Review: Triple Standing Ovation for Vienna Boys Choir at Stephens

Vienna Boys Choir had the audience on their feet three times Tuesday, at their 7:30 concert at Stephens Auditorium. 


After a short “Thank you” to the audience and to the Durbin-Zheng Family, whose generous gift made this show possible, Manolo Cagnin, the Vienna Boys Choir choirmaster, walked onto the stage. The choir followed filing across the stage from both sides while singing their opening song.

As the first song finished, Cagnin had a brief introduction of the choir and got the audience excited about this production being the first and only show in Iowa on the tour. Although the choir has performed five previous times in Ames in the past.

Cagnin mentioned how precious they all looked up on stage. He did not forget to crack a joke about the boy’s behavior from time to time though.

To the crowds surprise, all 25 of the members went one by one saying their names and where they are from. The boys were from every corner of the world and of course when the last boy said he was from the United States the crowd went wild.

The songs from the first part had a wide variety, from Easter hymns to whimsical numbers with cat and dog noises incorporated.

The whole choir wasn’t just standing on the stage singing, there was a variety of solos, duets and quartets inside of the songs.

After a short intermission, the boys were back in the stage.

“We’re going to start with a waltz followed by some pop songs, so sing along if you want,” one of the boys said.

After an upbeat and jazzy second part, as well as a full of a plethora of instruments, one of the boys warned the audience of the final song and bid them goodnight.

An instant standing ovation formed after the choirmaster put his hands down and the singing stopped. Cagnin bowed and left the stage but the crowd didn’t stop. Out he came asking the audience if they’d like an encore.

He looked at his watch and motioned that they still had time, the audience roared. One of the boys stepped forward.

“Since you were such a good audience here’s a present,” he said with a smile, “Amazing Grace.”

After the heartfelt performance, the audience gave another standing ovation, and again Cagnin bowed pointed the applause to the choir and walked off.

Out he came again and motioned for a second encore. The crowed cheered harder than the first time.

A beautiful hymn was sung by the choir and the audience gave the boys a third standing ovation. Cagnin walked off this time before coming back out to motion that it was bedtime and the boys filed off the stage for the last time.