Day of Music Fullerton Brings Vireo and FemmeFest to the Plummer Auditorium

Day of Music Fullerton Brings Vireo and FemmeFest to the Plummer Auditorium
Courtesy of DoMF

Now in its third year, the city wide music celebration Day of Music Fullerton returns with free concerts all over Fullerton for the nationwide celebration of Fete de la Musique.

The music festival is coordinating 150 plus bands and performers spanning everything from Rhythmo Mariachi Kids, punk, rockabilly, Jazz, indie-rock to bluegrass and folk. Along with matching traditional and non-traditional venues with music throughout the city, such as the BURGER RECORDS stage taking place at the Fullerton College sculpture garden.

New this year, DoMF presents an exclusive screening of Vireo: The Spiritual Biography of a Witch’s Accuser, the world’s first episodic, made-for-TV opera — as part of “FemmeFest” taking place at the Plummer Auditorium. The opera was developed as part of an artist residency project of Grand Central Art Center (GCAC), produced in partnership with KCET and Single Cel.

"Vireo shows how teenage-girl visionaries' writings and rantings have been manipulated, incorporated and interpreted by the communities of men surrounding them from the European Dark Ages to Salem, Massachusetts—all the way to 19th-century France and contemporary performance art. The eponymous heroine Vireo, played by soprano Rowen Sabala in her first prominent role, is a 14-year-old genius entangled in the historic obsession with female visionaries."  


The grand opera may not be the “in” hipster cool activity but this unique partnership is changing that by inviting audiences to explore the stage with a new epochal impact, breaking down old-school barriers for a refreshing contemporary approach — creating dialogue between the viewer and the theater through the inclusion of a woman's perspective.

Conceived and composed by Lisa Bielawa based off an opera she wrote 20 years ago that had never been produced, Bielawa set out to promote women artists’ visibility within the opera. Challenging the historically male-dominated theater, incorporating a wider variety of artistic perspectives with a non-traditional approach. The story is based off her college research at Yale on female hysteria. In which Bielawa found that male doctors were forcing labels upon young women, dictating their power to control them.

“Lisa found that the voices of the women were left out of these studies,” says John Spiak, GCAC Director/Chief Curator. “When there's a young woman who has power or who has voice or independence, men have tried to silence them and that’s what's happened over history and what's happening now.”

Vireo comes at a time when the female voice needs to be heard more than ever. It’s being heard through protests but it’s not being heard through legislation with new policies that take away women's rights. “It’s extremely important that Vireo is taking place at the Plummer during a music festival that’s celebrating a diversity of music, it’s become this forceful protest movement piece,” says Spiak.

Day of Music Fullerton Brings Vireo and FemmeFest to the Plummer Auditorium
Courtesy of DoMF

FemmeFest’s Stoked On Her outdoor stage will be dedicated to female-fronted bands. The roundup is curated by Sara Kleinbart of CSUF Titan Radio and OC DIY, featuring Ariel View, the Love Inns, Previous Kid, Quiet Girl, Sparkling Watergate, The Delos, Titan Radio DJs and headlined by the Aquadolls.

DoMF takes place on June 21st, during summer solstice and in conjunction with 700 cities around the world for a global celebration of culture, inclusivity and music-making. See you there!

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