Travel around the globe to the tune of the Choir

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The South Orange Performing Arts Center (SOPAC), in collaboration with Seton Hall University, will be hosting the international Austrian choir, Vienna Boys’ Choir as part of the Classical Concert Series on Sunday, Oct. 11 at 3 p.m.

The concert titled “Around the World in 80 Minutes” follows in the footsteps of the late French author, Jules Verne’s novel, “Around the World in Eighty Days.”

In addition to the traditional repertoire from early Austrian composers Franz Schubert and Johann Strauss II, English composers Henry Purcell and Thomas Weelkes and French composers Georges Bizet and Frances Poulenc, the concert will feature modern pop music selections from countries like Italy, Saudi Arabia, Austria, India, China, Japan, Ireland and the United States.

“They are highly trained and highly skilled musicians,” Dee Billia, director of external relations of SOPAC, said about the young allboys choir. “It’s a wonderful way to have a multi-generational performance.”

According to SOPAC’s official website, the inspiration for a wide variety of music and the choir’s modernization was developed by Gerald Wirth, who became the artistic director of the Vienna Boys’ Choir in 2001.

Although he is “keenly aware of the choir’s rich tradition” which dates back over 500 years, Wirth “explores new ways to create and make music.”

While the choir’s music selections vary, their name has not changed since its creation in 1498.

The performance at SOPAC is regionally exclusive and is the Vienna Boys’ Choir’s only performance in New Jersey this year. The choir is currently on an international tour in Europe, Asia, Australia and the Americas until the end of the autumn.

As far as the level of excitement about the group’s first performance at SOPAC, Billia said that the public has responded well so far.

“They are very well-known across generations,” Billia added. “People who love choral music will truly enjoy this.”

It is not certain if there would be any future collaborations or performances with the Vienna Boys’ Choir so Billia recommends that if anyone want to see their concert, Oct. 11 would be the day to do it.

For tickets and to additional information about the performance, contact the SOPAC Box Office at (973) 313-2787 or visit their website at

Dominique Mcindoe can be reached at dominique.mcindoe@

Author: Staff Writer

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