Proms in the Park

All posts tagged Proms in the Park

Welcome to Six Sensational Songs, a new occasional series of blog posts featuring fans talking about their favourite Alfie Boe songs and why they are our favourites.  As the title suggests, each post will feature just six songs – it might seem a herculean task to choose just six but you can do it!  Details of how to send in your six favourites will be given later so keep reading!

As today marks the first anniversary of thoughtsofjustafan becoming the Official Alfie Boe Fan Blog, I’ll start us off.

Keep Me In Your Heart:

None of you will be surprised that this is my first choice but this particular video is from the last date of the 2016 Together tour and was a really special night, so glad I was able to be there.  I’m always asked what it is about this song that I love – and yes, at lot of the appeal comes down to one line “like the buttons on your blouse”.  What can I say – I love this song and it helps that it’s from my favourite Alfie album, Trust.

You Are My Heart’s Delight:

This was the first song I ever heard Alfie sing live and I was lucky enough to be in the company of the fabulous Linda Wellington (whose birthday it is today!) on a blisteringly hot day in September.  Alfie’s autobiography had been released the previous week (I first met Linda at the book signing) and knowing that this song was so personal to Alfie made it even more special. This is just one of Alfie’s appearances at Proms in the Park and, we hope, there will be many more to come.

Love Reign O’Er Me:

Never having been a Who fan or a fan of rock opera, I was dubious about Alfie singing Classic Quadrophenia – or I was until I heard this song.  Spine tingling doesn’t even begin to describe how I feel about Alfie singing this or any part of Classic Quad.  The world premiere at the Royal Albert Hall in July 2015 was one of the best evenings of my life and I know that anyone who was there feels the same.

Suspicious Minds:

Alfie singing Elvis is frequently one of my most popular subjects and the day that we heard Suspicious Minds at Carfest South in 2013 still ranks in top five Alfie concerts.  The 45 minute set was absolutely perfect for the setting and Alfie had the crowd, not to mention Chris Evans, completely in the palm of his hand.

Angel:

Jimi Hendrix’s Angel was a song I had never heard before Alfie’s Storyteller tour but as with nearly everything else that Alfie sings (there are exceptions, but not many), I fell in love with the song.  We haven’t heard this since Storyteller and maybe that’s right as it fitted in perfectly with that tour – but I do miss it.  If you’re reading this Alfie, please bring it back, just once!

Brindisi:

It was a struggle to choose just six songs and you might have noticed that there are actually eight songs in the videos as some videos contain two songs (not cheating, I promise!).  I’ve chosen Alfie’s duet on Brindisi with Lesley Garrett as the chemistry between them makes the song.  And Alfie nearly missing his first note due to laughing is worth another look every time.  Not everyone likes opera Alfie but I would dearly love to hear him singing this live.  It’s not unthinkable – he’s given us Nessun Dorma, Recondita Armonia and La Donna e Mobile in recent years after all.

Now, I’m sure that you’ll all have your own choices so if you want to share them with us, please fill in the form below.  You’ll need to choose six songs, they can be live or recorded but if you want a particular video to accompany your choices, please mention it.  Please also tell us why you have chosen them.

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Twenty years since the first Proms in the Park and they celebrated in style with Alfie’s first London performance for four years (although he’s appeared in Glasgow and Belfast in between).

The first time we’ve heard Alfie and Michael sing songs from their much anticipated album, Together, they gave us not just the promised one song but an additional song too!  Here they are, thanks to Annie and Sylvia for sharing:

Thanks to both Annie and Sylvia for bearing with the vagaries of the BBC red button service – if we start asking now, do you think we could persuade the BBC to broadcast each Prom in the Park in it’s entirety next year?  So much better than constantly jumping from one to the other, always (and I don’t know how they manage it) missing out on the best bits of each concert?

If Anthem and Stairway to Paradise are anything to go by, we’re in for a fantastic treat when they go on tour.  Click here for dates and tickets.

