Vienna’s famed men’s choir seeks female members

Vienna’s famed men’s choir seeks female members


norman lebrecht

January 10, 2022

The Wiener Männergesang-Verein, founded in 1843, has broken with two centuries of tradition and is calling for women to apply.

‘Singing is balm for the soul, equally for men and women,’ said chorus director Wilfried Mandl.

Membersihip, in slow decline before Covid, has now reached a critical low.

The choir’s greatest moment dates from 1867 when it premiered the Blue Danube waltz by Johann Strauss II.


  • Karl says:

    More specifics needed since there are at least a dozen genders these days. Are they really looking for women or are they looking for birthing people?

  • The director says that aside from filling out the tenor ranks, women bring the added benefit of bringing their sons to the choir. Some similar happened with the Vienna Phil. They long had a tradition of fathers and sons in the orchestra. After they began admitting women, it wasn’t long before there was a father/daughter family relationship in the orchestra.

    • La plus belle voix says:

      Women singing tenor parts is like men singing soprano ones. Well, almost. Whatever, horrid timbre, wrong formants.

      • Maria says:

        Happens in many choirs in the whole of UK and Ireland as male tenors are in very short supply. Better to have female tenors than not being able to sing four part choral music, or else have 50 basses and just six screeching male tenors over 60. The bottom range of a real low contralto range after all blends well into the top and upper middle of the tenor range. The womwn would need to be real altos not mezxos or lazy sopranos.

    • Maria says:

      Plenty of what is called Male Voice Choirs – ie men who are tenors and basses – in Alea and in Yorkshire.

  • John Borstlap says:

    Who wouldn’t desperately long for some female company after 200 years?!

  • Freewheeler says:

    and just how are these women supposed to sing the bass parts?