Faust recording

A live recording of the 1859 version of Gounod’s Faust will be released on August 23rd, as part of the Palazzetto Bru Zane project. The recording was captured in June 2018 at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées in Paris with Mr. Bernheim in the title role. Marguerite is sung by Véronique Gens, while Andrew Foster-Williams performs Méphistophélès, and Jean-Sébastien Bou sings Valentin. This never before recorded version of Gounod’s masterpiece includes spoken dialogue and several different musical numbers including: Méphistophélès’ aria “Maître Scarabée, ”the trio of Faust/Wagner/Siebel “À l’étude ô mon maître”, the duet of Valentin/Marguerite “Adieu, mon bon frère!”, Siebel’s romance “Versez vos chagrins dans mon âme!” the witches’ chorus “Un deux et trois,” and Valentin’s aria with chorus “Chaque jour, nouvelle affaire.”

Mr. Bernheim’s performance in the role has been praised as “exemplairy” with a “stunning timbre” and “elegant phrasing” (Online Merker). 

The CD can be purchased here.

Role Debut as Ismaele at Opernhaus Zürich

As Ismaele, Benjamin Bernheim makes his role debut in Nabucco at Opernhaus Zürich, adding yet another Verdi role to his repertoire. In this story of Hebrew subjugation, the chorus of slaves implores with longing for basic human freedom, singing the famous Va, pensiero.  Conductor Fabio Luise, keeps passions urgent.

A case where art imitates life, the opera Nabucco catapulted to high acclaim as it was understood to mirror the political turmoil of Verdi’s Italy. Frankly, Verdi felt it was Nabucco that fully launched his fame and place in the opera world. As an ardent story of human suffering and emancipation, Nabucco resonates with anyone seeking justice where it is found lacking. Bernheim joins Michael Volle as Nabucco, Anna Smirnova as Abigail, and Georg Zeppenfeld as Zaccaria in this new Andreas Homoki production.

Dates include June 23, 26, 29 and July 2,5,9 and 12, and tickets are available here.

Tenor Benjamin Bernheim joins celebrated soprano Ermonela Jaho in concert at the spectacular Prince Felipe Auditorium in Oviedo, Spain on April 27th. Selections include arias from Verdi and Massenet, among others. In particular, the Saint-Sulpice duet from Massenet’s Manon promises to stun as these two artists combine in a formidable presentation of pathos and passion, as both Bernheim and Jaho have been hailed for their superb interpretations of Des Grieux and Manon respectively. The experienced baton of Alain Guingal directs this concert with a knowing touch. Presented by the Opera Oviedo, this concert is certain to delight all senses.

Tickets and additional information here.

Benjamin Bernheim signs exclusive contract with Deutsche Grammophon

“… the major French lyric tenor the opera world is longing for.” Chicago Tribune

  • Bernheim’s debut DG album, recorded with the Prague Philharmonia and its chief conductor Emmanuel Villaume, to be released in autumn 2019

Deutsche Grammophon is pleased to announce that it has signed an exclusive long-term contract with Benjamin Bernheim. The 33-year-old French lyric tenor has already secured his international reputation as one of the leading tenors of the new generation of singers.

Bernheim will launch his relationship with DG with an album of French, Italian and Russian arias. Scheduled for worldwide release in autumn 2019, it will capture his interpretations of the classic young tenor roles, featuring works by many of the composers central to his operatic repertoire, including Gounod, Massenet, Donizetti, Puccini, Verdi and Tchaikovsky.

“Opera has the power to touch people’s souls and enrich their lives, and I’m happy that I’ll be able to reach a broader audience worldwide in partnership with DG,” says Bernheim. “I’m delighted to have recorded my first DG album with the Prague Philharmonia and Emmanuel Villaume, exploring a range of roles that suit my voice so well right now.”

