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Brisbane Baroque wins big at 2015 Helpmann Awards

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Brisbane Baroque wins big at 2015 Helpmann Awards

by Maxim Boon on July 28, 2015 (July 28, 2015) filed under Classical Music | Stage | Theatre | Dance | Comment Now
Faramondo, the headline act of the inaugural year of Leo Schofield's Queensland festival wins five bobbys.

Brisbane Baroque’s production of Farramondo, Cameron Mackintosh’s Les Misérables, and Opera Australia, West Australia Opera and Barking Gecko’s The Rabbits were the big winners at last night’s Helpmann awards, which took place at Sydney’s Capitol Theatre.

The 15th annual event celebrating the performing arts in Australia saw Leo Schofield’s Brisbane Baroque production of Handel’s Faramondo storm the opera awards with five gongs, including the ‘bobbys’ for Best Direction of an Opera (Paul Curran), Best Supporting Female in an Opera (Anna Devin), Best Supporting Male in an Opera (Christopher Lowrey), Best Female in an Opera (Jennifer Rivera) and the opera category’s most prestigious prize, the Best Opera Award. Opera Australia, which secured the highest number of nominations of the 2015 Awards with 27 nods, secured just one award in the opera categories; Best Male in an Opera for Michael Fabiano’s performance in Faust. The overwhelming success of Farramondo was a moment of vindication for Schofield, who was forced to relocate his Baroque Festival from Hobart to Brisbane last year after the Tasmanian Government refused requests for increased funding to expand the programme.

Opera Australia, West Australia Opera and Barking Gecko Theatre's The Rabbits

If the opera awards were a disappointment for Opera Australia Artistic Director Lyndon Terracini, he was rewarded by his company’s collaboration with West Australian Opera and Barking Gecko Theatre Company, The Rabbits, which dominated in several other areas, winning every award it was nominated for. The new children’s opera by singer-songwriter Kate Miller-Heidke, composer Iain Grandage and playwright Lally Katz won four gongs: Best Costume Design (Gabriela Tylesova), Best Children’s Production, Best New Australian Work and Best Original Score.

The Australian Chamber Orchestra’s epic ANZAC centenary memorial, Reflections on Gallipoli, which was created in collaboration with Australian directing legend Neil Armfield, won the Best Symphony Orchestra Concert Award. Music of the baroque featured significantly in the remaining Classical categories, with Best Chamber Concert going to Les Arts Florrissants’ Le Jardin des Voix, which toured Australia earlier this year, and Best Individual Classical Performance going to French-American Harpsichordist William Christie.

In the Musical Theatre categories Opera Australia and producing partner John Frost were hoping to replicate the massive 2014 Helpmann success of The King and I, with their current touring production of Cole Porter’s Anything Goes. However Cameron Mackintosh’s Les Misérables, proved to be tough competition, with both productions winning three awards each. Anything Goes was recognised for Best Choreography (Andrew Hallsworth), Best Supporting Male (Alex Rathgeber) and Best Female (Caroline O’Connor), where as Les Misérables took home gongs for Best Supporting Female (Kerrie Anne Greenland), Best Male (Simon Gleeson) and the highly coveted Best Musical Award. However Les Misérables bested Anything Goes with two bobbys in technical categories; Best Lighting Design (Paul Constable) and Best Sound Design (Mick Potter). John Frost’s production of Once was also lauded with two awards, for Best Music Director (Martin Lowe) and Best Direction of a Musical (John Tiffany).

Sydney Dance Company perform Forsythe's Quintett

In the Dance categories, Sydney Dance Company’s Frame of Mind programme, featuring work by American choreographic icon William Forsythe and SDC Artistic Director Rafael Bonachela, won each of the four categories it was nominated in, including Best Dance Work. Bonachela was awarded Best Choreographer for Frame of Mind, and SDC dancers Cass Mortimer Eipper and Chloe Leong were both recognised with Best Performance awards for their appearances in Forsythe’s Quintett.

