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BEST OF live performance
Perth opera star Andrew Foote took out a 2010 Helpmann Award for his
powerful performance in the WA Opera production of Benjamin Britten’s
1945 modern classic Peter Grimes.
The Helpmann Awards honour the best in Australian live performance
and have been won by stars such as Cate Blanchett and Geoffrey Rush.
Andrew’s win for Best Male Performer in a Supporting Role in an Opera
came as a surprise to the 48-year-old baritone, who says the voting system
tends to favour east coast nominees; the judges must see at least two
nominated performances in the category: “The judges are overwhelmingly
based on the east coast, and I’d assumed I’d be out of luck, even though I
was thrilled to have been nominated by The Festival of Perth,” he says.
He was nominated in 2009 and attended the awards. However, he
didn’t attend the 2010 award ceremony in Sydney and learned of his win
only when friends began bombarding him with congratulatory emails.
For Andrew, the award is a highlight in a career spanning two decades.
Blessed with an extraordinary operatic voice, he’s performed dozens of
roles in Australia and overseas. He’s also sought after as a musical theatre
performer and regarded as one of the country’s finest interpreters of
Lieder, a German tradition of art songs based on single voice and piano.
He doesn’t play favourites when discussing his musical preferences.
“Performance is all about entertainment, whether it be Mozart or The
Rocky Horror Show. To value one above the other is pointless, as every
musical genre and style has its own set of skills that must be mastered.”
Andrew suggests WA Opera is equal to any company in the land,
despite being a smaller company. “Our chorus is part-time: when we
come together it’s with fresh enthusiasm and a boots-and-all attitude... it’s
guaranteed you’ll be seeing the best we can give.”
In 2011, Andrew will direct the WA Opera production of Strauss’s
Die Fledermaus for the annual City of Perth’s Opera in the Park concert.
He performed in the inaugural concert in 1991 and considers it to be
an important event on Perth’s cultural calendar. “It’s an opportunity for
opera to move beyond the usual theatrical setting and attract a broader
audience”. So, grab a blanket and picnic basket and experience the work
of our latest Helpmann star. Rick Murphy
Supreme Court Gardens, February 5, (08) 9278 8999, www.waopera.asn.au.
CATE BLANCHETT, GEOFFREY RUSH, ANDREW FOOTE... MEET THE
LOCAL BARITONE WHO JOINED THE RANKS OF HELPMANN WINNERS
PERTH CBD, FEBRUARY 25
Perth will become a theatrical
circus display, as sky-scraping stilt
giraffes weave their way through
the city centre. Presented by French
company Compagnie Off, this free
event explores themes of love and
madness. Visit perthfestival.com .au .
HIS MAJESTY’S THEATRE, FEBRUARY 24-MARCH 2
This show from Berlin examines the experience of living in a fast-paced,
capitalist society. Interweaving text, dance and music, it conveys a restless
rhythm typical of the modern world. Visit perthfestival.com.au.
+ MARCH 1-6 THE ANIMALS AND CHILDREN TOOK TO
THE STREETS, THE ASTOR, PERTHFESTIVAL.COM.AU.
+ MARCH 4 TIM MINCHIN VS WASO, KINGS PARK,
+ MARCH 16-17 BILLY CONNOLLY, BURSWOOD THEATRE,
in Peter Grimes.
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