Dr Clemens Trautmann, President Deutsche Grammophon, welcomed Bernheim to the Yellow Label. “Benjamin owns much more than a sublime voice,” he notes. “He is always searching for those vital elements that lie beneath the music’s surface, demonstrating a combination of intuition and empathy as well as technical mastery. We’re determined to introduce this remarkable young star to a large new audience, and show why he’s in such high demand at the world’s leading opera companies.”

Valérie Gross, DG’s A&R Director Vocal & Opera Productions, added, “He’s got it all: voice, charisma, looks and an uncanny ability to communicate with people – watch out for this exceptional singer!”

Benjamin Bernheim was born in Paris in 1985. After studying in Lausanne, he joined Zurich Opera’s Opera Studio in 2008, returning to the company two years later as a member of its renowned ensemble. He is now in demand in leading roles at the world’s most prestigious opera houses, having sung Rodolfo (La bohème) at Covent Garden, the Opéra de Paris and the Vienna Staatsoper; Alfredo (La traviata) at La Scala, Milan, Berlin Staatsoper and Zurich Opera; Nemorino (L’elisir d’amore) at the Vienna Staatsoper; Lenski (Eugene Onegin) at the Deutsche Oper Berlin; and the title role in Faust at the Lyric Opera of Chicago and Théâtre des Champs-Elysées. He has also appeared in several productions at the Salzburg Whitsun and Summer festivals. He began this season by reprising the role of Rodolfo in Zurich, and then went on to give his first performance of the Verdi Requiem at Covent Garden, conducted by Sir Antonio Pappano. He makes his highly anticipated role debut as Des Grieux in Manon at Opéra national de Bordeaux on 5 April, and debuts the role of Ismaele in Nabucco in Zurich in June. This season has also brought great critical acclaim, including this review for his appearance as Tamino (Die Zauberflöte) at the Vienna Staatsoper: “With his warm, golden-toned tenor and wonderful stage presence he showed … why he is known as one of the most interesting tenors of our day” (Die Presse). In December 2018, he was named a Rolex Testimonee.

In the 2019-20 season Bernheim will return to the Opéra de Paris as Alfredo and Des Grieux in new productions of La traviata and Manon respectively. He will also make his role and house debut as the Duke in Rigoletto at the Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich, with other highlights of the coming season including his appearances in La Bohème in Munich and Paris and La traviata at both the Berlin and the Vienna Staatsoper.

Role debut as Des Grieux in ‘Manon’

Opéra national de Bordeaux welcomes Benjamin Bernheim in Massenet’s Manon in April 2019, as he makes his highly anticipated role debut as the Chevalier Des Grieux. Considered an opera comique, Manon is a five-act performance that covers universal themes of love, both pure and unrequited, and the conflict that comes with impulse and desire. At the Grand-Théâtre in Bordeaux, this piece is interpreted by famed French director Olivier Py. Marc Minkowsky weaves magic with baton and punctuates the score with his usual panache, as American soprano Nadine Sierra sings the title role, and French baritone Alexandre Duhamel sings Lescaut. A discussion on the opera will be given on April 2nd at the opera house, and a lunch conference on the 4th to prepare the audience for this beloved masterpiece. Ben assumes the role of Chevalier Des Grieux on April 5, 8, 10 and 14.

Tickets and additional information are available here.

Role debut in Puccini’s ‘Messa di Gloria’

Mr. Bernheim makes his role debut in his second Puccini piece of the season, Messa di Gloria, in London at the Barbican Centre on March 3rd. This is the tenor’s second Mass with Maestro Pappano this season, Verdi’s Requiem at the Royal Opera House in October being his first. Mr. Bernheim is joined by Canadian bass-baritone Gerald Finley, the London Symphony Orchestra and the and the London Symphony Chorus. Though Puccini wrote this mass in 1878 as his graduation exercise from the Instituto Musicale Pacini, it was not reprised until 1952, to resounding acclaim. This musical treat will also be broadcast on Medici TV.

Tickets and additional information are available here.

