Benjamin Bernheim makes his American debut as the titular Faust, showcasing an expressive and powerful voice that manages to be both clear and silky smooth while remaining utterly French.
Stage and Cinema
The role of Faust is presented by the extraordinary gifted young French tenor Benjamin Bernheim, for whom this role became an American debut. His brilliant presentation of Faust impresses with the first sounds of his tender and strong voice. Aria “Salut o mon dernier matin” in Act 1 demonstrates all the dramatism and lyricism of Bernheim’s voice, while aria “Quel trouble inconnu me penêtre” in Act 3 shows not only the brilliance of his voice, but also its wide diapason, especially at the end of this aria where Bernheim easily and masterfully takes long and really high notes. The Chicago audience already fell in love with this acclaimed tenor who is a noticeable figure in the European opera world. Now, he is a well-recognized singer in the United States as well.
In Kevin Newbury’s absorbing new production that was filled with eccentricities, Bernheim was mesmerizing. He gave an eloquent performance, displaying a lyrical vocal instrument of great beauty.Bernheim’s supremely beautiful singing of that iconic aria brought forth a sustained ovation from the Chicago audience, whose approval was obviously shared by Maestro Emmanuel Villaume, who applauded Bernheim at length from the conductor’s podium with his hands raised overhead.
Opera War Horses
For Benjamin Bernheim, the French tenor making his American debut, this choice highlights his luxurious lyricism as well as heroic vocal qualities in the guise of naïveté and rejuvenation.
In his American debut, French tenor Benjamin Bernheim scored an enormous success. His meltingly beautiful lyric tenor poured forth golden tone, and he was a master of dynamics and vocal color. He also evinced some real power for his climatic moments, and sang throughout with Gallic elegance and graceful phrasing.
The voices in the large cast are excellent…Rather than a scholar, this production’s Faust (French tenor Benjamin Bernheim, whose voice is full of emotional heat) is portrayed as an aging artist…
French tenor Benjamin Bernheim makes a glorious American debut as Faust, projecting plenty of ardor as the dashing title antihero.
Scott C. Morgan
Bernheim’s big moment in his “Salut, demeure chaste et pure” in Act three featured the elegant, legato phrasing that has made him as one of the world’s rising singers. Before that, his declaration of love in Act two of “O belle enfant, je t’aime” was so powerful that it’s possible it shook the opera house.
In the titular role, French tenor Benjamin Bernheim was astounding…His warm but cutting voice is a perfect fit for the French lyric repertoire. It was exhilarating to witness his triumphant American debut.
Hannah de Priest
Bernheim sounded very much like the major French lyric tenor the opera world is longing for. With his bright, reedy sound, he invested Faust’s long-breathed phrases with great lyrical tenderness and an elegant legato line, bringing down the house with his soliloquy, “Salut, demeure,” beautifully sung. Bravo to the Lyric for snapping him up ahead of every other major U.S. company.
John von Rhein