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Thumbprint

By Kamala Sankaram

Overview

Final Performance: Sunday, June 18 at 2pm

“A vibrant call for women’s rights… You don’t leave the theater unimpressed or unmoved."
- Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times

Thumbprint
is inspired by the extraordinary transformation of Mukhtar Mai, a young woman whose world was shattered by an act of brutality that could have destroyed her. Instead, she discovers a weapon—her voice—and against all odds, to the astonishment of her country and herself, she seeks justice and finds it. "The worst thing in my life is also the best," she says. "It has given my life meaning."

Her journey resonates beyond borders in its implicit belief that even in the darkest times, one person, one voice, through a single act of courage, can change life for thousands.

The story is told through a dynamic score by Kamala Sankaram, filled with Hindustani and European opera influences, and a libretto by Susan Yankowitz, originating from a series of interviews with Mai.

Click here to read the program. Click here to read the libretto.

Each performance will feature a post-performance Talkback featuring Mukhtar Mai.

Thumbprint was commissioned and developed by Beth Morrison Projects and HERE, and premiered at the 2014 PROTOTYPE Festival. Thumbprint began as a song-cycle comissioned by Beth Morrison Projects for the 2009 21c Liederabend.

LA Opera Off Grand is made possible by a generous grant from  The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
Additional support from donors to LA Opera’s Contemporary Opera Initiative.

Schedule

There are currently no upcoming performances.

Performances of Thumbprint will take place at the Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater (REDCAT) at the Walt Disney Concert Hall. 
631 West 2nd Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012

Approximate running time: 90 minutes; no intermission

Cast

Creative Team

Synopsis

Thumbprint is inspired by the extraordinary transformation of Mukhtar Mai, a young illiterate peasant whose world was shattered by an act of brutality that could have destroyed her. Instead, she discovers a weapon–her voice—and against all odds, to the astonishment of her country and herself, she seeks justice and finds it. The worst thing in my life is also the best, she says: it has given my life meaning.

As Nicholas Kristof writes: "Mukhtar is a hero. She suffered what in her society was the most extreme shame imaginable—and emerged as a symbol of virtue. She has taken a sordid story of perennial poverty, gang rape and judicial brutality and inspired us with her faith in the power of education—and her hope."

Her journey resonates beyond borders in its implicit belief that even in the darkest times, one person, one voice, through a single act of courage, can change life for thousands.
Susan Yankowitz, 2017

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