Jean Bernard Cerin
Praised for his “burnished tones and focused phrasing,” baritone JEAN BERNARD CERIN has charmed audiences throughout the United States, France, Austria, and his native Haiti. An avid recitalist, concert artist and opera singer, his engagements have taken him to venues such as the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia, The Kennedy Center and Library of Congress in Washington D.C., Beethovenhaus in Baden bei Wien, Boston’s Jordan Hall and Carnegie Hall in NYC among many others.
The music of J.S. Bach has played a significant role in Jean Bernard’s recent output including the roles of Peter, the High Priest, and Pilate in the North American Premier of the Mendelssohn version of Bach’s Saint Matthew’s Passion with the Mendelssohn Club in Philadelphia and several appearances as bass soloist with the Philadelphia Bach Festival including a critically acclaimed performance of the Christmas Oratorio. Other oratorio highlights include bass solos in Handel’s Messiah, Haydn’s Creation, Mozart’s C Minor Mass, and Kodaly’s Missa Brevis.
Jean Bernard regularly interprets music written by composers of today including Byron Au Young’s “Turbine” for moving choir, dancers and soloists at the Philadelphia Water Works, Almondo Bayollo’s “Last Breaths” for baritone and Wind Ensemble and Ted Hearne’s “Katrina Ballads.” Last season, composer Donald Saint Pierre wrote “Rumi Songs” for cello and baritone for Jean Bernard and cellist Eve Miller.
Jean Bernard appears regularly on the recital platform pushing the boundaries of the traditional classical program format with his Duo 1717 partner, pianist Veena K. Kulkarni. Duo 1717 is a crossover classical duo that combines art music with world folk music and story telling into transformative concert experiences unlike any most audiences have seen. Jean Bernard also performs regularly with other recital platforms including Philadelphia’s Lyric Fest and Art Song Repertory Theater Company.
On the operatic stage, Jean Bernard has portrayed villains, buffoons, and heroes with the Aspen Opera Theater Center, Brevard’s Janiec Opera Company, Center City Opera Theater in Philadelphia, and Opera Philadelphia among others. Favorite roles include Mozart’s Don Giovanni and Papageno as well as Benjamin Britten’s Tarquinius from The Rape of Lucretia.
Jean Bernard did his undergraduate studies at St. Joseph’s University and pursued graduate studies at the New England Conservatory and the University of Michigan. He resides in Philadelphia and serves on faculty at St. Joseph’s University, Lincoln University and Washington College.