Rob Guest Endowment 2012 Finalists Selected.

Rob Guest Endowment 2012 Finalists Selected.

Following hundreds of applications and auditions, judges Kellie Dickerson, Jason Coleman and Stuart Maunder have selected the following six finalists for the 2012 ANZ Trustees Foundation, Rob Guest Endowment:  Kirby Burgess (An Officer & A Gentlemen), Andy Conaghan (South Pacific), Euan Doidge (A Chorus Line, Legally Blonde the Musical), Samm Hagen (Rock of Ages), Glenn Hill (Legally Blonde the Musical, Dr Zhivago) and Allyce Martins (Wicked).  These six finalists will perform with a full orchestra at the 2012 Rob Guest Endowment Gala Concert sharing the spotlight with a ‘who’s who’ of Australian show business.

Now in its fourth year, the Rob Guest Endowment is an annual opportunity to showcase some of Australia’s finest new musical theatre talent, which culminates in a night of stellar performances at the Endowment’s Gala Concert.

The concert is a night to remember and honour the memory of Australia’s much-loved star, Rob Guest OBE, whose sudden passing in 2008 shocked the industry. The Rob Guest Endowment is a platform for emerging artists to showcase their talents before the industry and provide them with an opportunity to launch promising careers in Australian musical theatre.

The Gala Concert will be held on Monday November 19 at Her Majesty’s Theatre in Melbourne. Hosted by Bert Newton, Lucy Durak and Rob Mills the night will feature performances by some of Australia’s finest musical theatre stars, including the casts of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum and South Pacific. Under the musical direction of Kellie Dickerson, these stars will perform alongside the six talented young finalists all vying to become the fourth recipient of the Rob Guest Endowment.

In 2008 ANZ Trustees established a memorial fund in Rob Guest’s honour to encourage emerging young performers in musical theatre. Recipients receive the opportunity to study in New York under the guidance of the best that Broadway has to offer to the value of $10,000.

This year, for the first time, a lucky runner-up will receive the inaugural ‘Production Company Artists Development Award’, which is a cash prize of $5,000 and features a guaranteed live performance in one of the Production Company’s sure-to-be exciting seasons in the following two years. The remaining four finalists will each receive a $500 cash-prize.

Past winners of this prestigious award have gone on to forge promising careers within the Australian musical theatre industry. Blake Bowden, one of the most exciting young tenors to hit Australian stages in decades, was the recipient of this prestigious award last year. 2011 also saw Blake touring in Eamon Flack’s production of A Midsummer Nights Dream in the role of Lysander. In 2012, Blake hit the stage again to create the principal role of Pat Matthews in the world premiere of Cat Steven’s Moonshadow. 2010 recipient - Francine Cain, a 2009 WAAPA graduate, went on to make her professional debut in a leading role in the Rock of Ages last year.

Another exciting addition to the 2012 agenda is the formation of The Guest Series, which will become a regular initiative as part of the Rob Guest Endowment.  This year’s highly anticipated event is One Evening with Stephen Sondheim, who is making his way to Melbourne for the very first time for the opening of John Frost’s new production A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.  The celebrated composer and lyricist will be in conversation with Australia's preeminent interviewer Ray Martin, who will host the event on October 22, at 7:30pm. Musical direction will be by Kellie Dickerson and a stellar line-up of Australian talent will perform selections from Sondheim's body-of-work on the set of ‘Forum’. Proceeds from The Guest Series will be contributed towards the Rob Guest Endowment.




Her Majesty’s Theatre Melbourne

 Phone: 132 849

To keep up with the latest news and reviews at Stage Whispers, click here to like us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.