SDC’s neighbours at the Walsh Bay Wharf, Sydney Theatre Company won three awards in the Theatre categories, for Best Direction (Kip Williams’ production of Suddenly Last Summer), Best Supporting Female (Helen Thomson in After Dinner) and Best Actor (Hugo Weaving in Endgame). Belvoir Theatre’s production of The Glass Menagerie took home two bobbys, for Best Female (Pamela Rabe) and Best Play. The doyen of Shakespeare in Australia, John Bell, was recognised for his final performance with Bell Shakespeare as the company’s artistic director, for his Supporting Male appearance in As You Like It.

Among the evening's entertainment highlights were performances by the cast of Once and Les Misérables, as well as Victorian Opera's Sweeney Todd and the Australia Piano Quartet.


2015 Helpmann Awards Winners

LIFETIME ACHEIVEMENT AWARDS

SUE NATTRASS AWARD

ERIC ROBINSON

JC WILLIAMSON AWARD

PAUL KELLY

2015 HELPMANN AWARDS BESTOWED AWARD

BEST SPECIAL EVENT

ROYAL DE LUXE and PERTH INTERNATIONAL ARTS FESTIVAL
The Incredible and Phenomenal Journey of the Giants to the Streets of Perth

INDUSTRY AWARDS

BEST COSTUME DESIGN

GABRIELA TYLESOVA
The Rabbits
Opera Australia and Barking Gecko Theatre Company, in association with West Australian Opera. Co-commissioned by Perth International Arts Festival and Melbourne Festival.

BEST LIGHTING DESIGN

PAULE CONSTABLE
Les Misérables
Cameron Mackintosh Australia

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE

KATE MILLER-HEIDKE with IAIN GRANDAGE
The Rabbits
Opera Australia

BEST MUSIC DIRECTION

MARTIN LOWE
Once
John Frost, Barbara Broccoli, John N. Hart Jr., Patrick Milling Smith, Frederick Zollo

BEST SCENIC DESIGN

GEOFF COBHAM
Little Bird
State Theatre Company of South Australia, in association with Adelaide Festival Centre

BEST SOUND DESIGN

MICK POTTER
Les Misérables
Cameron Mackintosh Australia

BEST NEW AUSTRALIAN WORK

Kate Miller-Heidke – composer, Lally Katz – librettist, and Iain Grandage – musical arrangements and additional music
The Rabbits
Opera Australia and Barking Gecko Theatre Company, in association with West Australian Opera, co- commission by Perth International Arts Festival and Melbourne Theatre

CONTEMPORARY MUSIC

BEST AUSTRALIAN CONTEMPORARY CONCERT

CHET FAKER | NATIONAL TOUR 2015
Chet Faker, Frontier Touring, Artist Voice, Opulent, Future Classics and Perth International Arts Festival

BEST CONTEMPORARY MUSIC FESTIVAL

VIVID LIVE 2015
Destination NSW and Sydney Opera House

BEST INTERNATIONAL CONTEMPORARY CONCERT

ED SHEERAN | X WORLD TOUR 2015
Ed Sheeran and Frontier Touring

OPERA AND CLASSICAL MUSIC

BEST DIRECTION OF AN OPERA

PAUL CURRAN
Faramondo
Brisbane Baroque, in association with QPAC

BEST FEMALE PERFORMER IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN AN OPERA

ANNA DEVIN
Faramondo
Brisbane Baroque, in association with QPAC

BEST FEMALE PERFORMER IN AN OPERA

JENNIFER RIVERA
Faramondo
Brisbane Baroque, in association with QPAC

BEST MALE PERFORMER IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN AN OPERA

