Laura Wright

All posts tagged Laura Wright

Following on from last week’s installment of Alfie Boe’s Best Live Song poll 2016, we have now arrived at the half way stage, with two songs that tied for second place in 2014.

Number six in the countdown is a song that hasn’t appeared in Alfie’s set list since the Bring Him Home tour and is quite tricky to find on YouTube (although it does feature on the Alfie: Live DVD) but luckily, we have Nikki Lewis to thank for recording Jacob’s Ladder in Birmingham, 2011:

Jacob’s Ladder is a spiritual, gospel tinged song that has been recorded by a variety of artists including Bruce Springsteen and Paul Robeson – click here to see these two completely different versions of the song.

As mentioned earlier, the song that was voted in at number five is the song that tied with Jacob’s Ladder for second spot last time and of course it’s Barcelona with Laura Wright:

Laura and Alfie’s voices work so well together and the audience here clearly thought so too.  Laura tweeted a photo the next day accompanied by “giving it some welly on the high notes last night” – well, there’s plenty of high notes Laura! Although this is the only footage we have of Alfie and Laura singing this together, Alfie did appear as a guest on Katherine Jenkins’s Home Sweet Home album singing Barcelona.

Barcelona was originally written by Freddie Mercury and Mike Moran and recorded by Mercury and the Spanish soprano, Montserrat Caballe in 1987.  Memorably, it featured heavily during coverage of the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.  Here is the original:

As we know, Alfie is a keen Queen and Freddie Mercury fan and during his ITV Perspectives programme on Mercury, he was seen backstage before the Barcelona song saying it was “quite a big sing”.  I also seem to remember he was messing about with his hair quite a lot as well!

Alfie: Live DVD and Home Sweet Home are available here:

Alfie BHH DBD

katherine jenkins katherine jenkins

thanks for reading and sharing – next week, we’re into the top four!

if you like what you see, why not subscribe?

all your Alfie info straight to your inbox

plus 4 exclusive photos

xx

 

 

…Emilia Mitiku! The result was a close run contest in the end with Emilia just edging it over Laura Wright, although the two did trade places once or twice in the few days before the poll closed.

I must confess at this point that I’m happy with this result as Emilia is my favourite too.  That may be something to do with the fact that I didn’t see Laura on tour with Alfie as I do really like Laura’s voice (I have her most recent album) and I have also interviewed her and she is lovely.

So what was it about Emilia that we all liked so much?  For me, she was part of that wonderful Storyteller tour where I finally met so many Alfie fans after much anticipation on social media.  I attended four of the last five concerts and it was a week that I’ll never forget, so many happy memories.  We were only slightly familiar with Emilia’s music as she had been announced late the previous year but that quickly changed as many people who saw more than one concert were happily singing along to most of her set by the end of the tour.  Emilia has a beautifully melodic voice that adapts to many different styles; sometimes her voice could be mistaken for country and Dolly Parton, at other times it sounds as if jazz is her natural home.  Her album is one that I listen to a lot.  Another reason that I love Emilia is that she sang one of my favourite Alfie Boe songs ever, Dimming of the Day (thanks to Linda W for sharing):

And here she is singing one of her own songs:

Emilia previously made the top five of the Alfie Boe Favourite Duet so it’s doubly nice to see her on top this time! She is the daughter of renowned Ethiopian singer Teshome Mitiku and 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”.

