Heldentenor and iconic director fly the flag at this year’s International Opera Awards.

Three of Australian opera’s highest profile figures, Stuart Skelton, Simone Young and Barrie Kosky, were recognised at last night’s second annual International Opera Awards. Winners in all 22 categories were announced during a star-studded ceremony at London’s Grosvenor Hotel.

Tough international competition proved no match for the three Australians, who took out the awards for Best Male Singer, Best Verdi Anniversary production and Best Director, respectively.

Skelton, last seen as Siegmund in the Melbourne Ringand who recently starred in Peter Grimesat the London Coliseum, was competing against the likes of Peter Mattei and Luca Pisaroni. Commenting on his win in typically modest fashion, Skelton said: “I’m absolutely thrilled and more than a little gobsmacked by this award,” he said. “It probably won’t sink in for a day or two yet! I’m so grateful to the awards committee for this incredible vote of confidence and I shall do my very best to live up to it.”

Australian-born theatre and opera director Barrie Kosky, currently Artistic Director of Berlin’s Komische Oper, also saw off stiff rivalry from directors including Calixto Bieito and Martin Kušej.

The other Aussie victory was...