Op­er­atic hit

Bass bari­tone Teddy Tahu Rhodes is in Perth for WA Opera’s Don Gio­vanni, the ever-pop­u­lar Mozart opera.

Guardian Express - - NEWS - Tanya MacNaughton

IF you had asked bass bari­tone Teddy Tahu Rhodes a few years why Mozart’s opera Don Gio­vanni was still pop­u­lar with au­di­ences, he would have an­swered dif­fer­ently.

“I would have said more than any­thing else it’s the mu­sic,” Rhodes said.

“It’s a Mozart opera that has been revered as one of the great op­eras ever writ­ten and I think it was cer­tainly con­sid­ered by him as his mas­ter­piece.

“It’s in­ter­est­ing do­ing it now be­cause the char­ac­ter Don Gio­vanni is quite rel­e­vant in to­day’s move­ment and so­cial cli­mate. I’ve had to deal with that in the role be­cause it’s quite con­fronting.

“It’s con­fronting to do and I think it’s con­fronting to see, but I think that’s a good thing and I can’t go half­way with it, oth­er­wise you skirt the is­sues.”

Rhodes, in the ti­tle role for WA Opera’s sea­son, plays the “Don Juan”, a Span­ish cav­a­lier who roams the coun­try se­duc­ing women with never a thought or care for their feel­ings un­til a price must be paid.

He said make-up, wig and cos­tume played an im­por­tant el­e­ment in pre­par­ing for the part.

“It does re­move you from who you are and puts you into the char­ac­ter which, do­ing a role like this, is quite im­por­tant be­cause it’s so far re­moved from who I am as a per­son; well at least I hope I am,” Rhodes said. “I don’t tend to look in the mir­ror while I’m be­ing made up and it’s re­ally a re­lax­ing thing to have done; quite sooth­ing and med­i­ta­tive.”

The New Zealan­der, based in Mel­bourne, said he was far re­moved from this com­fort zone be­fore his first gig with Opera Aus­tralia, which fol­lowed a seven-year ca­reer as an ac­coun­tant.

“I was sit­ting in the make-up room be­fore my de­but, in a mist not know­ing what was go­ing on, ques­tion­ing what I was do­ing and why was I there,” he said.

“I feel quite com­fort­able af­ter al­most 20 years, but I still get ner­vous and a buzz go­ing out on stage.

“Even though I’m go­ing back to a role like this that I’ve done so many times, I’m a lot older now, so it won’t be the same as what it was,” he said.

Pic­ture: An­drew Ritchie www.com­mu­ni­typix.com.au d487569

New Zealand-born opera star Teddy Tahu Rhodes will reprise the role of Don Gio­vanni in the WA Opera pro­duc­tion of the same name.

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