Episode 10: Ice on the Sargasso | Link TV
Episode 10: Ice on the Sargasso
Driving to Sweden to join the circus, Vireo is betrayed by Caroline, and they are caught by the doctor and mother. Everyone has a secret agenda.
Kate Campbell, toy piano; Randall Matamoros, hurdy-gurdy; Jennifer Koh, violin; Matthias Bossi, drums; The San Francisco Girls Chorus; Lorelei Ensemble
1. Ice on the Sargasso.
1a. Riding To –
Valiant tosses tridents of snow
As they escape across the steppes. They go
To Sweden, to the Circus so
Meanings will trapeze, exchange
And hide them in their show
(Light. Caroline and Vireo drive across the Russian steppes, Caroline at the
wheel. Vireo paints her toenails, feet on the dash.)
You’re gonna paint a seam up your leg if we hit a bump.
Never mind me.
Work the radio
Must be ninety
Good this way
We are not four or three
We are two…
Good this way
At least one sentence
That’s true and nobody
Pasted them to the roof of my mouth
Peeled them back slowly
I don’t know
To the size of
Of a comma;
Think about –
Bread about burnt
Look at the world and
Love it, eat it
(Borealis: drift and play of light. Time passes.)
(Caroline’s in the passenger seat, asleep. Vireo: asleep at the wheel. The
scream of a reindeer... Vireo jerks awake.)
Am I driving?
Doesn’t matter. There’s no road.
Somebody’s out there.
I don’t see –
(The Doctor and Mother appear in a sleigh drawn by deer; Raphael’s on a small skid, drawn by cats and rabbits.)
In the rear-view.
Who would it be?
(Vireo hits the gas. Caroline changes tone.)
Don’t try and get away.
The faster you gun it the slower it goes
But they’re –
They’re going to catch us
We’re going to go
Did you leave them a note? That’s how they know?
You knew they were back there all along?
You planned it with them? The candle and the sheets?
We made people die
You and I
I would like to make more people die
To pay for the way I feel
I named people.
Silly names. They knew those people. We have to name strangers.
Don’t know a stranger
I was a good
We go away
It will be fun.
(Caroline turns to go to sleep.)
I don’t go to sleep
I don’t go away
(Vireo stops driving; sleighs encroach. Light swipes time.)
(Mother and the Doctor are now in the front seat of the Valiant; Doctor drives. Vireo and Caroline lie eyes-closed in the back. The larger sled and its team trail, hitched. Car slides silently; slippery journey. The Doctor adjusts the mirror; checks the runaways.)
You’re kind to us, Doctor. You know, Doctor, I almost think I am a hysteric,
Is that right?
Yes. My throat and shoulder feel so open and thrown back to examiners.
I love to operate this beautiful machine. Don’t you think so?
Hot in here.
They think I’m a priest. I think I’m a bad priest.
No, Doctor, no. You are good. You are a good priest. If you were one, Doctor.
We’ll see how things go in Sweden. The lecture-demonstration –
No, you have to know now. Look, save me, I’m hysterical.
DOCTOR (Stern; secretly pleased.)
Stop that. You’ll wake the girls.
No, I’m hysterical, you’ll have to save me. Ahhh!
Dear, small woman.
Presto: you’re cured.
No, Doctor, I’m out of control. You’ll have to work harder than that.
Abracadabra! Sneezy science
(Thrashing, petit, her face rolls the window. She sees: the figure of the burned witch looking in; the witch wears a black peaked hat. Mother screams; loud.)
(Mother stops. The Doctor neither hears nor sees the witch.)
I guess I fixed it.
(The witch retreats.)
You did! You did. I –
(Vireo and Caroline are awake.)
Girls? We’ll be there by morning.
(We see Raphael, who is running/mushing alongside the car in desperate
shape - his fingers are bandaged with rags. Light-swipe.)
Riding in a car across the Swedish steppes on her way to join the circus, Vireo lets her mind wander. She dreams of a chorus of young girls from her school singing a song about the escape. Back in the car, Caroline is still driving and Vireo begins to nod off again. She sees a violinist standing alone in the snow by the side of the road, playing a melancholy melody.
Time passes, and Vireo jerks awake. She finds herself asleep at the wheel. She stops, shaken and suspicious, and, taking a moment to look around, she realizes that they are being followed. Furiously turning on Caroline, she demands an explanation. Caroline reveals that she has deceived Vireo and is in league with the Doctor. The Doctor is taking them to Sweden where Caroline hopes to name more names and cause more death. Vireo slumps in despair and once again loses herself in dreams and sleep. The violinist reappears.
Arriving at the convention center, the Doctor and Raphael prepare Vireo for the demonstration. They drug her with morphine and place her on a gurney before wheeling her to the surgical amphitheater for presentation.
A young girl appears onstage as if shoved into existence. As she wanders, the world shifts around her, catapulting her through time and space to 19th-century Vienna, 20th-century Germany and 21st-century America. She collapses, hearing voices and visions.
