Nominations for the 2010 Olivier Awards (which celebrate, er, 2009 shows) were announced today.
The contenders for Outstanding Achievement in Opera are this year all singers (where is Pappano?). And all from the Best New Opera shortlist, which should cut the canape bill. Anja Kampe gets the nod for Der fliegende Holländer, Stuart Skelton for Peter Grimes, Nina Stemme for Tristan und Isolde and the industrious Michael Volle for both Lulu and Tristan und Isolde.
Any of them would be worthy winners, though I suspect the controversy about the Royal Opera's efforts might lead the jury to end up with the only universally-acclaimed production on the list, Peter Grimes.
The Olivier Awards, just to remind you, are not intended to reflect popularity (the punter-picked Audience Award shortlisted Wicked, The Phantom Of The Opera, We Will Rock You, War Horse and Billy Elliot The Musical). Nor, with Keira Knightley up for an acting award and Rupert Goold for directing (no points deducted for Turandot?) can there be a great deal of critical acumen involved.
Personally, I'd like to see Michael Volle rewarded, not just because of his remarkable singing, but for the generosity of his performances. And I'd love Lulu to win something so the ROH are forced to bring it back.