Opera Australia announces new Orchestral Fellowhip

Opera Australia is proud to anounce the inaugural Patricia H, Reid Orchestral Fellowships to champion the professional development of early career string musicians.
The Patricia H Reid Orchestral Fellowships are 12-month annual prpgrams designed to assist new string musicians ( first and second violions, viola and cello) in overcoming barriers faced when seeking to enter an orchestral career.
The fellowships offer an early career string musicians the opportunity to work closely and intensely with highly experienced musicians, a bursary, and mentoring and performance activities.
String musicians are intrinsic to the quality of the orchestral sound within the operatic environment. To be successful within the industry, emerging artists need to develop skills, knowledge and repertoire along with stamina and fcus to play long operatic producvtios.
Opera Australia's Concertmaster and Orchestra Director, Jun Yi Ma, is extremely passionate about the Patricia H. Reid Orchestra Fellowship as an opportunity to encourage emerging performers.
These fellowships are made available through the generosity of the Patricia H. Reid Endowment.
Patricia H. Reid had not only a profound love for music but was also an admirer of many orchestral groups. She had a particular regard and affection for artists and musicians who not only strived for perfection within their own performance skills, but also took time and patioence to mentor and foster these skills in aspiring prefessinal musicians.
Applicants must be aged 18 by January 1, 2022, and australian or New Zealand citizens or an Australian permanent residnet."
applications close and first round video auditions due 5.00pm Friday April 9. 2021.
For more details please visit the Opera Australia website

Bell Shakespeare

Winners of Scholarsip for Yong Actors from Regional Australia

Bell Shakespeare is thrilled to anounce the winners of the 2020 John Bell Scholarship, a life-changing opportunity for young actors from regional Australia to learn from some of Australia's most accomplished actors, directors and educators/
The winners, Kody Austin from Girton Grammar School in Bendigo Victoria, Taine De Manser from Mortlake P-12 College in Mortlake victora, Xia Lian Wilson from Illawarra Grammar School in Wollongong NSW, Tess Withnell from Jaratha Senior High School in Karratha WA, were seected by a panel including Bell Shakespeare's Artistic director Peter Evans and Founding Artistic Director John Bell.
The young actors will travel to Bell Shakespeare's Sydney

Curbside Carnies
Mobile Circus

Curbside Carnies is an innovative new performing arts project. devised and created during lockdown by Reservoir local sophie deLightful to bring much-needed fun back to the Lockdaown Capital of Austrlia.
It features a custom-built roving stage that will be pulled areound the suburbs of Melbourne, stopping at predetermined locations to perform circus shows throughout the day. Eacn show will deliver a variey ofyour favourite circus acts from neighbourhood oerformers, feom hula hooping, juggling and singing, to clowning, unicycle and fire performance - suitable for kids of al ages!
The very first outing for the Curbside Carnies will be on Saturday, October 19 in Reservoir. It is completely free to enjoy!
zof course, as street-performing circus tradsition, we will have a hat in case the kids want to throw some change our way. Every little bit helps to pay our performers and maintain our stage and props.
COVID-19 safety=note. Curbside Carnies have a commitment to adhere to all social distancing rules and restrictions at the time of each outing. The Reservoir outing will feature performers from within a 5km radius and planning is in place to ensure all social distancing guidelines are being followed by cast and audience.
For more information about when and where you can see Curbside Carnies google Curbside Carnies.

Dance Europe Championships 2021

Call for Dance Schools and Groups:
The next 2021 Dance Champions Season is Ready in Europe, in Soain in the :2021 April Springtime" and Italy in the "2021 June Summertime".
Grand Dance Season 2921 is inviting participants, direcotrs, choreographers, dancers, performing arts educators, teachers, arts managers and dance lovers.
Choreograpphy Competition for Dance Schools and Groups (in Florence, Rome and Venice) from June 21 - 25, 2021, the largest shampionship in eurpe for dancers from all over the wprld.
Four days of perform Dance, Ballet, Contemporary, Modern, Hip Hop and each other kind of choreo art, in the best ancient theatres of the Italian Art Citiers.
Only a Little fee to particoate ... in order to be the protagonist of a great Italian TOURNÉE!
To find out how to qualify, mail the office space os limited, so Directors should act right away.
If interested, give us your email contact to discuss any questions you may have.


GLOW Fest 2020


A Circus Arts and Lifestyle Gathering:
After experincieng the most devasting season of bushfires then COVID-19, the arts sector is looking ever forward to a future which will once again hold promise for their creative endeavours. As her own bookings dried up and venues closed down, Melbourne cabaret performer and producer Sophie delightful;y spent lockdown [lqnning Australia's most exciting new circus arts gathering, GLOW Fest - determined to provide light at the end of the tunnel for the arts and those who appreciate them.
The sleepy surf town of Crescent Head on NSW's mid north coast, will be the beautiful setting for this boutique 4-day event. Combining circus and flow arts with explorative and innovative art installations and live performances from the inspiring realms of Australia's festival culture, this will truly be a multi-faceted arts experience. Family-friendly and community-driven, this alcohal-free event will also include a strong focus on sustainablity, participation, inclusion and positiver social interactions.
The daytime program will feature around 100 workshops, discussions and performances from dome of the top flow and circus artists across the Tasman ( including children's program on Saturday). Nightly showcases will deliver mind-blowing skills and feats of amazement, uniquely programmed and presented just for GLOW Fest. Australia's biggest art car, Bhima the fire-breathing dragon, will serve as the
stunning centrepiece for art, entertainment and aerial performances through the event.
IOt will be the only arts festival of its kind in Australia providing a much-needed lifeline to connect and inspire circus communities and jids of all ages a;ong the East Coast. Given the ongoing concerns surrounding COVID-19, it os also likely to be one of the only festivals going ahead for the remainder of the year. Discussions are ongoing between GLOW Fest and Waves Campgropund regarding best practice in the festival space during the pandemic, and prganisers are confidant they have built in the flexibility to go ahead with the event in a varience of social restirctions.
Chech out for mre information and access to pre-registration.


