Rossini’s meow-song, a great performance by a French boys choir (video)

We’d posted this video a few years back, and it just crossed my path again today.

I decided to do some googling – I wanted to know who these boys are.  The boys are with “Les Petits Chanteurs a la Croix de Bois (PCCB)” in Paris, apparently a quite well-known boys choir in France.

I also found out the name of the boys doing the singing. They’re Hyacinthe de Moulins (the blonde boy) and Régis Mengus (the dark-haired boy). Yep, the first boy is actually named Hyachinthe – ah the French. Régis is apparently now an opera singer in France.  And Hyacinthe, if I’m not incorrect, is getting married this May – this has got to be him, the face is the same.

Below is my favorite performance of the boys choir, and favorite version of the meow-song, as I call it – the song is officially called Rossini’s “Duetto buffo di due gatti” (Funny (I prefer “goofey”) duet of the two cats).  Here’s Wikipedia on the background of the song:

The Duetto buffo di due gatti (“humorous duet for two cats”) is a popular performance piece for two sopranos which is often performed as a concertencore. The “lyrics” consist entirely of the repeated word “miau” (“meow”).

While the piece is typically attributed to Gioachino Rossini, it was not actually written by him, but is instead a compilation written in 1825 that draws principally on his 1816 opera, Otello. The compiler was likely the English composer Robert Lucas de Pearsall, who for this purpose used the pseudonym “G. Berthold”.

And here are Hyacinthe and Régis singing it, wonderfully.

Here’s a nice version of Ave Maria from the same singing troupe:

And I found an entire documentary (in French) about the PCCB boys choir, it’s an hour and a half long, but again, it is in French:


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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