritual Biography of a Witch's Accuser with librettist Erik Ehn and director Charles Otte. Vireo was produced as part of Bielawa's artist residency at Grand Central Art Center in Santa Ana, California and in partnership with KCETLink and Single Cel. The opera was filmed at locations across the country, and featured over 350 musicians in support of its core cast. Vireo was broadcast online and on TV by KCET. The Los Angeles Times called it an opera, "unlike any you have seen before, in content and in form," and San Francisco Classical Voice described it as, "poetic and fantastical, visually stunning and relentlessly abstract."
About Charles Otte
Producer, director, and designer Charles Otte is currently a senior show producer with Universal Studios. Originally a theatre director, Otte attended graduate school in film production at the University of Southern California where he received the John Huston award for directing excellence. He has worked with a diverse clientele including Universal Studios Hollywood, Monty Python Productions, A&E Television, HDTV, the Sundance Institute, Roger Corman Films, BRC Imagination Arts, ShoConcepts, Lincoln Center, BAM, the Martha Graham Dance Company, the Guthrie Theatre, KCET, Thinkwell, and others.
In New York City, Otte was an assistant to theatre visionary Robert Wilson before he started his own company, Project III Ensemble Theatre, at the Ohio Theatre in Soho. The Village Voice said of Otte's work, "The beauty and ingenuity of his visuals are rarely matched on any budget." Otte also directed Oscar-nominated composer, Philip Glass' multi-media opera La Belle et La Bete, which received its premiere at The Next Wave Festival at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. He was recently Directing Associate for the world tour of the Robert Wilson/Philip Glass opera, Einstein on the Beach.
Otte's commercial work extends to theme parks, museums, and fine arts installations. He was creative director for The Star of Destiny for the State History Museum in Austin, Texas, and the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield, Illinois. His theatre productions have received multiple LA Weekly and Ovation nominations, and in 2002 Otte received the TEA Award for Outstanding Achievement for The Star of Destiny. In 2006 he received the TEA Award as a creative director for the Lincoln Museum, and in 2007 he received the LA Weekly award for best comedy direction for Travesties.
He is honored to work with the amazing artists involved with Vireo. He plays the violin and is married to Christine Sang.