OPERA NEWS - Sound Bites: Jarrett Ott
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Sound Bites spotlights up-and-coming singers and conductors in the world of opera.

Sound Bites: Jarrett Ott

A Curtis-trained baritone is thriving as an ensemble member at the Staatsoper Stuttgart.
By F. Paul Driscoll 

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Photograph by Harol Baez
Grooming by Michael Hanz; fashion styling by Guvanch Agajumayev
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American baritone Jarrett Ott, ensemble member in Stuttgart
© Harol Baez

JARRETT OTT joined the ensemble at Staatsoper Stuttgart this season and is loving it, although he admits to having had some adjustment problems at first. “Staatsoper Stuttgart is an opera machine. The biggest challenge for American singers—and there are several of us here—is learning how to do four operas literally at the same time. I have jumped back and forth between productions, rehearsing one thing while I was singing another, but singing four different roles within two weeks—that was new!” Ott is now thriving, with scheduled Stuttgart performances this month as Marcello in La Bohème,Oreste in Iphigénie en Tauride and Chou-En-Lai in Nixon in China. 

A native of Pen Argyl, Pennsylvania, Ott was in his third year at the Curtis Institute when he was asked to participate in the workshops of Jennifer Higdon’s opera Cold Mountain, then due for its world premiere at Santa Fe Opera in 2015. Ott’s workshop performance brought him attention at Santa Fe, where his two seasons as an apprentice singer included turns as Marullo in Rigoletto and Masetto in Don Giovanni. A strikingly honest actor with a crisp, virile baritone, Ott turned in star-quality performances as W. P. Inman in the Opera Philadelphia premiere of Cold Mountain and as Curly in the Glimmerglass Festival’s 2017 Oklahoma! In 2018, Ott returned to Santa Fe for his debut season as a principal artist, stealing the show in Candide with his witty, perfectly scaled Maximilian and delivering an elegant account of Harlequin’s serenade in Ariadne auf Naxos. This summer, he is back in Santa Fe as Guglielmo in a new staging of Così Fan Tutte. 

Ott and his husband, Santa Fe artistic administrator Adam Franklin, are both active presences on social media; Ott’s Instagram account has more than 22,000 followers. “I don’t want to be seen as someone who is unapproachable, or who separates his work completely from his life.
I’m trying to break down the wall that stands between opera and different cultural groups, such as the LGBT community, many of whom don’t feel welcome in the opera world. I want them to see opera as part of my daily life. Opera is work, and we love it, so it’s important to show it in a real-life way, rather than all smiles and glitter. Social media can bring our world to people who have never been a part of it.” spacer

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