Individual achievement in the collective progress

The Ile de France Children’s Choir is actually Francis Bardot’s Children’s Choir and as such can get the benefit of the forty-year-long experience of a choir specialist who is also a renowned tenor. For a quarter of a century, he was responsible for the Opera and the Orchestre de Paris children’s choirs. He also used to be the Chartres Cathedral choir master and gave master classes at the University of California and at the Beijing National Conservatoire.
The choir is composed of two equal groups of boys and girls who can sing together or separately according to the repertoire. As pupils of the Conservatoire whose former director was their conductor, they get individualized musical and vocal training.
The choir is led by a former teacher of Ancient Languages who is also a Professor at the Higher School of Pedagogy with the help of his wife Martine. The choir is essentially based on global education for boys and girls attending children’s choir whose “motto” is that “it is made for them and not the opposite”.
This project starts with musical excellence. Francis Bardot’s children’s choirs are well known for their specific vocal color and since 1970 they have sung with the greatest international conductors and opera singers and have made about twenty recordings that were all favorably greeted by critics. When they complete their time with the children’s choir, the children usually join the Ile de France Youth Choir.
The Children’s Choir definitely belongs to the Parisian musical life and cooperates with famous orchestras. Each summer they go on one of their tours which have taken them all around the world .
Discography of Francis Bardot’s Children’s Choirs
Gounod’s Requiem , Mozart’s Waisenhaussmesse, Vierne’s Mass (Forlane)
Berlioz’s Te Deum (Nelson, Alagna, Marie Claire Alain , Orchestre de Paris, Virgin)
Verdi’s Othello (Domingo, Studer, Myung-Whun-Chung, Deutsche Grammophon)
Massenet’s Amadis (Fournillier, Forlane)
Poulenc’s 7 Réponses des Ténèbres (Prêtre, EMI)
Janacek’s La Petite Renarde Rusée (Orchestre de Paris, Mackerras)
Mozart’s Requiem and Mass in C, Fauré’s Requiem, Duruflé’s Requiem…
Mozart’s Bastien, Bastienne (Forlane)
Recent collaborations
Orchestre de Paris, Ensemble Orchestral de Paris, Orchestre des Concerts Colonne
Orchestre de l’Opéra de Massy, Orchestre Bernard Thomas , Bell’Arte
Aix Festival , Vichy Opera , Marseille Opera (the Magic Flute ) , Compiègne Opéra (Yniold)

Jérôme Boutillier

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Francis Bardot

Prof. Francis Bardot began singing from the age of 8, under the mentoring of Philippe Debat, who was the student and friend of the Choirmaster of the Escolania de Montserrat, Dom Ireneu Segarra, and was to become the Choirmaster of the Cathedral of Monaco. This musical legacy has left its imprint on his whole career. A tenor soloist specializing in Oratorios from the age of 18, he gave 2,000 concerts in France and abroad, performing with such unique artists as Ernst Haeffliger, Roger Soyer, Rita Streich and Barbara Schlick, and producing some twenty recordings under labels including RCA and Deutsche Grammophon.Nurtured by a deep passion for the humanities, he taught Latin, Ancient Greek, classical French literature, and Philosophy and became at the age of 24 a professor at the Institut Supérieur de Pédagogie (college of education science) of the Institut Catholique de Paris, where he founded his first choir school for children. He then decided to dedicate himself entirely to conducting choirs and orchestras and founded, among other choirs, the Petits Chanteurs du Monde (The World’s Little Singers) under the sponsorship Unesco and Unicef.

The world of music owes this tireless mentor and creator the revival of the choir school of the Cathedral of Chartres, the organization of ADIAM 92 (an ADIAM is a regional information center on musical activities,) the founding of the Maîtrise des Hauts-de-Seine (greater Paris choir school,) the Burgundy choir school and the French Society of Choirmasters, and the idea of organizing the Rencontres Chorales d’Ile-de-France, which allow choirs from the whole region to meet and perform together.

At the head of the Children’s Choirs of the Paris Opera and in cooperation with the Paris Orchestra, conducted by Arthur Oldham over a period of 23 years, he developed vocal techniques geared to children and gave master classes on this subject at the University of Los Angeles and the Beijing National Conservatoire. During the same period, he also served for ten years as the Choirmaster of the Cathedral of Chartres. His numerous recordings, all of which were acclaimed by the critics, testify to forty years of ongoing, fruitful partnership with prestigious conductors, lyrical singers, pianists and organists.

As the honorary Director of the Department of Culture of the city Levallois and of the Conservatoire Maurice Ravel, he now dedicates all his time to mentoring the 320 members—children, students and adults, amateur or professional singers—of the choirs he created: the regional children’s choir (Chœur d’Enfants d’Ile-de-France,) the regional young people’s choir (Jeune Chœur d’Ile-de-France,) the regional professional choir (Ensemble Vocal d’Ile-de-France) and the regional adults’ choir (Chœur Symphique d’Ile de France) as well as the choir of the Paris Symphonic Orchestra since Cyril Diederich entrusted him with the charge of conducting it in June 2012.

 Francis Bardot is President of SFCC : “Société Française des Chefs de Choeur” (French National Choral Directors Association).