My Story — From humble beginnings…

An International Career

Brooklyn, New York-born and raised, Francine Bell started singing at the age of 5. Significantly influenced by years of singing in church, she later joined the Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music and Art (part of New York’s School of Performing Arts, inspiration for the film, stage production, and television series Fame) where she studied voice. To sharpen her skills, she joined the Actors’ Music Workshop in New York. With $52 dollars and a one-way airline ticket in hand, Francine left New York, setting out to discover a new life, language and culture. Her destination: Paris, France.

Within a month of her arrival, she was hired as a resident singer at Le Chevalier du Temple. To enrich her performance, Francine studied French at L’Universitè de la Sorbonne in Paris. During the opening season of Paris exclusive Champagne Club, Francine was spotted by Jacques Martin (France’s equivalent to Ray Martin) and was invited to appear on Thè Dansant, a leading weekly television show viewed throughout France and all the Francophone countries. Francine also starred for six weeks in Grand Hotel at the Monte Carlo Sporting Club. Francine has performed at many venues around the world from The Sydney Opera House to L’Olympia in Paris. She was guest soloist on the Beethoven Choir’s European tour. Concerts were performed at St. Peter’s Church, Salzburg, Austria, St. Nicholas Church, Prague, Matthias Church and Esztergom Cathedral in Hungary.


A Multi-faceted Performer

Since her arrival in Australia, Francine has starred in theatre, films, television, commercials, corporate videos and gala functions, music clips and voice-overs for Australia and the overseas market. She co-starred in the stage musical Nine alongside Nancye Hayes, John Diedrich and Peta Toppano. Her film work includes roles in Superman Returns finding her name in a list of credits that included the late Marlon Brando, Kevin Spacey and Frank Langella, he also appeared in The Matrix Revolutions with Laurence Fishburne and Keanu Reeves and had a co-starring role in The Wilde Girls, opposite Olivia Newton-John.

She was a guest soloist on Midday with Ray Martin for three years and on Good Morning Australia with Bert Newton for six. Francine played the role of Kebo Akuna in the Logie-winning television series All Saints and was the featured soloist for The World of Accor (Accor Hotels) in Thailand, Hong Kong and Singapore.

Francine was invited to perform for the 80th Birthday celebrations of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II at Parliament House in Sydney and was the featured soloist for the official opening of Lou’s Place (Mission Australia) with Prime Minister John Howard. Francine has made several appearances on Turn ’Round Australia and Rise & Shine (Wesley Mission.


Special Guest Soloist

Francine was invited by the United States Consul General, the Honorable Judith R. Fergin, to perform the Australian and American national anthems for her official Fourth of July Celebration in Sydney in 2009 and at her family’s Thanksgiving Day celebration in November, 2008.

Francine was guest soloist for The Australian National Prayer Breakfast at The Great Hall at Parliament House, Canberra, in 2005. She was also a featured artist for the World Youth Day celebrations in Sydney in 2008: a featured soloist on two Stations of the Cross at Darling Harbour and in the Sacred Papal Mass at Randwick Racecourse. She performed in and shared co-hosting honors for The Australian Gospel Music Awards at Homebush Stadium with noted rock historian and journalist, Glenn A. Baker.


Award-Winner

Francine performed at the National Gospel Happening with Kamahl in Canberra in 2003 as well as The National Gospel Happening Gospel Music Awards held at The National Gallery. There she received five nominations and won 2 awards for her original compositions. That same year, Francine was awarded The Golden Gospel Award for her contribution to gospel music in Australia, presented by the inaugural winner of the award, Jimmy Little.


Performances

Carols by Candlelight

Francine has hosted and appeared in many Carols by Candlelight productions around Australia, notably seven consecutive years in An Australian Christmas at Darling Harbor. She also performed in The Premier’s Christmas Concert with Tommy Tycho and The Sydney International Orchestra at The Sydney Entertainment Centre with Anthony Warlow. She was co-producer, casting director, host and special guest artist for Carols by Candlelight at the Sydney Adventist Hospital for two years running. Christmas 2009 saw Francine hosting Carols by Candlelight performances for the combined churches in Australia, performing with internationally acclaimed guitarist Bruce Mathiske and Gospel great, Aliki.

Gospel / Jazz

Her Gospel performance at The Newcastle Jazz Festival with the late great Tom Baker, was hailed as “…an artistic triumph” by the organizers.

