Anima Mundi Productions presents

The Heart of Humanity Concert Series

Season 6 coming soon

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Highlights of the 2023-24 Season

Writing for Ashland.news, critic Lucie Scheuer called Dreams Have No Borders “A masterwork… a work that should be shown in schools, at festivals celebrating Hispanic and Latino heritages, in cinemas across the country, and especially to those who work in government and immigration. It isn’t just art; it teaches us about the resiliency of the human spirit. We need that now.”

READ THE FULL REVIEW

Uptown String Quartet Residency
3-minute highlights video


Now Streaming from Previous Seasons:

About Anima Mundi Productions

Our Mission

Anima Mundi Productions’ mission is to create, present, and produce new musical works that harness the power of the arts to stir the soul, foster community, and address urgent social and environmental problems. Our events support the personal and collective healing of at-risk segments of society who have experienced trauma, discrimination, and other forms of injustice.

The Heart of Humanity Concert Series

Our annual 3-concert series brings world-class musicians to Oregon for concerts that turn the concert hall into a space for renewed hope, communal healing, and mutual understanding.

Anima Mundi

Anima Mundi means “The Soul of the World” and refers to our conviction that the soul of humanity and the fate of the planet are intertwined; we seek to heal the soul of the world through the arts by providing experiences that bring people into their hearts and imagination, demonstrate the power of beauty, and heal societal wounds through the shared experience of live music.

Name: Anima Mundi Productions

Federal Tax ID: 271944408  (use for tax-deductible contributions to Anima Mundi Productions)

Non-profit Type: Public Benefit (Arts)

Mailing Address: P.O. Box 1323 | Phoenix, Oregon, 97535

Phone: Ethan Gans-Morse, Exec. Director | 541-778-1211

View entry on Guidestar

Mission:

  • To create, promote, and produce new performing arts works that harness the power of the arts to stir the soul, foster community, and address urgent social and environmental problems.
  • To promote social justice and societal well-being through the intersection of live artistic productions, philanthropic/humanitarian giving, and community engagement.
  • To create public arts events that aid in the personal and collective healing of at-risk segments of society such as those who have experienced the traumas of war, domestic violence, childhood abuse, social injustice, etc.

Richard Gordon (President)

richard400Richard Gordon began his career as a chemical engineer for Phillips Petroleum in Kansas City, Gulf Oil in Texas, and Exxon in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He directed his first business in 1980 and in 1985 started his own company, Richard Gordon Creative Productions. Mr. Gordon served on the board of directors and as president of the Louisiana Society for Personal Realization in the late 80’s and early 90’s. In 2006 he created an internet organization that now extends to over 15 countries, which is dedicated to promoting our planet’s greater good through cooperation and service. For over 30 years Mr. Gordon has been sought after as a teacher, speaker, and consultant. He has worked with businesses, churches, civic organizations, and individuals on five continents. Currently, he teaches and provides spiritual, managerial, and financial consulting for individuals and businesses, and promotes cutting edge businesses and philanthropic ventures.

Dr. Mary Jane Morrison

Dr. Mary Jane Morrison lives a life of service. A graduate of the Bowman Gray School of Medicine (MD), University of Washington (residency with an MS in Rehabilitation Medicine), and the University of Connecticut (PhD in Special Education Rehabilitation Research: Psychology), she has served as a board-certified physician in four states as well as with the Department of Veterans Affairs and the United States Army. Her military service career spanned three decades of medical practice, with active duty in Desert Storm. Now retired, she is a tireless volunteer and supporter of the arts in Medford, Oregon.

Rita Reitz

Rita ReitzRita Reitz, a native of Ripley, Tennessee, graduated from the University of Bridgeport Connecticut and went on to earn a master’s degree in religion, philosophy and ethics from Yale University. A professional pianist and organist, she concertized in nine states. She taught piano for 53 years and taught music in the Menlo-Atherton School District for 35 years. She volunteered with the San Francisco Symphony Mid-Peninsula League, taking 450 students a year to attend a SF Symphony performance at Davies Symphony Hall. Rita retired to the Rogue Valley Manor in 2013 and immediately became involved with the Rogue Valley Symphony Guild, chairing their 35th Anniversary fundraiser in 2014. She volunteers and is involved in many music activities at the Manor and at First Presbyterian Church in Medford.

