"Grégoire Pont’s remarkable work avoids easy technical effects and always sticks to the truth of text and music. Never had the meaning of 'spells' been so well embodied. The result is a masterwork where the stage setting shows unexpected details, designed with a great sense of poetry on the screen." Classique News, L’Enfant et les sortilèges, Opéra National de Lyon
An exceptional artistic talent from the tender age of eight, Grégoire Pont attended the Animation Workshop in Paris where he studied Norman McLaren’s techniques of animation dynamics. He graduated from the Penninghen school of Graphic Arts (ESAG) in 1992 and shortly after directed his first animated film Le concerto du chat, with abstract shapes dancing to the sounds of the Orchestre de Paris at Salle Pleyel.
A great lover of classical music, Pont has always been passionate about making classical music more popular and accessible to both children and adults by means of animation. He developed a new performance concept called ‘Cinesthetics’ where he draws and animates live to a musical performance. He has made appearances at London Royal Festival Hall, Paris Philharmonie, Frankfurt Alte Oper, Tokyo Suntory Hall and Gothenburg Concert Hall, collaborating with conductors such as Kent Nagano, Kazushi Ono, Alexandre Bloch, Marko Letonja and François-Xavier Roth.
Pont has also received great acclaim for bringing his innovative animation techniques to the operatic repertoire. Together with British director James Bonas he conceived productions at Opéra de Lyon of Ravel’s L’Enfant et les sortilèges and L’heure espagnole, as well as premiering a new production of Orff’s Der Mond. Their innovative approach has led to their work being performed around the world, including at Opéra de Limoges, Opéra de Lille, Opéra de Toulon, Royal Opera House Muscat, San Francisco Symphony and Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. Pont created animations for the semi-staging of Bizet’s Carmen for Orchestre National de Lille, as well as bringing Hans Abrahamsen’s Snow Queen to Opéra National du Rhin and Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel to Cologne Opera.
Pont additionally illustrates books for children, most notably Les Excalibrius, and has made numerous animations for TV commercials, educational animated shorts and music video clips. For three seasons, Pont worked with the French conductor François-Xavier Roth and his innovative orchestra Les Siècles on Presto! (France Television). This animated series of musical works was seen by over three million viewers on weekly primetime television. Most recently he has worked on animated effects for the music video Catch Me, from the colour series by New Studios, featuring the Boston ballet dancer My’Kal Stromile.
© Photo by Laureen Neveu