History and facts
The Grammy award-winning San Francisco Boys Chorus (SFBC) was founded by Gaetano Merola and Madi Bacon in 1948 to provide trained singers for the San Francisco Opera. Today the chorus is led by Artistic Director Ian Robertson who also serves as Chorus Director for the San Francisco Opera. Since his arrival in 1996, he has built SFBC to over 230 singers from 50 Bay Area cities and more than 120 schools at locations in San Francisco, Oakland, and San Rafael.
The San Francisco Boys Chorus tours extensively to Europe, Asia, and the Americas, and has performed at Carnegie Hall in New York, the Grand Teton Music Festival in Wyoming, and in 2009, was honored to sing at the inauguration of President Barack Obama in Washington D.C.
The Chorus has performed in England in St George's Chapel, Windsor, Ely Cathedral and St Margaret's, Westminster; in France in Chartres Cathedral, Notre Dame Cathedral, the Church of La Madeleine (Paris) and Marseilles Cathedral in France; in Hungary in Mathias Church in Budapest; in the Czech Republic in St Stephens Church in Prague; in Austria in St Stephens in Vienna and Seckau Monastery; in Italy in Lucca Cathedral, St Mark's Basilica (Venice) and St. Peter's Basilica (Rome); in Asia in St John's Cathedral (Hong Kong), Shanghai Concert Hall, China and Tokyo City Hall; in Russia in the Glinka Capella (St Petersburg); and in Denmark in Copenhagen Cathedral and in Central America in cathedrals and churches in Costa Rica while the summer of 2015 will saw performances in Sydney, Australia at the famous Opera House and in St Andrew's Cathedral.
San Francisco Boys Chorus plays an integral role in the San Francisco Bay Area’s music community, and for the last seven years, PBS station KQED-TV has broadcast SFBC’s holiday concert. Alongside their annual Spring and Winter concerts, boys have appeared (since 1948) and continue to perform in San Francisco Opera productions, most recently Puccini's Turandot, Carmen, Magic Flute, Tosca, and Mefistofele. Other recent collaborations include Fable & Faith with the Robert Moses' Kin Dance Company in San Francisco and Los Angeles, Deck the Hall with the San Francisco Symphony and a debut with the Midsummer Mozart Festival. The SFBC appears around town singing at Giants games, Oakland Athletics and Raiders games, and the annual City Hall Tree Lighting Ceremony.
SFBC has also released a number of notable recordings over the years. These include Fauré Requiem and Messager (2010), Vivaldi: Gloria and Magnificat (2010), It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year (2009), Moving On (2003), We’re On Our Way (2000), San Francisco Boys Chorus Sings Live (2012), and Sing for the Holidays (2013).