If this has whetted your appetite for the album, signed copies are still available here:

together

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the summer of 2012 when the June weather in particular seemed to be just as wet as it’s been this year in the UK!

As Alfie continues to recover (thank you so much for all your messages to him, they have been passed on to Vector) I thought it would fun to look back on past performances, so at intervals over the summer, new posts will pop up reminding us of some of the fab times we’ve had over the years.  Thankfully Alfie doesn’t mind fans taking videos, he even mentions the existence of said videos in some interviews, so thank you to everyone who has shared their videos with us:

Four years ago, I was only just discovering Alfie (along with loads of others, through Michael Ball) – what a lot has happened since then!

What’s your favourite video from this playlist?  I’d love to hear, along with any favourite Alfie moments you have from 2012 so please leave a comment.  My favourites are the Proms in the Park videos as that was my first live Alfie concert and the first concert I attended with lovely Linda W.

If you haven’t yet ordered your Ball and Boe Together album it’s available here:

together

Details of Alfie and Michael’s Together Tour can be found here.

Enter the competition to win an Alfie Boe goodie bag here! – competition closes Friday

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After a break of six months, the Friday Round Up is making a brief return appearance as Alfie has been rather busy lately.

Last Friday of course saw the release of more Alfie Boe and Michael Ball: Together tickets and then came the news that Alfie would appear in this year’s Proms in the Park (London).  Tickets are on sale but it’s been confirmed that Alfie will sing just one song, with Michael, who will be hosting this year.

Friday also saw Alfie posting his dance prep for the forthcoming tour (click on Alfie to view):

alfie today show stronger

This was my favourite song as a teenager and the first album I ever bought – will I always associate it with Alfie from now on?

And finally, Alfie treated us to a beautifully moving Forever Young at the US Memorial Day Concert:

Thanks Marcia for sharing – and here is the same song at the UK Festival of Remembrance, 2013:

If you haven’t yet ordered a signed copy of Alfie and Michael’s new album, click here.

Forever Young features on Alfie’s album Trust, available here:

trust

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Last Night of the Proms is a British Institution and more recently, that has included Proms in the Park.  The finale of the Last Night is always the patriotic fervour of Rule Britannia, Pomp and Circumstance et al and is guaranteed to get the crowd singing along enthusiastically (depending on whether we know the words!).  This repertoire will have been bread and butter to Alfie as an aspiring and jobbing operatic tenor so he would have no trouble in remembering the words!

I have fairly often watched the second half of Last Night of the Proms on TV throughout my life and enjoyed it but never thought to attend Proms in the Park despite living just down the road from the London venue.  All that changed in 2012 when I first fell into the world of Alfie Boe and got a ticket to see Alfie at the London Proms in the Park.  I had met the ever lovely Linda W (not forgetting Alfie!) the week before at the Bluewater book signing and spent a delightful day with her in Hyde Park before the music started.

Since then, Alfie has appeared twice more at Proms in the Park (Glasgow and Belfast) and a furious evening of TV channel hopping and online surfing has duly commenced for me and every other UK fan sitting at home; I well remember the fury expressed when the BBC cut Alfie off in 2014 and then failed to show much of his set in the highlights!

Going further back, Alfie’s first recorded Proms in the Park was Swansea and of course, he appeared with Michael Ball in the Proms proper in 2008.  Hopefully, Alfie will appear in many more Proms in the Park’s in years to come – until then we’ll have to content ourselves with his past performances, now in a playlist:

My favourite videos from this list are the bookend performances: Swansea and Belfast.  I adore Alfie’s operatic performances, particularly Brindisi so it was wonderful to hear La Donna e Mobile in Belfast last year whilst also hearing the beauty of Serenata.  I suppose it depends on where you stand in the classical Alfie vs. rock Alfie discussion as to which your favourite is – but do leave a comment and tell me.

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The summer concerts are over and Alfie is in the US to start rehearsals for Broadway’s Les Mis.  Ramin Karimloo will be a hard act to follow but I’m sure Alfie will do us proud – look out for the first night review in September.

Now, in case us Alfie Boe fans are likely to be ever so slightly down in the mouth and suffering from post Alfie concert syndrome, here’s a little something to keep you entertained.  Back in March, I asked you what your top Alfie moments were and you responded enthusiastically as always.  My top Alfie moments included meeting Alfie and hearing him sing Addio Signi di Gloria at Classic FM Live – click here to see the rest.

So, in no particular order, your top ten fan moments are:

  • Nancy Webb meeting Alfie at the Utah concert in March this year and getting a photo.
  • Pauline Partridge meeting Alfie unexpectedly outside the Blackpool Opera House and getting a photo.
  • Marie meeting Alfie (again unexpectedly) in the bar of the Radisson Hotel, Glasgow after the Scottish Proms in the Park, 2013.
  • Alfie giving his drumsticks to Linda W on the Bring Him Home tour 2011.
  • The red carpet of the Classic Brits 2013 – Alfie bypassed the waiting press and came straight over to see The Two Linda’s and me.  Later that evening he tweeted a photo of the 40th birthday card we had given him.
  • Cecelia meeting Alfie outside the stage door of the Royal Albert Hall on the Storyteller tour and getting a photo (thanks to Nikki Lewis) – two actually as she spoiled the first one by giving Alfie a peck on the cheek!
  • Pat, Janet and Cecelia seeing Alfie at breakfast the day the Azura cruise departed.
  • Bring Him Home with John Owen-Jones at the Royal Albert Hall.

  • Love reign O’er Me live for the first time.

  • That show stopping moment when Alfie sang with the Jean Valjean Quartet at the Les Mis 25th anniversary concert – aka the moment most of us were Boed.

You picked some amazing top Alfie moments – again got goosebumps when watching the 25th anniversary video.  Other than that, the top moments show how generous Alfie has been when meeting fans – at the Royal Albert Hall on the Storyteller tour, Alfie was actually in the car on the way home when he stopped and got out to sign autographs and have photos.

If you have any more fan memories you’d like to share, please leave a comment – we’d love to see them.

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Mario Caravadossi from Tosca!

There were nine roles mentioned in all but by far the most nominations were for Tosca.  We are incredibly lucky in that there are a few videos of Alfie singing E Lucevan Le Stelle available and I chose The Music of Morse, mainly because it has the added bonus of Alfie singing with Lesley Garrett as well!

The other operas were:

  • Lensky – Eugene Onegin
  • Nemorino – L’Elisr D’amore
  • Alfredo – La Traviata
  • The Duke – Rigoletto
  • Don Jose – Carmen
  • Don Ottavio – Don Giovanni
  • Ferrando – Cosi Fan Tutte
  • Rodolfo – La Boheme – of course!

Although Alfie Boe’s operatic career has played many of these roles, most famously, Rodolfo, these performances are not recorded for posterity (or at least not available in the public domain) with the exception of ENO’s La Boheme at The Coliseum.  However, he has recorded several of the arias in these operas; click here for the Alfie Boe Opera playlist on Spotify.

Many of Alfie’s fans wish he would return to the operatic stage although whether or not he would be entirely welcome in that world these days remains to be seen (interesting either way).  Whenever the subject crops up in discussion, fans would most like to hear how his voice has matured and grown since he was an opera singer.  The release of Alfie’s new album, Serenata leads us back towards a more classical vein which has tantalised the opera lovers among us – will he sing more operatic arias and what will it sound like?  Thankfully we live in an age of technology and we can hear Alfie singing La Donna E Mobile, from Rigoletto, just a few weeks ago at the BBC Belfast Proms in the Park (another added bonus, we get the whole repertoire too!):  La Donna E Mobile starts at 5.40 mins.

Alfie’s new album, Serenata can be pre-ordered below:

serenata

 

 

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Alfie Boe  headlined the Belfast leg of BBC Proms in the Park this year (although you wouldn’t known it had you relied on BBC Red Button service to watch) and once again ensured that he captured our hearts with his spine tingling performance.

Beginning with the obligatory Bring Him Home, Alfie then went on to sing La Donna E Mobile – one he acknowledged he had not sung for a while.  For many of Alfie’s fans this would have been the first time they had heard him sing an operatic aria and it was sublime! A richer, more mature sound than that on the Classic FM album, Alfie has just made us want to hear more, more, more!

Thankfully, the performance has found it’s way onto Youtube – thanks Marcia for sharing:

As you can see, Alfie’s first attempt at lyric writing, for My Heart is Yours,  is a success; did we expect anything else you might ask?  “The Stars, they dance when you are near” – Sarah Boe is a lucky woman although Alfie is always the first to admit, when interviewed, that he is the lucky one.  Suffice to say, the romantic lyrics will fit right in with the romantic nature of the upcoming album, Serenata.  Speaking of which, the next promotional video was released yesterday:

Serenata is released on 17th November, if you haven’t pre-ordered yet, just click on the image below:

serenata

 

Don’t forget to tune into ITV at 7pm tonight (UK only, sadly) for Sunday Night at the London Palladium!

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Be still our beating hearts!  Alfie fans, tomorrow night is the time we get to hear Alfie’s own lyrics!  And appropriately enough, the words were written for My Heart is Yours, the theme from the film Il Postino.  This information was revealed by Alfie in a BBC interview ahead of his Belfast Proms in the Park appearance (click here for the full interview).  I am reliably (hopefully) informed that if you’re unable to watch the Proms, you should be able to listen live on BBC Radio Ulster – click here.

The chance to hear Alfie’s own music is the latest titbit of Serenata news this week; the official artwork for the album cover has been released (click on the image below to pre-order, if you haven’t already done so – and if not, why not???)

serenata

Alfie’s Facebook page also offers fans the chance to vote for their favourite photo for the 2015 calendar – so far, January is the only month that can be voted for but I’m sure that the other eleven will follow…wait for it…SOON!

This week, we also learnt that Alfie’s previous album, Trust, has been nominated for Best Solo recording in the Broadway World.com Awards – way to go Alfie!  If you haven’t yet voted, click here to do so.

Before we get to Saturday night UK time, let’s enjoy Alfie’s appearance at the Glasgow Proms in 2013 in which he showcased Trust (thanks to Annie Lloyd for sharing):

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Alfie Boe’s recent BBC Radio Ulster interview  was a gem!  The presenter started by playing Alfie’s version of Pure Imagination and then delighted Alfie by telling him Liverpool won 3-0 against Tottenham!  Then it was straight into the usual tour and album promo and great news, Serenata will feature at the Belfast Proms. And apparently, the ice bucket challenge was “cold” – yeah, we got that Alfie!

Classical fans will be thrilled to know that Alfie will also be singing “La Donna e Mobile” in Belfast! Wow, can’t wait to hear that.

Ahead of his appearance at Belfast Proms in the Park, it seems a good time to look back at Alfie’s previous Proms appearances. Indeed, Last Night of the Proms around the UK has been one of Alfie’s most regular gigs over the last few years; 13 September marks his fourth appearance in a row.

Last year, 2013, saw Alfie sing songs mainly taken from his Trust album, whilst in 2012, he performed some more traditional songs, including Chitarra Romana and You Are My Hearts Delight as well as Bring Him Home.   The year before saw an appearance in Dundee where the highlight was Recondita Armonia.

However, those are not Alfie’s only Proms appearances – he has been to Northern Ireland before (Carrickfergus in 2007) and Swansea in 2008, back in the days when he was still performing in opera.  Here he is with Rebecca Evans at Swansea, singing Brindisi from La Traviata:

Alfie’s new album, Serenata is released on 20 November  – just click on the image below

serenata

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