Helpmann Awards 2015 – Honouring the Art of Entertainment

Do You Hear the People Sing 2

Contributing towards building our economy and reflecting the richness of our Australian identity, The Helpmann Awards aim to showcase the diversity of Australian talent through many creative mediums.

Seems incredible, but the latest statistics reveal that 18 million tickets were sold in Australia to see a live show last year, more than all the high profile sporting events put together.

A phenomenal and resounding result for the promotion of arts and culture as integral to Australian society.

‘The time is now, the day is here…’ hosted by Todd McKenney and supported by the New South Wales Government, through its tourism and major events agency, Destination NSW, The Helpmann Awards 2015 was a celebration of achievement for the Australian live performance industry.

Held on Monday evening 27th July on the innovative set of Cameron Mackintosh’s Les Misérables, at the Capital Theatre in Sydney, the production honoured our ability to imagine, inspire and help to invent the future.

do you hear the people sing – Say do you hear the distant drumsIt is the future that they bring when tomorrow comes

Leo on Stage 2

Leo Schofield, artistic director of Brisbane Baroque, which presented and won the Helpman Award for Best Opera, on stage with Helpmann Award winning Best Female Actor in a Play Pamela Rabe,The Glass Menagerie

A global success and Winner of the ‘Bobbie’ for the Best Musical, and Best Male Actor in a Musical for Simon Gleeson and the delightful Kerry Anne Greenland Best Female in a Supporting Role as Eponine and more … Les Mis not only presents one the greatest songs as a celebration of western freedoms sorely won, but also reveals how dreams give birth to change.

So many tomorrows for so many people in the world of creativity depend on receiving recognition for their vision to present and promote the forms of the visual and performance arts they champion. This involves considerable risk taking, often a little chaos and an extraordinary ability to plug into a movement whose message is a celebration of life.

All the winners were elated and thankful, not only for themselves, but also for all the people who helped to put them into the number one position on the Australian live performance arts and cultural map.

Perhaps none more so than artistic director Leo Schofield AM and and Executive Director Jarrod Carland, who must have been over the moon when Best Opera went to Faramondo for Brisbane Baroque, 2015.  Sweet.

Jarrod Carland

Jarrod Carland accepting the Helpmann Award for Best Opera for Faramondo, Brisbane Baroque 2015

Leo Schofield and Jarrod Carland altogether accepted Five (5) Helpmann Awards for the Opera Faramondo, including Best Director, Paul Curran, Best Female Performer in an Opera Jennifer Rivera, Best Male Performer in a Supporting Role in Opera, Christopher Lowrey and Best Female Performer in a Supporting Role in Opera, Anna Devin.

What a triumph, an affirmation of their faith in presenting a Baroque Music Festival in Australia with its powerful performances of sensuous beauty and soaring vitality.

Well done to Arts Queensland and QPAC who decided to snare their successful festival for Queensland.

All the winners represent excellence in their fields of live performance arts. The lovely singer-songwriter Kate Miller-Hiedke won every category she was nominated for and Circa, the Brisbane based Contemporary Circus who performed so brilliantly on stage with the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra recently, won Best Regional Touring act.

The Best Play was The Glass Menagerie… a landmark production of the Belvoir Theatre in Sydney. The Best Ballet or Dance Work, went to Frame of Mind, The Sydney Dance Company.

Todd McKenney represented the transforming nature of the arts, when he stripped down on stage and was reborn as Albin from the musical Les Cage Aux Folles.

Todd BestAn affable host, he included his Mum in his performance.

NSW Deputy Premier and Minister for the Arts Troy Grant congratulated the winners and nominees, and commended the night’s performers and presenters.

“Tonight’s Helpmann Awards was a fantastic opportunity to showcase the Australian live performance industry, and I congratulate everyone involved with the ceremony, especially the award winners. The NSW Government is proud have secured this event for Sydney,” Mr Grant said.

Australian piano quartet

Australian Piano Quartet, In Memorium

The Australia Piano Quartet accompanied the In Memoriam segment of the show.

The awards commenced with The Helpmann for Best Male Actor in a Supporting Role in a Play.

