© James Glossop
© James Glossop
© Alasdair Muir
© Tristram Kenton
Jeni Bern is a graduate of the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama and the Opera School of the Royal College of Music where she was the winner of many major awards and prizes, including the prestigious President Emerita Award. She is also a Samling Artist.
Highlights in recent seasons include Professor Prentice in the world premiere of Anthropocene and First Lady The Magic Flute for Scottish Opera; Greta Fiorentino Street Scene at the Teatro Real and Opéra de Monte-Carlo; Lilli Vanessi/Katharine Kiss Me, Kate for Welsh National Opera and Opera North; Woglinde and Waldvogel Der Ring des Nibelungen for Opera North; Susie Trevor Lady, Be Good! at the Teatro de la Zarzuela and Teatro di San Carlos; and her first Marcellina Le nozze di Figaro for West Green House Opera.
Her varied stage roles have included Paquette Candide (Théâtre du Châtelet, Teatro alla Scala and Hyogo Performing Arts Centre, Japan); also for Théâtre du Châtelet – Zdenka Arabella and Sister Margaretta/Baroness Elsa The Sound of Music; Tytania A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Musetta La bohème, Susanna The Marriage of Figaro, Trixie Let ‘em Eat Cake, Gretel Hansel & Gretel and La Princesse L’enfant et les sortilèges (Opera North); Emma Jones Street Scene (Opéra de Toulon). Roles for the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden include Guardian of the Threshold Die Frau ohne Schatten, First Heavenly Voice Palestrina, Barbarina Le nozze di Figaro and Blumenmädchen Parsifal (with Plácido Domingo); Fiordiligi Così fan tutte, Mabel The Pirates of Penzance, Yum Yum The Mikado, and Sophie Der Rosenkavalier (English National Opera); Amour Orphée et Eurydice (Welsh National Opera); Medea Teseo and Susanna The Marriage of Figaro (English Touring Opera); Eurydice Orpheus in the Underworld (Opera Holland Park); Musetta La bohème and Oscar Un ballo in maschera (Opera Zuid). She has also performed the title role in Deidamia and Sigismondo Arminio (London Handel Festival); Atalanta Xerxes and Dalinda Ariodante (Early Opera Company); and Narcissa Philemon und Baucis with Trevor Pinnock.
An accomplished oratorio and concert artist, performance highlights include Cunegonde Candide (Leipzig Radio Symphony Orchestra); Carmina Burana, Mozart Exsultate Jubilate and the world premiere of Michael Torke’s Book of Proverbs with Marin Alsop (Royal Scottish National Orchestra); and Handel Messiah under Sir David Willcocks (The Bach Choir). She has also performed with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Gabrieli Consort, The Sixteen, The Academy of St Martin in the Fields, St. Gallen Bachchor and the Doelen Ensemble.
Radio appearances include BBC Radio 2’s iconic Friday Night is Music Night and broadcasts for BBC Radios 3 & 4 and with the Dutch Radio Symphony Orchestra as Anne Truelove in the television series Of Beauty and Consolation. Her CD Let the Bright Seraphim with Baroque trumpeter Crispian Steele-Perkins (Carlton Classics) received considerable critical acclaim. Other recordings include Acis and Galatea with the Oxford Philomusica (Nimbus); Haydn Stabat Mater with Christ Church Cathedral Choir (Griffin) and Edward Joseph Collins Hymn to the Earth with the RSNO and Marin Alsop. Film and television work includes soundtracks for the BBC’s Daniel Deronda, the film Cashback and Disney’s African Cats.
Professor Prentice / Anthropocene / Scottish Opera / 2019
“The musical highlight is a duet for the two sopranos, lyrical, expansive and intrinsically operatic.”
“The two female roles taken by Jeni Bern as Prentice and mezzo soprano Sarah Champion’s Daisy were both stunning…”
(Seen & Heard International)
Lilli Vanessi/Katherine / Kiss Me, Kate / Welsh National Opera / 2016
“Jeni Bern as Lilli/Katherine commands the entire show as a noisy, loud-mouthed shrew both offstage and on…”
“Jeni Bern’s glamorously volatile Lilli Vanessi…”
“Jeni Bern as Lilli Vanessi/Katherine is sublime to the point of faultless as the diva performer.”
(The Reviews Hub)
Woglinde & Waldvogel / Der Ring des Nibelungen / Opera North / 2016
“…the Norns and the Rhine Maidens – were very fine indeed, and the latter as good as I’ve ever heard, crowned by the flawless Woglinde of Jeni Bern, whose voice, albeit bright almost to the point of glare, is of such easy, even production and musicality that I’d happily listen to her sing whatever it pleased her to tackle.”