CHRISTOPHER LOWREY
Faramondo
Brisbane Baroque, in association with QPAC

BEST MALE PERFORMER IN AN OPERA

MICHAEL FABIANO
Faust
Opera Australia

BEST OPERA

FARAMONDO
Brisbane Baroque, in association with QPA

BEST CHAMBER AND INSTRUMENTAL ENSEMBLE CONCERT

LES ARTS FLORISSANTS and LE JARDIN DES VOIX IN Â JARDIN Ã L’ITALIENNE
Melbourne Recital Centre, Sydney Opera House and Perth International Arts Festival

BEST SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA CONCERT

REFLECTIONS ON GALLIPOLI
Australian Chamber Orchestra

BEST INDIVIDUAL CLASSICAL MUSIC PERFORMANCE

WILLIAM CHRISTIE
William Christie
Melbourne Recital Centre, Sydney Opera House, and Perth International Arts Festival

COMEDY

BEST COMEDY PERFORMER

JUDITH LUCY
Judith Lucy – Ask No Questions of the Moth
Token Events

CABARET

BEST CABARET PERFORMER

CAMILLE O’SULLIVAN
Camille O’Sullivan – Changeling
Arts Centre Melbourne

DANCE AND PHYSICAL THEATRE

BEST BALLET OR DANCE WORK

FRAME OF MIND
Sydney Dance Company

BEST CHOREOGRAPHY IN A DANCE OR PHYSICAL THEATRE PRODUCTION

RAFAEL BONACHELA
Frame of Mind
Sydney Dance Company

BEST FEMALE DANCER IN A DANCE OR PHYSICAL THEATRE PRODUCTION

CHLOE LEONG
William Forsythe’s Quintett
Sydney Dance Company

BEST MALE DANCER IN A DANCE OR PHYSICAL THEATRE PRODUCTION

CASS MORTIMER EIPPER
William Forsythe’s Quintett
Sydney Dance Company

BEST VISUAL AND PHYSICAL THEATRE PRODUCTION

THE PAPER ARCHITECT
Davy and Kristin McGuire and Perth International Arts Festival

REGIONAL TOURING PRODUCTIONS

BEST REGIONAL TOURING PRODUCTION

FESTIVAL OF CIRCA
Circa

CHILDRENS PRESENTATIONS

BEST PRESENTATION FOR CHILDREN

THE RABBITS
Opera Australia and Barking Gecko Theatre Company, in association with West Australian Opera, co- commissioned by Perth International Arts Festival and Melbourne Festival

THEATRE

BEST DIRECTION OF A PLAY

KIP WILLIAMS
Suddenly Last Summer
Sydney Theatre Company

BEST FEMALE ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A PLAY

HELEN THOMSON
After Dinner
Sydney Theatre Company

BEST FEMALE ACTOR IN A PLAY

PAMELA RABE
The Glass Menagerie
Belvoir

BEST MALE ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A PLAY

JOHN BELL
As You Like It
Bell Shakespeare

BEST MALE ACTOR IN A PLAY

HUGO WEAVING
Endgame
Sydney Theatre Company

BEST PLAY

THE GLASS MENAGERIE
Belvoir

MUSICALS

BEST CHOREOGRAPHY IN A MUSICAL

ANDREW HALLSWORTH
Anything Goes
Opera Australia and John Frost

BEST DIRECTION OF A MUSICAL

JOHN TIFFANY
Once
John Frost, Barbara Broccoli, John N. Hart Jr., Patrick Milling Smith, Frederick Zollo

BEST FEMALE ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A MUSICAL

KERRIE ANNE GREENLAND
Les Misérables
Cameron Mackintosh Australia

BEST FEMALE ACTOR IN A MUSICAL

CAROLINE O’CONNOR
Anything Goes
Opera Australia and John Frost

BEST MALE ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A MUSICAL

ALEX RATHGEBER
Anything Goes
Opera Australia and John Frost

BEST MALE ACTOR IN A MUSICAL

SIMON GLEESON
Les Misérables
Cameron Mackintosh Australia

BEST MUSICAL

LES MISÉRABLES
Cameron Mackintosh