Quinto Ott & The Phantom of the Opera

Quinto Ott doing his makeup for his character Don Attilio.

Arturo Hilario

El Observador

Recently we had the opportunity to speak with Quinto Ott, a performer with the touring Broadway show The Phantom of the Opera, which arrives in San Jose September 15 through October 2 at the San Jose Center for the Performing Arts. If you’ve ever had an interest in the inner workings of this revitalized classic, keep reading for a look into Ott’s experience with working in the musical and its resonating themes.

How and when did you get into the arts?

My mom talks about when I was little I would keep telling her that I really wanted to do was sing. Both of my parents were teachers so they were really always wonderful about supporting me and helping me achieve my goals. I started doing musical theater and classical music in the 7th grade, started studying classical music then. I went to Indiana University, I was in the Jacobs School of Music there and was also simultaneously getting a degree in Musical Theater and so I worked at regional theaters and did opera work. The whole gamut, as much as possible.

In the fall I auditioned for a repertory company which does the work of Gilbert & Sullivan. I became a company member with them in 2009. I worked with them for a long time while also doing some opera work. I then was singing at the Music Academy of the West, which is an intense training program for young professionals in Santa Barbara. While I was there I sent in a video for Phantom, so I sort of jumped from opera work to musical theater, and I’ve been here since 2013.

Tell me what it’s like coming from a background of both opera and musical theater.

Historically opera and theater were more separated art forms and functioned in their own worlds, more and more there was a crossover. I’m sort of fortunate being active in this period of history, I’ve been able to straddle both of those a little bit. In terms of the storytelling and the skills that I’ve gotten and then also my vocal experience. The classical world of training has allowed me to navigate some music that would otherwise be difficult in the musical theater world. I feel lucky to have dabbled in both worlds and work in them simultaneously.

How would you define The Phantom of the Opera?

I think at the core of it is a love triangle, one young woman’s journey, finding herself in terms of how she relates to the world and also where she draws her strength from in her heart and the relationships in her life. Christine Daae is a ballet dancer whose sort of thrust into the world of the opera house because of the patronage of both Raol, her childhood lover and the Phantom, whose the artistic genius whose obsessed with her. It’s the struggle of her deciding how to deal with rival affections and the crazy tumultuous world of being a superstar performer while trying to maintain some sort of humanity.

Tell me about one of your characters, Don Attilio

I’m in the men’s ensemble, so I have a few roles but my principal role is Don Attilio. The story itself takes place in the Paris Opera House and throughout the course of the story there are moments where there are scenes that happen on stage. They’re not real operas but they are constructed in the musical to show what’s going on stage. One of those operas is a baroque style opera called Il Muto (The Mute) about a noblewoman whose married to an older guy and who’s in love with someone else. I play the older guy and have a brief scene with Carlotta and we have a dueling singing moment and it’s very comic.

Why should this production be one not to miss?

The Phantom is an amazing show and it is one one that is very unique in the world of musical theater because not only is the story a classic and the music is iconic it has a great sweeping score and the oduction value is spec tacular, one of the large t tourin producti ns n the ountry. Ther e’s also something for everybody. We have great actors and storytell s and opera singers and ballet. Y u get the wid sp ctrum of a l the di ferent style of pe for ance.So if you ome to the ho yo are tre ted to smo gasbord o ev rything th t he a ts ha to of er.

The original pro uctio is inc edi le but her ha be n a ot of de el pme t i the tech ical a pe ts of the thea er in he l st 30 ears so thi new pr du t on has been ab e to utili e so e o tho e t ch ical e olu ions and give it so t f a ‘facel ft’ and r ada t th las ic story that il ma e people all in ov wi h it al o er gain

Q into O t nd T e P antom of t e O era re i S n Jose epte be 15 t rough Oct ber 2 at t e S n Jo e ente f r the Perfor ing Arts. F r m re info and t cket ple se v sit <b oadw ys njos .com .

Q ui nt Ot t d in g hi s m k eu p f or is c harac t r Do n A t i li o.

Arts & CultureFeatured