Artist of the Week: Julien Behr

French Tenor Makes History with ‘Beatrice et Benedict’ in Italy

By Francisco Salazar

On Oct. 28, the Teatro Carlo Felice will make history with the first Italian production of Berlioz’s “Beatrice et Benedict.” The opera, which had its world in 1862, has been performed all over the world by many great interpreters. For this upcoming production, the Genoa theater has brought together a cast of important artists including Julien Behr.

Behr is a French tenor who has made a career out of singing a diverse repertoire that includes the music of Mozart, Verdi, Donizetti, and Gluck, among others. He has also been involved in a number of world premieres and he performs many French roles including Debussy, Bizet, and Offenbach. With the Teatro Carlo Felice, he will reprise the role of Benedict which he performed at the Opéra de Lyon in the same production by Damiano Michieletto. Critics raved about Behr noting he was “passionate” and “nuanced.”

In addition to this Berlioz opera, Behr has also recorded Berlioz’s Messe Solennelle for Alpha Classics and the composer’s “Romeo et Juliette” for Naxos.

For audiences not in Genoa for this historic performance, Behr is set to perform La Monnaie in Brussels and at Opéra Lyon in “Un Purge Bebe.” He will also perform Peleas in “Pelléas et Mélisande” at the Opéra de Lille and for Laerte in “Hamlet” to Opéra national de Paris.


For those not familiar with Behr’s voice, audiences can listen to Berlioz’s Messe Solennelle, Debussy’s “Pelléas et Mélisande,” and his solo album “Confidence.” He also has a recording of Pergolesi’s Septem verba a Christo and Mozart’s “Don Giovanni.”

Here are excerpts from “L’Elisir d’Amore” and “West Side Story.”

Here is a full production of “Benedict et Beatrice.”




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