Vireo: Q&A with Star Rowen Sabala | Link TV
Vireo: Q&A with Star Rowen Sabala
Vireo, the groundbreaking made-for-TV opera, is now available for streaming. Watch the 12 full episodes and dive into the world of Vireo through librettos, essays and production notes. Find more bonus content on KCET.org and LinkTV.org.
Seventeen-year-old soprano Rowen Sabala plays the title role in "Vireo: The Spiritual Biography of a Witches Accuser," which recently wrapped filming for its third and fourth episodes at The Actors' Gang Theatre in Culver City, California. Rowen was kind enough to answer a few questions about her experience in these latest episodes.
Vireo: Between the singing, acting, physical movement, and everything you have to execute as the lead character, which aspect is the most fun for you? The most challenging? The easiest for you.
Rowen Sabala: The best part of the process, to me, is the singing for sure. But furthermore, actually learning the music. I get so excited about learning brand new music for the show because I always end up loving it. The most challenging part, however, is actually putting everything together; the staging, acting, and singing, all at once. But each bit helps me with another piece of the puzzle. The acting helps with the staging and the staging helps with the singing. The easiest part is the staging because it is a slow process which allows a lot more time for us to digest and really dial in the blocking.
V: What was it like working with director Charles Otte? Is his direction focused more on the music, the acting, the staging, all of it?
RS: Charlie is great. He is very focused on the action itself. He really wants it to look good and he will change it until it is right, which I find really admirable. While he's very hardworking he will allow time for us to goof off or pitch in other ideas which is also great. He is an amazing director!
V: What effect did having a live audience in for sections of the tapings have on your performance?
RS: The audience really helps me when I'm performing, as Lisa says, we "Step it up" when there's an audience present because it puts us in full performance mode. Running scenes and music with just a camera can feel a little bit dry. The audience amps up our focus as well. It is harder though in a way because we have to run everything in one shot instead of breaking it up... mistakes must be minimal!
V: What ways, if any, do you feel the story of Vireo is reflected in your own life?
RS: Vireo is very different. She wants her safe haven and it seems as though the only safe place she has is with the Voice/Pernette. When I was younger I was the artsy kid at my elementary school and I found my safe haven at the school I have been at for six years now, OCSA (Orange County School of the Arts). It is where, as my mom would say "all the misfit toys gather together." Unfortunately, Vireo doesn't have that stability. Also I connect to Vireo emotionally in some ways, though she is much more complex. Haha!
This story was originally published September 1, 2015.
Today, a cadre of local activists and artists in Watts are using storytelling and human relationships to promote change, justice, equality and communal values.
In such a controversial campaign as Proposition 187, art and politics inenvitably mix. During the 1990s a number of politicians (established and aspiring) helped shape the campaign, as artists on the ground informed the public and inspired them to act.
From performing with an ensemble to working at the Smithsonian to mentoring Watts youth (including a young Nipsey Hussle), WTAC's advocate has done it all and keeps fighting for her adopted neighborhood.
“We get it all the time — people come up to us and say, ‘We didn't know that Black people live in Santa Monica,” Carolyne Edwards said. “And there was a huge population there.”
- 1 of 114
- next ›
Robert Irwin, Larry Bell and Helen Pashgian explore perception, material and experience.
Drummer Mekala Session and other artists carry forward Los Angeles’ rich jazz legacy.
Artists created works to spark conversation about L.A. and sustainable futures.
From the typeface of “The Godfather” book cover to the Noguchi table, the influence of Japanese American artists and designers in postwar American art and design is unparalleled. Learn how the World War II incarceration affected their lives and creations.
"Artbound" looks at the dinnerware of Heath Ceramics and a design that has stood the test of time since the company began in the late 1940’s.
- 1 of 12
- next ›