Helpmann Awards 2014 – Celebrating the Performance Arts

Helpmann-Trophy

Helpmann Award trophy

Cabaret, comedy, contemporary music, dance and physical theatre, musicals, opera and classical music are the main categories for nominees for the Helpmann Awards, which in 2014 were announced simultaneously at events in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Hobart and Perth.

Live Performance Australia (LPA) received an incredible array of entries for the awards , which are all about reflecting and celebrating our diverse and rich theatrical Australian landscape.

The winners were announced live in Sydney on Monday evening August 18, 2014 at the stunningly restored historic Capitol Theatre.

When announcing the nominees Chief Executive, Evelyn Richardson, said “The Helpmann Awards are the pinnacle ‘night of nights’ event for our industry. The Ticketing Survey 2013 shows the industry recorded record revenue growth generating $1.479 billion, up 22.7% on 2012.

More than 17.9 million people attended live events in 2013. indicating Australians continue to engage with and be entertained by wonderful productions across all live performance genres.”

Since the Helpmann Awards were founded in 2001, some of the most famous musicians actors and creative people working in the performance arts in Australia have been awarded the ‘Bobby’.

The award named for Sir Robert (Bobby) Helpmann, the ballet dancer, who put Australia on the map in the performance art field, is given in honour of the industry Helpmann so loved and pursued all of his life.

Julia Lezhneva

Hobart Baroque Festival 2014 presented the Russian born soprano Julia Lezhneva – who was awarded the Helpmann Award for best individual classic music performance

The Helpmann Awards  truly represent the breadth of our industry across Australia and it was great to see Hobart Baroque, the stunning festival of music held in Hobart, Tasmania in 2013 and 2014, receive an award.

The Hobart Baroque festival succeeded with their sensational international guest artist the Russian born Julia Lezhneva. She had given a stunning individual ‘jewel in the crown’ classical music performance on stage at Federation Hall, brilliantly supported by the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra. It was a superbly conceived and flawlessly delivered program of truly beautiful songs.

How poignant a moment for artistic director Leo Schofield and Executive Director Jarrod Carland who withdrew the festival from Tasmania recently. Let’s all pray and hope there’s a glimmer of it being resurrected out there.

Lisa & Jason

Lisa McCune and Jason Scott-Lee in The King & I

John Frost, Director of the Gordon Frost Organisation was much celebrated.

The Winner of Best Musical was Opera Australia and John Frost’s outstanding presentation of The King and I.

Cate Blanchett won Best Female Actor in a Play for her role in The Maids, presented by the Sydney Theatre Company.

Craig McLachlanIt was also good to see acclaimed popular stage and screen star Craig McLachlan win for his performance in the Rocky Horror Show for the cult classic’s 40th year anniversary.

Multiple Helpmann Awards also celebrated Opera Australia’s splendid Ring Cycle in Melbourne, a challenging work for the opera performance industry. It took out a number of awards including Best Opera.

Ring Cycle 1

The fabulous Ring Cycle, an operatic work by composer Richard Wagner

The award was also further evidence of the outstanding success of Opera Australia’s artistic director Lyndon Terracini’s program expansion ideals and his vision in seeking to engage a broader audience by changing the content they offer. The Ring Cycle helped ticket sales for Opera Australia rise by some $19.4 million in 2013.

Pat-Boggs-HeadshotThe evening started with music from the Lion King, with one of the first highlights being Djuki Mala, the Chooky Dancers, performing an incredibly unique take on Singing in the Rain wearing of all things, AFL footy shorts!”

The 2014 Best Special Event Award went to Destination NSW for Vivid Sydney 2013 with 1.4million attendees, a true festival of music and ideas. It’s now a landmark event on Sydney’s winter calendar.

Patricia Boggs was recipient of the inaugural Sue Nattrass Award given for outstanding service to the Australian live performance industry. She was given a standing ovation, proving just how much love there was in the room.

Renowned producer of many hit musicals Cameron Mackintosh had noted when she was nominated that,

“I first met Pat in 1980 when she was running the Box Office of the Theatre Royal in Sydney. From the first “hello” I knew I was in the presence of a Presence, as she sized me up deciding whether “I would do”. Luckily for me I passed the test …”

He said Pat is a marvel, a living legend, so it is terrific news that she has been chosen as the first recipient of an award named after another Australian theatrical legend, Sue Nattrass.

Managing Director of the Gordon Frost Organisation John Frost, a truly successful Australian

This brand new industry achievement award sits comfortably alongside the JC Williamson Award, which was awarded to John Frost AM, honoured recently at the JC Williamson Award dinner held in Brisbane.

The Brian Stacey Memorial Trust offers an $8,000 award to help an aspiring conductor further transform their vision for future music making in Australia into a reality. Conductor Russell Ger WAS the worthy 19th recipient of these benefits. He has conducted across North America and his home country. Based in New York city his broad repertoire spans orchestral, operatic, and choral music.

