On the Couch with Teddy Tahu Rhodes

Who is Teddy Tahu Rhodes?
Teddy Tahu Rhodes is the man answering these questions.

What would you do differently to what you do now?
I always grew up thinking I’d work on the land. I grew up in a town in Christchurch but used to work in the country during my school holidays. My family had a farming background and I was planning on completing a Bachelor of Commerce and Agriculture. I did actually work for as an accountant before becoming a singer.

Who inspires you and why?
I’m inspired by lots of people and was inspired to pursue singing by a friend. People close to me typically inspire me, more so than by people I don’t know. I might be inspired by seeing a friend perform on stage or doing something good.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
I think if everybody contributed in some small way, such as assisting a charity or donating to a cause significant to them, than the sum of the whole would be awesome. We would create a much more caring community.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
Every holiday seems great, but my most extraordinary holiday was when I backpacked around Egypt in my early twenties with about six friends. We spent a week diving in the Red Sea. It was a place of absolute fascination and a great adventure!

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take then to, and why?
The MCG! I love sport and you can’t get a better atmosphere than 90,000 sports fans. After that, I would take them for a good meal at The European on Spring Street and sit outside watching Melbourne go by.

What are you currently reading?
I haven’t read a decent book for a while, but was just given a copy of Mawson by Peter FitzSimons. I typically prefer non-fiction.

What are you currently listening to?
I’m listening to Sweeney Todd! I listen to lot of different music I’m preparing to learn a role, but find I listen to more chat shows than music if listening to the radio.

Happiness is?
Happiness is the best state of mind to be in.

What does the future hold for you?
It hopefully holds a lot of health and happiness, but quite frankly, I look forward to waking up tomorrow.

Teddy Tahu Rhodes has rapidly established an international career on both the opera stage and concert platform. At the outset of his career, he was a finalist in the Kathleen Ferrier Award, performed in the Young Songmakers Almanac Concert Series in London, the Salt Lake City International Concert Series, and in recital in Japan.  He represented New Zealand in the 1999 Cardiff Singer of the World competition.

He has performed with the opera companies of San Francisco, Austin, Washington, Philadelphia, Dallas, Cincinnati, Houston, New York, the Hamburg Staatsoper, Bayerische Staatsoper/Munich, Theatre du Chatelet/Paris, in Vienna, Welsh National Opera and Scottish Opera.

Recent seasons include Lescaut (Leipzig/Opera Australia), Escamillo (Hamburg, Théatre du Chatalet/Paris, Munich, Bilbao, Metropolitan Opera, Opera Australia), Guglielmo (Cincinnati, Opera Australia, Washington Opera), A Streetcar Named Desire (Vienna, Opera Australia), Dead Man Walking, Don Giovanni (Opera Australia, West Australian Opera ), Tosca (WA Opera), and Faust (Opera Australia).

Following the huge success with South Pacific for Opera Australia, Teddy returned in 2014 for the role of the King (The King and I). Recently, he appeared at the Adelaide Cabaret Festival in Peter and Jack – a new work written by Barry Humphries, and later this year will tour in From Broadway to La Scala. Awards include an ARIA, two Helpmann Awards, a Limelight Award, a Green Room Award plus a MO Award (Operatic Performer of the Year).

Teddy will be appearing in Sweeney Todd at Arts Centre Melbourne for a limited season from 16 July 2015. For more information, visit: www.victorianopera.com.au for details.

Image: Teddy Tahu Rhodes – photo by Martin Philbey ©

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