Australian Ring Dominates Helpmann Award Nominations

Classic Arts News   Australian Ring Dominates Helpmann Award Nominations
The State Opera of South Australia's Ring cycle has received 11 nominations for Australia's 2005 Helpmann Awards, topping all other opera productions.

The Helpmann Awards, known as the Bobbies, are Australia's leading performing arts awards. This year's awards will be presented in a ceremony on August 8 at the Lyric Theatre in Sydney's Star City casino.

The November 2004 staging of the Ring was Australia's first homegrown production of the Wagner cycle. It was directed by Elke Neidhard; soprano Lisa Gasteen starred as Br‹nnhilde. Asher Fisch, music director of the Israeli Opera, was the conductor. The set, designed by Michael Scott-Mitchell, included massive fountains of water and jets of flame.

The production was nominated for best opera, best direction of an opera, best special event, best music direction, best scenic design, best costume design, and best lighting design. Four singers, including Gasteen, were nominated for leading and supporting roles.

Opera Australia's world-premiere staging of John Haddock's Madeline Lee received seven nominations, including one for best opera. The company's productions of Prokofiev's The Love for Three Oranges and Strauss's Der Rosenkavalier were also nominated for best opera.

Nominees in the best-classical-concert category included Opera Australia's performance of Verdi's Requiem in a benefit for victims of the Asian tsunami.

Baritone Simon Keenlyside and conductors Vladimir Ashkenazy, Richard Mills, and Simone Young were nominated for best performance in a classical concert.

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