Carolyn McDowall, The Culture Concept Circle, 2014

WINNERS – HELPMANN AWARDS 2014

Best Female Actor in a Supporting Role in a Play

Sydney Theatre Company
Robyn Nevin

Best Male Actor in a Supporting Role in a Play

Luke Mullins
Waiting for Godot
Sydney Theatre Company

Best Female Actor in a Supporting Role in a Musical
Heather Mitchell, Strictly Ballroom The Musical
Global Creatures

Best Male Actor in a Supporting Role in a Musical
Reg Livermore, Wicked,
Marc Platt, David Stone, Universal Pictures, The Araca Group, Jon B. Platt, John Frost

Best Costume Design

Roger Kirk
The King & I
Opera Australia & John Frost

Best Scenic Design

Gabriela Tylesova
Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead
Sydney Theatre Compan

Best Lighting Design

Nick Schlieper
Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead
Sydney Theatre Company

Best Sound Design

Michael Waters
The King & I
Opera Australia and John Frost

Best Male Performer in a Supporting Role in an Opera

Warwick Fyfe
The Melbourne Ring Cycle
Opera Australia

Best Female Performer in a Supporting Role in an Opera
Jacqueline Dark
The Melbourne Ring Cycle
Opera Australia

Best Comedy Performer

Sam Simmons
Sam Simmons – Death Of A Sails-Man
Token Events

Best Cabaret Performer

Sarah Ward
Yana Alana Between The Cracks
Ebony Bott at fortyfivedownstairs

Best International Contemporary Concert

Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band 2014
Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band & Frontier Touring

Best Contemporary Music Festival

Bluesfest Byron Bay 2014
Bluesfest

Best Australian Contemporary Concert

Hunters & Collectors
Hunters & Collectors, Frontier Touring and Roundhouse Entertainment

Best Choreography in a Dance or Physical Theatre Production

Stephanie Lake
A Small Prometheus
Melbourne Festival, Arts House and Insite Arts

Best Choreography in a Musical

Andrew Hallsworth
Sweet Charity
Luckiest Productions & Neil Gooding Productions in association with Hayes Theatre Company

Best Direction of a Musical

Dean Bryant
Sweet Charity
Luckiest Productions and Neil Gooding Productions, in association with the Hayes Theatre Company.

Best Direction of an Opera

Neil Armfield
The Melbourne Ring Cycle
Opera Australia

Best Direction of a Play
Michael Kantor
The Shadow King
Malthouse Theatre in association with the Confederation of Australian International Arts Festivals –
Adelaide Festival, Brisbane Festival, Melbourne Festival, Perth International Arts Festival and Sydney Festival

Best Male Performer in an Opera

Terje Stensvold
The Melbourne Ring Cycle
Opera Australia

Best Female Performer in an Opera

Christine Goerke
Elektra
Sydney Symphony Orchestra

Best Original Score

Iain Grandage
When Time Stops
Expressions Dance Company and Queensland Performing Arts Centre

Best Individual Classical Music Performance

Julia Lezhneva
Julia Lezhneva with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra

Hobart Baroque

Best Chamber and/or Instrumental Ensemble Concert

The Jerusalem Project
Melbourne Recital Centre and Sydney Opera House

Best Symphony Orchestra Concert

Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
Arts Centre Melbourne, Perth Concert Hall, Queensland Performing Arts Centre and Sydney Opera House

Best Music Direction

Pietari Inkinen
The Melbourne Ring Cycle
Opera Australia

Best Regional Touring Production

Jack Charles vs The Crown
Ilbijerri Theatre Company

Best Presentation for Children

Pinocchio
Windmill Theatre & State Theatre Company of South Australia

Best New Australian Work

Rosemary Myers with Julianne O’Brien
Pinocchio
Windmill Theatre & State Theatre Company of South Australia

Best Visual or Physical Theatre Production

Whelping Box
Branch Nebula, Matt Prest & Clare Britton, produced by Intimate Spectacle & Performing Lines, presented by Performance Space & Arts House

Best Male Dancer in a Dance or Physical Theatre Production

James Vu Anh Pham
247 Days
Chunky Move

Best Female Dancer in a Dance or Physical Theatre Production

Charmene Yap
‘2 in D Minor’ as part of ‘Interplay’
Sydney Dance Company

Best Male Actor in a Musical

Craig McLachlan
Richard O’Brien’s Rocky Horror Show
Howard Panter for Ambassador Theatre Group & John Frost
James Anthony Productions

Best Female Actor in a Musical

Verity Hunt-Ballard
Sweet Charity
Luckiest Productions & Neil Gooding Productions in association with Hayes Theatre Co.

Best Male Actor in a Play

Richard Roxburgh
Waiting For Godot
Sydney Theatre Company

Best Female Actor in a Play

Cate Blanchett
The Maids
Sydney Theatre Company

Best Opera

The Melbourne Ring Cycle
Opera Australia

Best Play

Angels In America
Belvoir

Best Ballet or Dance Work

Chroma
The Australian Ballet

Best Musical

The King & I
Opera Australia & John Frost

Carolyn McDowall, The Culture Concept Circle, 2014

 

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