Founded in 1964 by Kevin Casey, the National Boys Choir of Australia has established itself as one of Australia’s finest treble choirs. Choristers develop vocal production based on the traditional European bel canto style.
The level of commitment and self-discipline expected of the choristers is high as they are required to attend weekly or twice weekly rehearsals and regular music workshops. This training enables boys to present challenging repertoires with music ranging from early motets through to contemporary commissioned works and fully staged children’s operas, as well as musical comedy, art songs and folk songs from many lands.
The Choir is often called on to sing with Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Opera Australia and Victorian Opera with performances including Orff’s Carmina Burana, Mahler’s Third and Eighth Symphonies, Tobias’ Jonah’s Mission, Berlioz’s Damnation of Faust, Bach’s St Matthew Passion, Berlioz’s Te Deum and Britten’s War Requiem.
The busy schedule includes regular television, recording and major event appearances such as the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games opening ceremony and official CD, 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games, Grand Prix, Bledisloe Cup and Carols by Candlelight at the Myer Music Bowl since 1988. A guest appearance at the Three Tenors Concert in Melbourne was a highlight for the choristers.
The Choir has performed under internationally recognised conductors including Graham Abbott, Christopher Bell, Nicholas Braithwaite, Oleg Caetani, Richard Gill, Phillipe Herreweghe, Neeme Jarvi, Tadaaki Otaka, Markus Stenz, Mark Summerbell and Yan Pascal Tortelier.
Major works performed in the Choir’s own Concert Series have included Vivaldi’s Gloria, Haydn’s Nelson Mass, Mozart’s Coronation Mass, Schubert’s Mass in G, Rutter’s Gloria, Britten’s The Golden Vanity, Bennett’s All The King’s Men and Bowman’s Lost to the Music.
The Choir has toured internationally on fifteen occasions with destinations including the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Germany, Austria, New Zealand, Japan, the United States, Taiwan, the Philippines and China, giving performances in venues ranging from Disneyland in three countries to St Peter’s in Rome.
When the boys are not travelling overseas, they tour their own vast country, from far north Queensland to Albany in South West Australia.
Much of 1998, 2000, 2003/2004 and part of 2009 were devoted to the filming of the acclaimed ‘I Still Call Australia Home’ advertising campaigns. The ongoing relationship with Qantas has provided many opportunities and further travel for the boys both nationally and internationally.
As it proceeds from strength to strength, the National Boys Choir of Australia continues to consolidate its place as one of a number of superb cultural organisations based in Melbourne and contributing to and affirming Australia’s rich and diverse cultural identity. It proudly represents the very best of both Melbourne and Australia in all its appearances both at home and internationally.