BELGRADE, Yugoslavia -- A 9-year-old opera singer with three years of professional singing received a standing ovation at his first Belgrade concert, the news agency Tanjug said Tuesday.
Maks Emanuel Cencic, whose voice spans four octaves, sang compositions by Bach, Mozart, Gounod and Strauss during his appearance Monday night.
The boy's singing career began two years ago when he sang an aria from Mozart's opera, 'The Magic Flute,' on television, the Belgrade daily 'Vercernje Novosti' said. He also sang a composition by Leonard Bernstein with an orchestral accompaniment at age 7.
His international debut was in Puccini's 'La Boheme' in Graz, Austria, and his greatest success so far is a two-week tour of Spain, where he was solo soprano in Bach's 'St. John's Passion' with the Sorbonne choir and orchestra.
'I could have started even earlier, when I was three or four years old,' the boy told Novosti. 'Unfortunately, I did not start studying seriously until I was seven. Singing is a source of great satisfaction for me, and I am happy and encouraged by contact with the audience.'
The boy was born into a musical family. His father, Maksimilijan Cencic, is a conductor and his mother, Silvija Vojinic-Purcar, is an opera singer. They are his chief teachers and professional consultants, Vecernje Novosti said, and they believe it is not too early for him to begin studying seriously.
'His talent does not need much technical improvement,' his father said.
The boy will join the Vienna Boys' choir next year and will sing with them for five years.