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Baritone Jarrett Ott replaces Nathan Gunn as W.P. Inman in Opera Philadelphia’s East Coast Premiere of Cold Mountain, Which Starts Feb 5

Jarrett Ott; photo by Dario Acosta

Jarrett Ott; photo by Dario Acosta

Wednesday, January 27, 2016 – Opera Philadelphia General Director & President David B. Devan announced today that baritone Jarrett Ott, recently praised by Opera News as a “rising star” with “a voice that is polished and immaculately produced,” will replace Nathan Gunn in the role of W.P. Inman for all five performances of Cold Mountain, from Feb 5-14 at Philadelphia’s Academy of Music. Gunn, who performed the role in August’s world premiere at the Santa Fe Opera, was compelled to withdraw from the Philadelphia production because of a serious family illness.

Ott, a graduate of the prestigious Curtis Institute of Music and a member of Opera Philadelphia’s Emerging Artists Program, has been involved with the development of Cold Mountain and the character of Inman for more than three years. He performed the role in two workshops in 2012 and 2013; he sang with the full cast in March 2015 as part of a Works & Process presentation at the Guggenheim Museum in New York City; and he covered the role in both Santa Fe and Philadelphia. Click here to see a video of Ott singing “The Metal Age Has Come” from Cold Mountain.

“We have all looked forward to Nathan Gunn’s return to the Opera Philadelphia stage following his riveting performances as Inman in Santa Fe,” said Devan. “We feel truly fortunate to have Jarrett Ott, an outstanding young artist with an intimate knowledge of the role of Inman, to step in and deliver what I am sure will be some of the finest performances of our season.”

“It is in the best interest of my family, Opera Philadelphia, my colleagues, and me personally that I withdraw from February’s performances of Cold Mountain,” said Gunn. “I wish Jarrett Ott all the best. He is a dynamically talented singer and actor, and I think Philadelphia audiences are in for a treat as he steps into the role of Inman.”

“Covering the role of Inman and working alongside Nathan Gunn has been a true learning experience over the past few years,” said Ott. “He has created a memorable character, determined to complete his mission to reunite with the love of his life. I am honored that Opera Philadelphia has entrusted me with sharing Inman’s odyssey with audiences at the Academy of Music. I look forward to working alongside Isabel Leonard, Jay Hunter Morris, Cecelia Hall, and this incredible cast of world-class singers under the tutelage of conductor Corrado Rovaris and stage director Leonard Foglia.”

About Jarrett Ott
A native of Pen Argyl, PA, Jarrett Ott received his master’s degree at the Curtis Institute of Music, studying with Marlena Kleinman Malas as well as baritone Randall Scarlata. He began the 2015-16 season with Opera Philadelphia as Marchese d’Obigny in La traviata, delivering a performance that “stood out” according to Opera News. He will also make a role and house debut in the title role of Rossini’s Il barbiere di Siviglia with North Carolina Opera, and make his European concert debut with the Ensemble Intercontemporain in Paris, performing pieces by Vito Zuraj and Bach, conducted by Matthias Pintscher. Other role debuts include The Count in Strauss’s Capriccio, a co-presentation with Opera Philadelphia and Curtis Opera Theatre, as well as Kenneth Fuchs’s Falling Man with the Center for Contemporary Opera at Symphony Space in New York City. Ott has also given several recitals in North America under the auspices of the Brooklyn Art Song Society, and will appear as a soloist in Handel’s Israel in Egypt with the New York Choral Society at Carnegie Hall. He will return to the Santa Fe Opera in August 2016 to sing the role of Masetto in Mozart’s Don Giovanni.

About Cold Mountain
The first opera by Philadelphia-based Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Jennifer Higdon receives its East Coast premiere in five performances at the Academy of Music from February 5-14, 2016. Based on Charles Frazier’s National Book Award-winning novel, Cold Mountain premiered in six sold-out August performances at the Santa Fe Opera, where it was described as “a special piece of American art” (Denver Post) that captures the book’s “adventure, romance and pathos in a fresh, vibrant musical idiom” (Washington Post). The opera follows the American odyssey of W.P. Inman (baritone Jarrett Ott), a wounded Civil War soldier who deserts the Confederate Army at great peril to reunite with his love, Ada Monroe (Grammy Award-winning mezzo-soprano Isabel Leonard), whose once privileged life on Cold Mountain has become one of loneliness and deprivation. As Inman makes his way home, he wonders if the violence he has experienced has made him unworthy of love, and is forced to question just where his allegiance lies. Amidst the destruction of the American Civil War, a pivotal conflict in our nation’s history, the transformative journeys of Inman and Ada go to the very center of their souls. “An incisive sense of danger and instability suffuses the entire opera,” observed Opera News. “In Higdon’s neo-Romantic score, violence constantly simmers, erupting during brutal skirmishes in brass-laden turbulence.”

Cold Mountain is underwritten in part by The Wyncote Foundation as recommended by Frederick R. Haas and Daniel K. Meyer, M.D., Ms. Barbara Augusta Teichert, and Opera Philadelphia’s General Director’s Council. Cold Mountain is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts and by the Aaron Copland Fund for Music. Events surrounding Cold Mountain are supported in part by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and The Wallace Foundation.

Click here to download high-resolution photos.

Opera Philadelphia: upcoming productions

Except where noted, all events take place at the Academy of Music in Philadelphia, PA.

Feb 5, 7m, 10, 12 & 14m
American Repertoire Program|
Jennifer Higdon: Cold Mountain (East Coast premiere)
Libretto: Gene Scheer
Conductor: Corrado Rovaris
Director: Leonard Foglia
Co-commission and co-production with the Santa Fe Opera and Minnesota Opera in collaboration with North Carolina Opera
Click here for more information.

March 2, 4 & 6m
Aurora Series: Chamber Opera at the Perelman Theater
Richard Strauss: Capriccio
Conductor: Timothy Myers
Director: Chas Rader-Shieber
Curtis Opera Theatre Artistic Director: Mikael Eliasen
New production of the Curtis Institute of Music presented in association with Opera Philadelphia and the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts

April 1 & 3m
Harlem, NY
Apollo Theater
Daniel Schnyder: Charlie Parker’s YARDBIRD (New York premiere)
Libretto: Bridgette Wimberly
Conductor: Corrado Rovaris
Director: Ron Daniels
A co-production of the Apollo Theater and Opera Philadelphia

April 29, May 1m, 4, 6 & 8m
Gaetano Donizetti: The Elixir of Love
Conductor: Corrado Rovaris
Director: Stephen Lawless
Production from the Santa Fe Opera

Media Contacts
Opera Philadelphia: Frank Luzi, [email protected], (215) 893-5902
21C Media Group: Glenn Petry, [email protected], (212) 625-2038



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© 21C Media Group, January 2016

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