Nominations for the Green Room Awards have been announced, recognising exceptional achievements in Melbourne’s live performance sector across theatre, musical theatre, opera, dance and cabaret in 2018. A total of 62 awards are up for grabs.

Lee Abrahmsen and Daniel Sumegi in Melbourne Opera’s Der Rosenkavalier. Photo © Robin Halls

In Opera, four singers have been nominated for Best Female Lead, with gongs split between Melbourne Opera and Victorian Opera. For MO, soprano Lee Abrahmsen’s Marschallin in Der Rosenkavalier and soprano Elena Xanthoudakis’ Desdemona in Rossini’s Otello have seen them recognised. For VO, soprano Siobhan Stagg and mezzo-soprano Dimity Shepherd have been nominated for their performances as Mélisande in Pelléas et Mélisande and as one of the sirens in Lorelei respectively.

Five singers are in the running for Best Male Lead this year. Baritone Samuel Dundas has been nominated for his performance as Golaud in VO’s Pelléas et Mélisande, up against fellow VO artist, baritone Armando Noguera for his turn in the title role of William Tell. Opera Australia’s artists have taken out the remaining three nominations, with baritone Warwick Fyfe recognised for his Beckmesser in Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, baritone Michael Kupfer-Radecky for his Hans Sachs in Meistersinger, and Ferruccio Furlanetto for the title role of Massenet’s Don Quichotte.

Warwick Fyfe in Opera Australia’s Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg. Photo © Jeff Busby 

In Best Female in a Supporting Role, two further nominations acknowledge performances in VO’s William Tell – soprano Alexandra Flood and contralto Liane Keegan have been recognised for their portrayals of Jemmy and Hedwige respectively. Mezzo Dimity Shepherd meanwhile picks up another gong, nominated for her performance as Emilia in MO’s Otello.

For Best Male in a Supporting Role, MO sees three more of its artists nominated – bass-baritone Simon Meadows (Faninal in Der Rosenkavalier), bass Steven Gallop (King Marke in Tristan und Isolde) and baritone Michael Lampard (Kurwenal in Tristan). For their performances in OA’s Meistersinger, baritone Luke Gabbedy and tenor Nicholas Jones have been nominated for their Fritz Kothner and David respectively.

In Best Design, Marg Horwell has been nominated for set and costume in VO’s Lorelei, Paul Jackson for his lighting in Lorelei, Mia Steensgaard for set in Meistersinger and Anja Vang Kragh for costumes in Meistersinger.

Victorian Opera’s Lorelei. Photo © Pia Johnson

In the running for Best Conductor are Andrea Battistoni for OA’s Tosca, Pietari Inkinen for OA’s Meistersinger, Carlo Montanaro for OA’s La Traviata, Anthony Negus for MO’s Tristan und Isolde and Guillaume Tourniaire for OA’s Don Quichotte.

There are only two directors up for Best Direction this year – Sarah Giles for VO’s Lorelei and Kasper Holten for OA’s Meistersinger. Both works will battle it out for Best Production.

For Contribution to the Development of Opera in Victoria, the ANAM Orchestra and Sophia Wasley, the production’s Yniold, have both been nominated for their work on VO’s Pelléas et Mélisande, while Lyric Opera’s Les Mamelles de Tirésias and MO’s Tristan und Isolde have also been recognised.

In Best New Australian Work, VO’s Lorelei, created by Julian Langdon, Casey Bennetto and Gillian Cosgriff, is up against Paul Grabowsky and Steve Vizard’s song cycle The Space Between, written for and performed by soprano Emma Matthews.

Megan Wilding and Elaine Crombie in Malthouse Theatre and Sydney Theatre Company’s Blackie Blackie Brown. Photo © Daniel Boud

In Theatre, five plays are in the running for Best Production – Melbourne Theatre Company’s The Architect, Malthouse Theatre’s Melancholia, Malthouse Theatre and Sydney Theatre Company’s Blackie Blackie Brown: The Traditional Owner of Death, La Boite Theatre Company’s Prize Fighter and Griffin Theatre Company’s The Bleeding Tree.

Five directors have meanwhile been nominated for Best Direction. These are Anne-Louise Sarks for Malthouse’s Blasted, Peter Houghton for MTC’s The Architect, Leticia Cáceres for Malthouse and STC’s Going Down, Lee Lewis for Griffin’s The Bleeding Tree and Todd MacDonald for La Boite’s Prize Fighter.

In Best Writing/Adaptation for the Australian Stage, Michele Lee (Malthouse and STC’s Going Down), Angus Cerini (Griffin’s The Bleeding Tree), Zoë Coombs Marr, Natalie Rose and Mish Grigor (Malthouse, Intimate Spectacle and post’s Ich Nibber Dibber), Nakkiah Lui (Malthouse and STC’s Blackie Blackie Brown: The Traditional Owner of Death) and Aidan Fennessy (MTC’s The Architect) are this year’s nominees.

