“Our city lies in ruins. I hate this, I hate this. What did we do to earn this misery? Were we bad? Is that why?”
Those opening lines to the Balliett Brothers’ Oedipus the King, where the Children of Thebes complain to King Oedipus about the horrible plague that is devastating their city, will be sung by OperaKids, one of several groups within the youth chorus Boston City Singers. Founded in 1995 by choral director and New Zealand native Jane Money, Boston City Singers provides after-school music and life skills training to roughly 500 mostly inner-city schoolchildren between the ages of 4 and 18 in Boston and adjacent towns. Choruses from Boston City Singers have sung in various venues across the United States, and in Australia, New Zealand, Argentina, South Africa, and Costa Rica, among other countries.
“OperaKids is what we call a pull-out program from across our whole organization,” explains Money. “These are kids of various ages who have shown an interest in staged productions, and in whom we invest extra time, extra rehearsals, and individual coaching so that they can perform occasionally in professional operas, plays and oratorios.” OperaKids—a fluid group with no fixed membership—is directed by Wendy Silverberg, Boston City Singers’ director of early childhood education. This season, singers from the group are appearing in various celebrations of the life of Leonard Bernstein; two were cast in the Huntington Theatre’s production of Ibsen’s A Doll’s House; and several comprised the children’s chorus of the Boston Camerata’s Play of Daniel in January. The world premiere of Oedipus the King on March 12 will be their New York City debut.
For more information on the Boston City Singers, visit http://www.bostoncitysingers.org.
BIOGRAPHY: JANE MONEY AND THE BOSTON CITY SINGERS
Jane E. Money, Founder, Artistic and Education Director, Boston City Singers
Jane Money founded Boston City Singers in 1995 as a division of Youth Pro Musica, Greater Boston Youth Chorus to address a need for youth chorus and development programs in at-risk neighborhoods. In 2003, Boston City Singers became a separate music and youth development program and currently serves over 500 young people throughout Boston and surrounding neighborhoods annually. Extending well beyond the traditional concept of a community youth chorus, Jane has worked with a team of skilled artists and administrators to develop a program rich in offerings, designed to engage and retain the young people of our urban, and often at-risk, communities. Thanks to her vision, creativity and insight, Boston City Singers combines dance, instrument instruction, a world rhythm ensemble, extensive performance and cultural enrichment opportunities, including biennial international residencies that are educational, cultural, and performance-based.
Ms. Money is the founding artistic director of Children’s Voices of Ireland, based on the Boston City Singers model. A native of New Zealand, she has been a resident of Boston’s Dorchester neighborhood for over 25 years. She is a former instructor with the Metropolitan Opera’s Urban Voices program in Boston, and director of youth choirs at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Wellesley, MA. She is past president of the American Choral Directors Association R&S Standards Chair for Massachusetts. Jane is a frequent workshop presenter (MMEA, ACDA, AGO), speaking most often on establishing a successful urban music program, compelling repertoire, and the development of artistic standards.
Her work with urban youth has most recently been recognized by the Saint Williams Dorchester Fund and the MA Arts for the “Distinguished Community Arts Collaborative - Music” Award. She is also a member of the inaugural Massachusetts Cultural Councils’ META Fellows program founded in 2016.