Perth International Arts Festival is thrilled to announce a record haul of eight Helpmann Awards for artists and performers at the 2009 Festival. Founded in 1953 by The University of Western Australia, the Perth International Arts Festival is the oldest international arts festival in Australia and Western Australia's premier cultural event.
Winners announced last night in Sydney included an amazing six wins for the Perth Festival/Sydney Festival/Sydney Theatre company production of The War of the Roses, which took home Best Play, Best Director of a Play (Benedict Andrews), Best Lighting Design (Nick Schlieper), Best Sound Design (Max Lyandvert) , Best Female Actor in a Supporting Role in a Play (Marta Dusseldorp) and Best Male Actor in a Supporting Role in a Play for Perth-born and Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts-trained Ewen Leslie.
The Best Australian Contemporary Concert award went to the Perth International Arts Festival and the Sydney Opera House Trust for Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu, whose shows wowed audiences at the 2009 Festival in the delightful outdoor setting of the Beck's Music Box.
Another 2009 Perth Festival highlight was the Australian premiere of John Adams' opera A Flowering Tree. This Perth Festival/West Australian Symphony Orchestra/WA Opera co-production took out the award for Best Symphony Orchestra Concert.
Perth Festival Artistic Director Shelagh Magadza warmly congratulates all the winners at the 2009 Helpmann Awards.
"The Awards reflect the importance of supporting the creation of new Australian works and it's fantastic that the works are made in environments as diverse as an inner-Sydney theatre company to remote Arnhem Land".
"They also highlight how collaboration between companies and festivals can create exceptional work for Australian audiences. The role of funds such as the Major Festivals Initiative have been critical in creating these opportunities."
Perth International Arts Festival
The Festival has developed a worldwide reputation for excellence in its international program, the presentation of new works and the highest quality artistic experiences for its audience. For over 50 years the Festival has welcomed to Perth some of the world's greatest living artists and now connects with over 300,000 people each year.
Shelagh Magadza is the Artistic Director 2008-11.