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Martinborough Music Festival

May 9, 2022 May 2022 No Comments

Teddy Tahu Rhodes – Bass Baritone

Martinborough Music Festival Friday 23 – 25 September Martinborough Town Hall

This year’s Festival will feature another classical singer as part of the programme of concerts – NZ Bass Baritone, Teddy Tahu Rhodes. (The previous singer to feature was soprano, Jenny Wollerman in 2019). 

Teddy Tahu Rhodes was born in Christchurch to an English mother and New Zealand father, Terrence Tahu Gravenor Rhodes. Interestingly, the Maori word “Tahu” was added to the family name soon after the family returned from England. Tahu means to “set on fire” so there is no link to tribal affiliations.  

And that is what Teddy has done with his singing career, set the world on fire. 

He began with membership of the New Zealand Youth Choir in his last year of secondary school. His potential was noted and in 1986 he entered and won the prestigious Sister Mary Leo Scholarship.

In 1991, he won The Mobil Song Quest, which gave him entrée to The Guildhall School of Music and Drama. So successful was he, The Guildhall offered him a scholarship for a further two years of study. Teddy turned down this opportunity and returned to Christchurch where he established a relationship with Canterbury Opera. He honed his vocal and acting skills there making his international debut with Opera Australia in 1999.

From that time, Teddy’s career went from strength to strength. He has sung with many of the world’s leading opera companies including The Metropolitan Opera, Hamburg State Opera, San Francisco Opera, and Santa Fe Opera. Patrons of the Martinborough Circus Cinema Metropolitan Opera Live in HD series will recollect him cutting a dashing Escamillo in Bizet’s Carmen in 2010, a role he stepped into at 3 hours’ notice when the singer he replaced fell ill.

His vocal skills span a wide range of genres; opera (predominantly), oratorio, musical theatre (notably The King and I and South Pacific with acclaimed reviews for both), lieder and solo work with orchestras and choirs. He has recorded his own repertoire as well as participating in group recordings.

The programme that Teddy has put together for the Festival is gorgeous. It includes compositions by Finzi, Brahms and Beethoven. Go to the Festival website to listen to this music on Spotify. At the same time, register your email so that you receive notification of the dates for Early Bird Bookings -www.martinboroughmusicfestival.co.nz    Winifred Bull


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