Surprise promotions for two WAB dancers at Onegin closing night.


During the curtain call of the final performance of West Australian Ballet’s Onegin, dancers Matthew Lehmann and Brooke Widdison-Jacobs were both promoted to Leading Artists. Making the announcement on stage before the audience and the company, Artistic Director Aurélien Scannella praised their recent leading performances, Lehmann as one of the dancers performing the title role of Onegin and Widdison-Jacobs as The Sylph in the May 2013 production of La Sylphide.

Lehmann first danced with West Australian Ballet as a guest artist in 2005 in Dangerous Liaisons, returning in both 2010 and 2011. For his performance in Onegin, Dance Australia reviewed his performance as the troubled man as impressive, and called him a “…thoughtful, intuitive partner…” who showed “…good control and elegance in the solo.” (Margaret Mercer).


Widdison-Jacobs, who was born in Western Australia, danced in several European companies after completing her training at Australian Ballet School. Joining the company for The Sleeping Beauty in 2010, she was also cast in the major role of Miss Drosselmeyer in 2012’s The Nutcracker and described as “stunning” for her recent role in La Sylphide (The Australian).


The promotion of Lehmann and Widdison-Jacobs now gives West Australian Ballet a troupe of six Leading Artists, joining Jayne Smeulders, Sergey Pevnev, Fiona Evans and newcomer Jiri Jelinek.


For further information please contact:

Rosita Stangl,

Publicist West Australian Ballet

Ph: 9367 8884 or Email: rositapr@iinet.net.au






Born in Melbourne, Matthew graduated from The Australian Ballet School in 2004 and then joined Alberta Ballet in 2005. During his time in Canada his favourite roles were Tybault in Jean Grande Maítre’s Romeo and Juliet, Valmont in Jean Grande Maítre’s Dangerous Liaisons and Yukichi Hattori’s Tubular Bells. Matthew first danced with West Australian Ballet during Simon Dow’s Dangerous Liaisons and joined the company once again for the Gala season in 2010. His career highlight prior to Onegin was dancing Petruchio in The Taming of the Shrew.



Born in Narrogin WA, Brooke began her training at the West Australian Conservatoire of Classical Ballet in Perth before moving to Melbourne to train at the Christine Walsh Dance Centre and the Australian Ballet School. After graduating from the ABS, Brooke worked with the English National Ballet, Leipziger Ballett, Royal Ballet of Flanders and Zuricher Ballet where she was promoted to soloist in 2008. Her career highlights include dancing the Lilac Fairy in Marcia Haydee’s The Sleeping Beauty, William Forsythe’s In the Middle Somewhat Elevated and Twyla Tharp’s In the Upper Room, as well as working with countless inspiring choreographers, dancers and having the opportunity to travel the world!