Vienna Boys delight UNO with international performance
Published: Monday, November 1, 2010
Updated: Thursday, March 10, 2011 16:03
Bright young voices filled UNO's Strauss Performing Arts Center on Friday night as the Vienna Boys' Choir performed to a sold-out crowd of UNO students, faculty, alumni and community members.The 25-boy choir (one of four traveling choirs which compose the nationally-acclaimed group) was led by Choirmaster Andy Icochea Icochea, a Peruvian native who has been conducting choirs since he was 15 years old. He began leading the Vienna Boys' Choir in 2005.
The ambiance of the night was festive and magical, the air filled with the audience's excitement before the show began at 7:30 p.m. The choir's high prestige became immediately apparent as the boys' high, clear soprano and smooth, low tenors won over the admiration of those in attendance.
Eager to impress, the choir presented multi-part songs that included solos, duets and even instrumental pieces.
The boys performed songs from all over the world, ranging from native Austrian folk to late 18th century secular songs.
Equally impressive and winning was the warmth and friendliness of Icochea. Quite different from the cold, detached demeanor of other conductors or choirmasters, he constantly cracked jokes and encouraged the audience to sing or clap along. He discussed the history of the choir, the pieces being performed and the countries of origin of each choir member.
He also added to the songs' international mix by including a fiery group of songs from Latin America to spice up the evening. Another favorite of the night was the "Waldhansl," an Austrian folk song that translates to "John of the Forest" and one of the last songs of the evening. The audience burst into laughter and smiles as five of the boys came forward to clap, dance and stomp, as is traditional for the song.
Though the show lasted almost two hours and the crowded room grew uncomfortably warm, not a soul grew drowsy as the choir was on stage. Dressed to impress in their white and blue sailor suits (the traditional attire worn by the first modern choir in 1926) the boys were completely endearing and provided a wonderful evening that those in attendance will surely never forget.