Dr. Lesa Terry 

As a violinist, composer, artistic director, educator, and scholar, Dr. Lesa Terry is at the vanguard of contemporary musical interpretation and an artist whose creative genius consistently brings distinctive innovation to musical performance. Her background includes membership with the Atlanta and Nashville Symphony Orchestras, as well as performances, lectures, clinics and master classes with the Uptown String Quartet and the legendary Max Roach Double Quartet. Dr. Terry serves as the founder and musical director for the Women’s Jazz Orchestra of Los Angeles, presenting performances for the World Festival of Sacred Music, Hollywood Bowl Jazz Festival, and the Los Angeles Pan African Film Festival. She also enjoyed the distinct honor of appearing with Tom Hanks in the Oscar nominated motion picture, A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood.  

Gladys Pinzón Sanson

Originally from Colombia, Gladys Pinzón Sanson immigrated to the United States in her twenties and became a US citizen in 1975. She fulfilled a long career in the dental health industry in California, including 20 years as a business owner. During that time she was a full time subscriber to the San Francisco Symphony, SF Opera and as a SF Opera Guild member, supported musical education for Bay Area middle schools. In 2015, Gladys moved to Ashland, Oregon, where she has dedicated herself to her passions for classical music and bringing community together around supporting the arts. She runs an opera study group and is an avid patron and promotor of local and global performing arts. Gladys is bilingual in English and Spanish and is now studying Italian, inspired by her love for opera. Also a lover of nature and travel, she has hiked in the Himalayas, Patagonia, Swiss Alps, Dolomites, Sierras and delights in the beauty of the Rogue Valley.

“I was impressed by the breath-taking sweep of what Anima Mundi Productions is doing… It is clear that the aim here is healing, and that for all involved there is a deep sincerity in the loving approach they are taking, and their commitment to art as a vehicle of healing. Indeed, one feels that loving commitment in the performance, and each of the people who are involved.”

Rowan Wolf, OpEdNews

“Generous, carefully crafted and supremely compassionate… Production values overall reflected artistry, hard work and commitment… Contemporary opera is alive in Oregon, and not just that, it’s vital, addressing contemporary issues with determination and compassion.”

James McQuillen, The Oregonian

“One of the most exciting developments of the arts season.”

Brett Campbell, Oregon ArtsWatch editor

“I have searched since I returned from combat in 1969, and continue to search, for ways to bring a shift in consciousness in the world… I believe that such a shift would end war and finally give meaning to my experiences in war, and to the deaths of my soldiers and of all soldiers in all wars. [Anima Mundi Productions’] The Canticle of the Black Madonna is clearly a vehicle for bringing about that shift, that awakening.

Bill Ritch, Vietnam Combat Veteran, Silver Star Recipient

“[Anima Mundi Productions’] The Canticle of the Black Madonna is that very special kind of art that genuinely helps people who have fallen into desperate isolation. It grabs you and says, ‘You’re not alone; you’re not misunderstood after all; there’s still hope.’ This is the kind of art that saved my life.”

Sean Davis, former SFC, U.S. Army Infantry, Purple Heart Recipient

“[Anima Mundi Productions’] How Can You Own The Sky? provides emotional catharsis on par with the great masterworks of the past. The dramatic score is brought to life through first-class orchestration and connects seamlessly with the poetry. Both the musicians and the audience were deeply touched by the experience.”

Martin Majkut, Music Director of the Rogue Valley Symphony & Queens Symphony Orchestra

“…[Anima Mundi Productions’ opera Tango of the White Gardenia] will travel to places that usually don’t see much live opera, [and] I hope it also eventually goes to middle and high schools to reach young people. Its messages are loud and clear and humane, and the art is fine enough to carry them. We need compassion, not competition when it comes to relationships. Not only can Tango of the White Gardenia turn people onto the sometimes-alienating ancient art form of opera, it also suggests that we can become better people.”

