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NB: as of 23 September 2008, all new artSMart articles are being published on the site news.artsmart.co.za.

VIENNA BOYS (article first published : 2000-07-19)

Sponsored by Sasol, the famed Vienna Boys' Choir from Austria is currently on a tour of South Africa. They will give two performances in KZN next week in the Pietermaritzburg City Hall on July 27 and in the Durban City Hall on July 28.

After an absence of many years, the young boys with their distinctive sailor's costumes will fulfil an extended mission which could not be realised during their previous visits. This is to reach out to various local choirs in the form of open rehearsals and workshops. Nine choirs in the various centres have been selected to work with the Vienna Boys' Choir and possibly perform one or two songs with them. The KZN choirs selected by Sasol are the Shayabantu High School under Themba Ntuli in Pietermaritzburg and the Zwelibanzi High School under Nkanyiso Cibane in Durban.

The developmental aspect of this project is most valuable for Sej Motau, General Manager of Sasol Limited. "After the choir has left and we have all been regaled with their wonderful music, we hope that those of our youth who are interested in choral music would have been enriched by experiencing and working with the very best in the world. They will be able to look back and say, "We've rubbed shoulders with the finest".

The Vienna Boys' Choir, which is based at the 500 year-old school in Austria, will be conducted in South Africa by the Italian born Lucio Golino. In 1498, Emperor Maximilian I of Austria issued a decree to hire six carefully selected singing boys for the Imperial Chapel and, in addition, to make provision for their education. This has generally been accepted as the foundation of the Vienna Boys' Choir.

Other sponsors of this prestigious tour include Austrian Airlines, Southern Suns, SAfm and Greyhound. SABC3 will produce an hour-long personal documentary on the choirboys. Book through TicketWeb on 0861 400 500 or via www.ticketweb.co.za




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