25
Jun
13

Helpmann Awards Nominations 2013

 

Helpmann Awards Nominations 2013

 

By Guy Frawley

 

Helpmann Awards

The nominations for the 2013 Helpmann Awards were announced last night at simultaneous events in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Hobart and Perth and a long list of nominees have been put forward for a chance at winning a coveted award come July 29th.

 

For the full list head on over to the Helpmann Awards official website.

 

 

The nominees flying the flag for Queensland are

 

Best Female Actor in a Play

Christen O’leary

End of the Rainbow

Queensland Performing Arts Centre & Queensland Theatre Company

 

Best Male Actor in a Supporting Role in a Play

Hayden Spencer

End of the Rainbow,

Queensland Performing Arts Centre & Queensland Theatre Company

 

Best Female Performer in an Opera

Sarah MacLiver

L’Orfeo

Brisbane Festival & Australian Brandenburg Orchestra

 

Best Male Performer in a Supporting Role in an Opera

Wolf Matthais Fredrich

L’Orfeo

Brisbane Festival & Australian Brandenburg Orchestra

 

Best Individual Classical Music Performance:

Simone Young conducting The Hamburg Philharmonic Orchestra

Das Rheingold by Richard Wagner (concert performance) & Symphony No. 2 in C Minor Resurrection by Gustav Mahler, Soloists from the Hamburg State Opera with the Hamburg Philharmonic Orchestra Presenter(s) Queensland Performing Arts Centre & Events Queensland

 

Best Music Direction

James Morrison

Boundary Street

Blackswan State Theatre Company & Brisbane Festival

 

Best Symphony Orchestra Concert

Das Rheingold by Richard Wagner (concert performance)

The Hamburg State Opera with The Hamburg Philharmonic Orchestra Presenter(s) Queensland Performing Arts Centre & Events Queensland

 

Symphony No 2 in C Minor, Resurrection, by Gustav Mahler

Soloists from the Hamburg State Opera with the Hamburg Philharmonic Orchestra Presenter(s) Queensland Performing Arts Centre & Events Queensland

 

Congratulations to all those who were nominated and as the presenters pointed out, 822 entries were received across 41 categories this year, making the selection process an enormous task. It would appear that the classical music and opera scene in Brisbane is doing some amazing work and is being recognized accordingly, but the list did leave me wondering how there could only be two other nominations from Queensland (Christen O’Leary & Hayden Spencer both for their roles in QTC’s End of the Rainbow). I hope no-body takes umbrage with my neglecting a mention to Barry Gibb, Keith Urban & Geoffrey Rush for their nominations but considering the first two are really international acts who happen to be from Queensland and the latter was nominated for a show that wasn’t performed here I didn’t really group them in with the Queensland theatre scene.

 

Cameron Woodhead over at The Age has written an interesting opinion piece on the state of the Helpmann Awards in general.

 

“Like the Oscars or the Tonies, the Helpmanns are decided by a broad college of industry voters. Unlike Hollywood’s top gongs, where the nominated films can be watched by voters at leisure, or Broadway’s, where most of the nominated shows appear in a single city, the Helpmanns aim to cover live performance across an entire continent.”

 

 

Whilst I agree the very concept of a continent spanning theatre awards would appear to be a daunting task, the two examples he offers up for contrast are themselves plagued by their own critics. Eligibility for the Tonies is restricted to roughly 40 key theatres in Manhattan and every year the same cries of the Oscars selection being comprised primarily of old, white men is raised. Regardless, Woodhead’s criticism of the Helpmann Awards is certainly food for thought.

 

At this point I should point out that it was also announced last night that Destination NSW will be further sponsoring the event by contributing over the next twelve months to a travel fund for judges to fly interstate to view work they wouldn’t have otherwise been able to see. (Are you paying attention Tourism and Events Queensland?)

 

Do the Matilda awards make this whole issue null and void? Queensland theatre has it’s own night of recognition to celebrate the success and achievement of the local industry. Although I do imagine the thought of beating out a Blanchett or a Rush would be a terribly validating experience.

 

Yes the awards are Sydney and Melbourne centric, but let’s be realistic, that’s where the bulk of Australia’s professional theatre is being produced and performed. Is Queensland still playing catch up to its southern sister cities (sigh)? Or is this an issue of a judging panel that isn’t having the chance to see the great new work that’s coming out of this city? I’d love to hear your comments below.

 

The awards will be broadcast by FOXTEL live and exclusive on Monday July 29 at 8:30pm EST on Arena. Hosted by Eddie Perfect and Christie Whelan Browne at the Sydney Opera House.

 

 

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