A waking Vireo mistakes the doctor for a priest, and she is sent to a quiet room to recover. While there, she hears the Voice again, embodied in the figure of a witch about to be burned at the stake.
Vireo escapes from her room, but is caught by her mother, the doctor, and his assistant Raphael.
The doctor examines Vireo and makes her the subject for his study of female “hysteria.” He presses her for answers, in the form of the name of a witch. Vireo has a vision and names Pernette.
Although the local witch has been killed, farm animals are still dying, and at Vireo’s home, a cow steps forward to give its perspective on the situation.
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Clips & Segments
The eponymous heroine Vireo, played by soprano 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," a made-for-broadcast opera, will have its worldwide series debut on KCET in spring of 2017, with all 12 episodes released at once.
Composer Lisa Bielawa discusses the inspiration behind Vireo and the historical context behind the episodic opera.
Director Charlie Otte discusses the intricacies of producing "Vireo," an opera for the screen.
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Season 8, Episode 4
Artbound explores the programming of the Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles, investigating new programming and curatorial approaches that are redefining what it means to be a 21st century museum. This episode features three new programs by The Underground Museum, Wolvesmouth, and Public Fiction.
Season 8, Episode 5
Architecture critic Christopher Hawthorne partners with Artbound for an episode that looks into the future of Los Angeles. "Third L.A. with Architecture Critic Christopher Hawthorne" examines the city's architecture, urban planning, transportation and changing demographics, giving us a glimpse of Los Angeles as a model of urban reinvention for the nation and the world.
Season 9, Episode 3
This episode profiles prominent artist Doug Aitken who for more than 20 years has shifted the perception and location of images and narratives. His multichannel video installations, sculptures, photographs, publications, happenings and architectural works demonstrate the nature and structure of our ever-mobile, ever-changing, image-based contemporary condition. In his newest piece, “Underwater Pavilions,” he creates a conversation with the viewer to become fully present and immersed in the sea.
Season 11, Episode 1
In a world filled with noise, distractions and chaos, a number of artists seek to push the boundaries of perception and experience. The Light and Space movement of the 1960s explored minimalism with a uniquely Californian spin — with a keen attention to the interaction of light and space. Crucially, the materials these artists relied on to create these perceptual experiences emerged from the postwar aerospace industry and its advances.
Season 11, Episode 2
Growing up amongst jazz legends within the deep musical traditions of Leimert Park, drummer Mekala Session and his peers grapple with how to preserve this rich legacy—striving to carry forward the tenets that took root in the work of Horace Tapscott and his Pan Afrikan Peoples Arkestra. This is the story of Los Angeles’ emerging generation of community-focused black musicians.
Season 11, Episode 3
In October of 2019 the city of Los Angeles through the Department of Cultural Affairs and the Institute of Contemporary Art organized a city-wide exhibition of public art and events based around the theme of food. Each artist interpreted a different aspect or issue surrounding food or food systems in the city from climate change, to food access, civic engagement to waste and recycling. Activating public parks throughout the city, artists created works to spark conversation about what it means to live in Los Angeles and how to work together for a sustainable and hopeful future.
Libretto: Vireo finds herself fluid in time, from Medieval to mid-20th Century, after hearing a mysterious Voice in the woods, and she falls into a “fit.” Her worried mother takes her to a doctor, but the answers are complex.
Watch episode one of Vireo, "The Blow," and read the libretto.
Libretto: A waking Vireo mistakes the doctor for a priest, and she is sent to a quiet room to recover. While there, she hears the Voice again, embodied in the figure of a witch about to be burned at the stake.
Watch episode two of Vireo, "Mercury," and read the libretto.
Libretto: Vireo escapes from her room, but is caught by her mother, the doctor, and his assistant Raphael.
Watch episode three of Vireo, "Needle," and read the libretto.
Libretto: Although the local witch has been killed, farm animals are still dying, and at Vireo’s home, a cow steps forward to give its perspective on the situation.
Watch episode four of Vireo, "Beginner" and read the libretto.
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The Vireo Guide
"Vireo" takes place in multiple time periods and locations. Here's a rundown of each episode.
Initially inspired by composer Lisa Bielawa's senior essay on the same subject, "Vireo" explores the history of the treatment of young women through song and symbols. Take a look at seven symbols inside "Vireo."
Composer Lisa Bielawa said that the locations did at times influence her writing of "Vireo". Here are seven of the unusual locations used in "Vireo" and how they helped this opera take shape.
This opera's time-hopping storyline and double-duty characters may leave some viewers wondering what's happening, so we laid out the major characters that shape "Vireo."
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Suppressed for over a century, indigenous cultural burning is still practiced today and holds important lessons for managing the threat of destructive wildfires.KCET Original
Around the world, local organizations are finding creative ways to empower young women.KCET Original
The Chia Cafe Collective is working to revive Native food practices and raise awareness about the threats to native plants in Southern California.KCET Original
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