|Year of Birth:||1916|
|Year of Death:||2006|
Léopold Simoneau, CC CQ (May 3, 1916 – August 24, 2006) was a French-Canadian lyric tenor, one of the outstanding Mozarteans of his time. In 1959 he became the first recipient of the Calixa-Lavallée Award.
Simoneau was born in Saint-Flavien, Quebec, and started his vocal studies in Quebec City at Levis College and Université Laval. While studying in Montreal with Salvator Issaurel, he made his professional debut with Les Variétés Lyriques in Montréal in 1941.
He then left for New York City for complementary studies with Paul Althouse. In 1946 he appeared at the New York City Center as Lionel in Martha. That same year he married French-Canadian soprano Pierrette Alarie.Together they left for France.
Simoneau made his debut in 1949 at the Opéra-Comique of Paris as Vincent in Gounod's opera Mireille and at the Paris Opera as Tamino in Die Zauberflöte. He made his debut at the Aix-en-Provence Festival in 1950 singing Ottavio in Don Giovanni and Ferrando in Così fan tutte. The following year, 1951, he made his debut at the Glyndebourne Festival as Idamante in Idomeneo. His performances at these two festivals quickly established him as the outstanding Mozartian tenor of his time. He was invited to sing at the Salzburg Festival and the Edinburgh Festival, at the Vienna State Opera and at La Scala in Milan, while pursuing his career in France, in roles such as Nadir in Les pêcheurs de perles, Gérald in Lakmé. He took part in the revival of opera such as Rameau's Les Indes galantes and Orphée in the French version for tenor of Gluck's Orfeo ed Euridice. In France he was frequently singing opposite his wife, who was a light lyric coloratura soprano excelling in the same repertoire as her husband.