In 1996, Francine began the Francine Bell Performance Workshop. This workshop was designed to improve performance skills and to build confidence in Australia’s up and coming ‘stars’. Since starting the workshops, Francine has taught stagecraft and performance skills to numerous singers and actors in the Hunter region, Sydney and overseas. Her former students include singer Paulini and Tim Johnston, who finished the competition in the top nine of Network Ten’s Australian Idol. Francine has acted as a consultant for Talent Development Project, funded by the NSW Department of Education and the NSW Ministry for the Arts. Francine was an adjudicator for The McDonald’s Performing Arts Challenge (City of Sydney Cultural Council), The Australian School of Vocal Performance, The Hunter School of Performing Arts, Macquarie College and Queenwood School for Girls. Francine has also been featured as a workshop presenter in Newcastle Music Week for TAFE (Hunter Institute).


Teacher, Lecturer, and Author

In December, 1996, The University of Newcastle School of Music and Drama: The Conservatorium honored Francine by inviting her to join their teaching staff. Francine taught contemporary singing and lectured first- year musicians in contemporary performance and presentation for ten years and was the director of the Newcastle Conservatorium Gospel ‘Quar’ (Choir) for 4 years. She was the first contemporary singing teacher in the university’s history.

Inside the Alien Head: Releasing the Incredible Singer in You, was a series of workshops conceived, developed and conducted by Francine for the inaugural Voice Festival held at The Conservatorium in October, 2006. Highly successful, these workshops are the basis of an upcoming book on the subjects presented. Francine also toured South Korea with The Newcastle Conservatorium Chamber Choir, recent winners of the 7 Network’s Battle of the Choirs, under the direction of Dr. Philip Matthias. She taught master classes in Gospel music, contemporary performance and presentation at Kimpo College, Seoul Theological University and Kwangshin University which twice offered Francine a guest professorship. Francine recently released her first book Lights! Camera! Action!


Broadcaster / Presenter / Recording Artist

Francine is currently featured in a weekly Christian news magazine produced by Adventist Media Network for the HOPE Channel, entitled InFocus News. Her segment, My Word, a weekly editorial on subjects sourced and presented by Francine, continues to enjoy global popularity. InFocus is screened four times a week on Hope to several countries worldwide.

A former international fashion model, Francine has acted in the capacity of presenter for numerous functions, including fashion parades with the ex- Miss Australia/Miss World, Belinda Green. She was also the fashion editor on the NBN show This Morning’ with host Nat Jeffreys and was an in-flight news presenter for Qantas Airlines on all flights to the United States and Canada.

From February 2009 to Easter 2010, Francine had her own radio program, Heart to Heart on radio station Rhema FM 99.7 in Newcastle, Australia. Heard every Sunday around the Hunter Valley and abroad – thanks to live-streaming – Francine co-produced the show and was responsible for all aspects of its programming.

To date, her recordings include Together for Christmas, Jesus Told Me I Can Fly and The Highway as well as a self-titled jazz album recorded and released in Paris as a result of her popularity on the television show, Thè Dansant. Francine played the role of Elizabeth on the CD, Bible Oz-The Gospel Story’ which also features Tommy Emmanuel, Jimmy Little, and Grammy-Award-winning singer/songwriter Darlene Zschech from Hillsong Australia.


Interests

Francine’s interests are many and varied: she loves people – especially her family; her cats; reading; writing and cooking. Charity work plays a big part in Francine’s life. Her performances have helped to raise funds for numerous charity organizations around Australia which include The Autistic Society, The Salvation Army and Father Chris Riley’s Youth off the Streets. She is involved in her church and community and is the co-founder of Heartext by Francine Bell, a cottage business designing inspirational gifts based on her own art works, photography and writings.


Background & Training

• Vienna Philharmonic – Vocal Tuition, Professor Gerhard Track
• Camille Chappell – Vocal Tuition, France
• Linda Pierce – Vocal Tuition, France
• Actors Music Workshop – Stagecraft and Vocal Tuition, New York
• Don Pfost – Vocal Tuition, New York
• Bob Tasman-Smith – Vocal Tuition, Australia
• Peter Egan – Vocal Tuition, Australia
• The Estill Voice Training System – Certificate, Levels 1 & 2, Australia
• Joanne Callinan – Vocal Tuition, Australia
• Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music and Art (School of Performing Arts), New York
• Université de la Sorbonne, Paris, France
• University of Newcastle, Australia


Vocal Consultancy / Vocal Teaching

• University of Newcastle School of Music and Drama: The Conservatorium, Australia (1996-2006)
• Avondale College, Australia – Guest Lecturer
• Australian School of Vocal Performance, Australia -Guest Lecturer
• The Talent Development Project
• NSW Department of Education and NSW Ministry for the Arts, Australia – Workshop Coordinator and Guest Lecturer
• Mary Lopez Productions, Australia
• City of Sydney Cultural Council, Australia
• Out There Productions, Australia
• Father Chris Riley’s Youth Off the Streets, Australia
• The Francine Bell Performance Workshops, Australia
• NSW TAFE – Hunter Institute, Australia
• Newcastle Grammar School, Australia
• Hunter School of Performing Arts, Australia
• Macquarie College, Newcastle, Australia
• Hunter Valley Grammar School, Australia
• YWAM (Youth With A Mission) School of Music, Australia
• Kimpo College, South Korea – Guest Lecturer
• Seoul Theological University, South Korea – Guest Lecturer
• Kwangshin University, South Korea – Guest Lecturer
• Department of Education & Communities (NSW)


