Léopold Simoneau (1916-2006)

1992 Lifetime Artistic Achievement (Classical Music)

One of the most elegant singers of his time, Léopold Simoneau was among the first to demonstrate there are no limitations to what Canadian artists and performers can achieve.

A brilliant international star who has sung in all the great opera houses from La Scala to the Met, he is known as "Mr. Mozart", one of the century's greatest interpreters of Mozart's music. Unlike many of today's powerhouse superstars, he always viewed his voice, with its unique "lyrico leggiero" sound and wide interpretive range, as "the faithful servant of the music." He remained true to its qualities which gave great integrity to his singing.

A humanist, steeped in the values of European classical history and literature, he continued with these principles when he became a great teacher at the end of his singing career. "It is the beauty of the musical sound that has always captivated me," he says. It is what has motivated his work and what he has used to guide young artists.