NIDA is inviting children and young people on a journey of creative exploration over the spring holidays with performing arts classes designed to excite and inspire.
About NIDA Open
SCREEN ACTING BOOT CAMP:
MUSICAL THEATRE 101:
TV PRESENTING 101
WRITING FOR THE STGE 101.
The Queensland Premier’s Drama Award is a national development award assisting writers and performance makers to grow their first drafts, pitch documents, sample scenes, concept sketches, or creative development findings into a production-ready text.
The Queensland Government, through Queensland Theatre, is seeking submissions from individual artists and collectives of all levels of experience working across different performance practices, for the 2018-19 cycle of the Award.
The goals of this Award are:
Artists are invited to submit material (such as first draft scripts, recordings or pitch documents) that will form the basis of a new theatrical performance of quality and relevance to Australians today. Long-listed entrants will be interviewed by a judging panel to speak further about plans for their work, and in early 2018 three finalists will be selected to further develop their project. The process of development includes workshops with industry experts and culminating in a play-reading of the artists’ work for the judging panel. The finalists will each receive a development fee during this period of work.
Following the presentation to the judging panel, a single a winner will be announced. The The winner will work with industry experts and Queensland Theatre towards a fully staged professional production in Queensland Theatre’s 2019 Season, and receive standard box office royalties.
Entries are now open for QPDA 2018-19.
Please read Conditions of Entry
For further information contact Shari Irwin, Producer (New Work and Development), 3010 7607 or email@example.com
Opera Australia - new Patron in Chief.
Internationally recognised philanthropist and passionate oper lover, Dr Harusha Handa, Chairman of the International Foundation for Arts and Culture has been announced as Opera Australia's new Patron in Chief.
Patrick Nolan to take OperaQ reins as new Artistic Director
Award winning Australian director Patrick Nolan has been appointed as the new Artistic Director of Opera Queensland and will relocate to Brisbane to commence on 1 November.
Mr Nolan has created work for every major city festival in Australia, including the Helpmann Award winning Kura Tungar-Songs from the River with Archie Roach and Ruby Hunter and the Australian Art Orchestra for Melbourne Festival and A Flowering Tree by John Adams for Perth Festival. The new Australian opera he created with Paul Grabowsky and Joanna Murray-Smith, Love in the Age of Therapy, for Opera Australia, Melbourne Festival and Sydney Festival was also Helpmann nominated.As Artistic Director of Legs On The Wall, Mr Nolan transformed the company’s artistic program and financial viability, establishing it as one of the country’s busiest cultural exports. During his five-years at Legs On The Wall, revenue increased 75 per cent and eight new productions toured far and wide, attracting audiences of more than 50,000 in Australia, Asia, UK and Latin America. In 2015 he was awarded a prestigious Australia Council Fellowship to research the creation of performance in public spaces. He serves on the Sydney Chamber Opera board, a role that fuels his passion for new opera. Dr Sally Pitkin, Chair, Opera Queensland, said Mr Nolan’s multidisciplinary creative works ranging from baroque to contemporary opera, large scale events, and physical theatre, together with his commitment to collaboration and community engagement, made him the clear choice to lead the company. “As Artistic Director Patrick will be an extraordinary contributor to the Queensland arts community and the national cultural landscape. We are excited by his vision for the company, his passion for opera and his deep commitment to engaging all communities in Queensland with this vibrant artform. All of this together with his understanding of new audiences and how to engage them in spaces from the most intimate venue to the largest public arena, to new digital channels, made him the standout candidate.”
Lindy Hume will finish her term as artistic leader at the end of October.
The Young King
Slingsby's critically-acclaimed production of The Young King is set for a world tour after receiving the prestigious International Performing Arts for Youth (IPAY) Victor Award at the 39th IPAY Annual International Showcase in Madison, Wisconsin, USA.
Arts Centre Melbourne
Working in partnership with Creative Victoria and the Victorian Government, the Artts Centre is proud to announce a major new project that celebrates and promotes Australia's extraordinary contemporary music story - the past, present and what it may look lke in the future.
