We write
great emails.

If you’d like to stay in the loop with the arts and creativity in Aotearoa, get ‘em in your inbox.

If you’d like to join a movement of people backing the arts and creativity.

Teddy Tahu


Teddy Tahu Rhodes

Teddy Tahu Rhodes’s Biography

Last Updated:
20/05/2019, 11:12 am
Baritone singer
Arts Foundation Laureate 2008
Teddy Tahu Rhodes is a New Zealand born, internationally sought, bass baritone.

Teddy Tahu Rhodes 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.

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, in the Salt Lake City International Concert Series, and in recital in Japan. He had the honour of representing 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 in 1998 as Dandini in La Cenerentola with Opera Australia and in performances of Messiah for the Melbourne Symphony and Sydney Philharmonia Choir.

Since then, Teddy Tahu Rhodes has rapidly established an international career on both the opera stage and the concert platform. He sings a wide-ranging repertoire, which is notable for several world and Australian premiere performances including Bendrix in The End of the Affair, Joe in Dead Man Walking (Jake Heggie), The Pilot in The Little Prince (Rachel Portman) – subsequently filmed for the BBC and televised in both the UK and the USA - as well as Nigel Butterley’s Spell of Creation and Barry Conyngham’s Fix. In the United States he has performed with the opera companies of San Francisco, Austin, Washington, Philadelphia, Dallas, Cincinnati and Houston, in Europe for the Hamburg Staatsoper, Bayerische Staatsoper/Munich, Theatre du Chatelet/Paris and in Vienna, and in the UK for Welsh National Opera and Scottish Opera. His roles include Demetrius (A Midsummer Night’s Dream), Mozart’s Count, Guglielmo, Papageno and Don Giovanni, Belcore (L’elisir d’amore), Lescaut (Manon Lescaut), Stanley (A Streetcar Named Desire), and Escamillo (Carmen).

On the concert platform, Teddy Tahu Rhodes has performed with the Sydney, Melbourne, West Australian, Queensland and Tasmanian Symphony Orchestras, the Melbourne Chorale, and the Sydney Philharmonia, as well as touring nationally with the Australian Chamber Orchestra in 2002 and 2006.

Further engagements have included Papageno in a new production of The Magic Flute (Welsh National Opera), Fauré's Requiem (London Philharmonic Orchestra), Count in Le Nozze di Figaro and Lescaut in Manon Lescaut (Houston), his role debut as Al Kasim in a new production of Henze’s L’Upupa (Hamburg State Opera), Leandro in a new production of The Love for Three Oranges (Opera Australia) as well as Escamillo, performances with the Adelaide Symphony at the Bundaleer Festival in South Australia in 2005 and 2007 and concerts with the West Australian and Sydney Symphony Orchestras.

Recent and forthcoming seasons include Lescaut (Leipzig and Opera Australia), Escamillo (Hamburg State Opera, Théatre du Chatalet/Paris, Munich and Bilbao), Guglielmo/Count (Cincinnati), Stanley in A Streetcar Named Desire (Vienna and Opera Australia – 2007 and 2009), Joe/Dead Man Walking for Andrew McManus/Alexander Productions in Sydney, Don Giovanni (Opera Australia), further performances of L’Upupa (Hamburg State Opera) his role debut as Billy Budd (Santa Fe) – which he subsequently performed for Opera Australia - and the Count (Washington Opera). Concert performances include Brahms’ Requiem for the London Philharmonic, the prestigious BBC Proms Series, Opera in the Vineyards (Moonah Links and Hunter Valley), Auckland Philharmonia singing Elijah, an Art Gallery Goncert and Fauré’s Requiem and Ravel’s Don Quichotte for WASO, Elijah for the TSO, gala concerts for TQO, his Carnegie Hall debut with New York City Opera as Antony in Barber’s Antony and Cleopatra, an Australia-wide concert tour with David Hobson for Andrew McKinnon & Associates, recitals for Musica Viva at the Huntington Festival, Utzon Room (Sydney Opera House) and in Washington DC, as well as a nationwide tour of his native New Zealand with the NZSO. He debuted to great acclaim at the Metropolitan Opera in February 2008 as Ned Keene in Peter Grimes and will return as Escamillo in the 2009/2010 season.

Teddy Tahu Rhodes' discography includes Fauré's Requiem and Le naissance de Vénus, Handel's Messiah, Musical Renegades (on CD/DVD), as well as the solo discs, Mozart Arias, The Voice and Vagabond, all for ABC Classics. He also appears on the CD/DVD recording of The Little Prince for Sony International and the BBC directed by Francesca Zambello, on the CD/DVD Haley Westenra Live, broadcast on the PBS Great Performers series in the US in 2005, and Chandos’ Love for Three Oranges.

In 2004, he received two of Australia's most prestigious music awards: an ARIA for Best Classical Record for The Voice, and a Helpmann Award for Best Male Operatic Performer for Dead Man Walking/State Opera of South Australia. He was the winner of the 2006 Limelight Awards for Best Performance by a Soloist with an Orchestra for his performances with the ACO. Most recently he has been honoured with a Green Room Award for Best Male Artist in a Leading Role for his performance of Don Giovanni for Opera Australia and a Helpmann Award for his performance as Joe for Andrew McManus/Alexander Productions.