Art of Glass lights the way on national stage
AN ambitious trilogy of works by US modern composer Philip Glass performed by State Opera and three different State Theatre Company productions lead South Australian nominations for this year’s national Helpmann Awards.
Last year’s Adelaide Cabaret Festival hosted three of the four finalists for best cabaret performer. Beccy Cole and Libby O’Donovan’s The Cowgirl and the Showgirl and Kim Smith’s Nova Noir were both produced by the Adelaide Festival Centre, while David Campbell sings John Bucchino starred the Cabaret Festival’s former artistic director.
State Opera’s Philip Glass Trilogy is nominated for four awards including best opera, best music direction by Timothy Sexton, best direction by choreographer Leigh Warren and best lighting by Adelaide designer Geoff Cobham.
Glass’s three “portrait” operas Akhnaten, Einstein On The Beach and Satyagraha were performed in a three-week cycle at Her Majesty’s Theatre last August after more than a decade of development and individual productions. State Theatre Company received three nominations – including best new Australian work – for its 2014 Cabaret Festival production of Little Bird, as well as two nominations for Masquerade (a co-production with SA’s Windmill Theatre and NSW’s Griffin Theatre) and one for its Beckett Triptych.
Masquerade is nominated for best original score by Adelaide musicians Cameron Goodall and Quentin Grant, and best costume design by Anna Cordingley, while Little Bird – another co-production with Griffin – is also competing for best score by Mikelangelo and the Black Sea Gentlemen and best scenic design, also by Geoff Cobham. Pamela Rabe is nominated as best supporting female actor for her role in Footfalls, part of State Theatre’s Beckett Triptych at the Adelaide Festival.
No Strings Attached Theatre of Disability also received a nomination as best regional touring production for its show Sons & Mothers.
Musical theatre is the most hotly contested field this year, with 12 nominations for Les Miserables and nine each for Anything Goes and Once.
The theatre field is dominated by Aiden Fennessy’s Melbourne play based on You Am I frontman Tim Rogers’ album What Rhymes with Cars and Girls, with four nominations. Jimmy Barnes is nominated for best Australian contemporary concert. Winners will be announced July 27.
Four awards have already been announced: iconic Adelaide singer-songwriter Paul Kelly won the JC Williamson Award for his outstanding contribution to the live performance industry; equipment supplier Eric Robinson won the Sue Nattrass Award for outstanding service; Perth International Arts Festival won best special event; and Jessica Gethin won the Brian Stacey Award for emerging conductors.