Emilia Mitiku

All posts tagged Emilia Mitiku

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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It’s polling time again!  It’s been a while since the last poll (in fact, we have to go back to last year when we voted for the second annual Best Alfie Boe Song) so we’re well overdue.  So far in our polling history we’ve found the answers to such conundrums as Alfie’s Best Look, Fans Favourite Duet, Fans Favourite Classical Video and Best Live Song but the question I’m now asking (thanks to Jan Fitzgibbons for suggesting it) is

I know, it’s a tough one!  Or then again, it might not be a tough one – you might have a firm favourite already.  It doesn’t matter if you saw all or none of the performers as we are lucky enough to have the Alfie Boe YouTube page to view all three performers (click here).

Laura Wright was of course the support act for Alfie’s first headline tour, Bring Him Home (sadly for me, before I   was a fan), Emilia Mitiku came in for the Storyteller tour and last but not least, New Zealand trio Sol3 Mio supported Alfie on the Serenata tour.  Over the next few weeks, we’ll take a closer look at all three acts. I do have my own favourite but I’m not going to reveal it yet!

For the purposes of this poll, we’re only looking at the main support acts for Alfie’s three headline tours of the UK so apologies to all Matt Lucas and Jason Manford fans – we’ll come back to them at a later date.

To help you decide between Laura, Emilia and Sol3 Mio, here are six videos, one each with Alfie and one by themselves (Laura’s videos show Alfie’s cheeky side and watch out for Alfie’s incidental joke at Emilia’s expense too!):

One of these videos contains one of my all time favourite Alfie songs – do you know which one?

The Storyteller and Bring Him Home tours are available on DVD:

Alfie BHH DBD

storyteller dvd

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A week on from the question How well do you know Alfie Boe? and it’s time to see how you did.

  1. Which role will Alfie shortly take over on Broadway?                                                                                                      JM Barrie in Finding Neverland
  2. Who did Alfie pick as his favourite Javert in an interview with thoughtsofjustafan last year?                            Norm Lewis and Earl Carpenter (click here for the interview)
  3. How many brothers and sisters does Alfie have and what are their names?                                                                 8: Anne, Joseph, John, Pauline, Michael, Fran, Teresa, Maria
  4. What are the names of the two alternate Rodolfo’s in Baz Luhrman’s La Boheme?                                             David Miller and Jesus Garcia
  5. What is the name of Alfie’s management company?                                                                                                  Vector
  6. Name the support acts for Alfie’s three headline tours (Bring Him Home, Storyteller and Serenata).          Laura Wright (if you relied on the tour DVD for this answer you may have got it wrong!), Emilia Mitiku and Sol3 Mio
  7. Alfie won Glyndebourne’s Christie prize – what was the role?                                                                                 Albert Herring
  8. In which opera house was Alfie’s last operatic role?                                                                                                   Coliseum (ENO)
  9. And which opera was he performing in?                                                                                                                            The Mikado
  10. What was the name of the new song that Alfie revealed at Leeds in 2015?                                                          Against the Tide

If you got 10 you’re an Alfie Boe mastermind champion

If you got 6+, you’re a strong contender

If you got 3-5, call yourself a fan?

Less than 4 and you’re probably scratching your head and saying Alfie who?

So, how did you do?  Come and tell us if you got 10 out of 10!

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Or Happy Valentine’s Day as it’s better known – the Smooch Day comes from Alfie himself who tweeted that phrase himself on this day in 2015.  If you’ve yet to get a Valentine this year or even if you have, this is especially for you:

Thanks to Nikki for sharing!

This is one of my favourite Alfie Boe songs ever and I especially love Emilia Mitiku’s vocals.  This song was nominated in the 2014 poll to decide Alfie Boe’s Most Romantic Song so I know I’m not alone in loving it.

That said, my favourite romantic album as a whole is Love Was A Dream – just magnificent. Here is You Are My Heart’s Delight from that album (thanks to Linda for sharing):

A happy memory of the late, great Sir Terry Wogan too.

