The Rob Guest Endowment finalists for 2015 have been announced: these are the best of the best emerging performers in Australia. The winner will be decided at a gala concert, where each of the finalists will perform two songs in front of their judges and an audience that packs out the Sydney Lyric.
The six finalists this year are: Blake Appelqvist (West Side Story), Daniel Assetta (Cats, Wicked), Hilary Cole (Carrie, Dogfight), Georgina Hopson (Into The Woods, The Pirates of Penzance), Rob McDougall (Les Miserables, Phantom of the Opera) and Ashleigh Rubenach (Anything Goes, The Sound of Music).
The Rob Guest Endowment Concert will take place on Monday 9 November. The winner will receive $20,000 and a headshot package provided by Blueprint Studios.
This year also sees the return of Melbourne’s East End Theatre District Artist Development Award, a $5,000 prize and the Playbill Future Prospect Award, a cash prize of $1,500.
The four remaining finalists will each take home $1,500.
The Rob Guest Endowment Technical Award in Honour of Sue Nattrass and The Rob Guest Endowment Musician Award will again be presented in 2015. Each of these awards, fully funded by the Capitol Theatre and Sydney Lyric, include a $10,000 cash prize intended to help the recipients become leaders in their field. The winners will be announced at the 2015 concert.
The Rob Guest Endowment is in honor of the late Rob Guest, whose career spanned over several decades. Perhaps best known as one of our great Phantoms in Phantom of the Opera, he also starred in Les Miserables , Jesus Christ Superstar, Grease, The Sound of Music and Wicked.
Guest is remembered as a mentor to the young performers he worked with throughout the course of career.
Past winners and finalists of the Rob Guest Endowment Award are performing in lead roles in musical theatre around Australia, including Kirby Burgess (Dirty Dancing), Angelique Cassimatis (The Rocky Horror Show), Andrew Cook (Matilda), Samantha Leigh Dodemaide (Anything Goes), Euan Doidge (Les Miserables), Edward Grey (Wicked) and Joshua Robson (Les Miserables).
Tickets for this year’s Gala Concert go on sale on 21 September. For tickets, and for more information about the Endowment, visit www.robguestendowment.com.au.