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Benjamin Bernheim
Benjamin Bernheim


Benjamin Bernheim
© Christoph Koestlin

“Vocally, he draws on his full range, giving a finely nuanced performance with spacious, elegantly sweeping phrases and a broad dynamic palette. His voice is lustrous, its tone clear and rounded in all registers.”
Die Presse (Vienna), January 2022

One of the leading tenors of the new generation of singers, Benjamin Bernheim is now in constant demand at the world’s most prestigious opera houses. Critics and audiences alike are regularly captivated by his interpretations of the great lyric tenor roles of Puccini, Verdi, Donizetti, Gounod and Massenet. He wins frequent praise for his masterful acting skills as well as for his voice, recently described as “alluringly beautiful” by the Süddeutsche Zeitung, and has become known for his flawless diction, striking expressive breadth and extensive tonal variety, all of which reflect a rare dedication to the art and craft of singing. “I always try to play with every vocal colour in order to tell a story,” he told GQ Spain in July 2021. “That’s what matters most to me: I want to use my voice to transport the audience to other worlds.”

Benjamin Bernheim signed an exclusive long-term contract with Deutsche Grammophon in April 2019. Issued the following November, and presenting a selection of Romantic arias from operas by Berlioz, Donizetti, Godard, Gounod, Massenet, Puccini, Tchaikovsky and Verdi, his DG debut album received rave reviews, with The Sunday Times saying, “… [Bernheim] looks set to be the outstanding French tenor of our time. The arias from Werther, Roméo et Juliette, Manon, Faust, Berlioz’s Damnation and a rarity, Godard’s Dante, reveal a patrician artist whose marrying of words and tone brings a special magic to this underrated music.”

His second album for Deutsche Grammophon, Boulevard des Italiens, explores the history of Italian opera in Paris, long the operatic capital of Europe – for over a century almost every work staged there was sung in French, regardless of where the opera was originally composed or the country of origin of its composer. With the Orchestra del Teatro Comunale di Bologna and conductor Frédéric Chaslin, Bernheim has recorded a selection of arias by Cherubini, Spontini, Donizetti, Verdi, Puccini and Mascagni – all in French. Providing a fascinating new perspective on arias that are today often heard only in Italian, Benjamin demonstrates the influence language has on opera, and gives the listener an opportunity to “hear” the history of opera in Paris. Offering a fascinating overview of the symbiotic relationship between Paris and generations of Italian composers, Boulevard des Italiens is set for release on 8 April 2022.

Highlights of Benjamin Bernheim’s 2020–21 season included a reprise of the role of Alfredo in La traviata for Opéra National de Bordeaux; La Scala’s season-opening gala (broadcast online and on television); the filmed version of Tobias Kratzer’s new production of Faust at the Opéra de Paris (“an unmissable lockdown triumph” Seen and Heard International); his debut in Lisbon, in concert with the Gulbenkian Orchestra; and an acclaimed recital with pianist Mathieu Pordoy at the Salzburg Festival.

He began the current season by making his role and house debut as Offenbach’s Hoffmann at the Staatsoper Hamburg (“Sensational. A Hoffmann with gold-edged vocal cords.” Hamburger Abendblatt), going on to give further recitals with Mathieu Pordoy in Paris and Vienna; make his debut at the Liceu in Barcelona, as the Duke in Rigoletto; perform Puccini’s Messa di gloria for the inauguration of Sala Zubin Mehta, the new auditorium of the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino; and sing Rodolfo at the Wiener Staatsoper. Since the start of 2022, he has made his role debut as Werther at the Opéra National de Bordeaux and played Des Grieux in Manon at the Opéra de Paris.

Bernheim’s forthcoming engagements include Macduff in Verdi’s Macbeth at Opernhaus Zürich (March); another role debut, as Edgardo in Lucia di Lammermoor, at the Wiener Staatsoper (April), with further performances in the same role soon afterwards in Zürich (May/June); and a return to the Opéra de Paris as Faust (June/July). 

Born in Paris in 1985 and raised in Geneva, Benjamin Bernheim was introduced to singing during childhood by his opera-loving parents. He joined the Geneva Conservatory’s children’s choir at ten and, soon after, fell in love with opera when the choir performed in Cavalleria rusticana and Pagliacci at the Grand-Théâtre in Geneva. He studied at the Conservatoire de Lausanne with Gary Magby, participated in masterclasses with Giacomo Aragall, and attended Carlo Bergonzi’s renowned Accademia Verdiana in Busseto.

In 2008 Bernheim joined Zurich Opera’s International Opera Studio; he returned to the company two years later as a member of its renowned ensemble, and was soon in high demand as a guest artist at the world’s leading opera houses in roles such as Alfredo, Rodolfo and Lensky, as well as performing in productions at the Salzburg Whitsun and Summer festivals. In addition to his many operatic appearances, his schedule now also includes an increasing number of concert and solo recital performances.

In 2020 Bernheim was named “Opera Singer of the Year” at Les Victoires de la Musique, France’s most prestigious classical music awards, and “Musical Personality of the Year” by the Syndicat professionnel de la critique de théâtre, musique et danse. His DG debut album won him the Opus Klassik as “Newcomer of the Year” (2020), as well receiving a Diapason d’or and a Choc de Classica, and being named “Album of the Week” by The Sunday Times, among others. In February 2022, Benjamin Bernheim was decorated as Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Minister of Culture.


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