Bernardi graduated at the Conservatorio Statale di Musica "G. Rossini" in Pesaro. Next he studied with Maestro Antonio Gelli, a baritone.
He made his debut as a baritone in October 1968 in Mantova as Rigoletto
after he had won the international competition As.Li.Co (Associazione Lirica e Concertistica).
He sang in many Italian theatres and in the mean time won other international competitions such as:
1971: Concorso Achille Peri
1971: Concorso internazionale Voci Verdiane (an international competition created by the RAI), with Katia
1972: Concorso Internazionale per Cantanti "Toti Dal Monte", with Ghena Dimitrova
He decided to become a tenor and studied singing with Maestro Arrigo Pola and repertory with Maestro Ettore Campogalliani.
He made his debut as
a tenor in 1975 in Florence, in the role of Macolm in Macbeth. In 1976 he recorded Macbeth in the studios in
London with José Carreras, Sherrill Milnes and Ruggero Raimondi, still as Malcolm. He made his real debut in
Spain as Manrico. In the end of December 1976, he sang in Chicago and Pittsburgh
in concerts with Pavarotti.
He was preparing to sing the title role of Verdi's Otello when a fatal car accident ended his
life at the age of 37.
His repertory included: Rigoletto, Germont, Marcello, Tonio, Manrico, Malcolm, Alfredo, ...
Bernardi is a sad example of a very good baritone who preferred being a so-so tenor.
Admittedly, his Di Quella Pira is not bad (though transposed), but alas, that not very delicate and not entirely effortless,
self-accompanied home rehearsal of L’anima ho stanca (a baby crying in the background) is more typical of his tenor