The Canticle of the Black Madonna

A new opera in two acts

By Ethan Gans-Morse &
Tiziana DellaRovere

CBM Featured at A.S.A Conference in Toronto

Posted on Oct 23, 2015 | 0 comments

The Canticle of the Black Madonna was recently the main subject of a presentation by Dr. Colleen Renihan, professor of music at the University of Guelph, at the American Studies Association annual conference in Toronto, Canada. Her presentation was entitled Listening to Trauma, Singing Trauma, and the Negotiation of PTSD in Contemporary American Opera and explored the treatment of emotional trauma through the music of the opera. As Dr. Renihan explored in excerpts furnished from her presentation:

…And operatic voices become especially resonant in trauma-based works: In Canticle, for example, there are moments where our attention is drawn to the materiality of the voice, and thus to the very power and struggle of expression. In Mara’s aria, “The Earth is Bleeding,” [Mara] sings in the extremes of her range in a way that both expresses the despair of her experience but also conveys the unintelligible and liminal nature of her intent…

Dr. Renihan reports that her upcoming book will likely dedicate an entire chapter to an analysis of The Canticle of the Black Madonna.