Bass baritone Oliver Mann has forged a singular path amidst the Australian music landscape. His experience and prolificacy within the early music and Baroque movements – especially in the repertoire of J.S. Bach – speaks for itself. He has performed BWV 211: Coffee Cantata (Schlendrian) with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, BWV 201: The Dispute between Phoebus und Pan (Pan) with the Victorian Opera, and more than 10 cantatas as part of the St Johns Southgate Bach Program to great acclaim, alongside the Magnificat bass solos, the St John Passion Pilatus and bass solos, the Christmas Oratorio bass solos and the St Matthew Passion bass solos as part of the Organs of Ballarat Goldfields Festival.
But it is Mann's sensitivity for interpretation and candour of performance – described as "engrossing" by Age critic Clive O’Connell – that has come to define his practice, and his commitment to the act of singing across a plethora of modes and contexts beyond the classical canon has genuinely set him apart. His output as a writer, composer and recording artist has yielded three widely celebrated solo albums – including Slow Bark (2013) – and his keenness for traversing diverse musical languages has seen him hailed as a "singular musician… collapsing worlds to create something entirely new". He has worked as a collaborator with respected experimental musician Mick Turner (Dirty Three) for the Melbourne and Sydney Arts Festivals and has released music through influential Australian music label Preservation.
Throughout 2015, Mann continued his work for the second year running as a soloist with Opera Australia's touring and outreach schools program – yet another twist in what continues to be a genuine and far-reaching journey.