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Cold Mountain Synopsis

The opera tells the story of W.P. Inman, a Confederate soldier who, after being treated for wounds he received during the battle of Petersburg, chooses to desert the army and make his way back to his beloved Ada Monroe. Inman knows that the Home Guard is hunting down deserters. Emotionally gutted by the horrors he has experienced and desperate to see Ada again, he decides to take the risk and begins the dangerous journey home. When Inman left for the war, he believed the war would not last but six months. It is now four years later. Ada, a Southern lady once used to a life of privilege, has now been forced to deal with a life of profound deprivation. With the help of Ruby, a resourceful mountain woman, Ada’s life has been slowly transformed. The women helped each other not only to endure the war, but also to grow in ways that are both unexpected and profound.

Cold Mountain, set during the American Civil War — the pivotal conflict in our nation’s history — is the story of a soldier who wonders (as many have and alas many still do today) whether the violence he has endured has in some way ruined him and made him unworthy of love. In the struggle to answer this question Inman, the hero of the opera, is forced to examine where his real allegiance lies. Is it to his country? Is it to a cause? What is at the center of his soul? What are the core principles that he needs to abide by to feel essentially human again?

Cold Mountain, like The Odyssey on which it is loosely based, has at its center a transformative journey. It is of course a tragic story, but it is a profoundly uplifting story too. In the end, Inman, Ada and Ruby have each carved away everything that is unessential, a distraction, and a hollow promise, and have all been pared down to the truth that love is the only reliable compass that can lead to redemption.

— Gene Scheer

MapAcademy of Music

Dates are Feb. 2016.

Fri, Feb 5 8:00 p.m.
Sun, Feb 7 2:30 p.m.
Wed, Feb 10 7:30 p.m.
Fri, Feb 12 8:00 p.m.
Sun, Feb 14 2:30 p.m.

Approx. 2 hrs 45 min
Includes a 20 min intermission

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
The 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

East Coast Premiere | American Repertoire Program

Co-commission and co-production by The Santa Fe Opera, Opera Philadelphia, and Minnesota Opera in collaboration with North Carolina Opera

Part of One Book, One Philadelphia—A Project of the Free Library of Philadelphia

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