Singing Queenstown’s praises


America’s famous singing cop, who’s performing with his wife and her identical twin at Winter Festival’s Ice Box tomorrow, is raving about the resort on his first visit. 

“All the pretty places I’ve been to the US can be summed up with Queenstown,” tenor Daniel Rodriguez says. 

He was stoked yesterday after catching a 35cm brown trout on the lake that was cooked for him last night at Finz restaurant. 

The Puerto Rican American came to fame with his stirring rendition of God Bless America after the 2001 terrorist attacks on New York, which he witnessed. 

Singing full-time since quitting the New York Police Department in 2004 – including performances for three American presidents – Rodriguez, 46, has a major New Zealand connection. 

He met his second wife, Dunedin-born Marla, 38, while touring NZ in 2003. She and twin sister Marissa Dikkenberg are top-rated opera singers themselves, who performed at Winter Festival 15 years ago with their mum, Kathi Craig. 

Over the past eight months, Rodriguez and the twin sopranos have performed in 120 cities round the States. 

He’s also been working on a 9/11 documentary, Amazing Grace, which is being edited by his brother-in-law, Sydney-based filmmaker Simon Dikkenberg. 

At today’s two-hour dinner show, from 6pm, the twins will sing numbers from their new album, Songbirds. 

Rodriguez will traverse pop and a bit of Broadway, climaxing with the moving tenor aria, Vesti la giubba, from the opera Pagliacci. 

“A dinner show which is comfortable, intimate and relaxed suits my style,” Rodriguez says. 

The concert also features New York jazz pianist Jesse Lynch on keyboards.