Internationally acclaimed opera singer Teddy Tahu Rhodes is currently starring as Emile De Becque in the Lincoln Center production of South Pacific for Opera Australia – his first musical.
Teddy studied in New Zealand with Mary Adams Taylor, in London with Rudolf Piernay at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and more recently with David Harper and Sharolyn Kimmorley. Early in his career, he represented New Zealand in the 1999 Cardiff Singer of the World competition. After appearing with New Zealand’s major opera, concert and choral organisations he made a highly successful Australian debut with Opera Australia in 1998 as Dandini in La Cenerentola and in the Messiah for the Melbourne Symphony and Sydney Philharmonia Choir.
Since then, Teddy has rapidly established an international career on both the opera stage and the concert platform. He sings a wide-ranging repertoire, notable for several Australian and world premiere performances including Bendrix (The End of the Affair), Joe (Dead Man Walking), The Pilot (The Little Prince) – subsequently filmed for the BBC and televised in both the UK and the USA – Nigel Butterley’s Spell of Creation and Barry Conyngham’s Fix.
Since his debut with Opera Australia, he has sung many roles for the company and will play Don Giovanni in Sydney in 2014. He is a frequent guest with major opera houses in the US (Austin, Washington, Philadelphia, Houston, Cincinnati, San Francisco, Dallas and the Metropolitan in New York), in Europe (Hamburg, Munich, Paris, Vienna) and in the UK (Welsh National Opera, Scottish Opera). State Opera of South Australia presented him in landmark performances as Joe in Dead Man Walking, a role he also performed for Andrew McManus/Alexander Productions in Sydney.
Recent opera engagements include Ned Keene in Peter Grimes (Metropolitan Opera), Escamillo in Carmen (Opera Australia, Paris, Hamburg, Munich, Bilbao, Scottish Opera and the Metropolitan Opera), Stanley in A Streetcar Named Desire (Vienna/OA), the Count in Le nozze di Figaro (Cincinnati/Washington), Don Giovanni and the title role in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro (OA), Lescaut (Leipzig/OA), Billy Budd (Santa Fe/OA) and Scarpia in Tosca (West Australian Opera).
A regular guest with all the major symphony orchestras in Australasia, his concert engagements have included recitals at Sydney’s Utzon Room as well as in Washington DC, national tours with the Australian Chamber Orchestra in 2002, 2006 and 2011 as well as a US tour with the ACO in 2012, the prestigious BBC Proms, London Philharmonic, Bundaleer Festival in 2002 and 2006, and two Australian tours with David Hobson for Andrew McKinnon Presentations. He debuted at New York’s Carnegie Hall in 2009.
This year, Teddy has played Don Giovanni for WA Opera and in a concert version in St Petersburg, made his debut with the Lyric Opera of Chicago in A Streetcar Named Desire and performed in return seasons of South Pacific. He and Kate Ceberano – one of his co-stars in South Pacific last year – also premiered a cabaret show called Meet Me in the Middle at the Adelaide Cabaret Festival.
Teddy’s recordings include Fauré’s Requiem, Handel’s Messiah, Mozart Arias, Musical Renegades, The Voice, Vagabond, You’ll Never Walk Alone (with David Hobson), Bach Arias, Mozart Requiem, Serious Songs (ABC Classics); The Little Prince (BBC/Sony Music); Hayley Westenra Live (Decca); Love for Three Oranges (Chandos). With the Metropolitan Opera he appears on the DVDs of Peter Grimes (EMI) and Carmen (Deutsche Grammophon).
His awards include an ARIA (Best Classical Record/The Voice), two Helpmann Awards (Best Male Operatic Performer), a Mo Award (Operatic Performer of the Year) and a Green Room Award (Don Giovanni/OA).