The Kennedy Center

Simon O'Neill


A native of New Zealand Simon O'Neill has rapidly established himself as one of the leading helden-tenors on the international stage.
Notable engagements include Siegmund in Die Walküre at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden with Pappano, La Scala and the Deutsche Staatsoper Berlin with Barenboim, at The Metropolitan Opera with Runnicles and in Hamburg; the title role of Lohengrin with Nelsons and Parsifal with Gatti at the Bayreuth Festival, the Gran Sacerdote in Idomeneo with Levine at The Metropolitan Opera, Jenik in The Bartered Bride with Mackerras at Covent Garden, Die Zauberflöte with Muti at the Salzburg Festival and Sergei in Shostakovich's Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk with Armstrong for Opera Australia. More recently Simon has performed Florestan in Fidelio at the Grafenegg Festival and Houston Grand Opera;  Cavaradossi in Tosca in Berlin and Hamburg, Siegfried in concert performances of Götterdämmerung with the Orquesta Sinfonica Galicia, and Walter in Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg at Covent Garden.

In the 11/12 season and beyond Simon performs Die Walküre at the Royal Opera House, La Scala, Teatro Massimo Palermo, Houston Grand Opera and at the Vienna, Berlin, and Munich Staatsopers; Parsifal at the Vienna Staatsoper, Teatro Real Madrid and Covent Garden; Tosca in Tokyo, Nixon in China in San Francisco, Otello and Götterdämmerung in Houston and further significant returns to the Metropolitan Opera. On the concert platform he performs Der Freischütz with the London Symphony Orchestra, the Missa solemnis with the Boston Symphony with Kurt Masur at Carnegie Hall, Gürrelieder in London as well as Die Walküre with Pietari Inkinen and the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra.

At extremely short notice Simon made his debut in the title role of Verdi's Otello in concert at the Barbican with the London Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Sir Colin Davis (2009). His performance was widely acclaimed by critics.

Simon has appeared in many of the world's leading concert halls including Carnegie Hall for Das Lied von der Erde with Levine and The Met Orchestra, Florestan in Fidelio at both the Salzburg Festival and BBC Proms with Barenboim, Das Lied von der Erde and Parsifal at Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia with Pappano and Gatti, Janá?ek's Glagolitic Mass with Dutoit at Tokyo's NHK Hall and with Boulez in the BBC Proms at the Royal Albert Hall, Mahler's Symphony No. 8 at the Sydney Opera House with Ashkenazy and Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 for the reopening of London's Royal Festival Hall. He also had the honor of touring Europe with Daniel Barenboim and the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra performing Act I Die Walküre in concert. His discography includes his debut solo award winning album; Father and Son, Wagner Scenes and Arias (Lohengrin, Parsifal, Siegmund and Siegfried) with Pietari Inkinen and the NZSO for EMI, the title role of Otello with Sir Colin Davis with the LSO, Die Zauberflöte for the Salzburg Festival Mozart 25 DVD with Riccardo Muti, Mahler's Symphony No.8 with Vladimir Ashkenanzy and the Sydney Symphony, Beethoven Symphony No.9 DVD with Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie, Frank Martin's Der Sturm with the Netherlands Radio Symphony and Thierry Fischer and Chauson's Le Roi Arthus with Leon Botstein and the BBC Symphony Orchestra.
Simon O'Neill is an alumnus of the University of Otago, Victoria University of Wellington, the Manhattan School of Music and the Juilliard Opera Center. He is a Fulbright Scholar, was awarded the 2005 Arts Laureate of New Zealand and was a grand finalist in the 2002 Metropolitan Opera National Auditions returning as guest artist in 2007. He also appears on the 1998 New Zealand one-dollar performing arts postage stamp.

March 2012
Simon O'Neill