Phillip Rhodes makes his house debut at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden in performances of Carmen on 16 & 20 July 2019. He returns to the role of Escamillo, a role he recently sang at The Grange Festival receiving outstanding reviews.
Baritone Phillip Rhodes as Escamillo impressed because he not only sang with decent French but actually sang with elements of French style giving the music a slight nasal twang which was perfect. In this relatively small theatre, he was able to demonstrate his nicely fluid top, and decent low notes in the Toreadors song. For all the fame of the music, this is a role which can easily fall flat in the theatre, and Rhodes ensured that it didn't.
Planet Hugill, Robert Hugill, 12 June 2017
But casting (and this is predominantly a young troupe) requires significant roles to be taken by singers with stage presence. A suave Phillip Rhodes as Escamillo has this in spades and there is no doubting the generosity of his voice and his ‘Toreador’ number filled the stage; rich tones and smouldering looks form a perfect recipe.
Classical Source, David Truslove, 11 June 2017
New Zealand baritone Phillip Rhodes’ Escamillo combines a macho image with inner emotional sensitivity.
The Stage, George Hall, 16 June 2017