Sydney Dance Comnpany

The first part of Cuatro the four-part online work with Sydney Symphony Orchestra is now online.
Four artists, these last few months have been particularly challenging.. Theatres and concer halls across the world are closed as we stay distanced and safe. But as performers and creatives, our stigest instincts to make work fot you.
And from this desire, Cuatro was born.
This has been an uplifting and joyful experience for Sydney Dance Company. Four of the compnay's exceptional dancers and four virtuosic musicians from the Sydney Symphony Orchestra have come together, seperately to make this new work. The collaboration began online through discussions and the sharing of music, eith each element finally filmed with physical distance at Sydney Dance Company's Ultimo studios.
From isolation an separation has come exquisitwe beauty.
Cuatro is for yoy the Sydney Dance Company's audience, community, the Company's most important collaborator. A new fil will be released every Friday in June which will be free for you to view on the Company;'s website.Youtube, indtragram and Facebook. Please sdhare your experience with friends and family by usign @SydneyDance Co and #SDCKeepdancing.

Stranger than Kindness - The Nick Cave Exhibition

The Exchibition will open on Monday June 8, 2020 st the Black Diamond - Royal danish Library Copenhagen Denmark following a two month postponement due to COVIC-19 restrictions. to ensure as many guests as possibleare able to visit the exhibition, the exhibition period has also bee extended until February 13, 2021.Stranger Than Kindness - The Nick Cave Exhibition is an unprecendented look into the creative world of musicisn, storyteller and cultural icon Nick Cave. With more than 300 objects coming from Cave's own collection, the Nick Cave archive at Arts Centre Melvourne, the collections of the Royal Danish Library and a nuber of private lenders, six decades ofhis creative and private life will be brought together in larger-scale installations, making the exhition an artqork in itself.
The exhibition as developed and designed by Janine Barrand of Arts Centre Melbourne and Christina Back of the Royal Danish Library in collaboration with Nick Cave, and was created and produced by the Royal Danish Library in collaboration with the Austrlian Music vault at Arts CVentre Melbourne.
Stranger Than Kindness vibrates between the voice of the curators and the voice ofthe artist. Cave woring closely with the curators has resulted in an original take on the biographical exhibition, allowing a new experience eith the material, the objects, ane the life and stories of Nivk Cave. The emerging of biography, autobiography and fiction placed in a spatial narrative invite viositors into the artist's mythical universe of creation.
Co-curator Janine Bsrrand says " It has been a truly amazing experience to collaborate with Nicjk and Christina on reimagining his collection in a new and exciting ways. I know visitors to the exhibition will be totally immersed in Nick's evovling and wonderful worlds and never-before-seen artistic processes/
As the custofian of a large part of Nick Cave's collection since 2006, we have a deep attachment and connection to the many objects that Nick Cave has entrusted us with. Our outgoing collaboration with Nick is something we treasure and we are extremely proud to be involved in this exhibition." says Barrand.
Stranger Than Kindness - The Nick Cave Exhibition
Black Diamond - Royal Danish Library
Søren Kiergaards Plads Copenhagen Denmark
June 8, 2020 - February 13, 2021
Monday - Friday 10am 0 7pm. Saturday 10am - 6pm. Sunday closed.
Ticketing Infrmation:
Advanced Bookings advised.
Tickets 12€ (concessions available)
Vouchers already purchased remain valid.

Pleaser Note:
Redused Capacity: To ensure the comfort and safety of our guests, entrance to the exhibition is based on pre-booked timeslots and the hourly capacity has been reduced well below the maximuim allowed fo rhte slace.
Extended Time:The original exhibition period has been extended several months to allow as many gusts as outside of
Denmark to be able to visit.
Travel: please check local and international travel restrivtions.

Nick Cave:
Nick Cave has been performing music for more than 40 years and is bsest known as the songwriter and lead singer of Nick Cafve & he Bad Seeds, whose latest album Bhosteen was widely received as their best work ever. Cave's body of work also covers a wider range of media and modes of expressionincluding film score composition and writing of novels. His recent Conversations events and REd Hand Files have seen Cave exploring deeper and more direct relationships with his fans.

Australian Music Vaults at Arts Centre Melbourne
Arts Centre Melbourne is an architectural landmark in our nation';s cultural capital, and we;ve proudly showcased the best of Australian and international performing arts for over 35 years. Together with ur own program of performances, eventsw and activities, we offer a diversity of audoences a distinctly multidimensional approach to participation, education and entertainment. The Ausdtralian Music Vault id a key initiative of the Victorian Governmen Music Works strategy , and has been developed by Arts Centre Melbourne in consultation with the music industry tpo celebrate Australian contemporary music story - past, present and future.
Toayl Danish Library:
The Royal Danish Library holds one of Northern Europe's ;argest collection of rare books, manuscripts and artists archivesd.The Black Diamond serves as a cultural venue for the Library offering exhibitions, talks, performances and concerts. The echibition team, heasdsed by Christina Back, has worked with international artists for more than a decade to explore spatial storytelling and multi-densory exhibition design.

Bell Shakespeare Special Limited Release

National theatre company Bell Shakespeare has announced that it will open its archives for a special limited release of production recordings from its recent historyexclusively for schools.
Fron Nay 25. 2020, its productions of Macbeth (2012)< Hanry 4 (2013), The Temest (2015), Romeo & Juliet (2016), Othello (2016) and The Merchant of Venice (2017) will be broadcast to registered schools fee of charge.
With all-star casts including John ell, Kate mulvany, Dan Spielman, Mitchell Butel, Jessica Tovey, Brian Lipson and more, teachers and students can watch these archived recordings from the comfort of home or school.
Bell Shakespeare Artistic Director Peter Evans said that each production would be broadcast for one week during Term 2 and one week during Term 3, to provide flexibility for schools eho have had their teaching schedules completely disrupted.
"Sadly theatres around the world are dark at the moment, so we are excited to share these shows at a time when students need theatre and artists need support.
Sharing Shakespeare with Australians is at the heart of what we do aqnd we thank everyone involved in making these shows for allowing us to share their work with schools, students and teachers at this challenging time. " he said.
Registration for the broadcasts is essential and each production has an accompanying Online Learning Pack, complete with production details, play-specific information and pre-and post-=performance activities.
The broadcasts add to the suite of digital initiatives Bell Shalespeare is currently offering to schools, students and teachers including
Specialised HSC Shakespeare Seminars designed t support students in Years 11 and 12 deliverd in partnership with University of Sydney academics.
a Teacher Master Series - Professional Learning sessions for teachers and industry delivered by BGall Shakespeare artists covering verse and prose, directing and voacla training and resentation for teachers.
The Bell Shakespeare Shorts Festival - a festival of short films made by students about and inspired gby Shakespeare and
The John Bell Scholaship-online auditions ae avaiable for this life=changing training oppertunity for budding performers from regional Australia.
For registration details and information on all Bell Shaklespeare;s education intiatives go to or contact