Catherine Davies in Malthouse Theatre and Sydney Theatre Company’s Going Down. Photos © Brett Boardman

In the Best Performers category, Paula Arundell (Griffin’s The Bleeding Tree), Johnny Carr (MTC’s The Architect), Linda Cropper (MTC’s The Architect), Catherine Davies (Malthouse and STC’s Going Down), Brent Hill (MTC’s An Ideal Husband), Belinda McClory (Red Stitch Actors Theatre’s Hir), Pacharo Mzembe (La Boite’s Prize Fighter), Eryn Jean Norvill (Malthouse’s Melancholia), Sarah Peirse (MTC and STC’s The Children) and David Woods (Malthouse’s Blasted) have all been nominated.

For Outstanding Performance in a Featured Role, Rodney Afif (Malthouse and Queensland Theatre’s Good Muslim Boy), Tamsin Carroll (MTC’s Twelfth Night), Maude Davey (Malthouse’s Melancholia), Ray Chong Nee (Bell Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra) and Peter Paltos (MTC’s Gloria) are in the running.

Best Ensemble nominations have gone to Malthouse and STC’s Going Down, MTC’s Astroman, Griffin’s The Bleeding Tree, Malthouse, Intimate Spectacle and post’s Ich Nibber Dibber, and La Boite’s Prize Fighter have been nominated.

Virginia Gay in One Eyed Man Productions’ Calamity Jane. Photo © John Mcrae

In Musical Theatre, five productions are in the running for Best Production – Michael Cassel Group’s Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, David Wenn and Stage Masters’ Bring It On: The Musical, One Eyed Man Productions’ Calamity Jane, GWB Entertainment’s School of Rock: The Musical and Michael Coppel, Louise Withers & Linda Bewick’s Mamma Mia! The Musical.

Best Direction nominations have meanwhile gone to Tyran Parke for StageArt’s Falsettos, Mark Bruni for Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, Richard Carroll for Calamity Jane, and Gary Young for Mamma Mia! The Musical.

In Best Choreography, Michael Ralph (Bring it On: The Musical), Tom Hodgson (Mamma Mia! The Musical) and Larry Fuller (Opera Australia, John Frost and David Ian’s Evita) have been nominated.

Best Musical Direction nominees have gone to David Butler for Falsettos, Stephen Gray for Michael Cassel Group & Nullarbor Productions’ Priscilla: Queen Of The Desert, Daniel Edmonds for Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, Laura Tipoki for School of Rock: The Musical and Guy Simpson for Evita.

In Best Female Lead, the nominees are Esther Hannaford for Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, Virginia Gay for Calamity Jane, Natalie O’Donnell for Mamma Mia! The Musical and Tina Arena for Evita.

Tina Arena in Opera Australia’s Evita. Photograph © Jeff Busby

The Best Male Lead nominees are Josh Piterman for Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, Euan Doidge for Priscilla: Queen of The Desert, David Harris for Priscilla: Queen of The Desert, Brent Hill for School of Rock: The Musical and Kurt Kansley for Evita.

Best Female Supporting nominations have meanwhile gone to Jackie Rees for Watch This’ A Little Night Music, Johanna Allen for A Little Night Music, Lucy Maunder for Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, Elandrah Feo for Bring It On: The Musical and Jayde Westaby for Mamma Mia! The Musical.

The Best Male Supporting nominees are Nick Simpson-Deeks for Falsettos, Mat Verevis for Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, Tony Taylor for Calamity Jane, Rob Johnson for Calamity Jane and Phillip Lowe for Mamma Mia! The Musical.

In Dance, Chunky Move’s Common Ground, Slown, Smallened & Son’s Lady Example, Arts House and Jo Lloyd’s Overture and Dancenorth’s Rainbow Vomit are in the running for Best Production.

The nominees for the Shirley McKechnie Award for Outstanding Choreography are Kyle Page and Amber Haines (Rainbow Vomit), Anouk van Dijk (Common Ground), Deanne Butterworth (Butterworth’s Remaking Dubbing), Jo Lloyd (Overture) and Stephanie Lake (Arts Centre Melbourne, Melbourne Fringe and Stephanie Lake Company’s Colossus).

The Best Performer nominees are Joel Bray for Chunky Move’s Dharawungara, Deanne Butterworth for The Australian Ballet’s Year’s Work, Janessa Duffy for Sydney Dance Company’s ab [intra], Rebecca Jensen for Overture, Jarryd Madden for Year’s Work, Caroline Meaden for Lady Example, James Vu Ahn Pham for Chunky Move’s Nether, Tara Jade Samaya for Common Ground, Yumi Umiumare for Yumi Umiumare and Takashi Takiguchi’s ButohOUT! and Luigi Vescio for Harrison Hall’s The Venusian Slip.

The winners will be announced at a ceremony held at the Comedy Theatre on April 1.