Come What May

All posts tagged Come What May

Come What May with Sophie Evans at Llangollen:

Two years ago, Alfie was performing at several festivals, much as he has just done with Michael Ball, and Come What May was again part of his repertoire, albeit usually as a solo.  In Llangollen though, the song was performed as a duet with Sophie Evans, who was also on the bill for that event; Sophie had also appeared with Alfie at Singleton Park earlier a few weeks previously.

Come What May is of course from Baz Luhrman’s Moulin Rouge, one of my favourite films of all time – who doesn’t love a film that you can sing along to, swoon over Ewan McGregor and then have a good cry at the end?  Alfie has sung this song with a variety of partners over the years, from poll winner Rebecca Newman to, at the other end of the scale, Mel C but the one that sticks in my mind the most is Laura Wright from the Bring Him Home tour:

I’m sure I’m not the only one who loved Alfie and Laura together!

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2015 was a phenomenal year for singer Beth Ford, with a top ten iTunes hit on her debut single, a viral YouTube video and a slot with soprano Rebecca Newman at Lichfield’s Garrick theatre.  All this and I haven’t mentioned Beth’s duet with Michael Boe for his album (with Sean Ashmore), Along the Way!  However, 2016 is only a few weeks old and looks set to be just as good as last year, as Beth has just performed with Jonathan Antoine on the Birmingham leg of his Believe tour.  Sharing the stage with Jonathan is an early highlight for Beth who said “I don’t have words to describe what was one of the best days of my life. I have been on Cloud nine ever since and I am so happy that everyone had a good time. I am grateful to Jonathan Antoine for giving me this fabulous opportunity”.

Angry Baby’s Flo Bannigan went along to the concert and reviewed it for us – thanks Flo!

Jonathan is the endearingly shy young man from Britain’s Got Talent who, along with his duet partner, Charlotte Jaconelli, shot to overnight fame at the audition stage.  Only Pudsey the dog robbed them of first place!  At that time, Jonathan was only 17 years old.  He has still only just turned 21, but despite his young age he has developed confidence that commands the stage as a solo performer. Thankfully, this isn’t at the expense of a natural personality and playfulness that infects his singing and his chat with his audience. But it was the music that we came to hear, and we were not disappointed. Jonathan is much more than a classically-trained singer. His effortless vocals move from the strength and projection required for Granada through rich, plaintive tones for romantic Italian arias, to a truly tender lullaby Hushabye Mountain and love songs sung with softness and intensity that requires truly accomplished interpretation.

Jonathan’s talent for singing is matched by his talent for choosing supporting acts and the highlight was local girl Beth Ford.  Enchanted by Beth’s pure, natural voice, which provided a gorgeous contrast to Jonathan’s rich tones throughout their duet of Come What May, there was an audible gasp from the audience when they heard that Beth is just 15 years old.

If it’s possible to feel an audience leaning in to hear and appreciate the emotion in every note, that’s the effect that Beth created through her solo Beautiful Dreamer. There is something other-worldly about Beth’s presence on stage and her hypnotic rendering of this classic song definitely left everyone wanting more.  [Luckily Beth can give you more – click here to get your free download of I’m Always Chasing Rainbows.]  Another local act, Rugby’s teenage ensemble The Strawhouse Singers ably rose to the challenge of supporting Jonathan’s powerful vocals.

Thank you for a wonderful review Flo!  Of course, like six degrees of separation, Jonathan and Beth have both appeared on the same stage as Alfie Boe – Jonathan at 2015’s Llangollen Eistedfodd and Beth memorably sang Impossible Dream with Alfie on his 2012 Bring Him Home tour.  Dare I say that Beth has gone one better than Jonathan in recording with a Boe?  As mentioned in the introduction, Beth recorded a duet version of Streets of London with Alfie’s elder brother Michael in 2015 – click here to order.

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A long way ahead of the competition was Rebecca Newman at Leeds – well done Rebecca.  Second place went to Laura Wright, closely followed by Kerry Ellis.  Click here to see the entire Favourite Alfie Boe Come What May playlist.

