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From Flaxmere To The World – The Journey Of Baritone Philip

Friday, 4 November 2011


The inspiring story of Philip Rhodes, a 31-year-old New Zealand baritone and rising star of the operatic world, premieres on Maori Television on Saturday, 19 November at 8.30pm.

RHODES ACTOR SINGER traces Rhodes’ journey from suburban Flaxmere in the Hawke’s Bay to Europe as a student of acclaimed Kiwi soprano Dame Kiri Te Kanawa.

The hour-long documentary explores how Rhodes overcame challenges and developed his talent in the demanding world of international opera, supported and encouraged along the way by Dame Kiri and the Dame Kiri Te Kanawa Foundation.

Rhodes and his five sisters were adopted by a Flaxmere community leader’s family when he was five; his foster father, Henare O’Keefe recognised his potential as a performer and encouraged him to make the most of his talent.

In 2005, that talent was recognised when Rhodes won the Lockwood Aria and then in 2007, the Lexus Song Quest. These wins brought him to the attention of the Dame Kiri Te Kanawa Foundation, which awarded him a grant to study at the prestigious Cardiff International Academy of Voice.

RHODES ACTOR SINGER covers key people in Rhodes’ life, from his father Henare, his high school teacher Ken Keys and his first singing teacher, Jill Tobin.

Dame Kiri discusses the story of her six-year-old foundation and how it has evolved to support young singers and musicians and propel them to international success.

RHODES ACTOR SINGER is screening as part of Maori Television’s 2011 Pakipumeka Aotearoa series of New Zealand documentaries on Saturday nights.

Maori Television has a great range of local and international feature films and documentaries screening in the coming weeks, including:

MAORI BOY GENIUS – Saturday 12 November, 8.30pm
AFTER THE WEDDING – (repeat) Saturday 12 November, 9.30pm
SERAPHINE – Sunday 13 November, 8.30pm
RHODES ACTOR SINGER – Saturday 19 November, 8.30pm
THE RAINBOW WARRIORS OF WAIHEKE ISLAND – (repeat) Saturday 19 November, 9.30pm
THE EDGE OF HEAVEN – Sunday 20 November, 8.30pm
GOODBYE BAFANA – Sunday 27 November, 8.30pm
DANCING IN THE SKY – (repeat) Saturday 3 December, 8.30pm
IN THIS WORLD – (repeat) Saturday 3 December, 9.30pm
MAN ON THE MOON – Sunday 4 December, 8.30pm
THIS WAY OF LIFE – (repeat) Sunday 11 December, 8.30pm
FOREVER FEVER – (repeat) Saturday 17 December, 10pm


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