Opera Philadelphia to Release ‘PAPER TIGER’

By Francisco Salazar

Opera Philadelphia is set to release “PAPER TIGER,” a 12-minute digital opera composed by Black transdisciplinary artist Yaz Lancaster on May 19.

The film features vocalists Eliza Bagg and Miss Grit and pianist Mary Prescott and is directed by Sean Pecknold.

“PAPER TIGER” is the latest in a series of world premiere digital commissions released by Opera Philadelphia beginning in 2021 by composers Tyshawn Sorey, Courtney Bryan, Angélica Negrón, Caroline Shaw, and Rene Orth. The series has garnered critical acclaim for embracing a new medium with a spirit of experimentation.

Lancaster is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, and poet, whose debut audiovisual album AmethYst “is already a strong contender for favorite album of the year” (I CARE IF YOU LISTEN), creates music that often reckons with specific influences ranging from politics of liberation and identity to natural phenomena and poetics. Their work navigates practices aligned with relational aesthetics; fragments and collage; and alternative subcultures (DIY, digital spaces, etc.).

Pecknold is a music video and film director from Seattle, based in Los Angeles. His body of work includes award-winning films and animations for Fleet Foxes, John Legend, Netflix, Dreamworks, Dirty Projectors, Google, Sony, Lyft, Headspace, the New York Times, and the BBC. He is currently working on his first feature-length film.