Coming Soon to the Portland Opera: “Thumbprint”
Developed from a series of interviews, “Thumbprint” is a contemporary opera that tells the true story of Mukhtar Mai, a survivor of sexual violence and the first woman in Pakistan to hold her attackers accountable in the court of law. Raped as a punishment for her young brother’s alleged dishonor, Mai chose not to end her life over the disgrace, as was expected. Instead she submitted a report to the police, which she had to sign with her thumbprint because she couldn’t write. Mai went on to spend her settlement money on a school for village girls and has become a trailblazing voice for the oppressed and a human rights activist.
While “Thumbprint” debuted at the Prototype Festival in 2014, it will be performed by the Portland Opera in mid to late March. The score combines Western and Hindustani influences and the lead role will be sung by Pakistani-American soprano Samina Aslam.