From Flaxmere to the world - The journey of Philip Rhodes
Posted on 17 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.
Whilst the documentary premiers on November 19 in New Zealand it will be available for global viewing from November 19-26 (at least) by visiting the Maori Television website -www.maoritelevision.com. To view click on ‘Shows’ then ‘Pakipumeka Aotearoa’ tabs.