White Night 2017
White Night Melbourne will return to the streets, laneways and gardens of the CBD from dusk till sawn on Saturday February 18, 2017 and the inaugural; White Night Ballarat will follow on Saturday March 4. 2017.
WHITE NIGHT BALLARAT HIGHLIGHTS
Highlighs of the White Night Ballarat program and exclusive to Ballarat include Night of Gold which explores the nightlife of Ballarat during its 'roaring days ' pf the gold rush. The Electric Canvas presents an architectural projection across several prominent buildings along Lydiard Street, encompassing three distinct themes relating to mid-1800s nightlife in Ballarat.
The Bodyguard - the Leading Lady announced
Producers John Frost, Michael Harrison and David Ian on October 25 announced that one of Australia's finest voices and performers, Pauline, will play the leading role of Rachel Marron in the Australian premiere of the international award-winning hit musical The Bodyguard. The 2017 Australian tour of The Bocyguard will commence at the Sydney Lyric Theatre on April 22. 2017, before playing at the Lyric Theatre, QPAC, Brisbane from July and the Regent Theatre, Melbourne from August.
Andrew said that this morning (Tuesday December 2,) that they had open calls for new talent for the oncoming musical Anything Goes.
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.
BELOVED THEATRE DOYENNE
ANNOUNCED AS RECIPIENT OF
LIVE PERFORMANCE AUSTRALIA’S INAUGURAL
SUE NATTRASS AWARD It is with great pleasure that Live Performance Australia (LPA) has today announced that Patricia Boggs has been awarded the inaugural SUE NATTRASS AWARD for her outstanding service to the Australian live performance industry. The industry achievement award will sit alongside the JC Williamson Award which saw this year’s recipient, John FrostOAM, honoured recently at the JC Williamson Award dinner in Brisbane. The Sue Nattrass Award, which will be presented as part of the 2014 Helpmann Awards, is a new honour named in tribute to and commemorating the lifetime service of Sue NattrassAO who, amongst many achievements, has been a long serving LPA President and the first woman to hold the position. This prestigious Award has been set up to recognise outstanding service to the live performance industry in a field which may not enjoy a high public profile. It has been established to shine a spotlight on people in service roles including arts administrator, academic or teacher, technical supplier, marketing professional, ticketing professional, agent, archivist, historian, public servant, and member of the media. “Patricia Boggs’ career has spanned many decades and many productions in most of our country’s theatres and many overseas. Having a career of a similar length and sharing some of those experiences, I have been in a handy position to observe the tireless, devoted work of this generous woman. I have seen the respect shown to her by her peers and the positive outcomes of her innovative thinking and her support for both the producers and the public. I have a deep respect for Pat and I am delighted that she is the recipient of the inaugural Sue Nattrass Award. I can think of no-one more fitting.” said Sue Nattrass. The first person honoured with this new award, Patricia Boggs has worked in many and varied roles during her long career, but she is best known for being Australia’s best and most respected Ticketing consultant. She has worked on nearly 150 shows from small plays to the biggest productions and with Australia’s, and indeed the world’s most prolific producers. After also working on more recent productions such as Mamma Mia!, We Will Rock You, Billy Elliot and Mary Poppins, she is a woman who has made an incredible lifetime contribution to live performance in Australia, certainly shaping the way current ticketing processes are implemented throughout the industry. “When I was told I was to receive the inaugural Sue Nattrass Award, I was amazed – Sue has been an inspiration in all facets of the Australian theatrical scene for as long as I can remember. I was overjoyed and honoured. I believe to reach any goal you must accept that there are no problems only solutions.” Pat commented on her award.
