2012 Helpmann Awards Finalists

ARTS Minister Ros Bates has congratulated the Queensland finalists in the 2012 Helpmann Awards, named Monday night at the Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC) in Brisbane.

"To be nominated for a Helpmann Award - which recognise distinguished artistic achievement and excellence in Australia's performing arts sector - is an outstanding accomplishment," Ms Bates said.

"I congratulate Bille Brown, nominated for best male actor; Rosario La Spina for best male actor in an opera; Francine Cain for her performance in Rock of Ages; Helen Thomson as best female in a play; and La Boite's Trevor Stuart for best male supporting performer.

"Opera Queensland's production of The Girl of the Golden West won Douglas McNicol a nomination, while Circa and Dance North both won nominations. Shake and Stir Theatre Company is also in the running for an award for their production Statespeare.

"The work of Queensland's talented Page brothers continues to win recognition, with David Page for his music for Bangarra's Belong and his brother Stephen for his choreography for ID."

Ms Bates also congratulated Elena Kats-Chernin whose Symphonia Eluvium, inspired by the Brisbane 2011 floods, and commissioned by the Brisbane Festival, also scored a nomination.

The Helpmann Awards are the highest accolade for Australian performers, and are named in honour of Sir Robert Helpmann.

"They are Australia's answer to the Tony Awards on Broadway and the Olivier Awards in London," Ms Bates said.

Nominations for the 41 categories were announced at events held simultaneously in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne.

"The fact LPA chose for the first time to include Brisbane as one of the cities to announce the nominees supports our Government's election commitment to enhance its growing reputation as a destination to experience innovative and inspiring arts experiences.

The 2012 Helpmann Awards Ceremony will be held on Monday 24 September at the Sydney Opera House.

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