Photo by Dario Acosta

Photo by Dario Acosta


Kamala Sankaram, a composer praised by The New York Times as “strikingly original,” has recently earned commissions from Washington National Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Opera Memphis, Opera on Tap, and the Brooklyn Youth Chorus. Awards, grants and residencies include: Jonathan Larson Award, NEA ArtWorks, MAP Fund, Opera America, NY IT Award for Outstanding Production of a Musical, the Civilians, HERE, the MacDowell Colony, and the Watermill Center.

Kamala's opera Thumbprint, written with librettist Susan Yankowitz, premiered in the 2014 PROTOTYPE Festival, and was featured on NPR, Agence France Presse, and media outlets around the world. Thumbprint was inspired by the extraordinary transformation of Mukhtar Mai, a young woman whose world was shattered by an act of brutality and discovers her own voice is a weapon to seek justice, and has since received productions at LA Opera and Opera Ithaca. She is currently working with librettist Jerre Dye on The Parksville Murders, the first opera written for virtual reality. Episode 1 is now available on Samsung VR.

Kamala is also the leader of Bombay Rickey, an operatic Bollywood surf ensemble whose debut recording was named Best Eclectic Album by the Independent Music Awards Vox Pop. Bombay Rickey’s opera-cabaret on the life of Yma Sumac premiered in the 2016 PROTOTYPE Festival and was most recently presented in London at Tête-à-Tête Opera’s Cubitt Sessions. Selected for the 2017/18 season’s Mid-Atlantic Arts touring roster, Bombay Rickey will soon release their sophomore album.

Dr. Sankaram holds a PhD from the New School and is currently a member of the composition faculty at SUNY Purchase.

Beth Stewart