Patricia Boggs, or Pat as she is affectionately known, is a true trailblazer of Australian theatre, starting her theatrical career in circa 1964 at Sydney’s Tivoli Theatre with a JC Williamson production of Hadrian VII. From here Patricia joined the Metro Theatre where she started as a booking clerk, becoming the treasurer of the Box Office soon after for the production of Hair. She went on to manage the Playbox Theatre before co-managing the Capitol Theatre working for Harry M. Miller on Jesus Christ Superstar. It was after returning to the Metro Theatre where Pat first met a very young John Frost who was sent to her by Harry M. Miller for an education in the box office. “This award could not have gone to a better person. Pat Boggs is a wonderful mentor and friend to so many people in the performing arts industry - she taught us all our sums and wrote the book on ticketing. Boy, can she sell a ticket or two!” said John Frost. In 1974 Pat became the Greater Union Theatre’s first female Manager before becoming Theatre Manager and Box Office Manager with the MLC Theatre Royal Company holding that position for 14 years. Pat was passionate about providing access to the theatre to some of the city’s most underprivileged children and schools. While working on Cats she convinced the
HELPMANN AWARDS MEDIA RELEASE
Wednesday 23rd July 2014
producer to give away free tickets on many Wednesday matinees to the next generation of theatre-goers. This dedication continued throughout her career, and she believed that all people regardless of economic circumstance should have the ability to experience the joy of theatre, especially children. In 1989 she joined the Cameron Mackintosh organisation working on Les Misérables, The Phantom of the Opera and Miss Saigon. Pat was key in the establishment of an independent Box Office Operation for Cameron Mackintosh Australia in 1992, launching a retail shop front box office as well as an independent telephone call centre for The Phantom of the Opera Sydney season. Pat also played a key role in developing the opportunities for selling tickets to the travel industry via ticket/flight/hotel packages. Cameron Mackintosh said, “I first met Pat in 1980 when she was running the Box Office of the Theatre Royal in Sydney. From the first “hello” I knew I was in the presence of a Presence, as she sized me up deciding whether “I would do”. Luckily for me I passed the test and in a very short time came to realise that this indomitable personality was smart, sharp, funny, wise and on occasions totally intractable. Her moral strength is matched by a phenomenal constitution that has triumphed over illnesses that would have finished off a mere mortal.” “Pat is a marvel, a living legend, so it is terrific news that she has been chosen as the first recipient of an award named after another Australian theatrical legend, Sue Nattrass. I cannot imagine a more worthy choice than the Great Boggsy. Many Congratulations,” he added. Deputy Premier and Minister for Tourism and Major Events Andrew Stoner congratulated Patricia Boggs on receiving the inaugural Sue Nattrass Award in recognition of her contribution to Australia’s live performance industry. “We often talk about the unsung heroes and heroines, those people who work tirelessly behind the scenes to make sure everything runs smoothly and to plan, and so it is fantastic to see Patricia Boggs recognised through the Sue Nattrass Award for a career of outstanding service to Australian theatre,” he said. She has also served as a Trustee of The Sydney Opera House Board from 1996 to 2002. LPA President Andrew Kay said “We are delighted to be honouring Pat this year with the inaugural Sue Nattrass Award. Renowned for her passion, loyalty and honesty, she is universally respected and admired, a most worthy recipient of this prestigious Award.”
ACCLAIMED THEATRE PRODUCER
JOHN FROST OAM
ANNOUNCED AS 2014 RECIPIENT OF THE PRESTIGIOUS
JC WILLIAMSON AWARD ™
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.
Gerry Hall Interview
Jerry Hall Interview
I am happy to be back in Melbourne a city of always loved.
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' 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.
First Indigenous dancer to join The Australian Ballet . Ella Havelka goes from Bangarra to ballet.
The Australian Ballet is delighted to announce that Ella Havelka will be joining the company.
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.
New Chairman for Opera Queensland
SYDNEY TO HOST WORLD PREMIERE OF
STRICTLY BALLROOM – THE MUSICAL
NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell today announced the stage musical of the iconic Australian film Strictly Ballroom will have its world premiere and first run in Sydney at the Lyric Theatre from September 2013.
“Today I’m very pleased to announce Baz Luhrmann and producers Carmen Pavlovic and Gerry Ryan of Global Creatures have chosen Sydney over London and New York for the World Premiere of the much anticipated, Strictly Ballroom - The Musical,” Mr O’Farrell said.