John Bell Scholarship Winners 2019

Peter Evans & John Bell

Bell Shalespeare has accoiunced the recipients of the 2019 John Bell Scholarship, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for young actors from regional Australia to learn from some of Australia's most respected actors, diectors and educators.
The recipients - Stella Bavey from Bathurst N.S.W. , Promise Mutzingwa from Tranmere, Tasmania, Hanna Bourke from Rockhampton Queensland, and Grace Ebelebe from Darwin Northern Terriotory - were selected by a panel including Bell Shalespeare's Artistic Director Peter Evans and Founding Artistic director John Bell.
The young actors will travel to Bell Shakespeare's Sydney Headquaters in January 2020 to undertake acting masterclasses and backstage tours, watch live performances and observe rehearsals for Hamle, featuring Harriet Grodon-Anderson and Lisa McCune. At the end or the weeklong program, they will erach perform a Shakespaeran monologue for the cast of Hamlet before receiving expert feedback and career advce.








410,000 Grants avaialble


Rob Guest Endowment announces Major Changes

The Committee for the Rob Guest Endowment, one of Australia's most exciting scholarship programs providing financial assistance and industry support to the next gerneration of musical theatre stars, announced major changes to the Endouwment. The winner of the Rob Guest Endowment Award will now be awarded a $50,000 prize along with the coveted RGE Trophy, making the award the largest single Musical Theatre scholarship in Australia. Melbourne's East End Theatre Director Artist Development award will aldo be increased to a $10,000 cash prize. The competion will now ve offered buennially with the next Endowment boasting a total prize pool of over $75,000

Carrick Hill


Carrick Hill announces Spectacular Sundays as $2.4 million building workd commence.
The Spectacular Sundaya will take place on the third Sunday of each month from August 20019 through to May 2020.
The program commences Sunday August 18. 2019 with a theme of Books, Books, Books coinciding with National Children's Book Week. Gates open at 10am with story readings at 11am and 2.30pm on Carrick Hill's the Story Book Trail. Music will be performed on the terrace and refreshments will be available in the Carrick Hill Marquee. Gates close at 4.30pm
The Spectacular Sundays programming comes as work begins on the $2.6 M building program that will increase Carrick Hill's interior accessibility and capacity to host a broader range of public programs, events and activities. The works are due for completio in May 2020. During this time the interior of the house will be closed to the public. Free admission to the grounds continues weach weekend.
Richard Heathcote Director of Benefaction for DCarrick Hill said,"The gbuilding work includes the construction of s new 30 metre Long Gallery in the presently unused (and never seen before opened to the public) attic space, together with the installation of an elevator. Staff and administration facilities will sldo be reconfigured to free up additional space enabling a number of rooms in the guest wing to be returned to their original function. The works are part of an overall Master Plan development for Carrick Hill totalling $9.5m."
Carrick Hill. the former residence of Sir Edward and Lady Hayward is one of South Australia's most valuable historic assets and an important window into Adelaide's past. The house and grounds were geenerously bequeathed to the State by the Hayward's in 1983 for the public to enjoy. Carrick Hill represents one of the best, most intact examples of fine mid-twentieth century living in Australia.

Circus Oz News

Circus Oz annoounces that Penny Miles is appointed as Circus Oz Executive Director.
Circus Oz Chair, Nick Yates, explained thet Miles has excellent arts industry experiencve, lleadership qualities and cicus sector knowledge. " the Board and I look forward to working wiht Penny to take Circus Oz to new heights in Australia and internationally, ensuring that we continue to delight audiences in one of the most accessible art forms".
" As part of our comprehensive search and recruitment process, the Board were pleased with not only the level of interest in this new poeition, but also the quality of the applicants - which made our decision very tough. We are delighted that Penny has accepted the tole", said Mr Yates.
Miles is thrilled to be appointed as Circus Oz Executive Director. "it's an honour to join an iconoc Australian culteral company that has delighted audiences for over 40 years. I'm looking forward o woorking with the team to dream, deliver and shape the next chapter."
" My genuine passion for the spirit of circus started from my time touring wwith the Flying Fruit Fly Circus and more recently with Circa. Circus is led by a foundation of trust and collaboration and built on challenging and calculated risk taking p it matches my style and approach. I cannot wait to get amongst it," explained Miles.
As General Manager of Arts on Tour, Miles worked with makor producers and small independent artists to develop strategies and expand their national touring footprint.
Acknowledfing her commmitment to touring in 2013 ZMiles received the Performong Arts Connections Australia Tpouring Legend award.
Mile will commence at Circus Oz in September 2019.
Since March 2019, Circus Oz General Manager, Tahlia Azaria, and Circus Oz Director of National Programming, Mtt Hughes, have acted as Circus Oz Co-Ceo.
" The Board and I would like to thank Tahlia and Matt for their strong leadership. commitment and guidance to the comoany over the past six months." siad Mr Yates.

Cisuc Oz
Credited with revitalising a traditional form in a uniquely Australian way, Circus Oz has influenced the development of circus arts around the world since its foundation in 1978. As Melbourne's homegrown circus troupe, Circus Oz undertook its first and crtically praised international tour in 1980 and has continued touring over 100 cities and regions in 28 countries - playiong to over 4million people. The company now celebrates a new era featuring bold collaborations, and works opf varying scale and style. Expect emotional journeys of breattaking ability. death-defying stunts, awe-inspiring acrobatic performances, irreverent comedy and spactacular live music.







Andrew Hollsworth Interview


Andrew Hollsworth
Choreographer for Anything Goes.

Andrew said that this morning (Tuesday December 2,) that they had open calls for new talent for the oncoming musical Anything Goes.
Q. What was the talent like this morning?

