Founded in 1982 by Charlotte Nessi, Ensemble Justiniana is a national lyric and musical theatre company in the Burgundy-Franche-Comté region.
Wishing to introduce opera and vocal art to the greatest number, the Ensemble Justiniana implements artistic workshops ahead of its productions. This allows anyone, but especially children, to discover singing, dancing and theatre via walking operas (opéras-promenades) in rural areas, or through repertoire performances and creations for the "young public" hosted by Opera houses and national stages (Opéra national de Paris, Les 2Scènes in Besançon, etc.).
The company’s work to gather new audiences through participatory shows has earned it recognition from the public and from its partners (the State, the Region and the four departments of Franche-Comté).
The Ensemble Justiniana collaborates closely with the Edwige-Feuillère Theatre in Vesoul, directed since 2009 by Charlotte Nessi, to develop vocal practice in children and youth.
Together, they have set up free workshops for singing, dance and theatre, and they also intervene in schools. Each year the performances derived from these workshops are hosted as part of the Month of Children’s Voices/Stage Space in Vesoul.
The singing workshop of the Ensemble Justiniana has been enriched courtesy of the 25 year joint work of choir director Scott Alan Prouty and Charlotte Nessi focusing on the issue of stage movement in children's choirs. Many shows have sprung from this collaboration, including West Side Story by L. Bernstein, Adventures and New Adventures by G. Ligeti or Children by E. Roche, presented as part of the Month of Children’s Voices/Stage Space.
The present European project was built on the methods and reflections initiated by this training.
The Ensemble Justiniana is the project leader for Children’s Voices/Stage Space.
The Children's Choir of the University of Lisbon was established in 2005 within the Foundation of the University of Lisbon. In residence at the University of Lisbon since its creation, the CIUL welcomes approximately 170 children, ranging from 6 to 18 years of age.
Founded under the direction of Erica Mandillo, this choir is a national reference in the field of artistic work with children and youth. It has an eclectic repertoire that serves as a basis for individual development, using music as the main tool.
The Choir of the University of Lisbon is recognised for its work on staging and its integration of stage movement from the singing phase, through a respectful approach to the individuality and personality of children.
This very particular form of public performance is based on working principles that impose a great demand on all levels of expression: vocal, musical, physical and theatrical, in a playful atmosphere that integrates the creativity of each child.
The choir regularly performs concerts in major events and organises tours in Portugal and abroad, in such places as Basel, Strasbourg, Barcelona, Zürich, Amsterdam, Brussels, Liège and Neerpelt. In addition to the solo concerts, the CIUL has participated in symphonic choral works such as the St Matthew Passion, by J.S. Bach, Joan of Arc at the Stake, by A. Honegger, the Mass of the Children, by J. Rutter, and audio-visual experiences of Portuguese directors.
Founded in 1994, the children’s choir Sotto Voce brings together 110 youth from all backgrounds. Most children play an instrument, but it is not compulsory to be able to read music to join the choir. Sotto Voce is in residence at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris and is considered "one of the most dynamic and inventive children's choirs in France".
Its originality is based on the innovative and dynamic teaching method of its artistic director, Scott Alan Prouty, which combines the quest for exemplary vocal quality with a demanding bodily and choreographic work.
The goal is to “live” the music with a true commitment of the whole body and thus allow the expressiveness and the personality of each chorister to flourish while performing an eclectic repertoire: classical music, pop songs, jazz, swing, musicals, etc.
Because of its excellence, Sotto Voce performs each year on prestigious Parisian stages such as the Champs Elysées Theatre, the Opéra Bastille, the Théâtre du Châtelet, etc. Children of the choir regularly participate in operas as soloists. Young people learn the joy of singing together and passing their artistic passion on to the public. Their director, Scott Alan Prouty, places particular importance on the organisation of training courses, concerts and travels that encourage the discovery of different cultures and pedagogies. In 2011, Sotto Voce was invited to the prestigious Saint Petersburg Choir Festival in Russia.
The Piccoli Cantori in Turin is a non-profit association made up of the parents of the members of two choirs: a children's choir and a youth choir. The association also runs a music school with more than 300 students. The choirs were founded 44 years ago and are among the best known and most qualified in Italy. Piccoli Cantori gathers a hundred children and youth around its artistic director, Carlo Pavese.
Carlo Pavese, the artistic director of the Piccoli Cantori since 2005, is also a composer for children's voices. The choirs combine singing and stage movement with improvisation and spatialisation in musical theatre productions.
In 2006, the children’s choir sang at the Olympic Winter Games. In 2007, it participated in the International Voice in Motion Choir Festival to study new practices in choral singing; movement is not only about choreography but also about expressing ideas and creativity.
The choristers have already created a musical opera, Operazione Favola, and participate in other original operas such as La Gabbianella e il Gatto or Il Pifferaio Magico. The choirs have been invited to several national and international musical events, on television and they also give public concerts throughout the year. In collaboration with soprano singer Marcella Polidori and pianist Gianfranco Montalto, the choirs have performed in Spain, Germany, Belgium, Poland and France.
The Children's Choir of Hainaut is a private choral school with non-profit association legal status headquartered in Nivelles, Belgium. It does not depend on any official structure and all regular instructors are volunteers.
Founded by its director, Géraldine Focant, in 1990 in Horrues, the choir currently has 65 choristers between the ages of 8 and 20 years divided between a preparatory choir, a main choir and a vocal ensemble.
Its objective is to produce vocal music through a varied repertoire, with a constant concern for vocal quality. The choir emphasises both the mastery of the body and the voice, as well as the awakening of sensitivity for the interpretation of works. The choir also pays particular attention to staging and stage attitude.
For more than 20 years, the choir’s success has stemmed from the work of the entire team: children, teachers and parents, all working together so that everyone can find their place and give the best of themselves within this family spirit.
Every summer, choristers gather for an international music camp and every two years the choir organises a tour abroad. The choir has travelled to Prague, Salzburg, as well as France and Quebec.
The Children's Choir of Hainaut is a member of the Wallonia-Brussels Choir Federations, A Cœur Joie and Pueri Cantores.
With the appointment of Charlotte Nessi as the director of the Edwige-Feuillère Theatre in Vesoul in 2009, the desire to create a dynamic around the voices of children and stage space was realised and prioritised.
This 700-seat performance hall hosts the Month of Children’s Voices/Stage Space each year. In November 2012, the theatre was awarded the Scène Conventionnée – Children’s Voices/Stage Space label, thus finding itself at the forefront of a unique project in France.
With an important stage space and an infrastructure to accommodate the choirs, the Edwige-Feuillère Theatre focuses on children's voices and their development by showcasing them at the regional and national levels and by promoting their integration in the local community.
Various actions and events around children's voices were set up in close collaboration with American choir director Scott Alan Prouty and Ensemble Justiniana. Singing-Dance-Theatre workshops are offered to children and youth who benefit from an arts education during the school year, the culmination of which is to participate in a production of the company as part of the Month of Children’s Voices/Stage Space.
The growing number of participants in the various workshops and the influx of the public evidence the interest in these events.