Todd McKenny

Todd McKenny, hosting The Helpmann Awards, 2015

This was presented to the acclaimed actor John Bell for As You Like It, marking his final performance with Bell Shakespeare Australia’s national theatre company – after 25 years providing a stunning memento.

Over the course of three hours various celebrities presented:

Best Female Actor in a Supporting Role in a Play… Helen Thomson for After Dinner

Best Male in a Supporting Role in a Musical… Alec Rath, Phantom of the Opera in London

Best Costume Design, Gabriela Tylesova… The Rabbits
Best Scenic Design, Geoff Cobham… Little Bird
Best Lighting Design, Paule Constable… Les Miserables
Best Sound Design, Nick Potter… Les Miserables

Best Choreography Musical Comedy, Andrew Hallsworth… Anything Goes
Best Choreography Dance or Physical Theatre Production, Rafael Bonachella… Frame of Mind

Best Comedy Performer, Judith Lucy…Ask No Questions of the Moth
Best Cabaret Performer, Camille O’Sullivan… Changeling

Best International Contemporary Concert, Ed Sheeran… X World Tour 2015

Vivid Light

Vivid Light Festival in Sydney

Best Contemporary Music Festival… Vivid Light 2015 and the Sydney Opera House
Best Australian Contemporary Concert Chet Faker… National Tour 2015

Anna Devin Faramondo

Anna Devin, Best Female Singer in an Opera, Faramondo, Brisbane Baroque 2015

Best Male Performer in an Opera, Michael Fabiano… Faust

The Sue Nattrass Award honours those who work in service roles in the industry, the nameless people who shine a spotlight on others.

This year it went to Eric Robinson, the CEO o f Australia’s leading equipment supplier JPJ Audio and Jands Production Services (JPS).

Best Director of a Musical, John Tiffany… Once

Best Director of a Play, Kit Williams… Sydney Theatre Company Production Suddenly Last Summer

A classical music In Memoriam tribute to all those actors, singers, musicians, festival directors, dancers, teachers, sponsors, supporters, publicists and more followed.

RT Gallipolli

Richard Tognetti, Reflections on Gallipoli, Australian Chamber Orchestra

Best Original Score, Kate Miller Heidke with Iain Grandage… The Rabbits

Best Individual Classical Music Performance, William Christie… Melbourne Recital Centre, Sydney Opera House and Perth International Arts Festival

Best Chamber and-or Instrumental Ensemble Concert, Les Arts Florrisants and Le Jardin des Voux in “Un jardin a Italianne’

Best Symphony Orchestra Concert, Australian Chamber Orchestra… Reflections on Gallipolli

Best Music Direction, Martin Lowe… Once

The JC Williamson Award was presented …. to Paul Kelly, who “… during the past 35 years  has been mentoring and supporting younger artists and is ‘… lauded as a poet and storyteller’. He provided an illuminating short history of his life, wonderful worded in true creative style.

Clare Bowditch and the Paul Kelly Band payed homage to Paul Kelly, by performing his single from the 1995 acclaimed album of the same name, “Deeper Water”.

Best Regional Touring Award, Festival of Circa, Circa Contemporary Circus

Best Presentation for Children, Opera Australia and The Barking   Theatre Company    … The Rabbits

Best Visual and Physical Theatre Production, The Paper Architect… Perth International Arts Festival

Best New Australian Work, Kate Miller Heidke, Lally Kats and Ian Grandage, The Rabbits

Best Male Dancer in a Dance of Physical Theatre Production, Cass Mortimer Eipper… William Forsythe’s Quintett, Sydney Dance Company

Best Female Dancer in a Dance of Physical Theatre Production, Chloe Leong… William Forsythe’s Quintet, Sydney Dance Company

Caroline O'Connor

Caroline O’Connor, Best Femaie in a Musical, Anything Goes

Best Female Actor in a Musical, Caroline O’Connor… Anything Goes
Best Male Actor in a Play, Hugo Weaving… End Game
Best Female Actor in a Play, Pamela Rabe… The Glass Menagerie

Fox ArtsThe Helpmann Awards were presented Live in Sydney by Fox Arts Online

Foxtel Arts subscribers are able to view an exclusive encore screening on Thursday 30 July at 9.40 pm and Saturday 1 August at 3 pm.

Carolyn McDowall, The Culture Concept Circle, 2015




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