  1. This morning we had open calls so that anybody that couldn’t get an audition through their agent or don’t have an agent so we decided to do some open calls on this just to see if there were anyone out there that we could discover a find some that haven’t been through WAPA’s  or whatever.

So we didn’t find too many because it’s an open call and they came in all shapes and sizes. We have specific requirements at which we are looking at but we found a couple of nice guys that we never would have seen. So that’s good and probably a handful of girls that we would never have seen.
Q. Is it easier to find men nowadays?
A. Well sure. There were about 70 guys who came in this morning which is a fair amount of guys have agents to get there.
This afternoon we start with proper professionals coming in.
Q. You were a dancer yourself?
A. Yes I was. I did shows and musicals. I did my first show at the age of 17 years in Sydney which was 42nd Street. Did lots of shows After that then started choreography 15 years ago.
Ross Coleman and I worked together., He took me under his wing and we had a great sort of relationship until he died and the last show we worked on was Priscilla, so now I take Priscilla around the world. Yes I have done lots of shows.
Q. Where did you train to be a dancer?
A: I just trained in a dancing school in the weekends. There was nothing around then. When I started doing shows WAPA hadn’t even started then. I just found out about 42nd Street through word of mouth auditioned for it and got it. It was a great production, a huge show and a Broadway production. Mark Bramble came out to direct it and he directed it on Broadway and worked with David Merrick and all that.
It was just a fantastic time. Tod McKenney in his first main role together with Nancy Hayes and Toni Lamond.
I was the resident director on Fiddler on the Roof and I worked with Judith Roberts and Topol very closely they were great mates. We did the last season of Fiddler a few years ago now and Topol was 70. We had three 70 year olds in the show. We had Warren Kermond and Barry Crocker who played Lazar.
Q. Anything Goes starts in Melbourne in May ?
A. We open in Melbourne in late May or early June.
Q. How long do they rehearse for before that?
A. We have about five weeks which is quite normal now so getting into the room and go crazy.
Q. How long do you think you will go for in the season?
A. There are limited seasons in each place, I think it is about eight to ten weeks in each town. I think we will go fine. We have a stellar cast on board. Caroline O’Connor is coming back to town to play Reno which is going to be amazing. Just to see her sing at the launch and she’s just going to eat it up.
Q. Are you looking forward to a good season?
A. Yes I can’t wait. It’s been a long time coming because we did a version for The Production Company about three years ago and that’s when we started talking about commercially putting the musical on, it’s been a long time coming.
Q. What is it like coming back to your home town?
A. It’s cool. All our schedules lined up to get Caroline, Tod, Dennis and I in the same room. It opens in Melbourne, then Brisbane and to finish up in Sydney.  It is a good run for the company it’s about eight months.
Dale Ferguson is doing the set. He is one of our top designers and he has a beautiful set design and of course Dean Bryant is directing it and I am doing the choreography. Yes it’s a very classy team.  




John Frost






Live Performance Australia (LPA) has today announced that revered theatre producer John Frost has been named the 2014 JC WILLIAMSON AWARD™ recipient.


The JC WILLIAMSON AWARD™ is the foremost honour that the Australian live entertainment industry can bestow. The award recognises individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to the Australian live entertainment and performing arts industry and shaped the future of our industry for the better. Past winners include such iconic figures as Dame Joan Sutherland OM AC DBE, Barry Humphries AO CBE, Michael Gudinski AM, John Farnham AO and Graeme Murphy AM to name but a few.


John Frost has produced some of Australia’s most successful musical theatre productions over the past 3 decades. From the early days of the Gordon Frost Organisation with Hello Dolly!, The Secret Garden, Cabaret and Crazy for You to blockbuster musicals of more recent times such as Wicked, The Sound Of Music, Annie, The Wizard of Oz, Grease The Arena Spectacular, Chicago, South Pacific and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, John Frost has nurtured and steered the careers of hundreds of cast and crew with his passion and imparting knowledge. This year alone sees him producing multiple shows around Australia including Grease, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Wicked – 10th Anniversary production, The King and I with Opera Australia, and Once with the Melbourne Theatre Company.


John commenced his impressive career at the age of 16 when he was employed as a dresser on the J.C. Williamson Ltd production of Mame. The dedicated teenager worked his way up within the theatre world to Wardrobe Master, Stage Manager, Company Manager and eventually Producer. Having produced countless successful Australian productions over the years John has also gained international respect having won 2 Tony Awards for the Broadway productions of Hairspray and The King and I and currently has 2 shows playing on London’s West End, The Bodyguard and Blithe Spirit. John’s Australian productions of The Producers, Wicked and Legally Blonde – The Musical won Helpmann Awards for Best Musical in 2005, 2009 and 2013 respectively.


“I am truly grateful to Live Performance Australia and the JC Williamson Award Committee for this incredible honour. Receiving the JC Williamson Award™ is the highest tribute that can be bestowed on someone working in the performing arts industry, and to be acknowledged by my peers for a job I love is gratifying and inspiring. I'm humbled to be in the company of Googie Withers and John McCallum, Kenn Brodziak, Clifford Hocking, Tony Gould and other past recipients of this prestigious award. Thank you.” said John.


John Frost will be honoured at an industry celebration hosted by LPA in association with Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC) in Brisbane on Monday 19th May. The night will include special performances as well as a host of special guests paying tribute to the theatre impresario and his outstanding contribution to the live performance industry in Australia.


LPA President Andrew Kay said, “We are thrilled to announce John Frost as this year’s JC Williamson Award recipient. John joins the ranks of a group of individuals who in their own way, and in their own field, have made extraordinary contributions to shaping and changing the landscape of our dynamic live performance industry. John’s contribution to commercial musical theatre in Australia is internationally renowned and esteemed in this country. We are delighted to be able to formally recognise his contribution and achievements at a celebratory dinner in May and at the Helpmann Awards on 18 August.”


NSW Minister for Tourism, Major Events and Minister for the Arts, George Souris today congratulated Mr Frost on his prestigious award, which will be presented at the Helpmann Awards at Sydney’s Capitol Theatre in August. The Helpmanns, supported by the NSW Government, recognises those who have made an outstanding contribution to the performing arts industry.


“Over the past three decades, John Frost, who hails from Sydney has produced some of Australia’s most successful musical theatre productions, many of which have premiered right here in Sydney.” Mr Souris said.


“It has been a great joy to work with my friend John Frost during this exciting period of development for Opera Australia. John is the ultimate professional and his advice and knowledge of the music theatre business is not only highly perceptive but it is fuelled by a real passion for the theatre. He is also a wonderful human being whose generosity of spirit and his genuine love of the theatre is inspiring to everyone who has had the privilege of working with him. He has been (and still is) an extraordinarily strong advocate for Australian artists and I believe that there is no-one who is more deserving of this prestigious award than John Frost....and there is no-one who is a finer ambassador for our industry.” said Lyndon Terracini, Artistic Director Opera Australia.


QPAC Chief Executive Mr John Kotzas paid tribute to Mr Frost calling him one of the great legends of the stage in Australia. “I’ve worked with John for many years now and the professionalism and consistently high quality productions that John tours around Australia are remarkable. John is a well-respected and most welcome producer and guest at many venues around the country – I know QPAC staff are always eager to work with him and our audiences certainly show their support. Well done John!”


The 14th Annual Helpmann Awards will be presented live in Sydney at the Capitol Theatre on Monday 18th August and broadcast on Foxtel’s Arena.


The NSW Government, through its tourism and major events agency, Destination NSW, is LPA’s Strategic Partner for the 2014 Helpmann Awards.








Circus Oz


Gerry Hall Interview

Jerry Hall Interview

I am happy to be back in Melbourne a city of always loved.
When asked how she started in show business Jerry said that she went to a nightclub and met Helmut Newton a leading photographer and in a few weeks I was on the cover of French Vogue. Helmut to work with was quite difficult but I’ve always had a way with difficult men.
Helmut was wonderful if you did what he wanted He was quite precise in what he wanted. A wonderful photographer.
When asked about theatre Jerry replied with ‘ I had taken drama in high school and studied in New York at the Actor’s Studio when I was 18 and studied in the National Theatre in London when I was 19. I always wanted to act and always loved performing I did bits and pieces of movies but theatre was always my favourite. I didn’t start theatre till I was about 31. It was quite late. Still it was lovely to get into the theatre, that has always been my great love performing in front of an audience specially doing comedy because you feel you get instant reaction from the audience. You very much connected to them, there’s instant feedback and it is so much fun.
I find audiences around the world are different. I remember when I did The Graduate in London and because The Graduate is such an American play there is this one line that I thought was terribly funny and I could never understand why the audience wasn’t laughing. I was obsessed with trying to get it right and kept working in it then I did it in America and they laughed at that very lie. I thought, what a relief, because it was a very American line. When I sis it in Perth they seemed to get it. I guess they watch American television and American comedy shows.
The show always changes with the actors. In Perth, Benjamin the lead actor was from the American Touring Company and in Melbourne Benjamin will be played by an Australian actor.
I am very pleased to work with a whole new group of Australians.”
When questioned on the nude scene Jerry’s response was” When I first did it, the first couple of months I hated the nude scene and then it became my favourite part as it shocked the audience. The first time I did the scene in London at a preview about 50 photographers stood up and took pictures. It took a while but it is very beautiful and very tastefully done and I am wearing high heels so I am not completely nude.
I am looking forward to the Melbourne season of The Graduate at Her Majesty’s Theatre in September.”




How does theatre change the lives of children?

Warwick Business School is to investigate how theatre impacts on the lives of children.

It will look at an innovative attempt by Birmingham Repertory Theatre to create theatre-goers of the future and see how theatre has changed the lives of hundreds of children involved.

Birmingham Repertory Theatre’s ground-breaking project, REP's Children, offers all babies born in City and Heartlands hospitals during the theatre’s 100th birthday week (February 11 – 17 2013) a free theatre experience every year for the first 10 years of their lives.

The project will begin with the newborns and their families making their first visit to the newly reopened Repertory Theatre in October 2013, for a brand new theatre production called Open House, an interactive and sensory show created especially for babies. REP’s Children aims to engage families and children with theatre, and create a lifelong relationship between local people and The REP.

The first REP's Children project was launched in October 2004 at City and Sandwell Hospitals and The REP now has 140 REP's Children families who regularly attend events and performances at The REP.

Now Birmingham Repertory Theatre want to find out just how much the 2013 scheme will change the lives of the babies and their families involved.

They have joined forces with Warwick Business School Professor Jonathan Neelands to research the impact of REP’s Children.

Professor Neelands said: “The research programme will cover 10 years and we will look to see how many of these children have carried on going to the theatre and how going to the theatre has changed their lives.

“Many of the families involved might never have gone to the theatre before. We will look at how the different families have taken up this offer and see if it has made any difference to ‘cultural engagement’, which is something the arts and theatres are striving to achieve. We want to find out what difference going to the theatre makes to the lives of these children.

“It is a very innovative scheme. Their free tickets are tailored for that age group. We plan to track all 10 years of the REP Children’s project and have just secured an Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Collaborative Studentship to study the first three years of this exciting work.

“Birmingham Repertory Theatre is committed to widening participation and a sustainable future by creating future theatre-goers. We need to see how that has worked and what we can learn from the project.”

Dr Steve Ball, Associate Director at The REP, said: “This collaboration provides us with an excellent opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of our communities and to evaluate the impact of this exciting intervention. We are delighted to be working with Warwick Business School who have an outstanding reputation for research in the Arts and Education.”

Professor Neelands, who is Professor of Creative Education at Warwick Business School and Chair of Drama and Theatre Education in the Institute of Education, has won a grant of £40,000 from the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) to fund Dr Jane Woddis to begin the work on the 10-year study.

Warwick Business School, which is part of the University of Warwick, is one of 45 universities to be handed grants as part of the AHRC’s Cultural Engagement Fund pilot scheme.

Dr Ian Lyne, AHRC’s associate director of programmes, said: “The range of projects and the variety of local partners involved has been terrific. We have been hugely impressed by the number of Universities that have decided to co-fund projects.”






Rachel Rawlins

Australian Ballet

Rachel Rawlins

Rachel Rawlins' final call with The Australian Ballet

Principal Artist announces her retirement from the stage after 21-year career.

