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Roundtable: an operatic triple threat


Lyric Opera of Chicago is currently wrapping up its 2017/18 mainstage opera season with an innovative new production of Gounod’s Faust under the direction of Kevin Newbury and maestro Emmanuel Villaume.

I recently had the pleasure to sit down for a conversation with the production’s three leads: soprano Ailyn Pérez, tenor Benjamin Bernheim, and bass-baritone Christian Van Horn. Van Horn is something of a house favorite, having appeared in fifteen previous productions since 2004. For Pérez, a Chicagoland native, this is a thrilling house debut; and for Bernheim, not only a house debut but his American debut. Though this is the first time they are working together, they’ve developed an easy rapport and a deep mutual respect. Lots of laughter punctuated our shop talk and often the most memorable moments occurred during the singers’ natural repartee. Below is a lightly-edited collection of answers to some of my questions, which I asked over the course of an hour-long conversation. Read on for a bit of insight into these three singers’ lives and work.

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Benjamin Bernheim on Lyric Opera of Chicago’s new production of Gounod’s Faust


French tenor Benjamin Bernheim will soon be making his U.S. debut at Lyric Opera of Chicago, singing the title role in Gounod’s Faust. I am thrilled that Benjamin was willing to take some time to talk to me about the new production, his take on the Faust legend, and his love of opera.

You will soon be making your U.S. debut on one of the great stages of the country. Does that add any pressure?

The history of this house is legendary and singing this title role after many great tenors like Jussi Bjoerling, Neil Schicoff and Piotr Beczala is a great honor that the director of the Chicago Lyric is giving me.

Tell me about your interpretation of the Faust legend. The work inspires interesting questions, such as what you’re willing to sacrifice in order to get something you desire. Have you tapped into anything from your past that helps you connect with the character on the page?

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BENJAMIN BERNHEIM EST-IL LE NOUVEAU ROBERTO ALAGNA ?


Son nom n’est peut-être pas encore très connu. Et pourtant, Benjamin Bernheim a déjà grimpé plusieurs marches de l’escalier de la renommée. Son domaine ? L’opéra. Ce ténor franco-suisse est l’une des étoiles montantes de l’art lyrique, l’un des rares ténors francophones à affronter les grands rôles de l’opéra italien (Alfredo de « La Traviata », Rodolfo de « La Bohême ») et français (Don José dans Carmen).

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Center Stage: The Opera World’s New Leading Man


Shellie Karabell , CONTRIBUTOR
I cover leadership – people, politics & policy – from a European view.
Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own.

(Paris December 18, 2017) Young French Tenor Benjamin Bernheim as Rodolfo in a space suit in the new production of La Bohème at the Paris Opera.

The opera La Bohème is a romantic tragedy that commences in a sort of cynical merriment around Christmas Eve and goes downhill from there. For French tenor Benjamin Bernheim, who made his Paris debut in the male lead at the Opera Bastille on December 18, the action is likely to follow a different trajectory.

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Benjamin Bernheim, le héraut du chant français


Benjamin Bernheim, le héraut du chant français
Rencontre avec le nouveau Rodolfo à l’Opéra Bastille dès le 18 décembre. Le ténor qui brille dans des répertoires très différents (italien, allemand et russe) est avant tout un défenseur de la langue et du chant français.

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Benjamin Bernheim : « J’ai quelque chose à apporter au répertoire français »


Souvent comparé à Roberto Alagna ou à Georges Thill pour sa diction française, le ténor franco-suisse Benjamin Bernheim fait ses débuts officiels sur la scène de l’Opéra Bastille ce soir, 18 décembre, en Rodolfo dans La Bohème mise en scène par Claus Guth. Propos d’un chanteur prometteur à force de volonté.

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Recontre avec…Benjamin Bernheim


Jeune ténor de la scène lyrique franco-suisse, il est de retour à Paris pour chanter Rodolfo à l’Opéra Bastille, dans la mise en scène futuriste de Claus Guth, fin décembre.

Fansdeculture: Vous chantez principalement des rôles de jeunes romantiques aux amours incertaines voire contrariées. Avez-vous un attrait particulier pour ceux-ci ou sont-ils bons pour votre voix?

Benjamin Bernheim: Je pense simplement qu’une grande partie de ces rôles convient à une voix comme la mienne. Je profite de ma voix et de la palette de couleurs que je peux développer en ce moment. Le moment est idéal pour moi techniquement et en fonction de mon âge pour aborder ces rôles qui demandent de la jeunesse, de la flexibilité mais aussi des couleurs et du culot.

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Benjamin Bernheim : « J’ai appris que j’avais des nerfs »


Guth, le ténor français Benjamin Bernheim nous présente avec beaucoup de recul son travail, son répertoire « de jeune romantique », ainsi que ses projets.

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Interview with Benjamin Bernheim


Raised in Geneva, French tenor Benjamin Bernheim is rapidly asserting his place as one of the most remarkable young singers before the public today. Following initial training at the Lausanne Conservatoire, he joined the young artists’ program at the Opernhaus Zürich before graduating into its ensemble. Since then, he has made a string of major appearances including Lensky and Alfredo at the Deutsche Oper, Rodolfo in Dresden and Faust in Riga. Current and future appearances include Rodolfo in London and Paris, Faust in Chicago, Nemorino in Vienna and a return to Zürich as Alfredo. I caught up with Mr Bernheim following his Royal Opera debut as Rodolfo.

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Tenor Benjamin Bernheim in conversation with Rivka Jacobson


At 32, the young tenor, Benjamin Bernheim, made his debut at the Royal Opera House in Richard Jones’s new production of Puccini’s passionate opera La Bohème on the 6th October 2017. We met at the Royal Opera House a few days before his debut appearance in the much-coveted role of Rodolfo in La Bohème. His excitement seemed complete.  Not only is he appearing at leading Opera Houses, but also in the role he is so keen on.

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