Women Are Making Opera. And It’s Not Easy.

“LITTLE THINGS HAVE HINTED TO ME that perhaps I’m being treated differently because I’m a woman. An accompanist playing an audition asked when the composer was going to get there, and when I said I was the composer, he said, “Oh, this music is very cute.” I had a review that called the music “soft.” There are little things where you wonder if the language is gendered... [READ MORE]

The Hiss of Steampunk, the Roar of the Digital Judge

The residency program at the Here Arts Center encourages composers, choreographers, playwrights, video artists and even puppeteers to get into one another’s business and to create freewheeling hybrids. It is an ideal home for a musician like Kamala Sankaram... [READ MORE]

Sound Bites: Kamala Sankaram

KAMALA SANKARAM doesn’t write operas just because. “Before I write any notes down,” the composer/performer says, “the questions I ask myself are ‘Why are these people singing?’ ‘Why music?’ ‘Why can’t this just be a play?’ ‘Does it need to be a theatrical piece at all?’ And if there are no good answers to those questions, then ‘Why are you doing it?’”... [READ MORE]

To Help Women in Opera, Several Institutions Arise

Supported by the Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation, the program has helped sponsor operas including Kamala Sankaram’s “Looking At You”...Though larger opera companies like the Met have been more reluctant to stage operas by women, Ms. Sankaram said recently, “You see so many smaller companies who are not only programming work by women composers, but also actively commissioning them”... [READ MORE]

10 Cutting-Edge Artists That Have Captured the Imagination Mid-Year

Kamala Sankaram wears many musical hats: as a composer, she has been commissioned by Beth Morrison Projects and HERE Arts Center; as a singer she is the frontwoman of Brooklyn-based band Bombay Rickey; and, on top of her musical expertise, Kamala holds a PhD in Cognitive Psychology. In her techno-noir opera Looking at You, Kamala tackles the implications of digital privacy laws through an energetic, playful score and interactive multimedia which draw the audience into the discussion on a very personal level... [READ MORE]

Her opera helps a Pakistani rape survivor find a louder voice

Sometimes, the smallest childhood experiences can have the biggest impact on a life. As a kid in Southern California in the 1980s, Kamala Sankaram rode to school with her Indian father accompanied by the hypnotic, warbling vocals of South Indian classical music. When her white mother was at the wheel, Beethoven's decisively Western melodies flowed through the speakers... [READ MORE]

Oppression To Opera: Could A Woman's Courage Change Pakistan?

Mukhtar Mai is from a small tribal village in Pakistan. In 2002, her brother was accused of sexually molesting a woman from a wealthy land-owning clan. What happened next was horrifying, says singer and composer Kamala Sankaram.... [READ MORE]


My First Opera

Opera was not part of my life when I was a kid. I grew up in a town named Ramona, an hour inland from San Diego. It had just one radio station.... [READ MORE]