One of Australia's most acclaimed ballerinas will take her final curtain call next month.
After a stage career spanning 21 years, 18 of those spent at The Australian Ballet Principal Artist Rachel Rawlins has announced that she will retire at the end of the Swan Lake season in Sydney. Her last show in the title role of Odette will be Wednesday December 19, 2012.
Artistic Director of The Australian Ballet, David McAllister said Rachel would be remembered for many leading roles in her remarkable career.
'Rachel is a beutiful dancer to watch and she's carved out a unique reputation as one of the company's great classicists' said McAllister.
'Her superb performances in hallmark ballets such as Swan Lake, Manon, Giselle and The Nutcracker will be remebered fondly by audiences and fans that have followed her career.'
Rawlins grew up in Canberra before moving to Melbourne as a teenager to study ballet. She joined The Australian ballet in 1991, later leaving to spend two years with The Royal Ballet in London. She re-joined the company in 2001 and was promoted to principal artist three years later.
Showcasing her trademark lyricism in much-loved clasics such as Romeo and Juliet and Don Quixote , Rawlins quickly established herself as a leading ballerina capable of bringing deep emotion to narrative works.
She took her talents to the world stage with appearances at the Ena Ballet Festival Gala in Kuala Lumpur in 2011, The World Festival of Ballet in Tokyo in 2009 and numerous international tours with The Australian Ballet.
In announcing her decision, Rachel said " I will be forever grateful to have had such an exciting and fulfilling career with The Australian Ballet. I have been so fortunate to have danced in so many beautiful ballets and to have worked with incredible people."
"I will treasure the friendships I have made in the company and ballet community and would like to thank my family and the audience for all they have given me. I leave the stage feeling sure I will always miss it but that my journey is complete."

Odette in Stephen Baynes Swan Lake 2012
Cio-Cio San in Stanton Welch's Madame Butterfly 2011
Sugar Plum Fairy in Peter Wright's The Nutcracker 2010
Aurora in Stanton Welch's The Sleeping Beauty 2009
Clara the Ballerina in Graeme Murphy's Nutcracker - The Story of Clara 2009
Manon in Manon 2008
Kim in Don Quixote 2007
Raymonda Grey in Stephen Bayne's Raymonda 2006
Giselle in Giselle 3008, 2006
Jiri Kylian's Forgotten Land and Petite Morte 2005
Juliet in John Cranko's Romeo and Juliet 2003.




First Indigenous dancer to join The Australian Ballet . Ella Havelka goes from Bangarra to ballet.

Ella Havelka

The Australian Ballet is delighted to announce that Ella Havelka will be joining the company.
She will be the first indigenous dancer to join The Australian Ballet and will start rehearsing in Sydney in November 2012.
Artistic Director David McAllister said he was thrilled that Havelka had accepted the offer to join the company.
"We've been watchng Ella for many years and have witnessed her grow and develop into a beautiful artist, in particular, she was sensational in Warumuk - in the dark night part of our infinity program, in which she also performed in New York City on our 50th Anniversary tour.
We're very excited that she will become part of The Austrlian Ballet family, and know that the ballet community will eagerly await her first performance with us" said McAllister.
Bangarra's Artistic Director Stephen Page said "Ella is one of this country's greatest young talents, and as she continues her journey as an Aboriginal woman and an Australian dance artist, we wish her every success."
Havelka, a descendant of the Wiradjun people. graduated from The Australian Ballet School in 2007 and toured with the company's regional arm, The Dancer's company. She joined Bangarra Dance Theatre in 2008 and made her debut in Fire - A Retrospective in 2009.
Havelka said the offer was a wonderful opportunity.
"I feel very humbled and excited to be given the opportunity to return to the Ballet world with fresh eyes and new inspirations through my experiences since graduating from The Australian Ballet School. I am looking forward to the new challenges I will encounter and am honoured to be working with such amazing artists, dancers, mentors and choreographers within The Australian Ballet.
Although I am sad to be leaving Bangarra, a community I will always call family, I find comfort in knowing I will always carry their spirit with me on my journey and development as an artist. I can only hope to inspire others within the indegenous community to pursue their own dreams and passions". said Havelka.

Production Centre

To commemorate the 50th Anniversary of The Australian Ballet, the Federal Government is providing $2 million for the fit-out of the company's new production centre to be constructed in Altona, Melbourne.
Arts Minister Simon Crean said the centre will be a state-of-the-art facility for the creation, maintenance and storage of the scenery, propd, lighting, and costumes for the company's critically acclaimed and well-loved productions.
The company has 90 ballets in its repertoire with sets and costumes estimated to be worth $40 million. Mr Crean said.
The custom-designed centre will ensure these valuable assets are preserved so that the ballets can be restaged and enjoyed by future audiences, including younger and first time audience members.
The centre will support the outstanding work the company does in bringing world-class performances to the nation's regions and will transform the way The Australian ballet undertakes production work. Projects such as this illustrate our commitment to sup[porting not just what we see on stage, but the work that goes on behind the scenes to bring these performances to fruitition.
Mr Crean said the centre will also be used as an education resource, giving visitors a behind-the-scenes look at howe a ballet production comes together.
In the future, interactive digital tours will be ezplored for interstate and regional dchools, harnessing the4 high-speed broadband capabilities of the National Broadband Network, Mr Crean said.
Valerie Wilder, Executive director of The Australian Ballet said that the new facility will not only store our ballets, but will provide dedicated areas for assembling sets (where for the firs time, we will be able to stand up and support 10 metre high scene pieces), painting scenary and preparing and despatching touring freight.
The new Production Centre will also have an office area, including a virtual design studio where we will use computers to create 3D models of or set desigs and light them using virtual lights, saving us valuable time in the theatre, and workplaces for our production and technical staff.
Scenery,. props and costumes represent major long-term assets for any ballet company. Over the past two years, our colleagues at Houston ballet, The National Ballet of Canada and the Royal Ballet, have recognised the importance of proper asset stewardship and have built new production centres.






New Chairman for Opera Queensland

Opera Queensland is pleased to announce the appointment of current Treasurer Robert Hubbard as the new Chairman of Opera Queensland following the company’s recent Annual General Meeting.
Mr Hubbard replaces Mr Martin Kriewaldt, who retired from the Board at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) after 14 years as Chairman. Also retiring at the AGM were long standing Board members the Hon. Prof. Peter Fardoulys AM and Dr Cherrell Hirst AO.
Robert Hubbard has been a Partner in PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) for over 20 years, first joining the company in 1984. During this time, he has been the auditor of some of Australia’s largest companies and has led both the Advisory and Assurance practices of PwC Brisbane. He has been Treasurer of Opera Queensland for the last 4 years and believes passionately in the role of not-for-profit bodies in the arts and broader charitable sectors. He is also the Chairman of Multiple Sclerosis Australia and a Director of UQ Health Care.
Mr Hubbard gratefully acknowledges the significant personal and financial contributions made to the company by Mr Kriewaldt, Professor Fardoulys and Dr Hirst during their tenures of 15, 31 and 9 years respectively. The company was able to acknowledge the substantial commitment of Mr Kriewaldt, Professor Fardoulys and Dr Hirst at a function following the first performance of Verdi’s Macbeth in its semi-staged presentation in the Concert Hall (QPAC) last month.
“Opera Queensland, like many other not-for-profit enterprises across Australia, depends on the generosity and goodwill of its Board members who give of their time and experience to guide the fortunes of the company,” said Mr Hubbard. “The commitment from these three individuals has been exceptional and will not be forgotten. We wish them all the very best in their future endeavours.”

Sally Pitkin
Mr Hubbard is also pleased to announce the appointment of Ms Sally Pitkin to the Opera Queensland Board.
“We are very lucky to be able to attract someone with Sally’s legal and commercial background to the Opera Queensland Board as we guide the Company into the future. Sally’s appointment ensures continuing access to a high level of knowledge and skill following the recent departures,” said Mr Hubbard.
Sally Pitkin’s corporate career as a lawyer and company director spans 30 years. She is a former Partner with national commercial law firm, Clayton Utz, and acts as a consultant to the firm. She is the Deputy President of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (Queensland Division), the Deputy Chairman of the Export Finance and Insurance Corporation, and a Director of Super Retail Group Limited (ASX:SUL), Billabong International Ltd (ASX:BBG), UQ Holdings Pty Ltd, ASC Pty Ltd and the Committee for Economic Development of Australia. She is also a member of the Queensland Competition Authority. She is a graduate of the Queensland University of Technology holding graduate and postgraduate qualifications in law. She is currently a doctoral student with The University of Queensland and is completing her doctoral thesis on governance in independent schools.











Judith Roberts

Topol Judith Roberts

Well known and gifted Judith Roberts returned to her favourite theatre Her Majesty's on June 10, 2007 and recreated her role as Golda in Fiddler on the Roof. Readers may remember Judith in this role at Melbourne 's Regent Theatre starring opposite Topol...

Originally Melbourne and the Regent Theatre was to be the only venue in Australia for Fiddler on the Roof. But the popularity proved too great and the production has recently completed an eight week season at The Capitol Sydney and moved for a short season in Brisbane before returning to Melbourne .

Judith has appeared in all the Australian professional productions with Topol.

Her background is the daughter of a schoolteacher who taught in country schools and on visits to Melbourne used to drop Judith and her sister into whatever theatre was open such as Her Majesty's, The Tivoli, The Princess and The Comedy. At four years of age Judith accompanied her older sister to dance classes and loved it. At school she entered in all the school plays not only acting but doing everything to do with the production. She told her teacher that she wanted to be a dancer and an actor. Judith was told that you cannot do both but Judith's reply was Sir Robert Helpmann did it.

Fortunately for Australia and the theatre Judith did not let such comments deter her and went on not only with dancing and acting but later included singing. One her first companies was when she was working full time was The Spanish Ballet Company of Caramina. Caramina was an Australian who studied the art of Spanish Dance in Spain and England returning to Australia to form her own company. During her studies with the Spanish Dancer Company Judith choreographed a Spanish ballet which proved very successful.

While with the Spanish company her performance came to the attention of Betty Pounder the choreographer of J. C. Williamson the leading theatre owner and producer of the time.

Judith's first professional role was Gertie in the musical The Sentimental Bloke. This was followed by My Fair Lady, How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, Sweet Charity and Promises, Promises. These were all with J. C. Williamsons. As a member of J. C. Williamsons you were assured of moving onto the next production.

Life on stage is never easy but in the days when Judith commenced there were no such courses as The College of the Arts, NIDA, West Australian Performing Arts and the Music Theatre, University of Ballarat . Judith found classes in acting and singing while doing dance classes with such people as Borovansky and all this while performing on stage.This training in the three disciplines referred as the Triple Threat allowed her to continue performing in many musicals, reviews and cabarets such as Tikki and John's and The Old Vic in Melbourne

Judith Roberts' TV career include Prisoner, Special Squad, Homicide, Carson 's Law plus many others. Her films include You and Your Stupid Mate and strange Fits of Passion which was entered in the Cannes Film Festival.

With all this experience her agent contacted her re a role in Fiddler on the Roof. Even with all her experience Judith had to audition like everyone else. Passing the first audition she was asked to return and a tape was made of her audition and sent to Topol in Tel Aviv, Israel . Topol liked what he saw, passed the tape onto New York with his recommendation. The rest as they say is history. Judith handles the role as Golda with expertise and has a great rapport with Topol, so when the production returned to Australia Judith was automatically Golda.

The Melbourne repeat production is to be directed by Sammy Dallas Beyes who is reproducing the original Broadway production. The Book is by Joseph Stein, Lyrics by Sheldon Harwick and music by Jerry Boch.

The story is set around the Ukrainian village of Anatevka jointly shared by Cossacks and Jews and both under the thumb of the Russian invaders. The little village whose population is represented by the milkman Tevye (Topol) and family plus all the characters of such a village. It shows the family life, the difficulties of living with two different cultures in one village and the persecution ordered by the Czar.

It is a story of displaced people which is still relevant today.


Judith Roberts Topol


The Australian Ballet's Coryphée Amber Scott.


Amber Scott a pleasant natural young lady who when talking to gives no idea of the talent and expertise that she has shown with her years of dancing and place in The Australian Ballet.

She started dancing at the age of three, born in Brisbane and then before the Australian Ballet School trained at the Anne Fraser School of Dance and the National Theatre Ballet School .

Amber was awarded the 1998 Bronze Medal at the Adeline Genee Awards, First place in the Junior 1999 Asian Pacific International Ballet Competition and The Australian Ballet Society Scholarship in 2000. She performed Dawn and Prayer in the 2000 Dancers Company tour of Coppelia.

Amber graduated from The Australian Ballet School in 2000 as Dux of her year, before joining The Australian ballet in 2001. She has performed in ballets such as Giselle, Manon, Etudes, Beyond 40, Sentimental Bloke, Coppelia and Spartacus. She has also performed soloist roles in Swan Lake , Catalyst and Symphony in C. In early 2003 Amber spent five months in Denmark with the Royal Danish Ballet as part of a dancer exchange program. She told your correspondent that she loved her time in Denmark where she learnt a lot, found the dancers laid back and friendly and was surprised that the Danish Royal family take a great interest in the Royal Danish Ballet Company. Amber said that the Danish company don't do as many shows as The Australian Ballet,they do one international tour a year and occasionally a rural tour. One of her delights was learning the August Bonneville style of ballet which is a feature of the Royal Danish Ballet.

She was excited to new styles and new faces the great opportunity to learn and develop herself as an artist. With the knowledge learnt Amber will enhance her future performances and considers these overseas trips an advantage to her future in the arts.

Amber, after this trip is amazed at the work that ballet dancers in Australia put in. Also considers that the Australians do not go for the star system as much as abroad.

On return to Australia in 2003 she performed with The Dancers Company as guest artist in their production of Giselle.

She has danced in Darwin at the Darwin Performing Arts Centre and in outdoor venues where she found that with a temperature around 32Degrres it was very easy to dance as the body did not need the warm up as in colder climes. Unlike most young people these days she realises the value of the correct food and is fortunate the Ballet Canteen serves nutricius food as the body does need plenty of energy.

In July of 2004, Amber was promoted to coryphée. She was one of four leading artists from The Australian Ballet to tour with The Dancers Company in 2004 and starred in Nutcracker For the Alice Springs and Darwin sector of the tour.

2004 saw Amber win the Telstra Young Ballet Dancer of the Year award, the highest accolade of its kind available to an Australian dancer. Making a clear sweep of the competition Amber collected both the award judged by The Australian Ballet artistic staff and Principal Artists and the coveted People's Choice Award.
Some of her favourite choices of dance are modern and classical. She loves Graeme Murphy's Swan Lake with its balance of a modern outlook but keeping the traditional as well. Amber feels that it is a great vehicle for a ballerina.

A young girl with a great future Amber Scott is a delight to talk to and understands the difficulties of the dance but quite prepared and happy to work hard to obtain her dreams.


Tiffany Speight

One of Opera Australia's rising young stars is Melbourne 's own Tiffany Speight. Chatting with Tiffany she told your correspondent that she was originally a dancer and appeared with Famco and Doncaster companies in such productions as Annie Get Your Gun, Brigadoon and Oklahoma . Like many of our professional theatre people Tiffany started in the amateur circuit with the above groups. With very supportive parents she started on stage while she was still studying. Not only successful on stage Tiffany also passed her exams. Unfortunately for her dancing career but fortunately for opera lovers she was involved in a car accident and injured her feet. Her mother persuaded her to take up singing and the results speak for themselves.

She graduated from the Victorian College of the Arts which she thanks for giving her discipline and maturity which has helped her career. At the college she was awarded the Dame Mabel Kent Scholarship for singing. She has been awarded several scholarships including a Queen's Trust Award, which enabled her to study in Paris, the Richard Divall Encouragement Award and the Kitty Fisher Gift which was awarded at the finals of the Mathy Singing Competition held n the Sydney Opera House.

Tiffany made her opera debut as Cupid in Semele with the Victorian State Opera and in 1996 was a Young Artist with the VSO, where she sang Despina in Cosi fan tutte and Dienerin in Die Frau ohne Schatten at the Melbourne Festival.

As Tiffany continued to develop her craft, she performed roles such as Giannetta in The Gondoliers, Tebaldo in Don Carlo, Barbarino in The Marriage of Figaro, Ida in Lindy Hume's production of Die Fledermaus for Opera Australia, Angelica in Orlando (for Ozopera).

As Tiffany started off in dance and has acting experience and was told that if her singing voice did not reach the standard required for opera she would have a successful career as an actor. Due to this versatility Tiffany is in constant demand on the concert platform. She has given performances in such various venues as Opera Under the Stars in Broome, the Castlemaine State Festival and Opera by George, the Prime Minister's Olympic Dinner for the Australian Olympic Team, a gala farewell to the Korean team for Music Theatre Australia with the Seoul Symphony Orchestra, concerts with the Australian Pops Orchestra including From Camelot to phantom and Gilbert & Sullivan.

As the recipient of the 2002 Vienna State Opera Award, Tiffany spent the first part of 2003 in Vienna and made her European debut at the Vienna Staatsoper in the role of Countess Ceprano in late January. Tiffany enjoyed her time in Europe and was interested in the differences between European and Australian views on performing. In Europe they go on and off without being told much about what they are doing. Australians apparently are more versatile and learn more about the production as a whole. The Australian has a more freer and independent attitude then the Europeans and Americans. The Americans are more toward confirming and developing as others whereas the Australian voice is free and open, and the Australian performer is more independent and develops their own individualistic style.

Tiffany told your correspondent that some the hardest audiences to deal with are children. She toured Victoria with Ozopera's Sid the Serpent and found the children did not hesitate in letting the performers know what they felt. Tiffany said it was also very satisfying to hear an honest reaction.

2005 sees Tiffany Speight will sing Frasquita and Micaela in Carmen, Pamina in Die Zauberflote, Josephine in HMS Pinafore and Gretel in Hansel and Gretel for Opera Australia. For Opera Queensland she sings Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro.

Above is just a small summary of Tiffany Speight's career and to talk to she is a sheer delight obviously thoroughly immersed in her art and a bright, cheerful and happy person.






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