The Canticle of the Black Madonna is a new opera premiering in Portland, Oregon on September 5, 2014. Set in coastal Louisiana amidst the devastation of the 2010 Gulf Oil Spill, it tells the story of a fictional soldier returning from Afghanistan to his wife. Together, they face the challenges of his Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and her struggles to maintain the family business. Through a rich combination of modern and ancient music, The Canticle ultimately reveals the healing power of a primal force of divine love, represented by the Black Madonna, which transforms them both forever and touches all who witness it.
The Canticle of the Black Madonna is more than a major cultural event. By also offering facilitated workshops, art therapy, guest lectures, and direct involvement of the veteran community, The Canticle is a rallying call to address one of the most urgent social crises of our times, afflicting military and civilian communities alike.
“You honor me, and my brothers and sisters in arms, with this opera. Please know that as a combat veteran I am truly and deeply touched that you have undertaken such an elusive and misunderstood issue as combat-related PTSD in America today. I am thankful to you all for what you do, and I know my fallen friends would be as well.”
Miah Washburn 1SG, U.S. Army Infantry