Bringing baritone to the bush: Teddy Tahu Rhodes to headline the inaugural Festival of Outback Opera

Internationally acclaimed singer Teddy Tahu Rhodes will headline the inaugural Festival of Outback Opera, presented by Opera Queensland and Camerata Queensland’s Chamber Orchestra in western Queensland from 26-28 June.

Audiences will have the opportunity to see Tahu Rhodes perform in a series of concerts taking place over the weekend with the main event, Concert Under the Stars happening on Saturday 27 June: a large-scale outdoor opera performance, staged under the western stars and against the backdrop of Mount Isa’s spectacular Lake Moondarra.

The New Zealand-born bass-baritone has amassed a legion of fans with a repertoire that includes powerhouse productions of Don Giovanni and Tosca and the musicals, The King and I and South Pacific.

Sharing the open-air stage with the ARIA and Helpmann Award-winning performer will be an ensemble of Opera Queensland artists including Eva Kong and Jason Barry-Smith, accompanied by the Camerata ensemble.

Concert Under the Stars is among many unique performances and concerts taking place across the three-day Festival that pairs the rugged beauty of the Outback with the wonder of opera.

Opera Queensland Artistic Director and CEO Patrick Nolan said an engaging program would entertain audiences of all ages appealing to both western Queensland residents and visitors alike.

“The Festival of Outback Opera is a wonderful opportunity to show Queensland that opera as an artform is not confined to theatre stages in capital cities,” Mr Nolan said.

“The beauty of opera is its ability to connect with anyone who is excited by great stories and powerful music. Our vision is to make opera central to the cultural life of all Queenslanders and we look forward to doing this during the Festival when we run community workshops, perform in pubs and debut new work developed in collaboration with emerging regional artists.”

In addition to the Concert Under the Stars with Tahu Rhodes, the Festival of Outback Opera includes Opera Queensland’s fun-filled Sing Sing Sing events hosted in regional pubs and an unforgettable underground opera experience that pays homage to Mount Isa’s proud mining heritage.

The Festival of Outback Opera is one of 15 regional Queensland events commemorating the Year of Outback Tourism, announced by the State Government in 2020.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk encouraged Queenslanders to “back the bush” and visit Mount Isa for this unique Outback experience.

“We’ve extended our successful Year of Outback Tourism program and this is a unique experience that pairs internationally renowned performances with warm regional hospitality.

“The Queensland Government is delighted to support Opera Queensland to deliver The Festival of Outback Opera and help bring more visitors to western Queensland to enjoy everything that the region has to offer.

The Festival of Outback Opera will be staged in and around Mt Isa from 26-28 June, 2020.

Peter J Snee

Peter is a British born creative, working in the live entertainment industry. He holds an honours degree in Performing Arts and has over 12 years combined work experience in producing, directing and managing artistic programs & events. Peter has traversed the UK, Europe and Australia pursuing his interest in theatre. He is inspired by great stories and passionately driven by pursuing opportunities to tell them.

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