Without doubt, the boys’ choir is one of the most glorious kinds of music ensemble in existence. Its purity of sound combined with the power of an organ can make for truly transcendent listening.

For this author, that revelation came during the Vespers and Te Deum on New Year’s Eve, 2012, when the Pueri Cantores of the Sistine Chapel Choir filled St. Peter’s Basilica with a sound that can only be described as sublime.

Convinced this was as fine a choral performance as one could ever hope to hear, all thoughts of bettering it were contentedly put aside; that is, until it was announced that the Escolania de Montserrat would make its first visit to Australia during this year’s Adelaide Festival. Could the world’s longest surviving boys’ choir from the Benedictine Sanctuary atop Montserrat outdo the performance in Rome? The answer is a resounding yes.

Escolania de Montserrat at the Adelaide Festival 2023. Photo © Russell Millard

Throughout their time as joint artistic directors of the Adelaide Festival, Rachel Healy and Neil Armfield focused on the power of the human voice, with a visit by the Sretensky Monastery Choir and the