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French And Italian Arias

Leopold/Alarie;Pierre Simoneau Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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1. Il matrimonio segreto: Cara non dubitar
2. L'arlesiana: E la solita storia del pastore
3. La Boheme: O soave fanciulla
4. TOSCA: E lucevan le stelle
5. Faust: Il se fait tard adieu
6. La Juive: Rachel quand du Seigneur
7. Manon: J'ai marque l'heure du depart
8. Les pecheurs de perles: A cette voix quel trouble
9. Joseph en Egypte: Champs paternels
10. Mignon: Adieu Mignon
11. Mignon: Elle ne croyait pas
12. Manon: Instant charmant
13. Manon: Je suis seul! Ah fuyez douce image
14. L'Elisir d'Amore: Una furtiva lagrima
15. La Traviata: Lunge da lei - De' miei bollenti spiriti

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Tenor-lovers Alert! Feb. 24 2001
Format:Audio CD
For some of the most beautiful lyric tenor singing available on a disc, please sample this recent release on DGG.
Mr. Simoneau's recording are few and this one is particularly fine in its aria selection and the singing is simply above reproach.
This is a lyric tenor voice in the style of Schipa. Should you have doubts, listen closely to the aria "Una furtiva lagrima" from Donizetti's opera L'elisir d'amore. The pitch is perfect, the line is firm and the voice is beautiful in it tonal quality. The duet from Faust is sung lovingly and phrased to perfecton by this husband and wife vocal team, a feast of simple lyric beauty.
There are no fillers on this disc. Every duet and aria is a winner and I should perhaps note that since Mr. Simoneau's French diction is flawless, the arias from operas by Mehul and Halevy are particularly welcome. As a footnote, I should like to add that if you are able, find a copy of Simoneau's recording of the "Sanctus" from the Berlioz Requiem with Munch and the Boston Symphony. It makes all recorded competition sound amateurish.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent! May 19 2011
By Doily
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
These 2 singers are wonderful to listen to. Leopold Simmoneau has a sublime voice! Lovely to listen to. His wife is good, too. Together, they make beautiful music. (Strange that I only came across them in recent years. I have been an opera buff for all my life, and don't recall hearing them, not sure why. They need more air time.) Very glad to have this album in my collection. Highly recommended.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tenor-lovers Alert! Feb. 24 2001
By song junkie - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
For some of the most beautiful lyric tenor singing available on a disc, please sample this recent release on DGG.
Mr. Simoneau's recording are few and this one is particularly fine in its aria selection and the singing is simply above reproach.
This is a lyric tenor voice in the style of Schipa. Should you have doubts, listen closely to the aria "Una furtiva lagrima" from Donizetti's opera L'elisir d'amore. The pitch is perfect, the line is firm and the voice is beautiful in it tonal quality. The duet from Faust is sung lovingly and phrased to perfecton by this husband and wife vocal team, a feast of simple lyric beauty.
There are no fillers on this disc. Every duet and aria is a winner and I should perhaps note that since Mr. Simoneau's French diction is flawless, the arias from operas by Mehul and Halevy are particularly welcome. As a footnote, I should like to add that if you are able, find a copy of Simoneau's recording of the "Sanctus" from the Berlioz Requiem with Munch and the Boston Symphony. It makes all recorded competition sound amateurish.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A voice of rare beauty, used with restraint May 31 2010
By Ralph Moore - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
To get the obvious out of the way first: Simoneau possessed a lyric tenor of rare beauty and homogeneity of tone throughout its range, more of a "tenore di grazia" in the Italian repertoire and in French opera the kind of graceful, Gallic voice now virtually extinct; he could happily alternate between the two, sounding comfortable in both traditions. Of course, as a French-Canadian, presumably his sung French was perfect (it sounds it to me) and he had the happy fortune to be married to, and share his career with, a light, pure soprano whose voice beautifully matched his own - and Pierette Alarie partners him prettily in four excerpts.

There are several tracks here which demonstrate the surpassing elegance of Simoneau's gifts, particularly in the French operas "Manon", "Les Pêcheurs de perles" and "Faust". Having said that, even in those, the most pleasing features of this disc, I was sometimes aware of a certain restraint bordering on blandness in Simoneau's characterisation. In the famous "Manon" with de los Angeles, Henri Legay manages to do much more, dramatically, with somewhat less voice, to involve the listener in Des Grieux's torment. Nor do I think some of Simoneau's choice of repertoire to be especially wise: his version of "Rachel, quand du Seigneur" inevitably invites invidious comparisons with bigger-voiced tenors such as Caruso and Tucker who had the resources to snarl and thrill us with the climactic "C'est moi". No, this aria should not be delivered in verismo style, but once heard with more passion than Simoneau can summon up, it's hard to concede that his style is preferable. He is definitely stretched by "O, mon père" and a slight crack should have resulted in a re-take. Similarly, should he really be venturing into Cavaradossi territory with "E lucevan le stelle"? The climactic A is hardly - er -climactic.

So as much as I admire this valuable singer, I still think this recital to be a mixed bag. It matters little that the second half lapses from stereo into mono - the sound is clear and crisp - but certain items are certainly much more impressive than others, mainly by virtue of their suitability to Simoneau's voice type. It is especially pleasant to hear that lovely classical aria "Champs paternels" from Méhul's "Joseph en Egypte", once a staple number in tenor recitals, but even here rather stodgy tempi for the opening section mean that memories of John McCormack's peerless acoustic version are not erased. Compensation comes in the two meltingly sung arias from Thomas's "Mignon"; the kind of thing Simoneau did best.

Fans of Simoneau may already have his lovely complete recordings of "Così fan tutte" under Karajan and "Orphée et Eurydice" under Rosbaud but this recital, despite my mild reservations, makes a welcome souvenir of a delightful singer.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful singing May 10 2013
By Allen Brodsky - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I was unfamiliar with Leopold Simoneau until I heard the duet "Cara, non dubitar" (sung with his wife, Pierrette Alarie) on WQXR out of NYC. That prompted me to buy the CD. Simoneau's singing is exceptional: beautiful, emotional, with a full, bell-like tone. Alarie has a lovely voice. The orchestral playing is excellent and well-balanced behind the voices. I enjoy the selections on this CD very much, and think anyone who enjoys opera, classical singing, or just good singing would enjoy this recital, too.
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