A La Voix

All posts tagged A La Voix

Happy Valentine’s Day Alfie fans – this is my Valentine gift to you:

Alfie’s message was just this: Happy Smooch Day – love to you all (via twitter) xxx

In the November 2014 poll for Alfie Boe’s Guide to Romance, My Heart is Yours came out on top when Serenata was included.  When Serenata was disregarded, then the winner was  When I Fall in Love, mainly due to the romantic association for Alfie and Sarah as noted in his autobiography (Alfie found out he was to be a Dad again just before recording the song).

As mentioned in the Guide to Romance, my favourite romantic album of Alfie’s is the current album of the month, Love Was A Dream, a complete album of romantic arias.  Not only does it ooze romance but the sound of Alfie’s soaring vocals, recorded right in the middle of the orchestra, has rarely been bettered.

Now, you may have noticed that the title of this blog post alludes to Boe’s Guide to Romance and this doesn’t just mean Alfie!  His elder brother Michael, who we have featured here before, is today marrying his long term partner, Sean Ashmore – now that beats everything else hands down for romance!  Michael has kindly allowed me to use a photo of their wedding  – thanks Michael!

Michael and sean wedding

 

Wonder if they will use any of the romantic music from their last album, A La Voix?  Click here to buy.

Michael and Sean will hopefully be recording and releasing their much anticipated new album…soon!

Love Was A Dream and Serenata are both available now:

love was a dream

 

serenata

If you’ve not read Alfie’s book, My Story, give it a go, it’s a cracker!

alfie autobio

 

thanks for reading and sharing!

if you like what you see, why not subscribe?

all your Alfie info straight to your inbox

plus 4 exclusive Alfie photos

xx

I am often asked what it is about Alfie that I love – if this often happens to you as well, this post is for you to share with everyone that hasn’t yet been Boe’d so go ahead and click on the share buttons at the bottom of the post xx

So here goes – I’d love to know what you would add to this list!

1. This is his most famous song – do you need another reason to love Alfie?

2. Alfie hails from Fleetwood, Lancashire (although he was born in Blackpool in 1973).

3. Alfie is the youngest of nine siblings (4 boys and 5 girls) born to Alfred and Pat.

4. Alfie loves cooking and once considered becoming a chef (although he did once cut his finger on live TV!)

5. Other career changes considered include a personal trainer for the Salt Lake City police force.

6. Alfie is a Lyric Tenor which means his vocal range (excluding falsetto) is approximately the C one octave below middle C (C3) to the D one octave above middle C (D5) with the ability to extend a little to either side.

7. Alfie played Jean ValJean in the 25th Anniversary Les Miserables concert and at the Queens Theatre for 5 months in 2011 – but you all knew that one right?

8. When playing JVJ as The Mayor in Les Mis, Alfie used to wear the socks belonging to the convict JVJ costume in order to better inhabit the role.

9. Alfie is married to an American actress, Sarah Boe.  They met in San Francisco.

10. Alfie was the subject of a South Bank Show documentary in 2013.

11. Alfie once supported the Fron Male Voice Choir on tour.

12. David Miller of Il Divo was in La Boheme on Broadway with Alfie (they played alternate nights as Rodolfo).

13. Alfie recorded some demo Queen tracks at Abbey Road studios whilst a student – he listened back with obvious embarrassment on a recent documentary!

14. Alfie used to work at the Blackpool Opera House in a backstage / security role.

15. Alfie has recorded Empty Chairs, Empty Tables with two of the singers who played Marius: Michael Ball (original Marius and 10th anniversary concert) and Nick Jonas (25th anniversary concert).

16. Alfie was a body mechanic at the TVR factory in Bispham – if you know nothing else about Alfie, you know that!!

17. After graduating from the Royal College of Music, Alfie went on to train at the National Opera Studio.

18. Won the Christie prize at Glyndebourne for Albert Herring.

19. Appeared on several Clint Boon Experience albums as “opera dude”.

20. Spent a few nights sleeping on a park bench in Hyde Park “in between digs” so to speak.

21. Played drums in a local rock band, Whisky Train as a teenager.

22. Alfie is an ambassador for the Prince’s Foundation for Children and The Arts.

23. Alfie sang at the wedding of Peter and Autumn Phillips. (Ave Maria and Panis Angelicus).

24. Alfie famously prefers to perform in opera, rather than listen to them – this is usually quoted incorrectly as “Alfie hates opera”.

25. Alfie often takes fans cameras and phones and takes photos of himself and the band on stage – perks of being front row!

26. Alfie auditioned (and was called back) for Raoul in Phantom of the Opera – the RCM beckoned though and we shall have to imagine his Raoul.

27. Won a Tony Award as part of the cast of La Boheme on Broadway.

28. First professional audition was for the D’oyly Carte Opera company – he sang You Are My Hearts Delight.

29. Moonwalked across the stage during final performance of Romeo et Juliette at the Royal Opera House.

30. Appeared on Vanessa Feltz’s BBC Radio 2 programme as part of the Wednesday Words of Warmth – his tip to get through a Wednesday was to make a big bowl of meat pasta sauce.

31. West London Karaoke Champion 1994 singing Suspicious Minds.

32. First recording Alfie appears on is Die Fledermaus, with the D’oyly Carte company (in the chorus).

33. Suffered from chlorine poisoning whilst filming a projection for The Pearl Fishers at the ENO.

34. Brother Michael is also a talented singer, recent album is called A La Voix.

35. Alfie and Sarah’s first dance at the their wedding was Led Zeppelin’s Rain Song.

36. First, and so far only,performer, with Renee Fleming to sing on the balcony of Buckingham Palace (at the Diamond Jubilee celebrations).