Angela Allen, Oregon ArtsWatch opera critic

“In both of these events [The Canticle of the Black Madonna and How Can You Own The Sky?], what came through was Anima Mundi Productions’ commitment to deploying the power of music and narrative stories to bring real benefit and healing to our community. Projects like those proposed by Anima Mundi Productions can be very important. The arts have a crucial role in making marginalized populations feel seen and appreciated by the larger public. Sharing immigrants’ stories through the emotional language of music and poetry could make them feel more visible, and could increase the awareness among non-immigrant audience members. For these reasons, I wish to voice my support for Anima Mundi Productions’ upcoming concert series and, in particular, their important work of sharing immigrant experiences through the media of music and narrative poetry. ”

Chela Tapps-Kocks, Founder/director of the Ashland-Guanajuato Sister City program for 50 years,
Professor Emeritus at Southern Oregon University

Ethan Gans-Morse (Co-Founder, Executive Director, Resident Composer)

Ethan-Head-4Composer Ethan Gans-Morse has served as the Executive Director of Anima Mundi Productions since its founding in 2013, overseeing numerous artistic, humanitarian, and fundraising efforts. He focuses on collaborative, socially relevant projects that foster greater human connection. As Eugene Weekly described his work, “Classical music is often rightly accused of ignoring the here and now. Fortunately, [composers such as Gans-Morse] are using classical and postclassical forms to help us understand the sometimes-unpleasant realities of the world we live in.”

Ethan also serves as resident composer and artistic producer for Anima Mundi Productions, running campaigns such as the 2014 Indiegogo crowdfunder which raised over $75,000. He is the award-winning composer of several Anima Mundi Productions projects, including the opera The Canticle of the Black Madonna, which The Oregonian called “A huge achievement… generous, carefully crafted and supremely compassionate,” the program symphony How Can You Own The Sky?, and the new operas Tango of the White Gardenia and Dreams Have No Borders.

Tiziana DellaRovere (Co-Founder, Co-Artistic Director, Resident Poet)
tiziana400Born in Milan, Italy, Tiziana DellaRovere is an accomplished writer of poetry, fiction, and non-fiction. She has written three librettos for new operas by her husband, composer Ethan Gans-Morse, as well as poetry for their program symphony, How Can You Own The Sky?, and numerous art songs and choral collaborations.

Tiziana’s writings flow from her convictions about the cultivation of love as a fierce, courageous and down-to-earth power that can heal the heart of humanity and a vibrant life-force that each person carries within. In addition to her work as poet and librettist, Tiziana is a published author whose works include Sacred Fire: Rites of Passage and Rituals of Worship, Adorata: The Path of Enlovement, and her upcoming The Sacred Lovers Within.

Tiziana studied law and philosophy in Milan, painting and sculpture at the California College of Arts and Crafts, and clinical psychology at San Francisco State University. Her writing, teachings, and paintings are unified in her devotion to the healing power of the arts and to bringing a sense of mystery and wonder into everyday life.

Lisa Frank (Operations Director)

Operations Director Lisa Frank has long believed in the power of the arts to unite and heal. From supporting high school students to connect with themselves through hip hop, rap, and spoken word, to leading the development of a portrait photography exhibit celebrating the dignity and vitality of low-income seniors, Lisa feels deeply about the arts as a sanctuary for freedom through creative expression.

Before joining Anima Mundi Productions, Lisa spent eight years working at NIGP: The Institute for Public Procurement, where she built teams of subject matter experts to develop guidance on public procurement topics, while publishing on a range of related topics. Prior to joining NIGP, Lisa managed the University Lecture Series at Carnegie Mellon University, where she earned her Master of Public Management. With her undergraduate degree in cello performance from Indiana University, Lisa now lives in Ashland, Oregon, where she enjoys playing with the Rogue Valley Symphony.

