The Estonian National Opera Boys' Choir was founded in 1971 as the boys' choir of the Estonian National Male Choir. In 1997 the choir was adopted by the Estonian National Opera. For thirty years the choir was directed by its founder, Professor Venno Laul, until the appointment in 2001 of Hirvo Surva as Artistic Director and Main Conductor. The Boys' Choir functions as a choral studio with three different levels. The main concert choir is supported by two training choirs for the younger boys, so that altogether around 140 talented young singers study vocal music in the choir. The main concert choir works on the principal of a classical mixed choir (men's and boys' voices); boys whose voices have broken are encouraged to remain in the choir and carry on singing as tenors and basses. The activity of the choir, including concert tours, singing camps, competitions and other joint activities, has been made possible thanks to the generous support of the Estonian National Opera, of the parents of the singers and of the sponsors.
The choir is justly proud of its role in introducing and promoting Estonian music to audiences both at home and abroad and of its performance of mainstream classical music to the highest professional standard. The choir has been received with acclaim not only in many European countries but also further afield (Canada, the United States, Australia, Japan). Under the baton of conductors of international standing the choir has performed with success in such major works as Benjamin Britten's War Requiem, Carl Orff's Carmina Burana, Mendelssohn's Paulus, and many others. For the more talented boys there are exceptional opportunities to sing in operas such as Carmen, Tosca, Othello and others. In 2003 the choir was awarded the I prize at the Choir Competition of Estonian Male Choir's Association and Llangollen Choir Competition