La Traviata at The Royal Opera House and La Scala

From the Royal Opera House to Teatro alla Scala, tenor Benjamin Bernheim continues to delight in his acclaimed role of Alfredo in Verdi’s La Traviata. In London, under the baton of maestro Antonello Manacorda, Benjamin joins a cast of superb talents including American soprano Angel Blue as Violetta, and Italian baritone Simone Piazzola as Germont. His first performance is on January 24th, and Mr. Bernheim finishes the month of January in London with subsequent performances on the 26th, 29th, and 31st. Additional information and tickets are available here.

In Milan, his performance is eagerly awaited as the “tra i più brillanti tenori emergenti ” (Connessi all’Opera). Myung-Whun Chung conducts, while Marina Rebeka sings Violetta, and Leo Nucci sings Georgio Germont. Performances are February 2nd, 5th, and 8th.

Next, Mr. Bernheim returns to London to work with Maestro Pappano and the London Symphony Orchestra on Puccini’s Messa di Gloria, on March 3rd at the Barbican Centre.

A Triumphant House Debut as Tamino

Mr. Bernheim made his house debut as Tamino in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte on December 15th at the Wiener Staatsoper to rave reviews. Die Presse enthused:

“With his beautifully timbred, warm tenor of great charisma, he shows – not only in a grandiose portrait-aria “- why he is called one of the most interesting tenors of our time: the rich, expressive sound and his ability to sing long lyric lines made his Tamino the event of the evening.”

While Online Merkur similarly heralded him as “one of the most promising lyric tenors of the next generation of singers.

The French tenor sings opposite Valentina Naforniţa as Pamina, Rene Pape as Sarastro, Hila Fahima as The Queen of the Night, and Clemens Unterreiner as Papageno. Adam Fischer conducts, and the production is by Moshe Leiser and Patrice Caurier. Tickets for subsequent performances, December 18, 22, 26, 28, and 30, can be purchased here.

Photo: Pöhn/Wiener Staatsoper

Mr. Bernheim named a Rolex Testimonee

Mr. Bernheim has been named as a Rolex Testimonee. In a statement on social media, the tenor said:

“I am honored to be a Rolex Testimonee. Rolex has a long history of supporting the arts, and I am proud to continue their vision to encourage individual excellence.”

He is part of a select group of fellow artists, including Plácido Domingo, Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, Jonas Kaufmann, Sonya Yoncheva, Sir Bryn Terfel, Juan Diego Flórez, and Cecilia Bartoli.
On its website, Rolex praises the tenor’s talent and outstanding career:

“Recognized for the purity of his beautiful voice, the immense depth of his musical expression and eloquent performances, French tenor Benjamin Bernheim has been captivating audiences at the world’s leading opera houses, including the Royal Opera House in London, the Zürich Opera House, the Opéra National de Paris and Chicago’s Lyric Opera. The extraordinarily gifted tenor has sung a number of iconic arias and diverse roles – from Lensky to Rodolfo and Faust – earning him a reputation as one of today’s most acclaimed opera singers.”

Rolex is also committed to supporting cultural institutions – many of which the tenor will perform in the coming months, adding to his successful season. These include the Royal Opera House, the Opéra National de Paris and the Teatro alla Scala. Additional information and a complete list can be found on the Rolex website.

A return to the Wiener Staatsoper

Mr. Bernheim performs his second role of the season at the Wiener Staatsoper in Vienna, as he tackles the role of Rodolfo in Puccini’s beloved classic, La bohème. This role has become one of the young tenor’s signature roles, having already performed it in five different productions throughout Europe. The press has lauded his Rodolfo as having an “aching, ringing purity,” and “sincere and touching.”   This time in Vienna, he performs opposite Marina Rebeka as Mimì in the traditionally staged Zeffirelli production. Speranza Scappucci conducts, while Clemens Unterreiner performs the role of Marcello, Mariam Battistelli sings Musetta, Samuel Hasselhorn performs Schaunard and Ryan Speedo Green sings Colline.

Performances are on November 23rd, 26th and 29th, and the performance on the 29th will be broadcast live online here.

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