Jean Bernard Cerin is a multifaceted artist and scholar who produces and performs in projects ranging from film, recital, oratorio, traditional storytelling, opera and folk music. Last season, he directed and starred in the documentary Lisette (2022), which made its premier at the Berkeley Early Music Festival in California. His crossover piano-vocal duo, Kuwento Mizik released its freshman album “Lua Nova” in August 2022. This program of folk songs and pop tunes from around the world celebrates the interweaving communities and musical cultures that have shaped the duo’s ongoing collaboration.
Praised for his “burnished tone and focused phrasing,” (Chestnut Hill Local) Jean Bernard performs extensively with leading early music ensembles across the United States including Philadelphia based Choral Arts, Piffaro Renaissance Wind Ensemble, Tempesta di Mare Baroque Orchestra, Night Music, Philadelphia Chamber Music Society’s Gamut Bach Ensemble, Louisville’s Bourbon Baroque, Classical Uncorked in Seattle, and American Bach Soloists in San Francisco. This season, he returns to Philadelphia to perform Bach’s Peasant Cantata with Choral Arts Philadelphia and soprano Julianne Baird. He also makes his Cleveland debut in a Bach inspired Advent program with Les Delices.
Jean Bernard was awarded the 2022 Musical Fund Society Career Advancement Award in Philadelphia including a solo debut recital with the Philadelphia Chamber Music society in 2023. In 2021, he won “Best Performance of a Folk Song” in the Canto Latino Cyber challenge. In 2018, he was awarded the Gerard Souzay Prize for best performance of a French Mélodie at the Joy in Singing International Song Competition. Since last season, Jean Bernard has been presenting a program that centers the oldest song in Haitian Creole, “Lisette quitté la plaine” often in conjunction with his documentary Lisette (2022). This season, he will present this program at Cornell University, Bucknell University, Princeton University, the Elm City Consort in New Haven, and the GEMAS early music series in New York City.
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. This season, he makes his debut with Opera Ithaca and Raylynmor opera singing John Styx in a co-production of Orpheus in the Underworld. Past roles include Mozart’s Don Giovanni and Papageno as well as Benjamin Britten’s Tarquinius from The Rape of Lucretia.