Opera Philadelphia

The Island We Made

World Premiere
Music by Angélica Negrón

The Island We Made combines ethereal electronic music and the transformative art of drag lip-sync to explore familial relationships and a multi-generational depiction of “Mother.” A haunting lullaby formed from the memories and individual relationships of its collaborators—acclaimed composer Angélica Negrón, drag superstar Sasha Velour, and renowned filmmaker Matthew PlacekThe Island We Made is a uniquely intimate art-opera film.

Velour, the beloved winner of "RuPaul’s Drag Race" Season 9, is known for storytelling in her performances. As the film’s omniscient narrator, who she imagines as “the embodiment of queerness,” Velour lip-syncs to the music sung by vocalist Eliza Bagg.

Negrón’s music, described as “wistfully idiosyncratic and contemplative” (WQXR/Q2), blends trembling synths, pulsating drones, and ‘90s micro-samples from the soundtrack of her childhood. Harpist Bridget Kibbey joins her.

Three Ways to Watch: Available on-demand starting Friday, March 19, with a Season Pass or Digital Commissions Bundle until May 31, 2021, or with a seven-day rental.

MapOpera Philadelphia Channel

Fri, Mar 19 8:00 p.m.

Available on-demand with a Season Pass or Digital Commissions Bundle until May 31, 2021, or with a seven-day rental.

Running time: 10 minutes

The Digital Commissions Series is underwritten by Mr. Allen D. Black and Mr. R. Randolph Apgar.

Cast & Creative Team

Angélica Negrón
Angélica Negrón Composer, Lyrics & Electronics
Matthew Placek
Matthew Placek Director & Producer
Sasha Velour
Sasha Velour Narrator
Eliza Bagg
Eliza Bagg Vocalist
  • Robert Kaplowitz Sound Design
  • Sarah Williams Creative Producer
Angélica Negrón

The Composer

Angélica Negrón

Puerto Rican-born composer and multi-instrumentalist Angélica Negrón writes music for accordions, robotic instruments, toys and electronics as well as chamber ensembles and orchestras. Her music has been described as “wistfully idiosyncratic and contemplative” (WQXR/Q2) and “mesmerizing and affecting” (Feast of Music) while the New York Times noted her “capacity to surprise” and her “quirky approach to scoring.” Read more.

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