Thursday, Dec. 7, 7 p.m.—RUTLAND—The Vienna Boys’ Choir (VBC), a beloved exponent of the choral repertoire for more than 500 years, plays the Paramount Theatre in Rutland, on Dec. 7 at 7 p.m. The evening’s program will include favorites such as “Stille Nacht” (“Silent Night”), “Sleigh Ride” (“Troika”), and their compelling rendition of “Carol of the Bells.”
The modern Vienna Boys Choir bears little resemblance to the original group of six boys invited to sing at the Viennese court many centuries ago. Today, the VBC consists of 100 boys between the ages of 10 and 14, from dozens of nations, divided into four touring groups. Each group spends nine to 11 weeks of the school year on tour. Between them, the four choirs give 300 concerts and performances each year before almost half a million people. They visit virtually all European countries, and are frequent guests in Asia, Australia, and the Americas. The VBC also has a close association with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. Together with members of the orchestra and the men of the Vienna State Opera Chorus, the choir maintains the tradition of the imperial musicians: at Hofmusikkapelle (Chapel Imperial) they still provide the music for Sunday mass in Vienna’s Imperial Chapel, as they have done since 1498. The group is active in education and community engagement, sponsoring music academies in both Vienna and Hong Kong. The VBC performs music from all over the world and has for years commissioned new music as well.
The choir has appeared many times on screen over the years and will be featured in Curt Faudon’s new film, “Good Shepherds,” which takes an unusual look at shepherd carols and shepherd music from the Holy Land to the Arctic circle. The film received its North American premiere in the Fall of 2017. In the realm of audio recording, the choir has been active since the 1930s, appearing on practically every major label. In 2015, the choir signed a long-term partnership with Deutsche Grammophon. Their first joint project was a hugely successful Christmas CD, “Merry Christmas from Vienna.” Their next recording will be released in 2018.
Conductor Manolo Cagnin studied violin as a child, then in later work at the Conservatory of Venice and in Milan, he pursued choral conducting and composition, completing his studies under Kurt Masur and Fabio Luisi in Leipzig. In 2008, Mr. Cagnin was named conductor of one of the four touring choirs of the Vienna Boys Choir. He prepares the boys for masses with the Vienna Hofmusikkapelle, for appearances with the Vienna State Opera, for sound and video recordings, and for concerts in Vienna and on tours worldwide.
Tickets ($40-$54) are on sale at the box office located at 30 Center St.; charge-by-phone at 802-775-0903; or online at paramountvt.org.
Photo courtesy of Paramount Theatre
The VBC consists of 100 boys between the ages of 10 and 14, from dozens of nations, divided into four touring groups.