Born in 1966, began playing the violin at age 6.He entered the Conservatoire National de Strasbourg at the age of 17, where he completed a wide range of musical studies including violin, orchestra, analysis, etc. Subsequently, he was engaged as violinist with the Philharmonic Orchestra of Strasbourg for the 1986 and 1987 seasons.
In 1988, he became assistant to the renowned director Nicolas Joël. At the same time he served as assistant to Jean-Claude Auvray throughout France and Germany.
In 1989, he was hired by the Théâtre du Capitole in Toulouse as stage manager and since that time, has worked as assistant director for all major productions. During this period, he continued his activities as assistant throughout France (Nancy, Lyon, Strasbourg, Nice, Paris, Montpellier, Monte-Carlo, Bordeaux) as well as abroad (Germany, Belgium, England, Argentina and United States, Japan, Italy, Spain) and particularly in the world's most prestigious opera houses: Covent Garden, Metropolitan Opera, Scala di Milano, Opéra Bastille, Teatro Colon in Buenos aires…
Since 1993, Mr Bernard has had the occasion to stage more than 35 revivals of Mr Joël's productions in France and abroad, notably for Romeo et Juliette at the Royal Opera House-Covent Garden and Lucia di Lamermoor at the Metropolitan Opera.
After having been appointed as Associate Stage Director and Production Manager at the Théâtre du Capitole in 1996, he made his personal debut, at the age of 29, staging Falstaff for the Spoleto Festival in Charleston, SC. to great critical acclaim, followed by Il trovatore in Toulouse and by a new production of Il barbiere di Siviglia (1998),also at the Théâtre du Capitole.
Between 1999 and 2003, he produced Gounod's Roméo et Juliette for the Chicago Lyric Opera with Roberto Alagna and Angela Gheorghiu in the leading roles. He signed a new production of L'elisir d'amore at the Théâtre du Capitole in Toulouse for the debut of Marcelo Alvarez in the role of Nemorino, a new production of Meyerbeer's Les Huguenots for the summer Festival in Martina Franca, Italy. Then he realised a new production of Lakmé (revival in Tokyo and Philadelphia) for the Teatro Massimo in Palermo, Werther for Martina Franca, Roméo et Juliette in Tokyo, Die Lustigen Weiber von Windsor in Nantes and Angers.
2004/2005: a new production of Luisa Miller for the National Reiseopera in The Netherlands, L'elisir d'amore in Saint-Etienne, Roméo et Juliette at the Beijing Music festival, Le roi de Lahore for the re-opening of La Fenice in Venice. La bohème at the Arena of Verona to great critical acclaim, Rigoletto in Lausanne.
More recently, he has staged Luisa Miller at the Fenice, Traviata in Prag (PSO),a new Falstaff at the Teatro San Carlo in Napoli for the opening of the season 2006, Rigoletto in Marseille and Nantes, L'elisir d'amore in Toulouse, a new production of Cavalleria rusticana in St Gallen, a new production of Carmen in Helsinki in coproduction with Lausanne and Tokyo, a new production of The Queen of Spades in Toulouse, Falstaff at the Teatro Colon, revival of La bohème in Verona, Carmen and Traviata in Lausanne and in Tokyo, Carmen in Bilbao, Falstaff and La bohème in Zagreb, Thaïs in Athens (Megaron), La Juive in Saint-Petersburg, Die Zauberflöte in Athens (Greek National opera), Romeo and Juliet in Lausanne, La bohème in Saint-Petersburg, Tosca at the opera di Roma (Caracalla), La bohème (revival) at the Arena di Verona, Roméo and Juliet in Marseille and Bilbao, Rigoletto in Verona (Filarmonico).
Arnaud Bernard has had 9 nominations at The Golden Masks Festival in Moscow for La Juive and La bohème. He has been the youngest stage director ever who worked at the Arena de Verona with his production of La bohème created in 2005 and revived in 2007 and 2011.
Gounod's Romeo et Juliette — Director, Set, Costume and Lighting Designer