Of course, Alfie also sings this as a solo song but I prefer it as a duet and have done since I first saw the movie from which it is taken, Moulin Rouge, one of my favourite films.  For those who are not familiar, Come What May is the only original song to feature in Baz Luhrman’s (another Alfie connection) musical reworking of La Boheme and is the big love song between Ewan McGregor and Nicole Kidman:

Ewan McGregor does a good job here – fun fact of the day, he appeared on the West End stage ten years ago in Guys and Dolls and was excellent.  Whenever I hear Luck Be A Lady, I always think of Ewan in that production.

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Some time last year thoughtsofjustafan ran a poll to find out the fan’s favourite Alfie Boe duet (the winner was of course Bryn Terfel with the Pearl Fishers duet) which threw up a variety of favourites ranging from the classical to Melanie C.  This poll came back to me recently when I saw the video (thanks Linda) of Rebecca Newman singing with Alfie on Come What May in Leeds.

This was a staple of Alfie’s repertoire on his Bring Him Home tour which enabled him to duet with his guest singer and promote his album at the same time but it fell out of favour until the Serenata tour of 2014, although Alfie sang it as a solo song.  I really like this song and have done since I first saw Moulin Rouge and have loved having it back in Alfie’s set so let’s see how many of you like it too, and which version do you like best?

To help you decide, I’ve created a Come What May YouTube playlist, click here.  If there is another version I’ve not included (and there is video) just let me know and I’ll add it!

Bring Him Home is available here:

Rebecca Newman’s chart topping album, Dare to Dream is available here:

rebecca newman

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Soprano Laura Wright is a firm favourite with readers of this blog – in fact, her rendition of Barcelona was voted into the top five of  the Alfie Boe’s Favourite Duet poll.  Come What May made the top ten as well.

Laura recently took part in the recording of Global Radio’s Make Some Noise charity single, Steadfast and took time out to answer a few questions about this and her new album, Sound of Strength, for thoughtsofjustafan – thanks Laura!

Q:  What can you tell me about your involvement with Make Some Noise?                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          A: I am recording a charity single with Classic FM, written by Howard Goodall to raise awareness of this amazing project to encourage young people to get involved in creating music but also helping to educate them on the music industry.
Q. Have you been involved with any other ensemble charity recordings like this?
A: I have yes, I recorded the 2007 World Cup song World in Union with many other artists, when I was part of All Angels. I also recorded a version of The Prayer for a Christmas charity single as well with All Angels, however this will be my first solo involvement in a ensemble charity recording.
Q:  You are also an ambassador for Nordoff Robbins, have you had the chance to see their music therapy at work?
A: I have attended several therapy sessions and seen the work Nordoff Robbins do. My most recent visit was to a dementia care home.  I began singing with some of the residents and suddenly they came to life, it was like seeing a glimpse of the person they used to be.
Q: Are there any more marathons in the pipeline?
A: Not as of yet however we are planning an even bigger challenge, so you’ll have to wait and see.
Q: Your Sound of Strength album has a really innovative sound  – how did you come up with the idea?
A: It’s a reflection of myself really…fusing my two passions in life, sport and music. I wanted to do something that was inspiring, something new and innovative. I wanted the album to have excitement, beauty and to empower the listener.
Q: And how did you pick Dr. Karageorghis to help you?
A: I had heard about some of his work with Dai Greene [World 400m  hurdles champion, where he created a playlist to enhance the athlete’s performance. I wanted to back up my creative thoughts with something scientific and Dr. Karageorghis seemed the right choice to help sequence the album and show that music can enhance someone’s emotions.
Q:  Nessun Dorma was my favourite track, the first time I’ve heard a soprano sing this.  What was the inspiration behind the choice?
A:  A lot of the music on the album has been inspired by sporting moments. For me, one of the most powerful moments in sporting history when referring to music was when Nessun Dorma was sung by the three tenors for the football world cup. A perfect example of sport and music combining to create something extremely powerful. I wanted to recreate that moment but with a female voice and driving beats. My three elder brothers also feature on the track as backing vocalists.
Q: Apart from Sound of Strength, what can audiences expect on your 2015 tour?
A: Of course I’ll be reflecting on my first two albums and performing some of the music recorded with the RPO and Anna Barry, along with some of my favourites from Glorious. As well as music from my latest album Sound of Strength… I want to create something very dramatic through sporting references. I aim to help bring the audience back to a point when these sporting  moments took place, via the power of music.
Q: As this is your first headline tour, what do you think will be the hardest / easiest things?
A: The hardest…to find a gym near every venue..haha! It’s always a challenge being away from home, but I look forward to my date in Ipswich when my family and friends will be coming.
Q: Fans voted your Barcelona duet with Alfie Boe, in their top 5 Alfie Boe duets (Come What May made the top 10) – tell me how was it to sing that iconic song?
A: Wow! Thank you!! I was incredibly nervous about singing it, but so excited too! And to sing such a historically important song at a Freddie Mercury function with Alfie, was for me a very special moment! I remembering coming off stage on such a high…I think I had heat rash!
Q: Any plans to sing with / record with Alfie again – Alfie Boe fans have a lot of love for you!
A: We recently performed World in Union together at Jonny Wilkinson’s Testimonial dinner which was so much fun. Alfie and I always have such fun on stage so whenever there is an opportunity to sing with him, I feel very lucky!