Lastly, the last time we looked at Alfie Boe’s romantic songs a song from Serenata came out on top, so here is My Heart is Yours from the first night of the Serenata tour (thanks once again to Linda for sharing):

Love Was A Dream and Serenata are available here:

love was a dream

serenata

Storyteller DVD featuring Dimming of the Day:

storyteller dvd

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Just over a week ago I posted about the music that Alfie Boe has introduced me to and how my musical tastes have changed.  I then asked you to tell me how Alfie has educated you musically and you have responded enthusiastically!  A wide range of musical tastes and choices were talked about and interestingly, it’s not just new music that we are spending our money on.  Alfie has changed our musical horizons so much that we are as likely to go to a concert by a new artist or a theatrical production as we are to buy a new album which costs a fraction of the price.  Most of us are also just as likely to go alone to these concerts and shows, having never thought of doing so before.

As we already know, most fans first came to be an Alfie fan through Les Mis and were already listening to music from musicals; some were even lucky enough to be at the O2 in 2010! Some however, were not into musicals at all and have since become immersed in that world as a result.  Alfie’s first two Decca albums in particular are rich with musical numbers and seem to have inspired a lot of fans to revisit those tunes and shows.  Blues and swing, following Alfie’s most recent albums, have also been re-introduced to many of your music collections.

Again, most fans had some affinity with light classical music before Alfie but have become much keener once they discovered Alfie’s rich back catalogue of classical music and opera.  I think that most of us can say that we know a whole lot more about opera than we did before we heard Alfie, whether that means re-learning what we once knew or coming to it from a blank canvas.  La Boheme was mentioned several times as a favourite opera, probably because Alfie has played Rodolfo a few times and we can watch him on DVD whenever we want – that also means that we know the words when we go to see that same production at the Coliseum with ENO!

In my original post, I mentioned the likes of Led Zeppelin, The Who, Jimi Hendrix, The Clint Boon Experience as artists who I had come to listen to through Alfie and who I would never have listened to before.  I think I can safely say that having looked at all your responses, I am not alone in that view – Led Zeppelin and The Who were the top two artists that are being discovered or revisited.  I’m sure that we’ll all be Who / Quadrophenia experts by the time 5th July has come around.

Lastly, Laura Wright, John Owen-Jones and Michael Boe were the top three new artists that you told me about; singers who it is unlikely that you would have heard about and become fans of, without Alfie.  Emilia Mitiku and Warren Zevon were other names mentioned – Alfie recorded Zevon’s Keep Me In Your Heart on Trust (it’s the one with the buttons on your blouse, so careful now!):

The comment that came over most often, however, was how much you are all enjoying Alfie’s musical journey – one reason being that we have no idea which way he’ll go next!  One thing’s for sure – it won’t be what we expect!

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Part of the appeal and fun of being an Alfie Boe fan is the friends I’ve made along the way…and there a lot of you out there that I would never have known had it not been for Alfie. Chatting to one of my closest friends recently, we were struck by how much the music we listen to now has been influenced by Alfie and his musical choices.  Some of you will be amazed to hear that I do actually listen to other artists (oh alright, it’s not often!) but a lot of the music I’ve discovered in the last couple of years has been driven by Alfie’s musical train.  So the next logical step was to write about it!

Looking through my iPod I now have music from Led Zeppelin, Bonnie Raitt, The Clint Boon Experience, The D’Oyly Carte, Emilia Mitiku, Laura Wright, Jimi Hendrix, The Who, John Owen-Jones, Ramin Karimloo, Al Vosper.  For me, this diverse group of artists has only one thing in common: Alfie Boe introduced me to them.

Obviously some are a lot more well known than others (I can just imagine the gasp of horror from Linda W at my only really listening to Led Zeppelin in the last year or so) and although I was aware of them I never considered listening to them until Alfie sang their songs or worked with them.  This is certainly the case with The Who and Quadrophenia which I listened to for the first time two weeks ago in preparation for Alfie Boe and Quadrophenia – I can honestly say that I really liked it and have listened to some of it again…and I didn’t have to!  It goes without saying that I prefer Alfie’s take on I’m One and Love Reigns O’er Me.

Alfie’s well known saying “there’s only two types of music, good and bad” has obviously rubbed off on me or maybe I’m just more willing to embrace new music as I find myself not only listening to but buying music I had previously discarded as being “not my thing”.  This is definitely the case with Clint Boon; I was not a fan of the Inspiral Carpets and wasn’t particularly keen to listen to the Clint Boon Experience albums even though Alfie was featured.  Of course, when I did listen, I liked it (and not just for Alfie!).  As I write this, the thought occurs that super fans can sometimes be categorised by their willingness to go and do whatever their favourite artist asks or mentions…I leave that with you for later discussion.

