Tenor Julien Behr was born in Lyon in 1982. He was awarded the “singers’ revelation of the year” in 2009 by the French musicians’ association ADAMI and was among the three nominees in the category “singer’s revelation of the year” at the Victoires de la musique classique in 2013. He entered the Boys’ Choir of the Lyon Cathedral when he was six. He graduated from Lyon University with a master’s degree in business law. He however abandoned his plans to become a lawyer in order to devote himself completely to music. In 2010, he graduated from his vocal studies at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique in Lyon.
His passion for the theatre – he has played theatre since his early childhood – logically led him to the opera. 2009 was highlighted by his debut at the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence in Offenbach’s Orphée aux Enfers. He subsequently performed Così fan tutte (Ferrando) on tour throughout France and at the Opéra national de Nancy; Weber’s Abu Hassan (title role) at the Besançon Opera; Idomeneo (Arbace) at the Mozartwoche in Salzburg and at the Theater an der Wien; Die Zauberflöte (Tamino) at the Rouen Opera, at the Theater St. Gallen, at the Opéra national de Bordeaux and at the Minnesota Opera (United States debut); Acis and Galatea (Acis) at the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence and at the Teatro La Fenice in Venice; L’heure espagnole (Gonzalve) at the Barbican Centre (concert version); The Merry Widow (Camille de Rossillon) at the Avignon Opera; Ciboulette (Antonin) at the Opéra-Comique Paris and at the Saint-Etienne Opera; and Der fliegende Holländer (Steuermann) at the Opéra royal de Versailles (concert performance).
The opera season 2014–2015 was highlighted by a world premiere at the Opéra national du Rhin (Quai Ouest by Régis Campo), a new production of Die Zauberflöte (Tamino) at the Theater Bern as well as his debut at the Opéra national de Paris (Tamino).
His plans in 2015–2016 include Platée (Mercure) at the Opéra national de Paris, Don Pasquale (Ernesto) in Rennes, Don Giovanni (Don Ottavio) at the Köln Opera and Fidelio (Jaquino) at the Wiener Festwochen. He will also sing in concert L’heure espagnole (Gonzalve) with the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande (under the baton of Charles Dutoit) and Les pêcheurs de perles (Nadir) at the Staatstheater Nürnberg.
In concert, Julien Behr has collaborated with orchestras such as Les Musiciens du Louvre Grenoble, the Orchestre national de Lyon, the Orchestre national des Pays de la Loire, Les Siècles, the BBC Symphony Orchestra London, the Mozarteumorchester Salzburg, the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin and with conductors such as Alain Altinoglu, René Jacobs, Samuel Jean, Fayçal Karoui, Marc Minkowski, Raphael Pichon, Josep Pons, Jérémie Rhorer, François-Xavier Roth, Leonard Slatkin and Sébastien Rouland. In 2013 he took part in the 100th anniversary celebrations of the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, performing Fauré’s Pénélope with the Orchestre Lamoureux.
His discography includes Pergolesi’s Septem verba a Christo (Harmonia Mundi, 2012) as well as Mélodies by Charles Koechlin (Timpani Records, 2015). The production of Ciboulette at the Opéra-Comique has been released in DVD.
Julien Behr is godparent of the association “El Sistema” in France whose goal is to support children in difficulties by providing them with an intensive musical education and musical practice.