Every year the CMBV provides world class vocational training in baroque singing to 17 selected students aged between 18 and 30 from both France and abroad.
This training course provides a grounding in music theory and practice, and the opportunity for young singers to perform in a real-life setting in preparation for a professional career. The Centre de musique baroque de Versailles employs leading specialists (in solo & choral singing, interpretation, ear training & sight reading, vocal chamber music, ornamentation; French, Latin, Italian & German declamation; dance & gesture; continuo, choral conducting, etc.). Further input is provided by CMBV musicologists (who teach source editing, methodology, music studies, etc.), and by CMBV’s academic partners, namely the Pôle Supérieur de Paris / Boulogne-Billancourt and the Versailles and Paris-Saclay regional conservatoires.
The 17 students in Les Chantres are enrolled in a 2 year intensive course at the Centre de musique baroque de Versailles, acquiring not only a sound grounding in the singing of classical repertoire but also specialist training in the performance of 17th and 18th century music.
The CMBV offers national foundation courses for admission into creative arts higher education establishments.
A real-life professional setting
Performing in public in a real-life setting, an essential part of the training, helps students acquire the skills required by their future employers, namely speed, autonomy and assurance, as well as technical and artistic expertise. Valuable experience in solo and choral performance is provided, led by Fabien Armengaud, Director of Music & Music Studies, Assistant Director Clément Buonomo and Damien Guillon, Conductor in Residence 2024-2025.
Embarking on a professional career
Over the last 30 years the CMBV choir school has trained some 150 young and adult singers, of whom almost 90% have gone on to enjoy a professional career.
Becoming choristers, soloists, choirmasters or singing teachers Les Chantres graduates work with opera choruses across France or have joined Radio France or leading vocal ensembles such as Accentus, Le Concert Spirituel, Les Arts Florissants, Le Poème Harmonique, Pygmalion, Correspondances or Les Cris de Paris.
Some have gone on to train as soloists at top European conservatoires in Paris, Lyon, Amsterdam, London, Berlin, Lausanne or Geneva, while others have created their own vocal ensembles or pursued a career abroad.
CMBV vocational training is open to all singers aged 18-30 from France and abroad. The choir and course is limited to a maximum of 17 members. In 2024-25, all vocal ranges - soprano, countertenor, haute-contre, tenor, baritone and bass voices - will be recruited.
- Music & vocal training: completion of 2 years study at a conservatoire, preferably a music degree and extensive choral experience.
- Academic qualification: school leaving certificate (baccalaureate equivalent)
The admission procedure take place between February and May each year:
- Online application (completed form accompanied by recordings of 3 pieces from different periods, including one piece of French baroque music and at least 2 sung in different languages including French)
- First round : preselection made on a file
- Second round: successful applicants are invited to sit an entrance exam and sight-reading test, and perform a 10-12 minute audition.
- Final round : Participation in choir sessions and music classes + individual interviews
This is a full-time student course, with a €450 annual registration fee.