Congratulations to Simon O'Neill on his much-deserved 2005 Arts Foundation Laureate Award, announced this morning.
Simon was raised in Ashburton and now lives in the opera houses of the world. He recently understudied Placido Domingo's Siegmund at the New York 'Met's' Walkure, and 'The Independent' declared of a recent appearance in Susannah that " the best music came from the Irish (sic) tenor Simon O'Neill's splendidly sung Sam."
I'm looking forward to seeing Simon back in New Zealand in March for Parsifal, for which he's singing the title role (and for which I'd better get on with buying a ticket before they're all gone). Appearing on stage with him will be international Wagnerian legend Donald McIntyre in the role of Gurnemanz, himself a 2003 Arts Foundation Icon.