A worldwide cinema hit, Strictly Ballroom re-ignited interest in ballroom dancing both in Australia and internationally.
“Producers in London and New York have been pursuing the rights for Strictly Ballroom for many years. It is a major theatrical coup that Sydney has secured the premiere ahead of Broadway and the West End,” he said.
“It shows Sydney is not only Australia’s global city, close to major tourism markets across the Asia Pacific, but the home of the creative industries in Australia.
“Securing the Strictly Ballroom premiere demonstrates Sydney’s re-emergence as the number one city for first run musicals.”
Originally devised in Sydney at NIDA, creator Baz Luhrmann said the decision to premiere Strictly Ballroom in Sydney was a natural one for a quintessentially Australian story with global appeal.
“Of all of my shows, Strictly Ballroom is the most personal,” Mr Luhrmann said.
“From escaping into the world of competitive ballroom dancing as a child, and my mother going on to be a dance teacher, through to the formative moment at the National Institute of Dramatic Art when a group of talented students and I brought together the classical myth of triumph over oppression and placed it in this world of suburban theatre, the first production of Strictly Ballroom was born,” he said.
“That little act of truth and defiance, born as a 40 minute student play, went on to win a competition in communist Czechoslovakia, was revised at my first theatre company and was extended, and finally was transformed into the little film that danced all around the world. A journey like this is likely to happen once in a creative person's lifetime, if they’re lucky.
“It's a simple show, with a simple truth, and a simple heart, that seems to have grown and grown and now completes the circle of its journey, returning to the city where it all began, Sydney, as an all-singing all-dancing musical production," Mr Luhrmann said.
CEO of Global Creatures and producer of Strictly Ballroom Carmen Pavlovic echoed Baz Luhrmann’s delight at the decision to open the production in Sydney.
“As a company committed to creating world class work in Australia and then taking it to the world, we could not be happier that Strictly Ballroom will open in the city where it all began. Our partnership with Baz Luhrmann is consistent with our strategy to create new experiences for audiences and we are excited that Strictly Ballroom will provide a chance for the whole city to engage with the creative development of the show’s journey back to the stage.”
Ms Pavlovic praised the work of Events NSW and the NSW Liberals & Nationals Government in securing the production for Sydney.
“We have been impressed by the pro-active and collaborative approach shown by Events NSW in making the dream of a Sydney opening for Strictly Ballroom a reality.”
Mr O’Farrell said pursuing major events forms part of our strategy to rebuild the NSW economy, a strategy that includes Sydney attracting the finest in musical theatre.
“Events NSW estimate that internationally renowned musicals can generate close to $20 million over a 6 month run in direct economic impact,” Mr O’Farrell said.
“Last week we announced Sydney was chosen for the Australian Premiere of The Addams Family. I said we’d bring major events back to Sydney – here’s the proof.
“This is in addition to the recent and highly successful first run of Doctor Zhivago, as well as Legally Blonde opening in Australia in June 2012.
“These premieres will add to a diverse range of world-class productions showing in Sydney right now, including Mary Poppins and Jersey Boys.”
Lord Mayor Clover Moore MP said this is a fabulous coup for Sydney, one that will highlight and enhance the City's global status for cultural excellence, bring enjoyment to music and dance enthusiasts of all ages, while building on a groundswell of major locally-produced shows of world standard appearing in Sydney first.
"Such large scale events lift the spirits and are an economic boost for the City's hospitality, accommodation, retail, transport and fine dining industries, and we are chuffed to be a support sponsor,” Ms Moore said.
Mr O’Farrell said we are getting runs on the major events board and further enhancing the NSW Events Calendar.
“We will ensure that Sydney, the gateway to Australia and NSW, remains number one when it comes to securing and hosting major events in Australia,” Mr O’Farrell said.
Vision of NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell, Baz Luhrmann, Carmen Pavlovic (Global Creatures), and HD re-mastered Strictly Ballroom is available for download from 2pm at:
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.
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.
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.
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.