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Friday, May 1, 2009
Expect a heavenly performance
By ERIKO ARITA
T he Vienna Boys' Choir, dubbed as having "the voices of angels," is set to bring its pitch-perfect sound to Japan between now and mid-June.
The world's most famous boys' chorus, known as Wiener Sangerknaben in German, consists of four groups named after renowned composers. The one performing in Japan from May 2-June 14 is the Mozart group.
The choir's 23 members include two Japanese boys: Masaya and Shintaro. (The family names of the children are not publicized to protect their privacy.)
At their concerts here, the choir will sing some Japanese songs, including "Tegami"("Letter") by popular singer-songwriter Angela Aki.
At a news conference at the Austrian embassy in Tokyo on April 22, Shintaro said that in practicing Japanese songs, perfecting the the pronunciation of vowels and accents seemed to be difficult for some of the choir's non-Japanese singers.
"I read aloud the words of the Japanese songs and also advised other members on the pronunciation," Shintaro said. "The result of our practice will shine through at the concerts, so I would like you to listen."
The boys will perform two different music programs — A and B — consisting of hymns, songs from different countries and Austrian folk songs.
As May 31 this year marks the 200th anniversary of the death of the Austrian classical composer Joseph Haydn, the boys will sing his songs "The Creation" (in program A) and "Abendlied zu Gott" (in program B).
The choir will hold 23 concerts across Japan between May 2 and June 14, playing in Tokyo; Karuizawa, Nagano Prefecture; Nagoya; Kagoshima; Osaka and Sapporo.
For more information and reservations, call Japan Arts Pia at (03) 5237-7711 or visit www.japanarts.co.jp