Two years after the triumphant world premiere of Pete Townshend’s Classic Quadrophenia (CQ) Alfie Boe and Billy Idol return to join Townshend in a limited run of US dates (click here for tickets). Kicking off at Tanglewood on 2 September, the show will play two nights (9 – 10 September) at the Metropolitan Opera House, New York before finishing at The Greek Theatre, LA on 16 September. Keith Lockhart will conduct at Tanglewood with the Boston Pops Orchestra and this will be familiar to Alfie as he has previously worked with both, when he recorded with them for their 2005 Christmas album, Sleigh Ride. The original CQ conductor, Robert Ziegler will conduct for the other performances.
Alfie says that he is “thrilled to be joining Classic Quadrophenia for a limited run of US shows” and I confidently predict that quite a lot of Alfie fans will be thrilled too! Since CQ was announced as a project in late 2014, US fans have been extremely keen to see Alfie perform this music and I urge everyone with the slightest chance of seeing it to beg, steal or borrow but basically do whatever it takes to see Alfie in the role of Jimmy – I would love to see it again. An added bonus is the presence of Billy Idol, who was a surprising highlight for me at the original show.
When I first interviewed Alfie about CQ, he had yet to perform the show and I asked him about the recording process. Apparently, Alfie said, it took “a good few hours. The sound is almost like a live recording of my vocals as it was really flowing, we were really in the groove”. I asked Alfie how difficult it was to sing and although some parts are trickier than others, the most difficult for him was getting the emotional intensity right. “It’s an emotional piece and you have to understand what you are singing and the emotional intent behind it and then you’re alright”.
The Who’s historic rock opera Quadrophenia was of course originally released as an extensive double album in 1973 and has stood the test of time as a conceptual work honouring the Mod movement. The album, later turned into a feature film and theatrical production, follows an angst-ridden young man in London who creates a new life for himself as a member of the Mods. Talking about the classical incarnation, Pete Townshend says ““I’m thrilled to be bringing Classic Quadrophenia stateside through the month of September. Melding the contrasting sounds of Quadrophenia with a symphony has been a really unique and powerful way to reach a wide audience of classical and pop music lovers alike. I couldn’t be more excited to see it continue in the U.S.”
Tickets go on sale on 13 June – click here.
Saturday, September 2 Lenox, MA Tanglewood
Saturday, September 9 New York, NY Metropolitan Opera House
Sunday, September 10 New York, NY Metropolitan Opera House
Saturday, September 16 Los Angeles, CA The Greek Theatre
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