by Shauna Willott
Helen Donaldson's first adventure with Essgee
Entertainment was in its inaugural production The Pirates of Penzance
where she debuted in the leading role of Mabel. Helen was nominated for a Mo
Award for her performance in that role after which she went on to create and
play the role of Yum Yum in the company's acclaimed version of The Mikado.
After a almost a year off to spend at home, Helen joined up with the company
again to play her favourite G&S heroine - Josephine in HMS Pinafore.
from the Queensland Conservatorium of Music, Helen has been a finalist in most of Australia's leading vocal competitions and
has won prizes in The Australian Singing Competition, the Royal Covent Garden
Scholarship and in 1994 was proud to receive Opera Queensland's Marie Watson
Blake Encouragement Award.
Helen is also a very busy concert performer and
has appeared with major orchestras in Queensland and NSW and has been a regular
performer on Good Morning Australia. Helen's roles include Titania (A
Midsummer Night's Dream), Phyllis (Iolanthe), Musetta (La
Boheme), Miss Wordsworth (Albert Herring), ensemble and Christine
understudy (The Phantom of the Opera) and the role of Giunia in the
Australian premiere of Mozart's Lucio Silla.
In 1998 Helen was cast in Essgee's Brisbane production of The
Merry Widow playing the title role opposite Jeffrey Black as Danilo and
then onto Essgee's slapstick musical A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To
The Forum in 1999. Helen was released from this show to go into Essgee's
Melbourne production of The Merry Widow but this time playing the role
of Valencienne opposite Simon Gallaher.
In 2000, Helen was granted a Green Card
to work in USA and lived in New York with her husband Mark, their son Tae
and three daughters.
They have since become citizens of U.S.A. but have recently moved back to Australia as Helen will return to the role of Yum-Yum she created for Essgee in their new 2008 production of The Mikado. Helen has just completed writing and starring in her own series of concerts entitled The Sound of Julie Andrews which has been met with much acclaim is due to tour throughout 2009.