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Léopold Simoneau

Simoneau was the prototypical Mozart tenor, with an unusually nice voice, strong breathing control, easy pianos and pianissimos, and graceful phrasing. His unstrained mind voice also produced him perfect for French lyric functions, such as for example Wilhelm Meister in Mignon, Nicias in Thais, and Nadir in Les Pêcheurs de Perles, operas where he loved great success aswell. He analyzed in Montreal with Salvator Issaurel and produced his operatic debut there in 1941, as Hadji in Delibes’ Lakmé. In 1949, he produced his debuts in Paris, in the Opera-Comique as Vincent in Gounod’s Mireille with the Opera as Tamino in The Magic Flute. His Glyndebourne debut is at 1951 as Idamante in Mozart’s Idomeneo, and he produced his La Scala, Vienna Staatsoper, Salzburg, and Met debuts in Mozart functions aswell. While Mozart and French operas composed his primary repertoire, he also made an appearance in the lighter Italian functions, including Alfredo in La traviata. He wedded soprano Pierrette Alarie in 1946. After their retirements, they founded the Canada Opera Piccola a touring organization that specializes in nurturing youthful performers, in 1986. (Among Opera Piccola’s alumni is usually tenor Richard Margison.) Although performance version is usually heavily slice, his Idamante in Pritchard’s 1st saving of Idomeneo (EMI CHS7 63685-2) is usually ravishing, as is usually his Nadir on Philips under Fournet (Philips 434 782-2).

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