Hero: Tenor, 87, steps in to save Vienna recital

Hero: Tenor, 87, steps in to save Vienna recital


norman lebrecht

October 18, 2016

There was panic last night at the Gesellschaft für Musiktheater when a well-known soprano called in sick with the audience already making its way to the venue.




Step up Kurt Equiluz, one of those Viennese indestructables who looks after his voice long after retirement.

Kurt, now 87, started out as an alto soloist of the Vienna Boys Choir. In 1950 he became member of the Vienna State Opera Choir upgrading to a soloist’s contract in 1957. He sang in 1,700 performances over the next 26 years.

He was especially well known for Bach oratorios, which he recorded with Nikolaus Harnoncourt. He retired in 2000 with a performance of Schubert’s Winterreise at the Vienna Musikvereinsaal.

Last night he sang a full programme of works by Randhartinger, Liszt, Marx, Wolf and Salmhofer.

Here’s proof.




  • John Borstlap says:

    Fantastic story…. it’s in the Viennese air.

  • Petros Linardos says:

    Equiluz’s wonderful singing can be heard in countless recordings Bach cantata, especially with Harnoncourt, as well as in many secondary roles of Vienna State Opera productions. We need more singers of his ilk.

  • Mark Henriksen says:

    Totally amazing! Congratulations to him.

  • John Groves says:

    Marvellous! I suppose no one had the foresight to record it???

  • Max van Egmond says:

    Having known Equiluz for decades, I am not even surprised that he does something like this. A Hero, indeed. (And Cheers from Amsterdam by Max v.E.)