In the 2019-20 Season, UK-based baritone Phillip Rhodes returned to Welsh National Opera in the role of Escamillo (Carmen), following previous success when he made his Royal Opera House debut in the role, and made his role debut in the title role in The Marriage of Figaro at Opera North, which was met with great acclaim by critics. Phillip currently enjoys a long association with Opera North and recently sang the roles of Alfio (Cavalleria Rusticana), Silvio (Pagliacci) and Renato (Un ballo in maschera), Mizgir (The Snowmaiden) and Peter/Father (Hansel und Gretel). He also appeared as Marcello (La Boheme) and Aeneas (Dido and Aeneas), and joined the cast of Andrea Chenier for the role of Roucher while covering Gerard, and covered the roles of Iago (Otello) and Balstrode Peter Grimes.
Recent highlights include his house debut at Nederlandse Reisopera as Scarpia (Tosca), and at Welsh National Opera another house and role debut as the Speaker (The Magic Flute) (also covering Renato Un ballo in maschera), the role of Jud Fry (Oklahoma!) at Grange Park Opera, and at Dorset Opera the role of the King (Le Cid). In his native New Zealand, he appeared as Judge Turpin (Sweeney Todd) (also covering the title role), as Scarpia in a new production, and his debut as Pere Germont (La Traviata). At the new Grange Festival he made his role debut with his portrayal of Escamillo, winning critical accolades for his French style. At Auckland Opera Studio, Phillip won exceptional reviews for his performance as Enrico (Lucia de Lammermoor) and covered
the role at The Royal Opera House Covent Garden. At English National Opera he
appeared as Older Man
(commission, Between Worlds) directed by Deborah Warner, which won him decisive reviews. Other highlights include his debut as Count de Luna (Il Trovatore) at Dorset Festival
Opera, where he previously brought Scarpia into his repertoire for the first time. In previous seasons, Phillip appeared as Monterone (Rigoletto) at Opera New Zealand and in the title role of their new production of
Hohepa, presented at the New Zealand International Arts Festival. Early appearances with the company include Tonio
(Pagliacci) and Alfio (Cavalleria Rusticana) as well as Geronimo (Il Matrimonio Segreto - Cimarosa) and Signor Bruschino (Il Signore Bruschino) at Opera Barga Festival in Italy. Phillip also appeared in New Zealand as Maori Chef/Captain Cook in 'Trial of the Cannibal Dog' by Matthew Suttor and John Downie.
Following his graduation in 2004 with a Diploma in Arts and Voice in Hawkes Bay where he was born, Phillip became an Emerging Artist with New Zealand Opera, appearing in step-out roles in several productions as well as singing Marcello, covering Monterone and inaugurating the title role in Turpin, a world premiere. In 2005, Phillip won the prestigious New Zealand Aria Competition and quickly followed this success by winning the highly significant Lexus Song Quest, which brought him to the attention of Dame Kiri who still maintains her interest in his career. Phillip acknowledges the support of the Kiri Te Kanawa Foundation.
In 2006, Phillip toured with New Zealand Opera in the role of Malatesta (Don Pasquale) and sang the role of Monostatos (Die Zauberflöte.) He appeared as Ping (Turandot), and covered Enrico (Lucia di Lammermoor).
In 2008, Phillip was awarded a scholarship to attend the Cardiff International Academy of Voice under the tutelage of Dennis O'Neill, where he remained for three seasons. He won Second Place in the International Montserrat Caballe Competition held in Zaragosa, Spain, and appeared in concert with the legendary diva in Cologne, Germany.