Handa Opera on the Harbour, the Melbourne Ring and Stuart Skelton all make this year’s nominations.

Opera Australia and Australian singers, conductors and directors have all been recognised in the nominations for this year’s International Opera Awards. Handa Opera on the Harbour, the Melbourne Ring, Barrie Kosky, Simone Young and Stuart Skelton all make this year’s nominations.

In stark contrast to last year’s inaugural Opera Awards which were a highly Eurocentric, or some argued an Anglo-American affair, this year’s renamed 'International' Opera Awards have cast their eyes upon the southern hemisphere and spotted some talent worth noting.

Opera Australia comes out best with Handa Opera on the Harbour being nominated for the Accessibility Award and the Melbourne Ring getting a nod in the Anniversary Production category. The latter new, and probably one off category promises a tough fight with Peter Grimes on Aldeburgh beach a likely front runner.

Aussie heldentenor Stuart Skelton receives a nomination for Best Male Singer in a list that handily does not include last year’s winner Jonas Kaufmann or the likes of Terfel, Flórez, Calleja or Beczała. His completion will be Stéphane Degout, Bryan Hymel, Peter Mattei, Luca Pisaroni, Michael Volle and Ludovic Tézier. A betting man would say he was in with a good chance although Mattei and Pisaroni are both very popular contenders.

The women’s list consists of Diana Damrau, Christine Goerke (appearing in Elektra next week at Sydney Opera House), Anja Harteros, Christiane Karg, Petra Lang, Adrienne Pieczonka and Krassimira Stoyanova. The Readers Award (for which you can vote) takes care of the star names missing from the Best Male and Female lists and comprises Piotr Beczała, Joseph Calleja, Joyce DiDonato, Renée Fleming, Juan Diego Flórez, Anna Netrebko and Bryn Terfel.

Two Australian up-and-comings, sporano Helena Dix and baritone Duncan Rock are nominated for Best Young Singer where they will face strong competition from the likes of Joyce El-Khoury and Pretty Yende.

Australian conductor and Hamburg Opera chief Simone Young heads the list of maestri, a strong field that includes Sir Mark Elder, Andris Nelsons and Gianandrea Noseda. Berlin’s Komische Oper intendant Barrie Kosky is nominated for Best Director alongside fellow ‘Regie’ directors Calixto Bieito and Martin Kušej.

Amongst the recordings nominated are The Rape of Lucretia starring Australian baritone Peter Coleman Wright but the competition will be stiff with George Benjamin’s Written on Skin and Opera Rara’s superb recording of Donizetti’s Belisario in the running. Spanish countertenor Xavier Sabata, whose headed for Hobart Baroque is nominated for Bad Guys, the Handel aria album that he’ll showcase in Tassie.

The International Opera Awards ceremony will be held on Monday April 7 at the Grosvenor House Hotel, Park Lane, London and the full list of nominations can be found here.