The French bass-baritone, Bernard Deletré, pursued musical studies in flute and singing at Valenciennes before entering the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique in Paris, where he won a first prize in singing in 1981. After a brief time with Groupe Vocal de France, he embarked on a solo career in opera and oratorio in France and abroad, with several forays in theatre.
Bernard Deletré's vocal qualities and acting abilities have opened the doors to numerous productions under such renowned conductors as Leopold Hager, John Eliot Gardiner, William Christie, Philippe Herreweghe, Marc Minkowski and others, and for theatre projects under the direction of J.M. Villégier, S. Callow, A. Garichot, and A. Arias among others. He has participated in contemporary creations and in musical theatre with L'Atelier Lyrique du Rhin and the Péniche-Opéra.
After his débuts in the mainstream opera repertoire (La Traviata, The Pearl Fishers, Thaïs, The Masked Ball) Bernard Deletré met William Christie, director of Les Arts Florissants, who engaged him to sing in his production of Atys by Lully. Since that time, he has been much sought after for productions of Baroque music. In addition to Atys, noteworthy productions include Giasone by Cavalli under René Jacobs and C. Gangneron, Orfeo by Monteverdi under Philippe Herreweghe and Pousseur, Mozar'ts Le Nozze di Figaro with Mercier and Krief in Nancy and Créteil, The Fairy Queen at the Aix-en-Provence Festival with William Christie and Noble, les Indes Galantes with William Christie and Arias, Le Malade Imaginaire by Molière and Charpentier with William Christie and Villier, Orontea by Cesti with René Jacobs and Ackerman, Castor et Pollux at Aix, Hippolyte et Aricie by Rameau in Stuttgart, Armide by Lully, Médée by Charpentier, and W.A. Mozart's La Clemenza di Tito under Pillot and Garichot. His interpretation of the title role in Campra's Idomeneo under the direction of William Christie received unanimously enthusiastic reviews from the European press. That performance was later recorded.
In the USA Bernard Deletré sang the part of Giove in La Calisto by Cavalli at the Glimmerglass Opera Festival in New York under the direction of Jane Glover and Simon Callow. He also sang the part of Egee in Lully's Thésée at the Boston Early Music Festival and that of Jupiter and Momus in Rameau's Platée both for the N.Y.C.O., and at the Berkeley Festival under Nicholas McGegan.
His theatre work includes the role of Monsieur Purgon in Molière's Le Malade Imaginaire (Théâtre du Châtelet 1990). He is also sought after as a narrator, for example in Les Enfants à Bethléem by Pierné and Le Roi David by Arthur Honegger.
Bernard Deletré's has numerous recordings with Erato, EMI France, Adda, Opus 111 and Harmonia Mundi.