Senin, 18 Agustus 2014

Troubled Hobart Baroque festival picks up national Helpmann award; appeals for state government funding (ABC)

The organisers of the Hobart Baroque festival hope winning a national Helpmann award will strengthen their case to secure more state government funding.

Festival director Leo Schofield had threatened to take the festival interstate after failing to secure the state government funding it had sought.

In Sydney last night, Hobart Baroque won best individual classical performance ahead of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and another from Amsterdam.

Mr Schofield said the award highlighted the importance of the festival on the national stage.

He had been buoyed by major offers of private support and a final decision would be made by the end of the week.

"We think we could raise about another $150,000 ourselves, but we are absolutely in need of at least another $100,000 in cash from the Government," Mr Schofield said.

"I just want recognition that this is something that is really worthwhile, seriously good and good for Tasmania."

He was seeking a meeting with Premier Will Hodgman this week.

"It's critical, it's a do or die week," he said.

"I'm completely dedicated to getting this show on. It would be ludicrous to have had two phenomenal years and to have extraordinary national recognition for Hobart and for the festival and then put it down the plughole."

Earlier this month Mr Schofield said a $100,000 cut in state government funding had made the festival unviable and he would leave the state and take the festival with him.

Mr Schofield said organisers had to advise Hobart's Theatre Royal by the end of the week if the festival's opera booking would remain.

"Really out of our respect to our colleagues, we need to advise them by the end of this week," he said.

"We can't leave them hanging for weeks without a show, they've got to be able to find a replacement."

Hobart Lord Mayor Damon Thomas has been negotiating with Chinese investors about backing the festival.

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