Projects

Current Projects

The Heart of Humanity Concert Series

An annual series of world-class concerts addressing urgent social issues.

Dreams Have No Borders

A unique new musical film based on the real-life stories of Latino immigrants in our Southern Oregon community.

Past Projects


Pianos for Peace

A festival of painted pianos to promote peace and education

We Cannot Walk Alone

A series of 7 new commissions featuring BIPOC composers & performers.

How Can You Own The Sky?

A Native-American-themed program symphony

Tango of the White Gardenia

A tango-infused chamber opera addressing bullying and body issues

The Canticle of the Black Madonna

A new opera about combat PTSD and the environment


Six Feet Apart

Stories of Resilience and Transformation

Launched: Summer 2021

Project Summary

Six Feet Apart is an innovative multimedia work of choral music based on real-life pandemic experiences that harnesses the power of music, poetry, and art to amplify diverse voices and foster collective healing during the COVID-19 pandemic

Project Highlights

  • Real-life pandemic stories collected from across the Pacific Northwest in collaboration with the Southern Oregon Historical Society and regional nonprofits.
  • Original poetry composed, collected, and curated by Tiziana DellaRovere.
  • Special guest poets Anis Mojgani & Kim Stafford, current and former Oregon Poets Laureate.
  • Music composed by Ethan Gans-Morse.
  • Music performed by HEX and Brightwork NewMusic.
  • Video design by Camilla Tassi and artwork by Betty LaDuke.

Watch the entire program FREE online


Pianos for Peace Oregon

A festival of painted pianos in partnership with Pianos for Peace

Launched: Fall 2019

Project Summary

As part of our Heart of Humanity concert series, Anima Mundi Productions was proud to partner with Atlanta-based Pianos for Peace to launch Pianos for Peace Oregon in the fall of 2019.

Project Highlights

  • Two donated pianos were painted by local artists. One was painted by a team of professionals led by Judy Grillo and Tiziana DellaRovere. The other was painted by art students at Phoenix High School.
  • The pianos were placed in downtown Ashland for all to enjoy for one week.
  • At the end of the week, one piano was donated to the Armadillo Technical Institute and the other to the Civic Center, both in Phoenix, Oregon.

Check out the video below and see more pictures HERE.


How Can You Own The Sky?

A Symphonic Poem Honoring Native Wisdom

Premiered: Spring 2018

Project Summary

The Rogue Valley Symphony commissioned Anima Mundi Productions and resident artists Ethan Gans-Morse and Tiziana DellaRovere to create a Symphonic Poem comprising a four-movement symphonic work, preceded by original poetry and Native American singing and drumming.

Project Highlights

  • Four-movement symphonic poem composed by Ethan Gans-Morse; original poetry by Tiziana DellaRovere
  • Recitation, singing, and drumming by Brent Florendo, professor of Native American studies and Native Nations Liaison at Southern Oregon University, accompanied by the Dancing Spirit drummers.
  • Explores such themes as the creation of the land, the wisdom and legacy of the original peoples of  Oregon, historical loss and tragedy, and a vision of hope and reconciliation for the future.
  • Read more about the world premiere of this unique program symphony on Oregon ArtsWatch and the Medford Mail Tribune

Learn more about the piece, listen to the music, and read the poetry HERE.


Tango of the White Gardenia

Tango of the White Gardenia

A Tango-Infused Chamber Opera

Premiered: Fall 2018

Project Summary

Eugene-based Cascadia Chamber Opera commissioned Anima Mundi Productions resident artists Ethan Gans-Morse and Tiziana DellaRovere to create an original opera in celebration of their 10th season.