Well, Alfie’s fans also feel very lucky to be able to enjoy Alfie and Laura singing, here they are in 2012 singing Come What May:

Thanks Laura – hope to see you sing with Alfie again very soon!

Laura’s album, Sound of Strength, can be ordered now from Amazon:

laura wright sos

 

 

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Announced this week, Alfie will be appearing at a charity concert in aid of Parkinson’s UK in June at the Royal Albert Hall.  The concert is the idea of conductor James Morgan who was recently diagnosed with the disease. James and his wife, Juliette Pochin have worked with Alfie in the past, notably on the Bring Him Home Tour of 2011/2012 and on the Bring Him Home album.  Other guests are Armstrong and Miller and Jason Manford.

This has caused considerable excitement amongst UK Alfie fans, so much so that one particular fan who shall remain nameless (Sally) who is notorious for never going anywhere near the front of the crowd at an Alfie event has broken her rule and is sitting in the front row!!! We are all amazed, especially since she booked it herself and didn’t have to be persuaded!

Here is a look back to Alfie and James having a laugh on the Bring Him Home Tour (and also a chance to hear Alfie sing with the lovely Laura Wright):

The Classic BRIT Awards 2013, Alfie Boe and Samantha Barks sounded like a match made in heaven and they didn’t disappoint.  But before we even got to the performance, there was some serious fangirling to be done next to the red carpet.

Together with my trusty Alfie companions Linda and Linda (henceforth to be known as the two Linda’s) we spent a thoroughly enjoyable time watching the celebs arriving at the red carpet, getting very excited every time a car door opened only for disappointment to descend when someone other than Alfie got out.  Needless to say, when a car door opened to reveal Alfie, our mutual shriek of “Alfie” was heard by another friend standing somewhere else and she naturally thought it was so loud, it must be us! Alfie came straight over to us to sign autographs and I am very happy to report that I was able to wish Alfie a Happy Birthday (40 last Sunday) and hand over a handmade card filled with the names of heaps of Alfie’s Arrows. At that point, I didn’t think I could be happier.

Little did I know that I would soon get a whole lot happier! A short time later, sitting having a cup of tea (this is such a British cliché) with the two Linda’s and Annie (she who heard our loud shriek earlier) I received a text from another friend saying that Alfie was so happy with the card he tweeted a picture of it – I got so excited I broke my necklace! Luckily, one of the Linda’s fixed it for me.   My evening was to get even better after the event when Alfie came out to the stage door and signed our programmes.  He must have been so tired after flying back from LA but was still such a gentleman.

Now, the title of this blog is Glory Glory Alfie Boe so I suppose I should include something about Alfie’s performance of Glory Glory Hallelujah, and Come What May with Samantha Barks.  The show as a whole was fantastic and I enjoyed all the performances but of course they saved the best for last.  Alfie and Samantha performed the finale and they absolutely brought the house down.  Battle Hymn of the Republic brought tears to my eyes and showcased beautifully Alfie’s amazing voice but for me, Come What May was even better.  Samantha Barks was a perfect accompaniment to Alfie and the chemistry between them was lovely to see. One of my favourite versions of this lovely song (I still have a soft spot for Alfie singing it with Laura Wright). Thanks to the fabulous Linda Wellington (one of the two Linda’s) you can see for yourself:

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