Only Men Aloud is changing shape after a restructure that takes the hugely popular choir down to an ensemble of eight singers – and fans in Wales will get the chance to see the next generation of OMA as they take to the stage in the run up to Christmas.
After 13 years and some incredible experiences – from winning BBC’s Last Choir Standing and the Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special to scooping a Classical Brit Album of the Year Award and performing to a global TV audience as the Cauldron was lit at the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics, Only Men Aloud has undergone a regeneration with a fresh line-up and a new, more individual style that suits their personalities - but with the same popular appeal that has wowed fans across the country.
Launching the new Only Men Aloud, choir founder and Music Director Tim Rhys Evans said: “Only Men Aloud have come an incredibly long way since 2000, and the journey has been thrilling, but we are ambitious to expand globally, to broaden our international reach, and that is a great deal easier with nine of us. The new line-up has been working hard on material over the summer, and now we can’t wait to entertain our fantastic Welsh audiences over the coming months.”
Over the years the Wales-based male choir has varied in size according to requirements, sometimes reaching 20 men on stage performing a varied repertoire that covers everything from Welsh hymn Gwahoddiad to Tom Jones via Porgy and Bess. The new eight-man line-up follows open auditions when all members of OMA and potential newcomers were invited to sing for Tim and a panel of industry figures including internationally acclaimed soprano Rebecca Evans and Jonathan Butterell, an experienced Broadway and West End director. The chosen eight have all been involved in OMA in the past.
Tim again: “It has been difficult saying goodbye to guys who have been friends for a number of years, but many of them will continue to be involved in Only Boys Aloud and other Aloud projects. We now have new management, a number of dates in the UK and elsewhere in the world, including the US, and are excited to get out there on stage doing what we do best.”
Tim and colleagues in OMA are also busy with the Aloud charity which is developing opportunities for Welsh youngsters in Only Boys Aloud and the Wales Millennium Centre Only Kids Aloud Chorus to discover the joys and benefits of choral singing. This has already seen some remarkable achievements, including OBA coming third in the final of Britain’s Got Talent and recording a Top 40 Christmas album.