Alarie, Pierrette (Marguerite)

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Alarie, Pierrette (Marguerite)

Alarie, Pierrette (Marguerite), Canadian soprano and teacher; b. Montreal, Nov. 9, 1921. She studied voice and acting with Jeanne Maubourg and Albert Roberval. After appearing on radio as an actress and singer of popular music, she continued vocal training with Salvator Issaurel (1938–43) and as a scholarship student with Elisabeth Schumann at the Curtis Inst. of Music in Philadelphia (1943–46). In 1943 she made her debut as Mozart’s Barbarina in Montreal. She won the Metropolitan Opera Auditions of the Air in 1945, and on Dec. 8 of that year made her debut with the company in N.Y. as Verdi’s Oscar; remained on its roster until 1947. In subsequent years, she appeared frequently in opera and in concert with her husband, Leopold Simoneau, whom she married in 1946. In addition to her festival appearances in Aix-en-Provence, Edinburgh, Glynde-bourne, Vienna, and Munich, she sang opera in Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver, San Francisco, Philadelphia, N.Y., and New Orleans, becoming particularly well known for her performances of works by Mozart and of works from the French repertoire. In 1966 she retired from the operatic stage and in 1970 made her farewell appearance as a concert singer. After teaching and staging opera in Calif. (1972–82), she went to Victoria, British Columbia, where she was founder-director with her husband of the Canada Opera Piccola. In 1967 she was made an Officer of the Order of Canada. In 1990 the French government made her a Chevalière of the Ordre des arts et des lettres de France.


R. Maheu, P. A, Leopold Simoneau: Deux voix, un art (Montreal, 1988).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire