Emma Matthews, Cate Blanchett and Richard Roxburgh among names getting the Helpmann nod.
Nominations for the 14th annual Helpmann Awards were revealed last night at special ceremonies held in each Australian capital city. A range of disciplines and performers have been recognised in each of the 41 categories, which were announced by speakers including Lisa McCune, Todd McKenney, Jonathon Biggins and Nancye Hayes.
Most major companies have received a nomination, but Opera Australia has trumped its competition with particular recognition for The Turk in Italy, Madama Butterfly, the Melbourne Ring, and The King and I.
The list of individual nominees is peppered with the cream of the Australian stage, including: Jethro Woodward and Iain Grandage for Best Original Score, Lady Rizo and Tommy Bradson for Best Cabaret Performer, The Australian Ballet and QPAC for Best Dance Work, Cate Blanchett and Zahra Newman for Best Female Actor in a Play and Paul Blackwell and Richard Roxburgh for Best Male Actor in a Play.
The Best Female Performer in an Opera category should be a hot contest with Christine Goerke (for the Sydney Symphony Orchestra’s Elektra) up against Emma Matthews (for Opera Australia’s Turk in Italy), Jessica Pratt (in Victorian Opera’s Traviata) and Kathryn Lewek (in Hobart Baroque’s Orlando). Their male counterparts are Riccardo Massi, Stefan Vinke, Terje Stensvold and Yonghoon Lee (all for Opera Australia), as well as Barry Ryan (for Victorian Opera’s Nixon in China).
Competing for Best Opera is Victorian Opera for Nixon in China, the State Opera of SA, Opera Queensland and Opera Australia, which secured two nominations for The Turk in Italy and The Melbourne Ring.
Melbourne Recital Centre and Sydney Opera House gained a joint nomination for Jordi Savall’s Jerusalem Project in the Best Chamber and/or Instrumental Ensemble Concert category, competing against Musica Viva, Sydney Festival and the SSO. Best Symphony Orchestra Concert nominations went to the ACO, the SSO, WASO and the Royal Concertgebouw.
Among the nominations was the news that Best Special Event Award would be presented to Vivid Sydney 2013. The event transforms the harbour city into a canvas of light and sound, and attracted an approximated 800,000 visitors. Vivid is now in its sixth year and has become a feature of Sydney’s winter calendar.
It was also announced that New York-based Russell Ger would be the recipient of the Brian Stacey Award for Emerging Australian Conductors. Ger is well known for his orchestral, operatic and choral work and is an alumnus of the Symphony Services Australia Conductor Development Program.
The ceremony, to be held next month at Sydney’s Capitol Theatre, is presented by Live Performance Australia and named in honour of renowned performer Sir Robert Helpmann. Of the occasion, Chief Executive Evelyn Richardson, said: “the Awards are the pinnacle ‘night of nights’ event for our industry, recognising the very best in live performances that annually attract over 16 million people to shows across the country with revenues topping $1.2 billion.”
The Helpmann Awards will be presented live at the Capitol Theatre, Sydney, on August 18, and broadcast on FOXTEL. A comprehensive list of nominations can be found here.