Last week saw the publication of the top ten in the second annual poll to find the best ever Alfie Boe song and we are now counting down, this week arriving at numbers six to four. Click here to see numbers ten to seven.
Number six is an old staple of Alfie’s operatic repertoire and one that he began singing again on his 2014 UK Winter tour, much to the surprise and delight of most of the fans. Yes, I’m talking about Nessun Dorma, one of the most famous tenor arias out there and one which seeped into popular culture like no other aria following the 1990 World Cup (if you have to ask which sport, you’re obviously not from these parts!). Alfie has named Giuseppe di Stefano as one of his favourite tenors to listen to, so I picked his version to show you:
The popular version is of course by Luciano Pavarotti but everyone who is anyone has performed the song which comes from Puccini’s 1924 opera Turandot. The aria is sung by Calaf (the unknown prince) who falls in love with Princess Turandot. If he wishes to marry her, Calaf must answer three riddles correctly or face execution. He does so but as Turandot is still not keen on marriage, he gives her a reprieve; guess his name before dawn and she can execute him, fail and she has to marry him. Turandot then decrees that ‘no one shall sleep’ that night until they discover the name. Reading this again, is it any wonder that quite a number of people have problems with operatic plots?! I confess that despite loving Alfie’s version, Nessun Dorma is not my favourite operatic aria but this video will brighten up any day:
Number five in the countdown is the third survivor from the 2014 poll and the first from Onward. Click here to find out more about A Living Prayer.
Having seen numbers five and six, that brings us to the biggest shock of the 2015 vote…number four is last year’s number one, Bring Him Home! Be honest, how many of you saw that coming? Not only is it not number one, it’s not even in the top three! For me, this is good news as it means that many more fans are getting to know and appreciate the vast depth of Alfie’s recorded repertoire. As wonderful as Alfie’s Bring Him Home is, and it will always be his signature tune, there are so many more choices available, many of which do a better job of showcasing his voice. Click here to check them out. Likewise, as fabulous as it always is to hear Alfie on the radio, show presenters and producers should make the effort to play more than just the obvious.
And so now you’ve got over the big surprise, who will be number one? The top three are Addio Sogni Di Gloria, Keep Me In Your Heart and A Gaelic Blessing – the correct order will be revealed next week!
Bring Him Home is available here.
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