37. Alfie was first introduced to La Boheme by his brother Michael – thank you Michael!

38. Alfie is great at comedy falls – as witnessed by viewers of Jonathan Ross show in October 2013!

39. Twitter often mentions how much Alfie looks like Declan Donnelly – maybe, but only without his beard – judge for yourself:

dec

40. A photo of Alfie; together with his amazing voice, what other reason to you need to love Alfie Boe? (thanks to Carole Hunt who took this gorgeous photo and generously allowed me to use it on my blog – what a star xx)

alfie-carfest.jpg

 

 

thanks for reading and sharing

if you like what you see, why not subscribe?

you get sneak peeks of upcoming blogs, access to subscriber only posts and

4 Alfie photos straight into your inbox

xx

 

 

 

 

Just a reminder…

Only a few days to get this exciting news exclusively before everyone else!

Here at thoughtsofjustafan, we’re all about sharing good music with as many people as possible – especially if its music from Alfie or that he appreciates. So what better way of doing just that than telling people about the wonderful music that comes from Alfie’s brother, Michael Boe?

I’ve just had exciting news from Michael Boe and Sean Ashmore that they’ll be entering the studio to record their new album shortly and – as a special treat for you – they’re revealing the track listing exclusively, right here, on thoughtsofjustafan.

To repay their kindness, lets spread the word about their album. To get this exclusive sneak peek at their track list, all you have to do is subscribe to thoughtsofjustafan.

Tweet this post and share on Facebook would be great too! Use the hashtag #michaelboeseanashmoremusic

The track listing won’t be shared anywhere else fora while so what are you waiting for?  Get sharing…and let’s show Michael and Sean how much we love what they do

To get you in the mood, here’s a clip from Michael and Sean’s previous album, A La Voix, for your listening pleasure:

Thanks for supporting great music and all things Alfie.

 

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):

 

Recent readers will be aware that Alfie’s older brother, Michael, has recently released a new album titled A La Voix. I am thrilled that Michael agreed to answer a few questions about him and his music, so here is my first ever interview:

Q We know you’re from a musical family so what is your earliest musical memory?
A: I remember, as a child listening to old gramophone records, yes I’m really that old! I longed to go into the church choir and became a chorister at the age of 9. At home, my main musical memory was of course my parents singing, marvelling that my mam seemed to have a song for every situation. She still does.

Q I understand you trained to be a BSL interpreter, are you still doing that and how does it fit in with North Star Opera?
A: I am a qualified BSL interpreter and that is what pays the bills. I’ve always had a great interest in languages and once we founded NSO, I made sure that we involved sign language interpretation in all our productions.

Q Tell me about North Star Opera and your collaboration with Sean Ashmore – how long have you been working together?
A: I first met Sean when I was singing the role of Ernani in Verdi’s opera, Ernani. He came in as a rehearsal pianist. This was 20 years ago and we’ve collaborated ever since. We set up North Star Opera in partnership with the Arts Council in 2003. He is also my Civil Partner and generally keeps me sane.

Q I listened to the sample of “Anthem” on youtube which sounds very different to your new CD “A La Voix”; how did you choose the music for this album?
A: Anthem was a departure for us; a chance to sing some of the modern songs we love. I’ll pass over to Sean to talk a little about his musical approach….
Hi all….Sean here….my take on Anthem was inspired by the USA hit show ‘Smash’ … Quality modern songs but presented in a classic way. The songs on Anthem reflect some new classics and we were delighted to be able to work on these new presentations. Sequencing these songs was an absolute delight and choosing the song layouts enabled me to work alongside Michael in a slightly different way than in the songs for ‘A La Voix’.

Q If you are able to record any more albums in the future, which direction would you like to go in
A: We always enjoy recording and we are already planning a programme of classical oratorio pieces such as Verdi’s Requiem, Puccini’s Messa di Gloria and perhaps some Handel. We’ll see. What would people like us to do? Let us know. No rap please.

Q If you could perform in any venue in the world, which one would it be?
A: We were always made so welcome in Canada and Italy but we love performing in intimate settings. We have just bought a house in the south of France and there is an old church in the Pyrenees nearby. I've got my eye on that.

Q If you could perform with anyone, alive or dead, who would you choose?
A: I am a HUGE Callas fan and would have loved to have sung with her. I also adore my baby brother too and have loved singing with him when we occasionally end up on the same continent.

Q Will you be performing anywhere to promote the new album?
A: There are no plans yet, we are currently restoring the house in France and our son Brendan has GCSE’s coming up so most of our time is currently spent persuading him to revise 😉

Q Finally, one Alfie related question! Has Alfie listened to any of your music and what does he think?

A: Alfie has always been very supportive. I’m the one who originally gave him his first opera LP of Boheme and we are very close. I am so incredibly proud of him.

Thank you to Michael and Sean for answering the questions and can’t wait to hear A La Voix in full. If anyone wants to put a review on here, please leave a comment or contact me via twitter).
Also, thank you to those fab friends who helped me choose the questions, you know who you are!

As ever, thank you for reading and for all your support – and don’t forget, Michael and Sean want to know your thoughts on any future recordings!

This is my first blog post not to feature Alfie!

However, it does feature his talented brother, Michael who tweeted two soundcloud recordings recently and now there is a youtube video detailing the song choices on the forthcoming CD, available in March:

Michael’s CD is now on sale via North Star Opera:

mine’s ordered…what are you waiting for? xxx

Hope you agree that it sounds fabulous xx

More info can be found on Michael’s new facebook page: