Spotlight image for Thursdays at Three: Portland Opera

Portland Opera

March 2, 2023: This week on Thursdays @ Three, host Christa Wessel welcomes Portland Opera and Arnaud Ghillebaert‘s Elsewhere Ensemble (featuring Grammy-winning baritone Kenneth Overton) to the Roger O. Doyle performance studio.

Portland Opera will share a preview of their upcoming production of Thumbprint, composed by Kamala Sankaram. Thumbprint is inspired by the true story of Mukhtar Mai—a trailblazing Pakistani activist whose fight for justice and safety reminds us that women’s rights are human rights.

The Elsewhere Ensemble is thrilled to be joined by renowned baritone Kenneth Overton.


Portland Opera‘s upcoming production Thumbprint tells the story of Mukhtar Mai. After surviving sexual violence perpetrated by a local tribal council in retribution for her brother’s alleged crimes, Mukhtar decides to live—and that decision changes the world. Her hope: open a village school for girls to learn to read and write, so that they may avoid the humiliation of signing their names with only a thumbprint. Heartening, and optimistic for the future, this opera is about restorative justice. 

Read the full synopsis at

Portland Opera has been bringing opera to life since the company’s founding in 1964. The first production was Johann Strauss II’s Die Fledermaus, which opened on November 7, 1964, at the Leodis V. McDaniel High School (then known as Madison High School). This first season also included Puccini’s beloved masterpiece, La Bohème, which (to date) has been the most performed opera in the company’s history.

Today, you can still find Portland Opera singers in parks and festivals around town, with their Opera a la Cart performances. Learn more at

The Elsewhere Ensemble is an eclectic group of artists coming from different cultures, different generations and disciplines. Unlike most ensembles it is not defined by its form – it is neither a music group nor a theater group, neither a string quartet nor an acting company (but it can be any one, or any combination of these) – it is defined by the desire to find a way of working together so that the whole is somehow greater than each part… the belief that art should be born out of the ties which bring us closer together, reminding us of our humanity.  With the continued hope that “classical” music and “theater” are not for an elite but a human necessity.

Learn more at

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