One of the joys of my musical education with Alfie has been finding out about extremely talented musicians who I would almost certainly never have heard of otherwise.  These include Laura Wright and John Owen-Jones who I have had the pleasure of interviewing and the awesome Al Vosper, Emilia Mitiku and Michael Boe.  They all produce the sort of music I have always listened to but I am absolutely sure their work would have passed me by without Alfie.

As always, I would love to hear about your musical education with Alfie – what do you now listen to that you didn’t before, or perhaps you have been drawn back to something you haven’t listened to for years?  Leave me a comment in the box!

I’ll leave you with one of my favourite songs from the Storyteller tour, Jimi Hendrix’s Angel (thanks to Linda W for sharing):

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Dimming of the Day with Emilia Mitiku on the first date of the Storyteller tour.  This was the first time we had heard Alfie and Emilia sing together and what a collaboration!  An inspired choice  for both their voices and ensured we were totally familiar with the song when we heard it  on the 2013 album, Trust (albeit with Shawn Colvin).  Lots of you like this song as you voted it into the top 5 of the Alfie Boe Best Duet poll!

Emilia is a Swedish singer songwriter who I had never heard of until the Storyteller tour although when I first heard her I immediately bought her album, I Belong To You. Emilia, daughter of renowned Ethiopian singer Teshome Mitiku, grew up listening to the smoky tones of Etta, Ella, Eartha and Billie but her first brush with musical fame came via the pop world.  In 1999, Emilia Rydberg as she was then known, had a world wide smash hit with Big Big World.  That sound is light years away from the largely self written I Belong To You.  Click here to buy her album.

Here are Alfie and Emilia in Birmingham where we also see Alfie’s unintentional joke at Emilia’s expense ! – thanks to Linda:

Dimming of the Day remains my favourite song from the Storyteller tour and I have since listened to the many other versions recorded since it was written by Richard Thompson and recorded with Linda Thompson in 1975.  The Tom Jones version on his 2012 album Spirit in the Room is magical – click here for that album.

Alfie’s 2013 album Trust is available here:

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And the winner is:

Yes, the winner is Bryn Terfel with 35% of the votes!  The vote was very close though, Laura Wright and Barcelona were a close second with 27% and Emilia Mitiku and Dimming of the Day was third with 25%.

Bryn led for most of the way although he was initially lagging behind Laura and Emilia.  I suppose we shouldn’t be surprised at the result, as classical won the previous Alfie Boe poll by a country mile.

 

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Emilia Mitiku is a Swedish singer songwriter that I first heard of through, you guessed it, Alfie Boe!  To be specific, I first heard her name when she was announced as the support act for Alfie’s 2013 Storyteller tour.  I found her on YouTube and immediately bought her album, I Belong To You, falling in love with the melodious jazz / pop tones of the songs.  It was an absolute pleasure to watch her perform both as Alfie’s support act and duetting with him on Dimming of the Day and Angel from Montgomery.  Anyone who missed her show missed out on a treat.  Click here to buy Emilia’s album on Amazon.

Emilia, daughter of renowned Ethiopian singer Teshome Mitiku, grew up listening to the smoky tones of Etta, Ella, Eartha and Billie but her first brush with musical fame came via the pop world.  In 1999, Emilia Rydberg as she was then known, had a world wide smash hit with Big Big World.  That sound is light years away from the largely self written I Belong To You.  Of this musical journey, Emilia says “These melodies were probably always there, they just took their time getting out”.

Enjoy Emilia and Alfie at the Royal Albert Hall, April 2013:

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So, for a week now you’ve all been voting for your favourite Alfie Boe duet...and the results are now in!

Of course, if you subscribe, you’ll already be aware of the short list – if you want to get in on the action before anyone else, subscribe now!

The voting was very competitive and although there has been a clear leader right from the start, the singers bringing up the rear have changed over the week.

If your favourite made it through, fantastic, why not vote for them again?  If your favourite is missing, click on the new video short list to help you choose a new one!

Watch out for regular updates and profiles on the short listed singers – if you subscribe, you” also get sneak previews on the way the voting goes…before everyone else!