The Tin Angel Opera

The Tin Angel Opera, based on a libretto by Paul from his widely acclaimed novel, with music by award winning composer Daniel Asia, is set in the edgy world of a Bowery jazz club where a unique cast of East Village characters from back in the day play out a story that becomes a call for redemption.  At the heart of it, is the music.


The Tin Angel Opera is a murder mystery set in a threshold world of sublime music in the heart of no-man’s land.  Pablo Waitz, owner of the jazz club, has lost his partner and the club’s cash reserves in a drug deal gone bad. Outside the club, the dispossessed own the street. Inside, an assortment of entrepreneurs and musicians, artists and gamblers, cops and hustlers find themselves connected by the magical quality of the music.

Adding to the crisis, Ponce’s troubled ghost joins that of Pablo’s late father, an Auschwitz survivor who walks the Bowery battlements questioning his son’s dedication to this shadow world.  Pablo’s lover, Maria, wants to leave this place, and gives Pablo an ultimatum. But he is possessed by the mission to recover the money, and uncover the underlying mystery of his partner’s violent death. Most of all, he clings to the hope of keeping the Tin Angel alive.

The question raised by this opera is timeless: How do we make a life out of love and loss, recognizing the light in darkness that unites us all?


  • A brief video with Paul Pines and Daniel Asia; above a page from the score.
  • For more information go to Daniel Asia's The Tin Angel Opera website.


  • This ten minute video is of The Tin Angel Opera Atelier performance at the Center for Contemporary Opera, April 2011.  Scenes were also presented at the Center for Contemporary Opera 2011 annual benefit gala at The Cell Theater at the The National Arts Club in New York City.