Emilia Mitiku

All posts tagged Emilia Mitiku

Susan Black is a long time fan from Eastern England and these are her Six Sensational Songs.

Nessun Dorma, from Matt Lucas’ kitchen – Susan heard Alfie sing this and has never been the same since!

Run, at Hampton Court Palace, 2017.

Je Crois Entendre Encore at Thetford – apparently, according to Sue, you could “hear a pin drop”.

Bring Him Home – as if you didn’t know!

Dimming of the Day at the Royal Albert Hall with the lovely Emilia Mitiku.

My all time favourite!

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The week of Alfie Boe’s new album release has arrived and there seems no better time to look at another set of Six Sensational Songs, this time from Carole Naden.  Carole’s first choice is:

Of course, Bring Him Home, ‘the’ song that we all associate with Alfie.

Another eternally popular song, and the winner of the Best Live Song poll for the past two years, Run.

Angie, from Storyteller.  This beautiful cover of the Rolling Stones is making it’s first appearance in six sensational songs.

Dimming of the Day, first heard with Emilia Mitiku on the Storyteller tour but recorded for Trust with Shawn Colvin.

Another new song for our list of sensational songs, this is Wagon Wheel from Cardiff 2017, the first time we heard Wagon Wheel and the second time we saw Alfie play guitar.  The last time was five years on the Storyteller tour!

Carole’s sixth choice is Islands in the Stream, another song that debuted at Alfie’s summer concerts this year but I couldn’t find a video with just that, so you get a freebie this time around!

I say this every time sensational songs is published but the depth and breadth of Alfie’s repertoire is such that we have added another three new songs to the Six Sensational Songs playlist! Bring on the next tour!

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Ten months into my New Year resolution to listen to more new and varied types of music and I have to admit that for October, I have cheated a bit – the music I’ve chosen this month is not new to me.  However, she’s been out of the limelight for a while and delightfully, I discovered a new EP from her when I researched this piece.

Emilia Mitiku first came to the attention of Alfie Boe fans, myself included, when she supported Alfie on his Storyteller tour in March / April 2013. She was heavily pregnant at the time and this gave way to an unexpectedly hilarious moment when Alfie introduced her, before their duet on Dimming of the Day.  Emilia also duetted with Alfie on Angel from Montgomery on that tour.

This version of Dimming of the Day is my favourite and is often chosen as one of fans’ six sensational songs.  I’m still not sure how I managed to leave it out of mine!

Emilia has released several albums but the one I’m concentrating on, and is probably most familiar to Alfie fans is 2012’s I Belong To You, a collection of what Emilia calls vintage pop.  A mixture of pop, overlaid with jazz and country sounds, the album showcases Emilia’s rich, velvety voice in a number of styles, all of which reflect the jazz, pop and traditional Ethiopian music she grew up with. The first song I ever heard from Emilia reminded me of Dolly Parton:

The subject matter of heartbreak and the country lilt of the music show Emilia’s mastery of styles, especially when compared to the upbeat, sparkling So Wonderful:

One song from this time that didn’t appear on I Belong To You, is Why Is He So Mean?

This was a highlight of Emilia’s live performances in 2013 and quickly became a favourite with the mostly female Alfie Boe audience, as only catchy, rhythmic songs about women surviving relationships can!  It’s impossible to sit still and listen to this – before you know it you’re up and dancing, whilst also singing at the top of your voice.

As I mentioned earlier, I was overjoyed to find new music from Emilia when researching this piece.  Blue, Blue, Blue, a four track EP was released in late 2017 and is pure, vintage Emilia Mitiku, stylistically similar to I Belong To You. Opening with a slow, silky cover of Rihanna’s We Found Love, the EP gets into it’s stride with the title track:

Upbeat, with a catchy hook, this is another song you’ll be quickly singing and dancing along to.  “Blue, blue, blue, that’s what I learnt from you” appears to take up where I Belong To You left off and is all the more welcome for it.  I would be happy if Emilia made this sort of music forever.

When Our Roads Cross and Forgetful Lover hark back to another era of music, reminiscent of Alfie’s forthcoming album, As Time Goes By – I would love to hear Alfie’s voice sing some of Emilia’s songs.  This record is so smooth and silky, it was over far too quickly; I hope 2019 sees more new music from Emilia Mitiku.

