Bring Him Home Tour

All posts tagged Bring Him Home Tour

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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2015 was a phenomenal year for singer Beth Ford, with a top ten iTunes hit on her debut single, a viral YouTube video and a slot with soprano Rebecca Newman at Lichfield’s Garrick theatre.  All this and I haven’t mentioned Beth’s duet with Michael Boe for his album (with Sean Ashmore), Along the Way!  However, 2016 is only a few weeks old and looks set to be just as good as last year, as Beth has just performed with Jonathan Antoine on the Birmingham leg of his Believe tour.  Sharing the stage with Jonathan is an early highlight for Beth who said “I don’t have words to describe what was one of the best days of my life. I have been on Cloud nine ever since and I am so happy that everyone had a good time. I am grateful to Jonathan Antoine for giving me this fabulous opportunity”.

Angry Baby’s Flo Bannigan went along to the concert and reviewed it for us – thanks Flo!

Jonathan is the endearingly shy young man from Britain’s Got Talent who, along with his duet partner, Charlotte Jaconelli, shot to overnight fame at the audition stage.  Only Pudsey the dog robbed them of first place!  At that time, Jonathan was only 17 years old.  He has still only just turned 21, but despite his young age he has developed confidence that commands the stage as a solo performer. Thankfully, this isn’t at the expense of a natural personality and playfulness that infects his singing and his chat with his audience. But it was the music that we came to hear, and we were not disappointed. Jonathan is much more than a classically-trained singer. His effortless vocals move from the strength and projection required for Granada through rich, plaintive tones for romantic Italian arias, to a truly tender lullaby Hushabye Mountain and love songs sung with softness and intensity that requires truly accomplished interpretation.

Jonathan’s talent for singing is matched by his talent for choosing supporting acts and the highlight was local girl Beth Ford.  Enchanted by Beth’s pure, natural voice, which provided a gorgeous contrast to Jonathan’s rich tones throughout their duet of Come What May, there was an audible gasp from the audience when they heard that Beth is just 15 years old.

If it’s possible to feel an audience leaning in to hear and appreciate the emotion in every note, that’s the effect that Beth created through her solo Beautiful Dreamer. There is something other-worldly about Beth’s presence on stage and her hypnotic rendering of this classic song definitely left everyone wanting more.  [Luckily Beth can give you more – click here to get your free download of I’m Always Chasing Rainbows.]  Another local act, Rugby’s teenage ensemble The Strawhouse Singers ably rose to the challenge of supporting Jonathan’s powerful vocals.

Thank you for a wonderful review Flo!  Of course, like six degrees of separation, Jonathan and Beth have both appeared on the same stage as Alfie Boe – Jonathan at 2015’s Llangollen Eistedfodd and Beth memorably sang Impossible Dream with Alfie on his 2012 Bring Him Home tour.  Dare I say that Beth has gone one better than Jonathan in recording with a Boe?  As mentioned in the introduction, Beth recorded a duet version of Streets of London with Alfie’s elder brother Michael in 2015 – click here to order.

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Hushabye Mountain on the Bring Him Home tour (31 January 2012) – thanks Linda W for sharing:

I chose this song as it’s not one we hear much these days, in fact not since 2012 I believe!  Originally written for the 1968 film Chitty Chitty Bang Bang starring Dick Van Dyke, the song has been recorded by artists such as Tony Bennett.  The version I’m showing you though, hails from Friday Night is Music Night in 2013 with a former West End Javert, Hadley Fraser:

Bring Him Home is available here:

Bring Him Home album

Alfie Live on DVD (which includes Hushabye Mountain) is also available by clicking here.

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White Christmas with Matt Lucas and the result was magic – thanks to Jayne for sharing:

The actual date was 18 December 2011 and the venue was Nottingham on the first leg of the Bring Him Home tour.  There’s a lot of banter to start with and throughout which shows the great bond Alfie and Matt have.

Like the song from the Second Day of Christmas, White Christmas has become one of our best known and loved Christmas songs after being written for a film.  Irving Berlin wrote the song for the 1942 film Holiday Inn, which is a great Christmas film and of course Bing Crosby made the song his own.  Since then, pretty much everyone has recorded or performed it – the version I’m showing you is by one of my favourite singers, Otis Redding.  His version is on the soundtrack from one of my favourite films ever, certainly my favourite Christmas film, Love Actually.  Yes, it’s unashamedly a rom com chick flick but it’s fabulous and funny.  And it’s Christmas, so soppy films are just what we want.

