Congratulations to all winners of operatic (and other) Helpmanns, and above all, to all involved with Peter Grimes, which aced it on the night. It did upset me a bit when I realised that both Grimes and Bliss would fall within the nominating period for this year's Helpmanns — Bliss being, in and of itself, worthy of many and varied prizes, but Grimes being, well, the best thing in the world ever — but ultimately I think it worked out for the best.
There was some feeling beforehand — fostered by Opera Australia's own rather one-track hype — that Bliss, being so very Australian as well as being excellent, would sweep all or most of its eleven nominations; but in the end, it only took Best Lighting Design (Nigel Levings) and Best Supporting Female (Taryn Fiebig). Peter Grimes, on the other hand, won Best Opera, Best Direction of an Opera (Neil Armfield), Best Male Performer (Stuart Skelton) and, in its Perth incarnation, Best Supporting Male (Andrew Foote). And while heaven knows there's nobody more devoted to Bliss than I am (except maybe Brett Dean), I think this is pretty much exactly how things should have gone. Bliss was a huge achievement, but Grimes was something more. It was, as I said a few sentences ago, the best thing in the world ever, and should be celebrated (and promoted, and, who knows, perhaps even revived, Mr Terracini?) at every possible opportunity.