Of War and Healing
On April 19, amid the sun-tinged vineyards of the gorgeous Rogue Valley, a full room of arts and veterans supporters assembled to learn about The Canticle of the Black Madonna, the new opera written by fellow longtime Southern Oregon residents Tiziana DellaRovere and Ethan Gans-Morse.
Vietnam veteran, career West Point instructor, and Silver Star recipient Bill Ritched opened the evening with stirring recollections of his own PTSD and the power of music and theater to bring healing in his own life. (Read Bill Ritch’s powerful endorsement of The Canticle of the Black Madonna). Author, nationally-renowned military families expert, and A. M. Productions Director of Oregon Operations Stacy Bannerman spoke with honesty and stunning passion about the plight of military families, particularly National Guard families, just as Oregon’s own 41st Infantry Brigade prepare to deploy to Afghanistan this summer.
By the time we shared our 9-minute video overview and excerpts from the University of Oregon workshop performance of the opera, there wasn’t a dry eye in the packed room.
Graciously hosted by Paschal Winery, with mouth-watering desserts donated by Capers Restaurant and delectable morsels from Dagoba Chocolate and Rising Sun Farms, our April 19 fundraiser was our most successful yet, judging from both the five-figure sum we raised and the enthusiastic support we received. Lloyd Matthew Haines of The Haines Philanthropic Foundation in Ashland came through with a particularly generous contribution. It was a night that will be remembered by Rogue Valley residents for a long time to come, and many will be making the drive to attend the September 5-6 world premiere of The Canticle of the Black Madonna.
The Canticle of the Black Madonna opens September 5 & 6 at Portland’s Newmark Theatre.