The king [Francis I] successfully retained the services of the best musicians left by his predecessors…. Choirboys were much in demand for they alone could hit the high notes. While some were taken from the Sainte-Chapelle in Paris, others were kidnapped from cathedrals elsewhere in France. Two, for example, were snatched at night from Beauvais. The fate of such choirboys was considered enviable, since their upkeep was paid for by the king. They were dressed like pages with black breeches, a doublet and a flet hat trimmed with black velvet.
—Robert J. Knecht, The French Renaissance Court
With John Rhys-Davies as Francis I. And Molly Ringwald as Anne de Pisseleu.
And I wonder if these kidnapped waifs ended up like the characters pictured above have as seen in their current reality show – damaged goods for life.
What a truly great movie that was.
At least in France choirboys got to keep their testicles.
It’s a real movie? Like “Newsies”? Awesome.>>I’ve been supering in a “Boris Godunov” in San Francisco and in the first scene there’s a religious procession with boys’ chorus and girls’ chorus and womens’ chorus and mens’ chorus all separated backstage for musical balance. I keep finding myself gravitating towards the boys (and that is not even remotely my romantic proclivity) because their soprano voices are easily the most beautiful of the groups by a large margin. It makes me think of Thomas Disch’s “On Wings of Song.”