Belfast Operatic Company : About Us
An Introduction to Belfast Operatic Company
Founded by John Mercer in 1960 as a church based choral group, Belfast Operatic Company (BOC) has flourished into one of Ireland's best known and talented amateur musical societies. The Company prides itself on catering for a variety of tastes, with productions ranging from new musicals such as Titanic , to modern musical revivals such Hello Dolly, Kiss Me Kate and Annie Get Your Gun, through to traditional favourites such as Gilbert & Sullivan light operetta. Our regular concert performances also include a wide selection of old and new favourites from West End and Broadway shows as well as light opera classics. Whatever your taste in music, you can be sure that BOC will provide a great evening's entertainment!
The Company has strong roots in light opera, which come from its origins as Ballymacarrett Operatic Society, and today BOC continues to draw on its extensive choral experience as it widens its musical horizons by embracing contemporary shows. Our annual performances in the Belfast’s Grand Opera House have included not just the well known classics but also shows that are entirely new to Belfast – Kiss Me Kate was a first for the Opera House, whilst Titanic was an all-Ireland premiere!
With over seventy members, the Company currently boasts an enviable strength in the breadth and depth of its singers that most recently saw it win Best Chorus for Titanic at the 2005 AIMS Awards (as well as four other awards) and Best Chorus for HMS Pinafore at the 2003 Waterford International Festival of Light Opera. These are the most recent awards in a long series of successes and with the Company’s eclectic mix of young talent and more experienced members, these are sure to continue.
Above all, however, BOC remains an enjoyable experience for its members who range from students through to professionals and to those enjoying retirement. Monday evening rehearsals are informal but thorough, giving members a chance to relax while at the same time providing a rigorous musical workout. The intensity increases as the annual production in the Grand Opera House approaches but, as Company members will say, this only adds to the fun! In addition, BOC performs a range of concerts throughout the year including the popular Christmas evening with its mix of seasonal music, food and entertainment. All in all, the Company strives to provide an enjoyable variety of events that are as much fun to perform as they are to watch. The frequent comment of BOC members “I just wish I’d been in the audience” says it all.