duet

All posts tagged duet

…the Pearl Fishers Duet with David Kempster:

Although this duet, Au Fond Du Temple Saint, is a concert staple for baritones and tenors, the song is of course from Bizet’s 1863 opera, The Pearl Fishers.  It is this opera, in the 2009/10 ENO season that gives us the memorable opening from Alfie’s autobiography: “Bizet nearly killed me.  I don’t blame him, it’s not his fault.” Alfie was talking about the chlorine poisoning he suffered whilst preparing for the show, which became, as it happens, one of his last for ENO – Les Miserables 25th anniversary concert was just around the corner.

Set in ancient times on the island of Sri Lanka, the opera tells the story of how two men’s vow of eternal friendship is threatened by their love for the same woman, whose own dilemma is the conflict between secular love and her sacred oath as a priestess.  After the initial premiere, The Pearl Fishers was not performed again until 1886 and since the mid twentieth century has become one of the most popularly staged operas worldwide.  ENO has restaged twice more since Alfie took the role of Nadir.

Lovers of Alfie Boe’s classical repertoire will also be familiar with his South Bank Award performance of this, with Bryn Terfel in 2011.  Alfie has performed very little opera since then but as he caught us all by surprise on the Serenata tour of 2013, by singing Nessun Dorma, Recondita Armonia and Caruso, never say never to hearing it again one day.  With Alfie, you just never know what to expect.

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Halfway through the countdown to find your favourite Alfie Boe Best Live Song 2018 and we arrive at a song that many fans described as their favourite track from Ball and Boe’s Together Again album:

The song was written by David Foster and Carole Bayer Sager, with Alberto Testa and Tony Renis for the 1998 film Quest for Camelot and was originally two solo tracks; English for Celine Dion and Italian for Andrea Bocelli.  The song was then released as a duet by Dion and Bocelli and that is the version that is most well known.

Both Celine Dion and Andrea Bocelli have sung this many times with other people and it has also featured in the repertoires of many other singers and festivals.

Composer Foster had said that is is “a song that I just never get tired of playing, I never get tired of hearing it, and I never get tired of people telling me that they enjoy it. And it seems to mean a lot—it means a lot of different things to a lot of people. So it’s a powerful piece of music. I think it came through me, and I think Carole’s lyric is beautiful. And it’s very meaningful to me that when all is said and done, there is a piece of music like that, that will undoubtedly outlive me. It was a moment—that song was a moment for sure.”

The Prayer was was one of my standout songs of Together Again – it’s beautiful and is a treat for those who love to hear Alfie sing in Italian.  Both Alfie and Michael excel here and it seems to be a fitting song for the troubled times we currently live in.

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Two weeks left on our quest to find our favourite Alfie Boe song…and just ten days until the first date of the tour hits Cardiff!

As mentioned last week, the top three songs in the 2016 poll are new entries this year – it’s really wonderful to see fans embracing some of Alfie’s less well known songs and showing them some love.  Number two is another favourite of mine (no, they’re not ALL my favourites!) and like number three, is also from Trust.  Unlike Trust, however, Dimming of the Day puts me in somewhat of a dilemma; the recorded version, with Shawn Colvin, only exists on the album which means I can’t show it to you here.  Luckily, Alfie performed this song extensively with Emilia Mitiku (click here to find out more about Emilia) on the Storyteller tour:

This version was chosen as third place (behind Laura Wright, Barcelona and Bryn Terfel, Pearl Fishers) in our poll to find fans favourite Alfie Boe duet.

Dimming of the Day was written by Richard and Linda Thompson and has been covered by many artists, including Alison Krauss, David Gilmour, Bonnie Raitt and Mary Black.  Of those, I like Black’s version the best:

The last word on this song has to go to the evergreen Tom Jones though, who sang Dimming of the Day on his 2012 album Spirit in the Room.  The song wasn’t written for him but it’s still an example of voice and song coming together in perfect harmony:

If you want to hear Alfie duet with Shawn Colvin you’ll have to buy the album:

trust

Next week – number one!

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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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If this were to happen, who would Alfie Boe love to duet with?  In the virtual sense, in a BFBS interview aired recently, he picks Freddie Mercury (think the new Streisand / Presley duet) but the two female voices he picks are Chrissie Hynde and Barbra Streisand.  They would be two completely different collaborations but I bet they would both produce wonderful results!

Here is the interview in full – a great listen if Trust is your favourite Alfie Boe album (thanks to Marcia for sharing):

 

Serenata is available now – don’t forget to pop a review on Amazon:

serenata

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