It is definitely a treat to see the choir perform in the magnificent basilica. Although performances are short and only last for about 10 minutes, the choir performs almost daily, and often there are two performances a day to choose from.
Current schedule of Montserrat Boys Choir
- Monday - Thursday; 13:00 and 18:45
- Friday - 13:00
- Sundays and religious holidays - 12:00 and 18:45
The choir does not perform on Saturdays. There are also no performances during the summer holidays in July and over the Christmas holidays.
If you have a musical preference, make sure to look at the schedule, as different songs tend to be performed at different times of the day. Performances at 13:00 (Monday through Friday) are of “Salve and Virolai”, whereas performances at 18:45 (Monday - Thursday, Sundays, and religious holidays) can feature “Vespers”, “Salve Montserratina” and “Polyphonic Motet”. On Sundays and religious holidays, the 12:00 performance also features “Salve and Virolai”.
If you wish to see the choir perform, make sure you get there about 30 minutes early or do not mind standing for the performance. You can also take the opportunity to buy an album at the gift shop in the visitor center. As of now, the music is not available online, although the choir has produced over 100 albums so far, which makes this the perfect opportunity to take the music home for yourself.
Escolania Boys’ choir at Montserrat
The world-renowned Escolania Boys’ choir is affiliated with the Montserrat Benedictine monetary, the choir is over 700 years old. The choir consists of 50 boys, starting from the age of 10. The boys attend school here, and their education focuses mainly on music and religious topics, but also includes topics of general education.
The Montserrat choir schedule is convenient for day trip visitors
Do not worry that you will miss the boys choir performance on a day trip to Montserrat. Take note of the timings and just plan to arrive accordingly.
The choir performs twice daily, except on Fridays.
There are 2 performances every day, at 1pm and 645pm. I always recommend planning to arrive in time for the 1pm performance because you can easily combine it with lunch time; also because many find 645pm to be late for a return to Barcelona.
But note these exceptions to the choir schedule
- On Sundays the first performance is 12noon.
- On Fridays there is only one performance, at 1pm.
- There are no performances in July, and during Christmas holidays
More details can be found here on the choir website.
1. Arrive well before the scheduled performance
The performance lasts only 10 minutes or less, and least fill up fast. So make sure you are there for the entire duration and get good seats buy arriving early.
2. Ensure return transportation if you choose the evening performance
In some months (November to February), the last trip back on the Cremallera rack railway and the aeri cable car is at 615pm or earlier. So in these months you cannot plan to watch the evening performance.
If you chose the evening performance, make sure that your return plan to Barcelona works with the schedule of the Cremallera or aeri, whichever you decide to take back down the hill.
Skip the Choir
The choir performance is indeed a beautiful thing to experience but it is a lot to also do with the history, the myths, the serenity and the mystique of Montserrat as a venue. Everything comes together to make the performance truly unmissable.
But it is ok if you miss the performance, Montserrat has a lot to see. And for me, I think it is more important to just relax for a while and admire the beauty of the place instead of packing in too much.
I would buy the performance CD sold in the basilica. Focus on the rest of Montserrat instead of trying to make an appointment to watch the choir.