Alarie, Pierrette (1921—)

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Alarie, Pierrette (1921—)

French-Canadian soprano. Born Marguerite Alarie in Montreal, Canada, on November 9, 1921; daughter of Sylva (a choirmaster) and Amanda Alarie (a soprano and actress); studied with Jeanne Maubourg, Salvator Issaurel, and Albert Roberval; married Léopold Simoneau, in 1946.

Won the Metropolitan Opera Auditions of the Air (1945); made her Metropolitan debut (1945); appeared on opera stages in San Francisco, Philadelphia, New Orleans, and Vancouver.

Pierrette Alarie was born into a musical family. Her father was the Montreal choirmaster and assistant conductor of the Société canadienne d'opérette and her mother Amanda Alarie was a soprano and actress. Following in their footsteps, Alarie made her first appearance on the radio at age 14. She studied voice with Salvator Issaurel from 1938–43 when she met Léopold Simoneau whom she married in 1946. From 1943–46, Alarie had studied with Elisabeth Schumann at the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia while she was on scholarship. After winning the Metropolitan Opera Auditions of the Air in 1945, she made her debut at the Met. In 1949, she and her husband were engaged by the Paris Opera and the Opéra Comique for three years. Alarie appeared in opera houses throughout Europe and concertized widely in North America. In 1961, her recording of Mozart arias made with her husband won the Grand Prix du disque of the Académie Charles-Cros. Alarie appeared in a number of opera productions made for television. During the 1960s, she began teaching at the École Vincent d'Indy. In 1959, she and Simoneau were awarded the Prix de musique Calixa-Lavallée, and in 1967 Pierrette Alarie was made an Officer of the Order of Canada.

John Haag , Associate Professor of History, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia