Reviews

REVIEWS FOR KISS ME KATE

Guardian –‘bringing joy and skill to frothy Cole Porter’

5 star / Alfred Hickling

“…Jeni Bern gives as good as she gets as his former wife Lilli; a genuinely operatic part that gives her fine, upper extension a workout.”

The Observer

Kate Kellaway

“Bern’s splendid, disciplined voice”

Bachtrack

4 Star / Richard Willcocks

“Bern is equally moving when she sings the piece (So In Love) earlier in the show, proving, if there was ever doubt amongst all the burlesque, that she is a gem in any operatic context. She is in perfect comic control for her mock coloratura at the end of Act I, which is disrupted by a gun shot, in a well-managed moment straight out of a Marx Brothers movie.”

Telegraph - 'irresistible'

4 star / Rupert Christiansen

“…they present Fred Graham and Lilli Vanessi as credible and sympathetic characters, singing their romantic numbers “Wunderbar” and “So in Love” through elegant legato and projecting the more knockabout stuff such as “I Hate Men” and “Where is the Life That Late I Led?” with sharp-tongued wit.”

The Stage - ‘operatic class’

4 Star / Mark Shenton

“…the gorgeously toned coupling of Quirijn de Lang and Jeni Bern”

Huddersfield Daily Examiner - Kiss Me, Kate by Opera North is simply unmissable

5 Star / Gavin Castle

“He (Quirijn de Lang) and Jeni Bern (Lilli-Kate) bring real power and colour to the more operatic numbers, she alternately singing beautifully and screaming the house down.”

The Public Reviews

5 Star / Tom Tollett

“For her part, the feisty Miss Bern delivers a suitably aggressive ‘I Hate Men’ and remains spiritedly defiant for a very long time. Yet, her ‘So In Love’, full of heartfelt yearning, perhaps reveals an underlying longing for the man she once loved and will love once more.”

The York Press

4 Star / Charles Hutchinson

“Jeni Bern in magnificent voice”

The Express

4 Star / Michael Arditti

“…the soaring voices of Jeni Bern and Quirijn de Lang”

The Arts Desk

5 Star / Graham Rickson

“Jeni Bern’s Lilli Vanessi/Kate is a terrific foil, imperious but vulnerable.”

The Sunday Times

“The orchestra tucks into Porter’s swoon and swing, while Jeni Bern and Quirijn de Lang give his songs full aria”

Jonathan Baz Reviews

3 Star / Megan Kinsey

“Quirijn De Lang and Jeni Bern, the key protagonists, shine in their roles offering the audience a true abundance of wit, charm and delight”

Musical Theatre Review

4 Stars / Mike Tilling

“Fred Graham/Petruchio and Lilli Vanessi/Kate, are taken by Opera North favourites Quirijn de Lang and Jeni Bern respectively. Both show considerable adaptability in meeting the demands of substantial speaking roles.”

The Reviews Hub

5 Stars / Tom Tollett

“For her part, the feisty Miss Bern delivers a suitably aggressive ‘I Hate Men’ and remains spiritedly defiant for a very long time. Yet, her ‘So In Love’, full of heartfelt yearning, perhaps reveals an underlying longing for the man she once loved and will love once more.”

The Gay UK

5 Star

“…Jeni Bern proves an equally impressive sparring partner”

On: Yorkshire Magazine

Sandra Callard

“Jeni Bern makes a wonderful Katherine as her antics fail to make an impression on the stubbornly testosterone-fuelled Petruchio… The wonderful soprano of Bern and the complementary baritone of de Lang do full justice to Porter’s delicious score, with the rousing ‘Wunderbar’ bringing the house down.”

A Forte for Fashion

“Jeni Bern as Lilli Vanessi/Katherine brought real fire and passion to the role and man has that lady got a set of pipes on her!”

Keighley News

“Jeni Bern as Lilli and Quirijn de Lang as Fred sang well, especially Lilli, who plunged into the ‘Mad Scene’ scene of Donizetti’s Lucia de Lammermoor at her suitor’s ardent passion."


Susie Trevor/ Lady, be Good! / Teatro de la Zarzuela / 2015 / Cond. Kevin Farrell / Dir. Emilio Sagi

“….the soprano Jeni Bern as Susie Trevor was simply masterful and enthusiastically applauded in the beautiful hit "the Man I Love"”

(Opera World / Germán García Tomás)

“Jeni Bern as Susie, in my humble opinion was the best in the production, with great moments in her interpretation of The Man I Love, beautiful timbre, phrasing and dynamics…”

(Desde La Platea / Jonathan Fernandez)


From Paris with Love / Opera North / 2014 / Cond. David Parry & James Holmes / Dir. Annabel Arden & Rosalind Parker

“Jeni Bern's opening arioso shows what a terrific Manon she would make, if she had chance to sing the rest of it.”

(The Guardian / Alfred Hickling)

“Musetta’s “Quando me'n vo'”, most effectively delivered by Jeni Bern… Equally impressive were Jeni Bern’s exuberant Piaf renditions.”

(Bachtrack / Richard Wilcocks)

“Bern came into her own with an authentically strident ‘Padam padam’”

(Opera / Martin Dreyer)

“Bern gave a lusty rendition of L'Accordeoniste and a powerhouse performance of Padam Padam – with a breathtaking last note that seemed to last forever.”

(The Northern Echo / Gavin Engelbrecht)

Cunegonde / Candide / Gewandhaus, Leipzig / 2013 Cond. Kristjan Järvi / MDR-sinfonieorchester

“She convinced with her brilliant voice and a lively theatrical representation.”


Tytania / A Midsummer Night’s Dream / Opera North / 2013 / Cond. Stuart Stratford / Dir. Martin Duncan

“The scenes between Jeni Bern's rapturous Tytania and Henry Waddington's endearing Bottom have extraordinary tenderness, as well as great wit… Laing and Bern are both outstanding in their roles.”

(The Guardian / Tim Ashley)

“…lovely tone and more than a dash of eroticism”

(The York Press / Martin Dreyer)

“Jeni Bern, in slinky satin, contributes considerably to the erotic content with her Tytania, and she is superb when exhorting Bottom, in his see-through ass’s head, to “sit thee down upon this flowery bed”, doing full justice to some of Britten’s best music for a soprano.”

(Bachtrack / Richard Wilcocks)

“James Laing and Jeni Bern, repeating their roles as King and Queen of the Fairies, seem to me to be even more authoritative than before, Tytania in particular, immaculately sung by Bern with diction to render the use of surtitles superfluous.”

(WhatsOnStage / Ron Simpson)

“Jeni Bern's glittery silver coloratura”

(Opera Britannia / Geoffrey Mogridge)

“Tytania - a sexy and provocative performance by Jeni Bern”

(Opera / Michael Kennedy)

“Jeni Bern’s powerful voice”

(Manchester Evening News / Robert Beale)

“…lovely tone and more than a dash of eroticism”

(The York Press / Martin Dreyer)

Galatea / Acis and Galatea / Nimbus Records / 2012 Cond. Stephen Darlington / Oxford Philomusica

“This new HIP recording of Acis and Galatea (1829) is something of a guilty pleasure - and a sheer delight!”

(Musical Pointers / Peter Graham Woolfe)

“Jeni Bern is terrific in the chorus, “Galatea, must my Acis still bemoan”, singing brilliantly around the interspersions from the choir. She brings sensitivity and beauty to the aria “Heart, the seat of soft delight” with beautiful accompaniment from the orchestra.”

(The Classical Reviewer)

“Galatea is Jeni Bern, pure of voice and true of intonation”

(MusicWeb / Jonathan Woolf)

“Jeni Bern brings a caressingly light touch as the sea-nymph Galatea”

(Gramaphone Magazine)

“Jeni Bern – one of our top operatic sopranos and among the most versatile – outstanding as Casilda”

(Manchester Theatre Awards / Robert Beale)

Galatea / Acis and Galatea / Nimbus Records Cond. Stephen Darlington / Oxford Philomusica, 2012

“This new HIP recording of Acis and Galatea (1829) is something of a guilty pleasure - and a sheer delight!”

(Musical Pointers / Peter Graham Woolfe)

“Jeni Bern is terrific in the chorus, “Galatea, must my Acis still bemoan”, singing brilliantly around the interspersions from the choir. She brings sensitivity and beauty to the aria “Heart, the seat of soft delight” with beautiful accompaniment from the orchestra.”

(The Classical Reviewer)

Casilda / The Gondoliers / G&S Opera Company Cond. David Steadman / Dir. Jeff Clarke, 2012

“Jeni Bern – one of our top operatic sopranos and among the most versatile – outstanding as Casilda”

(Manchester Theatre Awards / Robert Beale)

“As the daughter Casilda, Jeni Bern is as sweet and dutiful an aristocrat as befits a Gilbert royal. She matches her lover Luiz, Daniel Hoadley, in voice and style perfectly, and the pair make a happy contribution to the performance.”

(Bachtrack.com / Andrew H. King)

“Daniel Hoadley and Jeni Bern made much of their minor yet important roles: their convincing sincerity came across nicely in their duet, “There was a time”.

(Seen & Heard International / Raymond J Walker)

Woglinde / Das Rheingold / Opera North
Cond. Richard Farnes / Dir. Peter Mumford, 2011

“The voluptuous Rhinemaidens are sung by Jeni Bern (Woglinde), Jennifer Johnston (Wellgunde) and Sarah Castle (Flosshilde); their voices balanced, superbly blended and well able to ride Wagner's rich orchestral canvas.”

(Opera Britannia / Geoffrey Mogridge)

“This flighty trio – Jeni Bern, Jennifer Johnston and Sarah Castle – sets the bar high at the start, finding a keen blend.”

(Opera / Martin Dreyer)

“An enchanting trio of Rhinemaidens got things off to a sparkling start.”

(The Telegraph / Rupert Christiansen)

“...the superb Rhinemaidens (Jeni Bern, Jennifer Johnston, Sarah Castle)”

(The Sunday Times / Hugh Canning)

“...three characterful Rhinemaidens (Jeni Bern, Jennifer Johnston, Sarah Castle) are revelations.”

(The Times / Richard Morrison)

“...as fine a trio of Rhinemaidens as you could expect to hear anywhere.”

(Intermezzo)

“Jeni Bern, Jennifer Johnston and Sarah Castle were a bewitching trio of Rhinedaughters.”

(Wagner Society / Katie Barnes)

"LET THEM EAT CAKE" Gerswhin – OPERA NORTH

And it is left to the scene between Jeni Bern and Richard Burkhard as Trixie and Kruger, to show the rest of the cast just how Gershwin should sound. - Yorkshire Post

Jeni Bern makes a raucous party animal as Trixie. - The Independent

Highlights include Richard Suart's bumbling General Snookfield and his sassy sidekick, Jeni Bern's Trixie Flynn. - The Stage

"A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM" Britten – OPERA NORTH

James Laing… and Jeni Bern's scintillating Titania command the stage and their magial kingdom. - The Stage

And Jeni Bern's nymphomaniac Titania rivalled Waddington's performance for vocal virtuaisty and sheer stage prescence.

- Manchester Evening News

"CANDIDE" Bernstein - LE THEATRE DU CHATELET

Of the women, the Paquette of Jeni Bern was as enticing as one could wish. - Les Echos

"THE MARRIAGE OF FIGARO" Mozart OPERA NORTH

Jeni Bern is as fiery, feisty and winsome as every Susanna should be, and her musicality of phrasing and tenderness and sprightliness of inflection are delectable throughout. - The Times

Jeni Bern is a pure toned, feisty Susanna - The Stage


Jeni Bern's Susanna is a joy: feisty, full of energy and a perfect match for Wynn Pencarreg's Figaro = British Theatre Guide

"HANSEL AND GRETEL" Humperdinck - OPERA NORTH

Instead of the dirndl children from Grimm's fairy tale Julianne Young and Jeni Bern's Hansel & Gretel are teenagers with hoodies and trainers, a few casual acts of delinquency away from an ASBO. - The Guardian

Jeni Bern's Gretel and Julianne Young's Hansel dress in sloppy casual wear but there was nothing sloppy about their opening night performances as they careened about their restricted space with bikes, double bass cases and balloons………(Bern's) spunk and sparkle remained delightful. - The Times

…Julianne young and Jeni Bern are entrancing as the children. - York Times

…are the most convincing Hansel and Gretel I've seen for a long time . - British Theatre Guide

…individually they sang with gusto and made a convincing pair of querulous siblings. - The Telegraph

"LA BOHEME" Puccini – OPERA ZUID

Jeni Bern as Musetta is a delightful sex kitten, who forms a beautiful contrast with Mimi. - Limburgs Dagblad

The flamboyant Scottish soprano Jeni Bern (Musetta) show style with bare legs in the famous aria "Quando me'n vo"…"

- De Volkskrant

…She proves herself especially in the high notes like a fish in the water. - De Telegraf

"THE MIKADO" – Sullivan – ENGLISH NATIONAL OPERA

…other performances are still hugely enjoyable, especially Jeni Bern's Yum Yum: with her gorgeous clear tone and solid comic timing, she's a treat to watch. - Metro

Almost everybody in the cast had done the show before; the exception was soprano Jeni Bern as Yum Yum, an adept comic actress who sang her main solo "The sun whose rays", most beautifully. - Opera Japonica

…even when she is played so gloriously by Jeni Bern. As Yum Yum she was the embodiment of a young society lady and delivered her spoken dialogue with Coward-esque aplomb. - Gay.com

Maid supreme Yum Yum was a real star of the show – Jeni Bern giving her role debut. Deliciously coquettish, miraculously sweet, her solos consistently brought great pleasure. - Musicweb

"BALLO IN MASCHERA" Verdi – OPERA ZUID

…Jeni Bern gives a brilliant contribution in the travesty role of the page Oscar. - De Telgraf

…The biggest surprise of the evening was the beautiful clear and confident soprano voice of Jeni Bern, who performed the page Oscar. - Dagblad de Limburger

… Scottish soprano Jeni Bern (the page) is delightful - Gay Krant

"DER ROSENKAVALIER" R. Strauss – ENGLISH NATIONAL OPERA

....so when a substitute Sophie as good as Jeni Bern comes along, high praise is due. Susan Gritton cancelled with less than 24 hours to go but Bern – an enchantingly pretty young soprano- looked as if she knew the Jonathan Miller production inside out and seemed completely unfazed by having to go on at short notice. Indeed she was a significantly superior Fraulein Fanninal to any of those I have heard in Dresden, Cologne or Duisburg recently, spinning sensuously silvery, long breathed lines in the high-lying Presentation of the Rose phrases every note hit dead in the centre. Any international house would have been proud to present such an entirely lovely performer of this difficult role, and she is a mettlesome actress, really giving her Ochs a run for his money. - Hugh Canning - Opera Magazine

"l'ENFANT ET LES SORTILEGES" Ravel – OPERA NORTH

Jeni Bern was outstanding as the lamenting Princesse, an ice maiden who emerged from the fridge. - The Independent

Notably Jeni Bern's effortlessly soaring fairy tale princess - Financial Times

"PARTENOPE" Handel – EARLY OPERA COMPANY at The Linbury ROH

Bern was a pleasing and alluring Partenope and she sings well too. - Classical source

Partenope herself (Jeni Bern) was suitably regal in looks and voice. - The Independent

…Jeni Bern somehow made the power of her music, superbly sung, exactly right for an executive tart. - Concerto net

…though Bern is a sensual Partenope - The Guardian

"ORFEO ED EURYDICE" Gluck – ENGLISH NATIONAL OPERA

Jeni Bern's Amor …is an unexpected delight…disarmingly lusty and pushy… - Financial Times

..For me the show was stolen by Jeni Bern, a knowing Amor, who stage manages the proceedings, whose poise on stage is compelling to watch and whose diction is quite remarkable. - Musicweb

"ORFEE ET EURYDICE" Gluck (Berlioz Version)- WELSH NATIONAL OPERA

…played with enormous style by Jeni Bern, L'Amour was beautifully arch, infuriating and knowing. The costume was an extravagant confection of gold and peach with frills and a powdered wig and Bern's performance was of a similarly gilded standard! - Opera Review

…only Jeni Bern as the god Amour hit the mark exactly, musically and dramatically. - The Guardian

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