Bernard HolcombActor, Tenor

A native of Detroit, tenor Bernard Holcomb is quickly establishing himself as a promising talent in the opera world. A recent Alumnus of the Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center at theLyric Opera of Chicago, Bernard was recently seen performing Gastone (La Traviata, Act 1 for Stars of Lyric Opera), Ernesto (Don Pasquale, Ryan Opera Center Workshop), Rodolfo (La Boheme, Act 4 at Symphony Hall), and was featured as a solo artist alongside Renee Fleming and Sir Patrick Stewart in Second City’s Guide to the Opera. For the 2012/2013 season, Bernard appeared on the Lyric mainstage as the Young Servant (Strauss’ Elektra), Captain of the Crossbowmen (Verdi’sSimon Boccanegra), Notary (Donizetti’s Don Pasquale) and Parpignol (Puccini’s La Boheme). Bernard also covered major roles in Massenet’s Werther, Wagner’s Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg and Verdi’s Rigoletto. Upcoming engagements include a Chicago Opera Theater debut and a return to Lyric Opera of Chicago.

Active in the Chicago area, Bernard has also performed in the Rush Hour concert series, featuring opera shorts for Don Pasquale and Hansel and Gretel. In a new collaboration between Lyric Opera and Chicago’s WFMT 98.7, Bernard appeared on a number of themed song recitals which will air throughout the summer. During the 2011-2012 season, Bernard made his Lyric Opera debut as Nathanael (Offenbach’s Les Contes d’Hoffmann) and was also seen in Mussorgsky’s Boris Gudonov, Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor, Strauss’ Ariadne auf Naxos, Verdi’s Aida and Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte. 

Selected as a young artist with Sarasota Opera (2009-2011), Bernard had the opportunity to perform the role of the Villager in I Pagliacci, Ezekial Cheever in The Crucible, Federico in L’amico Fritz and cover Oronte in I Lombardi. At the conclusion of the program, he was awarded with the Sarasota Opera Guild – Anne O’Donnell Award, given to an outstanding apprentice. In 2009 and 2010, Bernard was featured at the Pine Mountain Music Festival in the roles of Paolino (Cimarosa’s Il Matrimonio Segreto) and Alfredo (Verdi’s La Traviata). 

In 2006, Bernard made his professional debut as the Crabman in Porgy & Bess with the Michigan Opera Theatre. He later participated in an international tour of Porgy & Bess, which appeared in Russia, Poland, Greece, Latvia, Estonia and Germany. His success at Michigan Opera Theatre brought him back to perform Gastone in La Traviata and Parpignol in La Boheme. 

A winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions (Michigan District), Bernard has displayed a tremendous amount of musicianship and poise on the concert stage, including appearances with the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, Sarasota Opera Orchestra, Holland Symphony, New Hampshire Symphony, Rochester Philharmonic and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. 

Bernard earned his Master of Music degree from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor and his Bachelor of Music degree from the Eastman School of Music, where his operatic credits include Lensky in Eugene Onegin, Lyric Tenor in A Postcard from Morocco, Rodolfo in La Boheme and Jenik in The Bartered Bride.