See, hear, and experience this piece.

From our Artistic Team:

“We want to tell human stories that can empower, and lift up women. Thumbprint does this beautifully when Mukhtar Mai chooses to advocate for her life over the tradition of suicide when dishonor comes to her Pakistani family. Her continued fight for justice for all women, serves as a beacon of hope for those who find themselves in impossible situations."

Here are five of the many reasons why you won't want to miss Thumbprint:

1. Justice & inspiration.

Mukhtar Mai's story and work as a human rights and women's rights advocate has inspired many re-tellings of this remarkable story of resilience and courage. She is striving for justice and safety today. Mukhtar published her autobiography "In the name of honor", her story was the subject of three documentary films, "Shame" by Mohammed Naqvi in 2006 (available on Showtime), "Land, Gold and Women" by Michelle Gagnon in 2006, and "After the Rape" by Catherine Ulmer in 2008 (available on Kanopy), and of course this chamber opera Thumbprint by Kamala Sankaram.

2. Authorship = women.

This production's composer (Kamala Sankaram), librettist (Susan Yankowitz), conductor (Maria Badstue), and director (Omer Ben Seadia) are holding space for this story as women in a field that is still predominantly male, and dominated by patriarchal authorship and power.   

3. This music!

The score originated as a song cycle in 2009 and contains musical influences of both traditional Hindustani and Western classical music with beautiful melodies vocal writing with a distinctive clarity. Composer Kamala Sankaram has been hailed as "one of the most exciting opera composers in the county" by the Washington Post, and we 100% agree.  

4. This ensemble!

Join us in welcoming new artists to the Portland Opera stage! The cast members of this production will each be making their Portland Opera debuts, and we'll intentionally celebrate the South Asian heritage of our ensemble. Explore more about our ensemble: soprano Maya Kherani, soprano Indira Mahajan, tenor Alok Kumar, tenor Omar Najmi, and soprano Samina Aslam.

5. Mukhtar Mai Girl’s Model School

After receiving retributions from the government for her personal attack in 2003, Mukhtar Mai opened her first school, enrolling herself and two other students in one room of her family house. Mukhtar Mai Girl’s Model School grew to provide free education, books, supplies, and uniforms to over 550 girls from nursery school to grade 10. Her school's mission is to empower girls through education.

Learn about Mukhtar Mai Girl’s Model School.


Subscribe to the season.