|Year of Birth:||1971|
Simon John O'Neill ONZM (born 1971) is a New Zealand-born operatic tenor. In 1998, his image appeared on the New Zealand one-dollar performing arts postage stamp.
O'Neill was born in Ashburton, New Zealand, and received his musical training at the University of Otago, Victoria University of Wellington, graduating with an honours degree in music, before receiving scholarships to the Manhattan School of Music (where he earned a Master of Music degree in 2000) and the Juilliard Opera Center. In late 2016 he was awarded Doctor of Music (Honoris Causa) from Victoria University of Wellington. O'Neill was appointed Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the 2017 Queen's Birthday Honours.
While studying at the Juilliard Opera Center, he sang the title role in Idomeneo, Sam Polk in Susannah, and Chevalier de la Force in Dialogues of the Carmelites under the baton of Julius Rudel. Subsequently, at San Francisco's Merola Opera Program, he performed Rodolfo in La bohème as well as the title role in La clemenza di Tito with Wolf Trap Opera. In 2004, O'Neill was the subject of a TVNZ, BBC documentary The Understudy about his contract at the Metropolitan Opera to cover Siegmund for Plácido Domingo in the Met's Otto Schenk production of Die Walküre.
O'Neill made his Metropolitan Opera debut as the Gran Sacerdote in Mozart's Idomeneo with James Levine, his Royal Opera House debut as Jenik in Smetana's The Bartered Bride with Sir Charles Mackerras followed by Florestan (Fidelio) with Antonio Pappano and Salzburg Festival in Die Zauberflöte with Riccardo Muti and his Vienna Staatsoper debut as the title role in Parsifal with Christian Thielemann.