Choir and Vocal Group Direction

• Upper Hunter Shire & Kia-Ora Youth Music Camp, Australia
• Australian School of Vocal Performance – Guest Lecturer
• Beethoven Choir, Sydney – Guest Lecturer
• Newcastle Conservatorium Gospel ‘Quar’ (Choir), Musical Director, Co-Arranger
• Hunter School of Performing Arts – Guest Conductor, Guest Lecturer
• Kimpo College, South Korea – Guest Lecturer
• Seoul Theological University, South Korea- Guest Lecturer
• Kwangshin University, South Korea – Guest Lecturer


Films/ Television

• Infocus News – Weekly segment, My Word, The Hope Channel -Weekly
• Superman Returns – Feature Film
• Matrix Reloaded – Feature Film
• Matrix Revolutions – Feature Film
• The Recycler News – www.therecycler.com
• Thé Dansant, Antenne Deux, France
• The Wilde Girls with Olivia Newton-John, Australia, USA
• All Saints – Seven Network, Australia
• Mission: Impossible (TV series filmed for America)
• The Paper Man, Mini-series, ABC, Australia
• The Beast – (Peter Benchley, ’Jaws’), Australia, USA
• Francine Bell in Concert – TV Special , Antenne Deux Network, New Caledonia
• Rising Stars, Four-part Documentary on The Talent Development Project, ABC Network, Australia
• Qantas In-Flight News (Presenter), Broadcom Australia


Guest Appearances include:

• World Youth Day 08, Stations 9 & 10 of The Cross/ & The Papal Mass, Sydney Australia
• July 4th, 09 Performance of the Australian & US National Anthems for the US Consul General, Judith R. Fergin
• Guest soloist, Beethoven Choir European Tour
• Parliament House, Canberra and Sydney
• Midday Show with Ray Martin – Three years
• Good Morning Australia with Bert Newton – Six years
• This Morning (NBN) – One year
• An Australian Christmas at Darling Harbour – Mary Lopez Productions, Seven years
• The Premier’s Christmas Concert with Anthony Warlow, Tommy Tycho, and The Sydney International Orchestra – The Sydney Entertainment Centre
• Newcastle Jazz Festival – Three years
• The Basement – with On Fire, Salvation Army Big Band
• The Istanbul Hilton – Main Attraction, Turkey
• Dangerfields, New York.
• L’Olympia – France
• Theatre du Champs Elysees – France
• F.O.L., Noumea, New Caleonia
• Grand Hotel (Principal) – Monte Carlo Sporting Club, Monte Carlo
• Soiree (Van Cleef & Arpels), Switzerland
• Midem (Music Industry Convention) – France
• Cannes Music Festival (With Michel Le Grand), France
• Mo Awards – State Theatre
• Omegatrend, Darling Harbour Convention Centre, Sydney Entertainment Centre
• International Celebrity Management, Australia
• News Presenter for the Qantas International In-flight Entertainment Program for a year
• Entertainer/Ambassador for American Express International in Australia and overseas.
• Principal role for Lipitor national campaign. Pfizer Corporation; Principal role for Plaavix national campaign, Saanofi Aventis, USA
• Rise & Shine – Nine Network
• 3ABN Today – 3ABN Television, Thomasville, Illonois, USA


Theatre and Musicals

• Music and Memories – An Evening with Francine Bell’, Laycock Street Theatre, Australia
• NINE with Nancye Hayes, John Deidrich, Peta Topano and Caroline Gillmer
• New Horizons – World Expo ’88 (Female Lead, opposite former South Australian Premiere, the late Don Dunstan, Doug Parkinson, and Rick Price)
• Fiesta 2003 – Newcastle City Council, Ethnic Communities Council, Australia


Recordings/ Radio

• Heart to Heart – Rhema FM 99.7 Newcastle, Newcastle, New South Wales Australia – Weekly, Feb 2009 to March 2010
• Francine Bell, Album, Paris, France
• Together for Christmas – CD, Australia
• Jesus Told Me I Can Fly – CD/ Australia (Award Winner, Australian Gospel Music Awards, 2004)
• Bible Oz – The Gospel Story, CD, Australia
• The Highway – EP, Australia (Award Winner, Australian Gospel Music Awards, 2004)



Francine