St. Florian Boys Choir > Alois Mühlbacher
Alois Mühlbacher at the Vienna State Opera
The exceptional talent in the St. Florian Boys' Choir, Alois Mühlbacher, is capable of singing works usually inaccessible to boys' voices, and choir director Franz Farnberger wanted to document this in Autumn of last year by starting to record opera arias (among them Zerbinetta and Queen of the Night) with him on CD. After completion of this previously unreleased CD, Farnberger sent a copy to the director of the Vienna State Opera, Ioan Holender, in Summer 2010, but not with the intention of obtaining an engagement but rather accompanied by the request for an evaluation. The judgment of the State Opera Director was extremely positive; he described Alois as an "exceptional talent" who sang "absolutely fantastically".
In a second letter he reported on how he had played the CD for Franz Welser-Möst and discussed the idea of inviting Alois to audition for the role of "Young Shepard" in Wagner's Tannhäuser. Alois, who had not been familiar with this work before, learned the piece, which is short but very demanding in terms of intonation, within a few days, singing it successfully (along with other arias) on the stage of the State Opera on 4th June. Several days later (after only one scenic rehearsal) he already sang in a stage orchestra rehearsal as a newcomer. The premiere took place on 16th June 2010 (conducted by Franz Welser-Möst and directed by Claus Guth with Johan Botha in the title role); it was broadcast live by Ö1.
Ioan Holender, the outgoing director of the State Opera, as well as Franz Welser-Möst, Artistic Director, praised him highly, emphasising the unique fact that this role had been sung by a boy.
As a follow-up engagement, so to speak, Alois Mühlbacher was asked to perform with the State Opera again in November 2010. In G.F. Händel's opera Alcina he took over the role of "Oberto" in several performances of this work.
Arias of Oberto on You Tube
Tra speme e timore
Chi m'insegna il caro
Alois Mühlbacher as "Junger Hirte" in
"Tannhäuser" (Vienna State Opera 2010)