Project Highlights

  • Music composed by Ethan Gans-Morse; libretto (text and story) written by Tiziana DellaRovere, the two founders and resident artists of Anima Mundi Productions.
  • Fun, light, witty new opera, easily accessible for non-traditional audiences while still packing a powerful emotional punch.
  • Music infused with Argentine Tango.
  • Touring performances in Lincoln City, Florence, Astoria, Bend, and Eugene, Oregon, reaching constituencies who otherwise wouldn’t have access to live opera.
  • Tango of the White Gardenia explores how enduring love and staying true to one’s heart is more precious than winning external recognition and climbing the social ladder, and how the consequences of parents’ mistakes befall their children. It reveals how the abandonment and absence of the mother creates insecurities and a sense of not being worthy of love, and the absence of the father creates in his daughter a compulsion to seduce, and a ferocious competitiveness to make it in the world and be recognized at any cost. In doing so the opera also offers an allegory for bullying, how bullies come to be, and insight into how bullying can be addressed.

Angela Allen, opera critic for Oregon ArtsWatch, called Tango of the White Gardenia “A triumph,” writing:

“Its messages are loud and clear and humane, and the art is fine enough to carry them. We need compassion, not competition when it comes to relationships. Not only can Tango of the White Gardenia turn people onto the sometimes-alienating ancient art form of opera, it also suggests that we can become better people.”


The Canticle of the Black Madonna opera project

The Canticle of the Black Madonna

A Soldier’s Journey
from the Trauma of War to the Healing Embrace of Love

Premiered: Fall 2014
Full details and multimedia at www.CBMopera.com

Project Summary

In 2014, Anima Mundi Productions created produced a full-scale opera that explores the dual traumas of combat-related PTSD and the 2010 Gulf Oil Spill. The overarching theme of the piece is that there are some challenges in this world that are so painful, so overwhelming that it is only through the opening of the heart, in this case embodied by the all-powerful love of the archetypal Mother in the form of the Black Madonna, that we can find hope and a new path to healing.

Project Highlights

  • Music composed by Ethan Gans-Morse; libretto (text and story) written by Tiziana DellaRovere, the two founders and resident artists of Anima Mundi Productions.
  • Called “A huge achievement… generous, carefully crafted and supremely compassionate” by The Oregonian (read more critical acclaim here).
  • Indiegogo campaign raised over $75,000 through crowdfunding (details here).
  • Total project operating budget raised through grants and donations: over $250,000.
  • Fully professional production at the Portland Center for the Performing arts in Portland, Oregon.
  • Directly involved the veteran community through the following offerings free of charge:
    • The casting of veterans to appear onstage in the production,
    • The hiring of veterans to work on the production,
    • Veteran input in the creation of the work,
    • Special outreach services such as our Painting PTSD initiative and a special performance of the opera for an exclusively veteran audience which included a trauma expert onsite to lead a debriefing event after the opera,
    • Professionally produced HD cinematic video of the project has been made available for special viewings by veterans communities and nonprofit organizations.

Click the image above to watch a 4-minute video about this project

Stay in touch

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Shopping at AmazonSmile is one of the easiest ways to support Anima Mundi Productions. All you have to do is make regular purchases from Amazon.com using this link.

Here is how it works:

  • Amazon donates 0.5% of the price of your eligible AmazonSmile purchases to the charitable organization of your choice
  • AmazonSmile is the same Amazon you know. Same products, same prices, same service
  • Support Anima Mundi Productions by starting your shopping at smile.amazon.com.
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If you live in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, or Alaska and you regularly shop at a Fred Meyer store, all you need to do is link your Rewards Card to us by visiting fredmeyer.com/communityrewards. The website will ask you for our NPO number, which is IM487.

At the end of each quarter, Fred Meyer will make a donation to Anima Mundi Productions based on the accumulated spending of all participating Rewards customers. You still get all of your Rewards Points, Fuel Points, and Rebates, while simultaneously helping to heal the world through the arts, so please sign up today!

If you live in a state with Kroger supermarkets or any of the stores owned by Kroger, including Fry’s, Dillons, Food 4 Less, and many others, you can still participate. Simply talk to a store manager about signing up for Kroger Community Rewards, and let them know that you’d like your purchases to benefit an organization in the Fred Meyer Division, number 701, with NPO number IM487. We greatly appreciate it!

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