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Teddy Tahu Rhodes Plays Nice

MEDIA RELEASE
August 8, 2007

teddy tahu rhodes plays nice

ELIJAH – APN News & Media Premier Series, Concert 11
Thursday 6 September, 8pm, Auckland Town Hall, THE EDGE

References to “buff bodies” and “six-packs” are not what you would usually expect to find when reading a review of an opera performance but New Zealand singer Teddy Tahu Rhodes cannot seem to escape them.

After playing some very bad, bare-chested men Tahu Rhodes returns home to play the lead role in Mendelssohn’s Elijah – a very good man and a very good role – with the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra on Thursday 6 September at the Auckland Town Hall.

The Auckland concert follows a season of playing Stanley Kowalski in an Opera Australia season of A Streetcar Named Desire. Following his Auckland concert he will return to Sydney perform the lead role of death row murderer Joseph de Rocher in an operatic production of Dead Man Walking at Sydney’s State Theatre. He has performed both of these roles internationally with his physique garnering as many rave reviews as his performance.

He will swap chest-baring murderous rage for biblical good deeds in the APO’s performance of Elijah, performing the role of the Prophet for the first time.

A favourite amongst choral societies and sung in English, Elijah will be conducted by Paul Mann, currently principal conductor of the Odense Symphony Orchestra in Denmark.

“Mendelssohn’s Elijah is a great work of the choral repertoire and to have it performed with such a dynamic singer such as Teddy Tahu Rhodes in the lead role and under the baton of such an enthusiast of the work is a great thrill for the APO,” says APO Chief Executive, Barbara Glaser.

Joining Tahu Rhodes and the APO for the concert will be Rebecca Ryan (soprano), Zan McKendree-Wright (alto), Henry Choo (tenor) and the Chapman Tripp Chorus of the NBR NZ Opera.

Tickets for Elijah (from $12 to $110 plus booking fee) are available from Ticketek Ph 09 307 5139, www.ticketek.co.nz.

Media Contact: For more information, interview requests or photos please contact Jennifer Scott, Publicist, Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, Ph 09 638 7073 ext 203, Mob 027 324 8745, Email jennifers@aucklandphil.conz.

Elijah – Synopsis

Ahab, a great king of the Israelites, has fallen under the spell of Jezebel, a daughter of the King of the Sidonians. He has rejected the Israelites’ God and embraced Jezebel’s religion: the worship of the idol Baal. At Jezebel’s command, Ahab has ordered the execution of the prophets of Israel, replacing them with Baal’s false prophets. But one man, Elijah, filled with power of the true God, directly challenges Ahab and Jezebel. He pronounces God’s curse: “No rain will fall on Israel until the people reject Baal and return to God. As the God of Israel liveth no rain shall fall until I call on the Lord to deliver it.” God commands Elijah to escape to the desert in the East, where God provides water and food from heaven for his prophet. Elijah longs to return to Israel, to save his people. But he is obedient to God. God commands Elijah to go and show himself to Ahab. Elijah tells Ahab to gather the prophets of Baal and meet him on Mount Carmel, where sacrifices are to be placed on two altars. “Let us call on our Gods,” he says. “The God that answers with fire is the true God.” The prophets of Baal cry out in vain to their idol. When Elijah prays humbly to God, God sends down fire, accepting Elijah’s offering. The people, realising at last that there is only one true God, kill the prophets of Baal, and God sends the rains again.

Teddy Tahu Rhodes – Biography
Teddy Tahu Rhodes has established an international career on the opera stage and the concert platform. He sings a wide-ranging repertoire, notable for several world and Australian premiere performances including Bendrix (The End of the Affair), Joe (Dead Man Walking), 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. He is a frequent guest with major opera companies in the USA (Austin Opera, Washington Opera, Philadelphia Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Cincinnati Opera and Dallas Opera), in Europe (Hamburg Staatsoper, Bayerische Staatsoper/Munich, Theatre du Chatelet/Paris, Vienna) in the UK (Welsh National Opera, Scottish Opera) as well as Opera Australia. In Australasia he has also performed with the State Opera of South Australia, NBR NZ Opera and Canterbury Opera.
On the concert platform, he has sung with the London and San Francisco Philharmonic Orchestras, all of the major Australian and New Zealand symphony orchestras and has toured nationally with the Australian Chamber Orchestra in 2002 and 2006.
Future engagements include Al Kazam in the German premiere of Henze’s L’Upupa (Hamburg State Opera), Escamillo (Paris, Hamburg, Munich and Scottish Opera),
Stanley in A Streetcar Named Desire (Vienna), and Mozart’s Count for Opera Australia. He will make his debut at the Metropolitan Opera in the 2007/08 season.
Teddy Tahu Rhodes’ discography includes Faure's Requiem, Handel's Messiah, Musical Renegades (both also on DVD), and solo discs including Mozart Arias, The Voice and Vagabond, all for ABC Classics. Other releases include the internationally released CD/DVD The Little Prince (BBC/Sony International) and Hayley Westenra Live (DVD).
In 2004/05 he received three prestigious awards: an ARIA for Best Classical Record for The Voice, a Helpmann Award for Best Male Operatic Performer and a MO Award for Operatic Performer of the Year.

ENDS

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