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Lisa Bielawa, Composer


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.”


Bielawa began touring as the vocalist with the Philip Glass Ensemble in 1992 and has premiered and toured works by John Zorn, Anthony Braxton, and Michael Gordon. In 1997 she co-founded the MATA Festival, which celebrates the work of young composers. Bielawa was appointed Artistic Director of the acclaimed San Francisco Girls Chorus in 2013 and is an artist-in-residence at Grand Central Art Center in Santa Ana, California.


Her music is frequently performed throughout the US and Europe, with recent and upcoming highlights including two world premieres at the 2016 NY PHIL BIENNIAL, Wait premiered by pianist Jon Nakamatsu and the San Francisco Girl’s Chorus, Neumark Dances performed at the American Guild of Organists 2014 National Convention, Vireo Canons and Chorale commissioned for the finalists of the 2013 American Pianists Awards, 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 latest works for performance in public places include Chance Encounter, which 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 that 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’s latest album, The Lay of the Love, was released on Innova in June 2015.

Creative Team

Charles Otte, Director

Charles Otte is a multi-media director/designer whose work crosses multiple platforms. He is currently a senior creative director with Thinkwell Group in Los Angeles. An MFA graduate of USC film school, he received the John Huston Award for directing excellence and recently founded and headed the Integrated Media Design Program for Theatre at the University of Texas at Austin. His productions have been seen at BAM, Lincoln Center, Seville Opera, LA Opera, Carnegie Hall, Ohio Theatre, the Sundance Institute, Odyssey Theatre, Open Fist Theatre, Stella Adler Theatre, A&E TV, HDTV, and Universal Studios Hollywood, and can currently be seen at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library, The Texas State History Museum, Universal Studios Singapore, Lotte World, the Louisiana State Capitol Museum and others. Otte produced the CD-ROM game, Monty Python and the Quest for the Holy Grail. Select theatre productions include Bulgakhov’s FlightThis is a TestTravestiesThreepenny OperaThe DeadGoose and Tomtom, La Belle et La Bete, and new plays by Francis Cowhig, Kimber Lee, Steven Haworth, Rick Pagano, Steven Dietz, and John Bishop. Otte was recently Directing Associate for the world tour of Einstein on the Beach and The Old Woman. He is honored to be working with the amazing artists involved with Vireo. He plays the violin and is married to Christine Säng.

Erik Ehn, Librettist


Work includes The Saint Plays, No Time Like the Present, Wolf at the Door, Tailings, Beginner, and Ideas of Good and Evil. The Soulographie project is a series of 17 plays written over 20 years, on the history of the US in the 20th Century from the point of view of its genocides. Soulographie scripts include Maria Kizito, Heavenly Shades of Night are Falling, Yermedea, and Drunk Still Drinking. His works have been presented in San Francisco (Intersection, Thick Description, Yugen), Seattle (Annex, Empty Space), Austin (Frontera), New York (BACA, Whitney Museum, La MaMa), San Diego (Sledgehammer), Chicago (Red Moon), Atlanta (7 Stages), Los Angeles (Cal Rep, Museum of Jurassic Technology), Belgrade (Dah); Oslo (Fyrhusset); Providence (Wilbury Group); elsewhere. Artistic Director, Tenderloin Opera Company (Providence RI – generating new works of music-theater by, for and about people who are homeless/homeless advocates). Graduate of New Dramatists. Director of Writing for Performance, Brown University.

Photo by Liz Linder

Photo by Mark Ostow

Photo by Bernie Wire

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