Bernard Holcomb


Tenor Bernard Holcomb has “already made a name for himself in the world of opera” with his “delicate and flexible” voice (Opera Wire) and the “appealing sweetness and clarity [of] his tone” (New York Times). Katy Walsh of Chicago Theater Beat said it best: “Although everyone [at Lyric Opera of Chicago] can sing, Holcomb reminds us why we come to the Lyric.”

This season, Mr. Holcomb returns to Long Beach Opera in the world premier of The Central Park Five,performs in Porgy and Bess in Italy with New York Harlem Productions, returns to Seattle Opera for Rigoletto, debuts with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra as a soloist in Dancing in the Street: The Music of Midtown and More and performs the role of Sportin’ Life in Porgy and Bess with Harrisburg Symphony.Recent debuts include his Alaskan debut as Captain Leadbetter in the world premier of Emerson Eads ’Princess Sophia with Project Orpheus, his Carnegie Hall debut, his title role debut in Rossini’s Otello in NYC, and his debut at the Dresden Semperoper in Porgy and Bess.

Other recent engagements include the role of Lechmere in Owen Wingrave with Little Opera Theater of NY, and his performance as a soloist in Gershwin’s Blue Monday with On Site Opera. Additionally, in recent seasons Mr. Holcomb performed with Sphinx Connect, as a soloist in Christian De Grè’s Twisted Operettas at Joe’s Pub, Poul Ruders’ The Thirteenth Child with Santa Fe Opera at the Guggenheim Museum in New York, and BMP: Next Generation with Beth Morrison Projects. Additionally, Bernard made his return to Chicago Opera Theater as Tristan in Frank Martin’sLe Vin Herbéandwas featured as a soloist with Renée Fleming and Sir Patrick Stewart in Second City’s Guideto the Opera.

An alumnus of the Lyric Opera’s Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center, Bernard performed such roles as Ernesto in Don Pasquale and Rodolfo in La bohéme. During his Lyric tenure, Mr. Holcomb appeared in the main stage performances of Strauss’ Elektra, Verdi’s Simon Boccanegra, Donizetti’s Don Pasquale, Offenbach’s Les Contesd’Hoffmann and covered major roles in Massenet’s Werther, Wagner’s DieMeistersinger von Nürnberg, and Verdi’s Rigoletto.Other notable engagements include Paolino in Cimarosa’s Ilmatrimonio segreto and Alfredo in Verdi’s La traviata with Pine Mountain Music Festival; The Crabman in Porgy and Bess, which led toan international tour of Porgy and Bess through Russia, Poland, Greece,Latvia, Estonia and Germany, and Gastone in La traviata with Michigan Opera Theatre.

Bernard also appeared on several themed song recitals as part of a collaboration between Lyric Opera of Chicago and Chicago’s WFMT 98.7 which aired throughout the summer of 2013. As part of the Young Artist program at Sarasota Opera, Bernard appeared in main stage performances of Pagliacci, The Crucible, L’amico Fritz, and I Lombardi. At the end of the program, he was awarded with the Anne O’Donnell Award, given to an outstanding apprentice. Bernard has displayed a tremendous amount of musicianship and poiseon concert and recital stages. These credits include a concert performance of La bohéme with Civic Orchestra of Chicago, Holiday Pops Concerts with the New Hampshire Symphony Orchestra, a concert performance of Die Zauberflöte with The Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, and Augustus Hill’s Exegesis with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with Macon Symphony Orchestra and the Illinois Philharmonic, and Mozart’s Requiem with the DeKalb Festival Chorus.

A winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions (Michigan District), this Detroit native currently residing in New York City, has earned a Master of Music degree from the University of Michigan, and a Bachelor of Music degree from the Eastman School of Music. Collegiate operatic credits include Lensky in Eugene Onegin,lyric tenor in A Postcard from Morocco, Ruggero in La rondine , Rodolfo in La bohéme, and Jenik in The Bartered Bride.