Live Performance Australia (LPA) announced this week the list of nominations for each of the 41 categories for the 2012 Helpmann Awards.

The Helpmann awards started in 2000 are the national theatre and live performance awards. Although held in Sydney, on Monday 24th of September, the nominations for the Helpmann awards were announced simultaneously in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. Held in the stunning Amcor room at The Victoria Arts Centre and hosted by Bert LaBonte with some of Australia’s favorite musical theatre stars including; Blake Bowden, Michael Cormick, Martin Crewes, Chloe Dallimore, Nicole Da Silva and Silvie Paladino announcing the awards.  The room was jam packed (literally and metaphorically) with the who’s who of Melbourne musical theatre, dance, opera and classical music.

Kathryn Sadler, Chair of the Brian Stacey Memorial Trust, announce Daniel Carter as the winner of the 15th Brian Stacey Award of Emerging Australian Conductors.  Daniel received an $8,000 prize, presented by Sydney Lyric & Capitol Theatre Managing Director, Stephen Found.  Daniel gave an energetic and poignant speech about his desire to reinvigorate Australian audiences to live performance.

Katharine Brisbane AM was also announced as the co-recipient of the converted 2012 JC Williamson Award. This is awarded to distinguished members of Australia’s live entertainment industry for their extraordinary contribution to the industry. It was announced earlier this year that the late Dr Jimmy Little AO would also be a 2012 recipient of this award. Katherine has been aptly described, as ‘the den mother’ of Australian playwrights, is a respected reviewer and zealous advocate for the industry and its people.

The crowed was mostly silent during the reading of the nominations, until the announcement of our host Bert LaBonte as a nominee for Best Actor in a supporting role, followed by a big cheer for Nancye Hayes when she was announced a nomination for her critically acclaimed performance in Grey Gardens for The Production Company.

The 2012 Helpmann Awards Ceremony will be held on Monday the 24th of September at 8pm at Opera Theatre, Sydney Opera House. Simon Burke will be hosting. Melbourne viewers can tune into Studio – channel 132 of Foxtel on Tuesday 25th of September at 8:30 to see the full ceremony.

A full list of nominations is available on the website: