Serenata tour

All posts tagged Serenata tour

Over half way through the year and as time counts down to Alfie’s upcoming appearances with Pete Townshend and Billy Idol in Classic Quadrophenia across the pond, we turn to an American fan, Nancy Webb for her choice of six favourite Alfie Boe songs.  I first met Nancy on the Serenata tour of 2014 when she and some fellow US fans joined us for a memorable train ride to Cardiff for the last night of that tour.  Two near misses with missing passengers (both going and returning!) and lots and lots of chat and giggles accompanied by my mum’s mince pies frame the memories of that wonderful trip.  Let’s look at Nancy’s choices:

Nessun Dorma, in Matt Lucas’s kitchen.  Nancy says “This was the first song that came up on Google after I saw Alfie in the 25th Anniversary concert. Alfie’s power stunned me again but the humour and gentle humanity of the man won my heart.”

Addio Sogni Di Gloria.  Nancy says “What can I say. I just love it! Alfie could blow the roof off a building when he sings this one. I voted for it as my favourite of the year in the last contest.”  It was a very worthy winner in 2016!

Stranger in Paradise, Parkinson – Nancy says “Another stunner! He was so young, so handsome and so amazing. Several people have said over the years that this was the performance that made them fans (pre Les Mis days). I already loved his voice, but this made me sit up and pat myself on the back for having excellent taste. He is just great here.”

Amazing Grace (starts 14m 21).  Nancy says the song is”a personal favourite since I was a teenager, but no one had ever sung it the way I wanted to hear it…missing notes, straining to hit the highs, flat etc. When I saw the old video of Alfie fronting for the Fron Male Voice Choir and he started to sing this, I actually had tears in my eyes. No problem hitting the high notes and then going higher….just beautiful. Not to be morbid, but I have asked my daughter to play this at my funeral (many years from now, of course)”.

Rank Stranger – Nancy says “I can not get over the absolute silence in the auditoriums/arenas when he sings this…not a cough or a shuffle, hardly a breath. When he finishes, there is a second more of silence as people come back to earth and then the applause. It is just wonderful!”

Agnus Dei – Nancy says “the crystal clarity/purity of this song makes me catch my breath every time I play it. I have it on his You’ll Never Walk Alone compilation, but did not find out where he recorded it originally until much later. That CD, Eternal Light: A Requiem, is so very beautiful, and Alfie could make an angel cry with happiness.

Thanks Nancy for letting us share your six sensational songs – the thing I love most about this series is enjoying songs and videos from the past, it’s been a while since I saw the one from the days when Alfie supported the Fron Male Voice Choir.

If you would to share your favourite Alfie songs with us, fill in the form!

The latest in our series of Alfie Boe sensational songs comes from Lee Kelly.  Lee first became aware of Alfie shortly after the 25th anniversary Les Mis concert and was spellbound.  She’s since been lucky enough to see him live a few times and met him in New York on 28 February last year. In her words, she was a “quivering wreck”! These are Lee’s choices:

Trust, chosen simply because Lee loves the album.

Wayfaring Stranger – love the fun Alfie’s having in this video!  Lee chose this song because of the “haunting words”.

Tell Me It’s Not True, chosen as “Blood Brothers is my husband’s favourite musical and hearing Alfie sing Tell Me It’s Not True is wonderful”,

Run – Lee chose this as she has “always liked this song and Alfie takes it to another level”.

Bring Him Home, chosen as Lee says “Alfie makes every hair stand on end every time I hear him sing this” – I think we all agree!

Rank Stranger

Thanks for sharing your favourite songs with us Lee.

If you would like to share your favourite Alfie songs with us, please fill in the form!

The song in at number six is this year’s only offering from Alfie’s last album, Serenata; in 2015 My Heart is Yours entered the top ten at number seven.  The music is from the film, Il Postino and it is the only song for which Alfie himself wrote the lyrics.  Can we say it’s great to see an original song make the list?  A semi original song as the film version is instrumental.  The video is from the first night of the Serenata tour, thanks to Linda W for sharing:

Alfie says the inspiration behind the lyrics is his daughter, Grace, and since I heard this, I always think of my son when I hear this song.  Having said that, the lyrics are also incredibly romantic and I’m sure there are a fair few ladies out there who imagine these words being sung to them.  Wouldn’t this be a lovely wedding song?

Serenata is available here:

serenata

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Nessun Dorma on ITV’s Lorraine show:

This time, it’s thanks to Alfie for sharing!

As Lorraine Kelly says, amazing to hear such passion in such a fantastic voice – and early in the morning too!  Alfie was of course promoting his debut album, Classic FM Presents, an album that he doesn’t seem to be keen on, judging by his autobiography but is one that I listen to often.  I still think of myself as incredibly lucky to have heard Alfie sing Nessun Dorma on the Serenata tour two years ago – you could have a pin drop in all the arenas in which Alfie appeared.

Apart from the voice, the other things I love about this video are Alfie’s attire – an early indication that operatic arias and suits are not inextricably linked in Alfie’s mind – and how much he looks like Declan Donnelly throughout.  It seems to me that the likeness grows during the singing but of course that could just be me projecting…I pretty sure I’m not telling you anything new when I say I think Dec is cute too.  Check out Alf and Dec if you don’t believe me.

Alfie’s autobiography is available here:

alfie autobio

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Although we’re in the midst of full blown excitement about the Alfie Boe and Michael Ball Together Tour, we’re also counting down the fans favourite Alfie Boe Live Song.  Last week saw the publication of numbers 9 and 10, both new entries this year.

This week, we’re looking at 7 and 8.  The song voted in at number 8 is a song that made it to the top five in 2014, You Are My Heart’s Delight from Blackpool (thanks Nikki Lewis for sharing):

Oh what a magical moment that was, made all the more special by knowing Alfie’s family were in the audience that night.  Anyone familiar with Alfie story knows that You Are My Heart’s Delight is a personal favourite for him and his father, Alfred.  As well as singing it for his first D’oyly Carte audition, Alfie spent many a  Sunday lunchtime in the Boe household  listening to Alf senior’s music and Alfie  says that Richard Tauber was one of his father’s favourite singers.  Tauber became particularly well known for singing the song; indeed it comes from a 1929 operetta, The Land of Smiles, written for his voice by Franz Lehar.  Click here to see Tauber’s version.  Alfie’s English version is one my joint favourite album, Love Was A Dream.  My other favourite album is nothing like this!

Onto the next song, number 7 in the countdown which is another top five number from 2014: Buona Sera.  At that time, we had only seen Alfie sing it live at the Belfast Proms and at a charity concert in Utah earlier that year but that was before the Serenata tour when we heard it at the end of every concert:

Thanks to Linda W for sharing, this was the first concert of that tour – roll on the next one in November!

Written by Peter de Rose and Carl Sigman (Sigman also wrote the lyrics to the English version of Arrivederci Roma), most people will be familiar with the Dean Martin version.  However, the song was first recorded by Louis Prima (click here to see that version).  Prima was a big band, swing singer of the mid twentieth century and Buona Sera was one of a long line of hits.  Incidentally, Prima is the voice of King Louis in Disney’s The Jungle Book.

Love Was A Dream and Serenata are available here:

love was a dream

serenata

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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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If you’re reading this then you must be a fan of Alfie Boe, right?  But how well do you know the man himself?  Could he be your specialist subject on Mastermind?  If you’ve been left shouting ‘Alfie Boe’ at the TV during Pointless when the contestants didn’t have a clue, perhaps this is the quiz for you.

There’s not a prize though, just the satisfaction of scoring ten out of ten.  Good luck – answers next week.

  1. Which role will Alfie shortly take over on Broadway?
  2. Who did Alfie pick as his favourite Javert in an interview with thoughtsofjustafan last year?
  3. How many brothers and sisters does Alfie have and what are their names?
  4. What are the names of the two alternate Rodolfo’s in Baz Luhrman’s La Boheme?
  5. What is the name of Alfie’s management company?
  6. Name the support acts for Alfie’s three headline tours (Bring Him Home, Storyteller and Serenata).
  7. Alfie won Glyndebourne’s Christie prize – what was the role?
  8. In which opera house was Alfie’s last operatic role?
  9. And which opera was he performing in?
  10. What was the name of the new song that Alfie revealed at Leeds in 2015?

Answers revealed next week!  In the meantime, don’t forget to tun into BBC Radio 2 on Monday 14 March at 10pm for Alfie’s Opera Heroes!

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