Emilia Mitiku’s album, I Belong To You is available here:

emilia mitiku

thanks for reading and sharing

if you like what you see, why not subscribe?

all your Alfie news straight to your inbox

plus 4 exclusive photos

plus the chance to win 1 of 3 signed Finding Neverland playbills!

xx

 

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

thanks for reading and voting – please share!

if you like what you see, why not subscribe?

all your Alfie info straight to your inbox

plus the chance to enter and win competitions

plus 4 exclusive photos

xx

 

 

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!

thanks for reading – please share

if you like what you see, why not subscribe?

all your Alfie new straight to your inbox

plus 4 exclusive photos

xx

This week sees the highlight of the UK music awards season, the BRIT awards.  The event will be shown live on Wednesday and viewers will be able to download and stream all the audio performances.  These downloads will be free to the viewer as Google Play picks up the costs and donates the money to the BRITS official charity partner which this year is the music therapy charity, Nordoff Robbins.  Last years charity, Warchild, received £250k so lets hope that the same (or more!) is raised for one of Alfie Boe’s official charities.

Ahead of this exciting time for Nordoff Robbins, I caught up with CEO Julie Whelan to talk about how being the official charity partner of the BRITS will help them.  The charity have a long standing relationship with the BRIT Trust and the BPI, going back to the 1991 fundraising concert at Knebworth and the set up of the BRIT school which led to extra funding for Nordoff Robbins.  Since then, the BPI and the BRIT Trust have been ongoing supporters of Nordoff Robbins.  This year, much to Julie’s delight, the BPI very much wanted to highlight the work that Nordoff do and asked them to become the official charity partner of the 2016 BRIT awards.  As Julie says, this is doubly brilliant as Nordoff is not a charity that “instantly springs to mind.  When I first started work with Nordoff I sometimes asked unsuspecting members of the public if they knew who we were and they mostly thought we were a sewing organisation or sold ice cream”! Actually, the following video shows what they do – be warned, you might have something in your eye by the end!

Going forward from 2016, Julie says that Nordoff are currently expanding the services they offer and moving into new areas which have never, until now, been able to access music therapy services and it is this that will be spearheaded by the, hopefully large, influx of funds from the BRIT awards.  Services are currently provided from the main centre in North London, the Andrew Lloyd Webber centre at the BRIT school and via a myriad of therapists who travel to NHS centres, prisons, special schools and mental health trusts to name just a few.  Over the next eighteen months or so, Nordoff is committed to expanding into Wales, Yorkshire and the North East of England as well as committing to providing services in all London boroughs.  Julie emphasised that Nordoff often “works with people in the most isolated and vulnerable settings, those who need it most” and that the expected donations from Google Play this week will enable the much needed regional expansion to happen.

So, being the official charity partner of the BRITS is of huge significance to an otherwise small charity especially when you consider that they receive no government funding at all.  Day to day running costs are funded through a number of fundraising events, corporate fundraising events and partnerships and donations from the public.  Of course, I asked Julie about the importance of Nordoff’s celebrity ambassadors and what they bring to the charity and this is what Julie had to say about Alfie.  “Alfie Boe is someone who gives his time to support us and also, through his fans he brings a whole new set of people who are aware of Nordoff Robbins and what we do.  Having that has made us much more confident as a charity”.  The use of Alfie’s birthday each year to encourage fans to donate to Nordoff has meant more than £8,000 raised over the last five years; Alfie said  “I’m overwhelmed with the generosity shown by fans who have donated to Nordoff Robbins. I’m passionate about music education and therapy and I really appreciate every single donation.”

Alfie of course is not the only ambassador for Nordoff who makes a difference; soprano Laura Wright regularly attends fundraising events throughout the year and makes regular trips to the centre to observe music therapy sessions and engage with clients.  Interestingly, not all the official ambassadors are from world of music.  Two such are presenter Gaby Roslin, host of the Silver Clef Awards for the last few years and England cricketer, Jimmy Anderson.  Having two ambassadors outside the music world is great for Nordoff as Julie explains: “Although they are not musicians, both are connected with the importance of music and having them give their time raises awareness of our work…Jimmy Anderson gives a lot of support at corporate events and Gaby Roslin gives us as much airtime as she can.  She is very interested in the work that we do with families.”

So, with all that in mind, get ready to watch the BRIT awards on Wednesday and download the live performances via Google Play!

thanks for reading  – please share!

if you like what you see, why not subscribe?

all your Alfie news straight to your inbox

plus 4 exclusive photos

xx

 

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas with Laura Wright and Jason Manford at the Blackpool Opera House.  The actual date was 17 December 2011 and became a staple of the first part of Alfie’s Bring Him Home tour:

The song was written for the 1944 film, Meet Me in St Louis and was sung by Judy Garland.  Since then, it has become one of the most recognised Christmas songs around.  Let’s hear Judy’s version:

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas features on Alfie’s 2011 album, Alfie and is available here:

Alfie (alfie) album

thanks for reading – please share

if you like what you see why not subscribe?

all your Alfie news straight to your inbox

plus 4 exclusive photos

xx

 

 

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.

thanks for reading and sharing

if you like what you see why not subscribe?

lots of goodies to be won this Autumn

plus 4 exclusive photos straight to your inbox

xx

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

thanks for reading, sharing and voting!

if you like what you see why not subscribe?

there’s some exciting goodies to be won soon

plus 4 exclusive photos straight to your inbox

xx

 

…at Ponty’s Big Weekend, Pontypridd, South Wales.  It was part of his UK Summer Tour of that year, recently featured in the Favourite Alfie Boe Tour poll.  For fans of the jeans and white shirt look, this is one for you (thanks to Annie for sharing):

This isn’t my favourite Alfie song by a long way but it seems to perfectly sum up that summer tour – and it also features the lovely Laura Wright who was touring with Alfie at the time.

thanks for reading and sharing

if you like what you see, why not subscribe?

all your Alfie info straight to your inbox

plus 4 exclusive photos

xx

Saturday May 9 saw the 70th anniversary of VE Day celebrated in style with A Party to Remember at Horseguards Parade.  Unsure of what to expect in terms of the songs Alfie would sing, fans were ecstatic that Alfie had two solo songs and a duet with Katherine Jenkins to end the night – the social media frenzy that followed made it clear that Alfie now has a lot of new fans.

The concert itself was a rip roaring success showcasing the music of the era by performers as diverse as Laura Wright, Elaine Paige, Pixie Lott, Collabro, Rebecca Ferguson and Chas and Dave, although hearing Alexander Armstrong’s great voice was the surprise of the night for some.  The music and dance was interspersed throughout with readings from the time by some of our best known actors including Robert Lindsay, Jane Horrocks, Martin Shaw, Lawrence Fox, Bernard Cribbins and Honeysuckle Weeks which really brought home the reason for our celebrations and commemorations. Alfie’s favourite comedy, Dad’s Army also got an honourable mention with a reading from Pike himself, Ian Lavender.  Another nice touch was video interviews with service men and women there at the time – most of these were also in the audience.

Alfie first sang the anthemic You’ll Never Walk Alone, a song featured on his album Onward and one that he performs very infrequently.  Although the song was enthusiastically received on twitter, it’s pretty fair to say that at least half of the comments generated were concerned with his haircut and specs.  Alex Jones, host of BBC One’s The One Show tweeted her appreciation!  Alfie then returned a short time later to sing Snow Patrol’s Run – a completely new song for him that nevertheless suited both him and the occasion perfectly.  This was the moment that sent twitter into meltdown – mostly positive comments generated by all those new fans.  I must just add that he was accompanied on this one by Murray Gould who was instantly recognisable by his silhouette when he walked on stage (it’s the hair!). Lastly, accompanied by the crowd and the rest of the performers, Alfie and Katherine Jenkins (a former forces sweetheart) sang We’ll Meet Again to end the evening.  Absolutely spellbinding (thanks Marcia for uploading a compilation video):

Altogether, a fabulous performance all around  – bravo to all involved.

Onward is available here:

Alfie onward

thanks for reading and sharing

if you like what you see why not subscribe?

all your Alfie news straight to your inbox

plus 4 exclusive Alfie photos

xx