Head Judge

Teddy Tahu Rhodes

Teddy Tahu Rhodes has performed internationally with the opera companies of San Francisco, Austin, Washington, Philadelphia, Dallas, Cincinnati, Houston, the Metropolitan Opera, Hamburg Staatsoper, Bayerische Staatsoper - Munich, Theatre du Châtelet - Paris, Welsh National Opera and Scottish Opera. 

Past seasons include Escamillo (Hamburg, Paris, Munich, Bilbao, Metropolitan Opera, OA), Don Giovanni (OA, WA Opera), Emille de Bec - South Pacific (OA Australian Tour) and The King and I (OA Australian Tour).  Teddy debuted the roles of Méphistophélès - Faust (SOSA and WA Opera) and Sweeney Todd (Victorian Opera), a concert tour From Broadway to La Scala (Australia, and NZ) and Scarpia - Tosca (WA Opera, Opera NZ). More recently Teddy has performed William Tell and I Capuleti ei Montecchi (Victorian Opera), Titurel (Parsifal, Victorian Opera), Lord Sidney (Il Viaggio a Reims, OA) and Enrico VIII (Anna Bolena, OA) as well as another Australian tour of- From Broadway to La Scala.  

In 2020 Teddy returned to Opera Australia to sing Méphistophélès (Faust, OA). In 2021 Teddy will sing Theseus (A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Adelaide Festival), Nourabad (Les Pêcheurs de Perles, Victorian Opera and Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra), Festival of Outback Opera (Opera Qld), Count Almaviva (Le nozze di Figaro, WA Opera), Beethoven 9 (Auckland Philharmonia) and James Cook (Star Navigator, WA Opera).

Awards include an ARIA, two Helpmann Awards, a Limelight Award, a Green Room Award plus an MO Award. Solo discography includes ABC Mozart Arias, The Voice, Vagabond, The Bach Arias, Mozart Requiem, Serious Songs, You’ll Never Walk Alone (with David Hobson), Teddy Tahu RhodesMahler, and I’ll Walk Beside You.  CD/DVD recording include The Little Prince for Sony International/ BBC, DVD of Peter Grimes at the Metropolitan Opera for EMI Classics, DVD of the Metropolitan Opera’s Carmen and CD Chandos’ Love for Three Oranges.

Preliminary Judge
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Nikki Li Hartliep

Nikki Li Hartliep is a critically acclaimed soprano with 20 years’ experience performing across the world’s great stages and extensive experience in private tuition.

After graduating from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, Ms. Hartliep won first place in the Merola Opera Program (Schwabacher Award) and was awarded a prestigious Adler Fellow for two years. She was also a first place winner of the 1987 Grand Finals of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. Following her Fellowship, Ms Hartliep performed leading roles for the San Francisco Opera such as Madama Butterfly (two seasons), Mimi in La bohème, and Alice Ford in Falstaff.

As a Japanese-born American, Ms. Hartliep is closely identified with the title role of Madama Butterfly, and has performed Cio-Cio-San throughout North America and with international opera houses that include San Francisco Opera, Canadian Opera, New York City Opera, Teatro Teresa Carreno (Caracas, Venezuela), Seattle Opera, Dublin Grand Opera, Minnesota Opera, Atlanta Opera, Florentine Opera, and Austin Lyric Opera. Other principal roles Ms. Hartliep performed include the lead in Suor Angelica with the Canadian Opera Company, Ellen Orford in Peter Grimes with the Opera Company of Philadelphia, Mimi in La bohème with Opera Colorado, Amelia in Un ballo in Maschera with Nevada Opera, and Alice Ford in Falstaff in Japan on tour with Maestro Seiji Ozawa conducting. Other solo concert and oratorio appearances include engagements with Orchestre de Teatre Liceu (Barcelona, Spain), The San Francisco Symphony Pops, Minnesota Orchestra, New Hampshire Symphony, Tucson Symphony, Asheville Symphony, California Symphony, and Charleston Symphony.

As a teacher, Ms. Hartliep served on the voice faculty of Eastman School of Music, Rochester, New York (2003-2014) as Assistant Professor of Voice (part-time), and held a position on the Performance Faculty at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music (2003-2005). Previously, she was on the faculty of the College Division of New World School of the Arts, Miami, Florida (1998-1999), and was Vocal Advisor to the Florida Grand Opera Apprenticeship Program (2000-2001). Singers in Ms. Hartliep’s private voice studio include principal artists with international opera companies, concert soloists, winners in prestigious singing competitions, and participants in professional young artist programs.

Preliminary Judge
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Richard Greagor

Richard Greager has sung on most of the major operatic stages of Europe, Britain and Australia. In the 1990 s he sang many major roles at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, including creating the role of King Arthur in Sir Harrison Birtwistle’s highly acclaimed opera Gawain, which received its world premiere in 1993, was revived in 1994 and won the prestigious Gramophone Contemporary Recording Award in 1996.

Since returning to New Zealand he continued working throughout Australasia in opera and concert and over a career spanning 45 years has sung more than 80 operatic roles and over 40 concert works as well as pursuing an active recital career.

In 2004 Richard sang the role of Mime in State Opera of South Australia’s production of Der Ring des Nibelungen, which was released on CD by Melba Recordings.

As well as continuing a career as a professional singer, more recently in the world premiere of Ross Harris’ ‘Requiem for the Fallen’ both in the 2014 Aotearoa New Zealand Festival of the Arts and also in the Dunedin and Auckland Festivals, Richard has recently retired after 8 years as Senior Lecturer in Classical Voice at the Victoria University of Wellington New Zealand School of Music. He was also Senior Vocal Tutor at the NZ Opera School in Wanganui for 6 years.

Richard is an active Adjudicator in many Vocal Competitions and Aria prizes both in New Zealand and Australia. Including the Marianne Mathy Prize in Sydney, Lexus Song Quest, Lockwood NZ Aria, and the Dame Malvina Major Aria Prizes

Richard was an active recording artist with a number of DVD and CD releases.