St John’s Camerata production Home, has been announced as a 2016 Helpmann Awards nominee for the Best Chamber and/or Instrumental Ensemble Concert.

Camerata is a chamber orchestra which has established itself as a nationally significant musical ensemble. Flexible in their repetoire, Camerata performs many of the core classics, as well as more modern compositions. Home, performed earlier this year at the Conservatorium Theatre, showcased work by Australian composers. The nomination puts them in esteemed company, with fellow nominees including the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Australian Brandenburg Orchestra and Festival D’aix-en-Provence. This national acknowledgement is a tribute to the talented artists from Camerata, and is a testament to their exploratory programming.

Home was a transformative experience for all who were involved, with many firsts occurring for the group. The work saw Camerata bring composer Cameron Patrick’s Lines of the Southern Cross piece to life for the first time ever on Australia shores. The Aboriginal Centre of the Performing Arts (ACPA) worked in collaboration with Camerata, performing dance choreography alongside the ensemble for a section of Patrick’s piece. Both experiences can be attributed to their new partnership with Cultural Advisor Nancy Bamaga of Black Drum Productions.

As well as the industry acknowledgement, Home showcased final year Conservatorium Griffith University student, and up-and-coming artist, soprano Xenia Puskarz Thomas. With the employment of 32 artists and 15 technical staff members, Home was truly a team effort. The ABC recognised these efforts in a broadcast of their performance on Classic FM.

The Helpmann Award nomination tops off this series of wonderful achievements. The winners will be announced in an awards ceremony at the Lyric Theatre Sydney on July 25 2016.

Words by Raashi Agarwal
Image via Camerata of St John’s