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Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas with Laura Wright and Jason Manford at the Blackpool Opera House.  The actual date was 17 December 2011 and became a staple of the first part of Alfie’s Bring Him Home tour:

The song was written for the 1944 film, Meet Me in St Louis and was sung by Judy Garland.  Since then, it has become one of the most recognised Christmas songs around.  Let’s hear Judy’s version:

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas features on Alfie’s 2011 album, Alfie and is available here:

Alfie (alfie) album

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Don’t get too excited when you read this – Alfie’s not doing Strictly Come Dancing this year as he’s obviously too busy being a magnificent Jean Valjean on Broadway.  However, that doesn’t stop us looking back at the last few years at what has become a staple in his promotional schedule.  It’s easy to see why this has become the case and why so many singers appear year after year; sales figures always increase the week after Strictly is shown. It’s a double joy for me to see Alfie on Strictly as Strictly is my very favourite programme on TV – I have watched every single episode, have my favourite celebs, favourite dancers and can’t understand people who don’t love it too.  Anyone with me?  If you’re not with me, maybe this post and playlist is just not for you!

A good many Strictly fans can’t bear the professional dancers coming on while the guest artist sings on the results show, but I love it – if you’re not keen on the singer, the dancers are always wonderful.  Having said that, I’m not that keen on the first video of the lot.  Eagle eyed fans will remember that the following week, Alfie recorded his Bring Him Home tour DVD at the Royal Festival Hall and said “it’s not as good without the dancers, is it” when they came to the Bond Medley part of the concert.  Funny to think that at this point, I watched this show and had not the slightest inkling who Alfie was – this song did nothing for me and I’m still not that keen or on the whole album it belongs to (but don’t tell anyone!).

My favourite video of this playlist is Bridge Over Troubled Water for two reasons: Alfie’s gorgeous voice and Artem, the male pro dancer.  Not many men could make me look at them when Alfie’s on screen but Artem can!

As for the video showing Kevin and Karen Clifton (Bring Him Home 2013), interesting fact for you – Alfie was a guest at their wedding this summer.  No idea whether or not he sang!

No comment on 2014’s offering but a whole lot of fun was had with Alfie’s two appearances on the sister programme, It Takes Two when Alfie unhesitatingly showed his complete lack of knowledge about dancing and any of the celebrities taking part.  He didn’t sound too sure about the music either which is why he was there in the first place I suspect!

Each year, people wonder if Alfie would ever be induced to take part in Strictly and I’m sure that the answer would be negative; he’s too busy and still going strong with his career.  Perhaps a Christmas or Children In need Special though?  Not such a heavy time commitment and the judges are always much nicer, even Craig!  Anyway, a girl can dream.

Alfie’s albums are all available here and the Bring Him Home DVD is also available:

Alfie BHH DBD

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Each summer there seems to be a ‘feel good’ song of the moment that perfectly encapsulates all the hopes and dreams that summer brings.  This year, that song could very well be If I Could Escape from the natural voice of Beth Ford.  A floating, dreamy song that talks of escaping to a place where everything is perfect.  If you have ever wanted to do just that, then you could do a lot worse than escape via the pure tones of this song which will be released on Monday 13 July.

To get a free download of Beth’s music (two free tracks when you download If I Could Escape on release day plus a free copy of the double No.1 song I’m Always Chasing Rainbows now) just visit www.bethfordmusic.com.  If you want to hear Beth perform the new single live, why not go along to the Lichfield Garrick on 16 July; Beth is appearing as a support act with the People’s Soprano Rebecca Newman.  Tickets are still available, just click here.

Beth recently performed with Flo Bannigan for the first time since they met and sang Impossible Dream with Alfie Boe on his Bring Him Home tour.  Warwickshire Pride was the venue this time around and they had the stage to themselves, no Alfie in sight!  We’ll let him off as he was preparing for Classic Quadrophenia when the girls were singing this – but we’d love to hear your comments Alfie!  For me, this shows how much both girls have matured and improved – fabulous job:

And I know you’re all dying to hear Beth and Flo sing with Alfie again so here is the Impossible Dream first time around:

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Two weeks until the start of the tour and we have three songs left in Alfie Boe’s Best Ever Live Song Countdown!  Yes, you heard correctly – this is the number two slot but there was a tie for the vote so two songs are at number 2!

The first is a song that we haven’t heard from Alfie since the Bring Him Home tour and it is the song he used to end the show with.  Jacob’s Ladder is spiritual, gospel tinged song that has been recorded by a variety of artists including Bruce Springsteen (again, I am continuing my musical education thanks to Alfie and only just getting into Springsteen – I know! – and thinking that he must be an amazing artist to see live):

For a completely different sound, here is Paul Robeson from 1958:

Here is Alfie’s version:

The second song in at number 2 is the much loved Barcelona duet with Laura Wright.  This song also made the top five duets poll earlier in the year and is one that is most often cited as a favourite amongst fans.  Alfie and Laura performed this at the Mercury Phoenix Trust Freddie for a Day fundraising celebrations in 2013 and later featured on Alfie’s exploration of Queen frontman, Freddie Mercury.

Breathtaking every time.

Don’t forget, from Monday, you can also download Alfie’s recorded version on Katherine Jenkins’ new album, Home Sweet Home:

katherine jenkins

Serenata is also released on Monday and can be ordered below:

serenata

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