Way back in the mists of time, I listened to a fair bit of opera, in fact, my first live music experience, aged 11, was a performance of La Boheme at my local theatre in Chelmsford, Essex. My Dad was a huge opera fan and he took me to quite a few productions but La Boheme stands out head and shoulders above all the rest, probably because I sat and cried buckets at the end! Then, as I grew older, I fell out of love with opera and much to my Dad’s eternal regret, I didn’t really listen again for …over twenty five years!
In the last couple of years I’ve found myself listening to opera again, and I’m sure no one will be surprised that I’ve come back to it through Alfie Boe’s wonderful voice.
Shortly after becoming Boe’d, I bought as many of Alfie’s recordings as I could find and was delighted to come full circle to La Boheme. I was thrilled to find Alfie’s Classic FM album, the cast recording of Baz Luhrman’s Broadway production in which Alfie sings the first act and best of all, the DVD of the 2009 ENO La Boheme. (Il Divo fans will also love the Broadway recording as David Miller is one of the two other Rodolfo’s).
I have continued to listen to more and more opera since then but it is only recently that I felt like writing a blog post about it…and once again, La Boheme is at the core. One of the two lovely Linda’s went to see the Royal Albert Hall’s production, which led to several conversations about our mutual desire to hear Alfie as Rodolfo (and I know we’re not the only ones)! And then, I published an interview with Alfie’s older brother Michael in which he reminded us that it was him who gave Alfie his first recording of La Boheme when Alfie was just 11. Thank you Michael! .
Michael’s recently released CD, A La Voix (available from North Star Opera) has also shown me that though La Boheme will always remain special, there is so much more to opera and I’m really looking forward to learning more.
A La Voix available from North Star Opera.
La Boheme DVD available here:
Broadway La Boheme CD (import):