Blue, Blue, Blue is available here:

I have one copy of Emilia’s album, I Belong To You, to give away, just answer this question:

Which two songs did Emilia sing with Alfie Boe on his 2013 Storyteller tour?

Competition will close at Midnight on 7 November 2018 – good luck!

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Into August and the countdown to the 2018 Blackpool Illumination Switch On is under way – anyone going to see Alfie switch on?

In the meantime, let’s take a look at Janice Stark’s song selection.  Janice first saw Alfie on the Royal Variety Show 2010), bought the 25th Anniversary DVD has bought all his CD’s and DVD’s ever since. Janice says “I think I really prefer his opera renditions but the more modern songs have grown on me so tried to get a mix in my choice of six!”

Danny Boy, from Trust.

Dimming of the Day, Trust.

The Floral Dance at Children In Need Rocks for Sir Terry.

If I Can Dream, Storyteller.

Patiently Smiling, Love Was A Dream.

The Pearl Fishers Duet, with Bryn Terfel – Janice chose this or Nessun Dorma as her sixth song, so I chose this as it hasn’t been chosen before.

Another three new tracks have been added to our list – at this rate, we’ll eventually have every single song from Alfie!

If you would like to see your choices featured, please fill in the form:

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August is traditionally a quiet time for Alfie Boe and his fans and 2017 is no exception.  How lucky then that we have Eliane’s Six Sensational Songs to keep us going!  Eliane is from Brazil and first started following Alfie after seeing him at the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in 2012 – here are her six songs.

O Sole Mio / Now or Never – Eliane says “unforgettable, the first time I’ve seen or heard Alfie”.

I’m showing the clip of Trust instead of a full performance as Elaine fell in love with this and it’s now her ringtone!

Dimming of the Day – Eliane’s heart “gets tight, especially in the line ‘I see you on the street in company'” – I’m right there with you on that Eliane.

My Heart is Yours, chosen because Eliane “loves the sweetness and poetry of the lyrics” which as we know, were written by Alfie himself.

Parlami D’Amore Mariu, because Eliane “loves Alfie singing in Italian” – a lot of fans would agree!  This performance is from way back in early 2012.

For the third time, Love Reign O’er Me from Classic Quad has been chosen to be part of this series, making it equal to Fratello Sole, Sorella Luna and second only to A Living Prayer.

Thanks Eliane for your choices – yet again, I’m amazed that each selection gives us at least one song not nominated before.  Altogether we have chosen thirty nine Alfie songs – impressive!  If you would like to join the series, please fill in the form:

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Two weeks left on our quest to find our favourite Alfie Boe song…and just ten days until the first date of the tour hits Cardiff!

As mentioned last week, the top three songs in the 2016 poll are new entries this year – it’s really wonderful to see fans embracing some of Alfie’s less well known songs and showing them some love.  Number two is another favourite of mine (no, they’re not ALL my favourites!) and like number three, is also from Trust.  Unlike Trust, however, Dimming of the Day puts me in somewhat of a dilemma; the recorded version, with Shawn Colvin, only exists on the album which means I can’t show it to you here.  Luckily, Alfie performed this song extensively with Emilia Mitiku (click here to find out more about Emilia) on the Storyteller tour:

This version was chosen as third place (behind Laura Wright, Barcelona and Bryn Terfel, Pearl Fishers) in our poll to find fans favourite Alfie Boe duet.

Dimming of the Day was written by Richard and Linda Thompson and has been covered by many artists, including Alison Krauss, David Gilmour, Bonnie Raitt and Mary Black.  Of those, I like Black’s version the best:

The last word on this song has to go to the evergreen Tom Jones though, who sang Dimming of the Day on his 2012 album Spirit in the Room.  The song wasn’t written for him but it’s still an example of voice and song coming together in perfect harmony:

If you want to hear Alfie duet with Shawn Colvin you’ll have to buy the album:

trust

Next week – number one!

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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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Or Happy Valentine’s Day as it’s better known – the Smooch Day comes from Alfie himself who tweeted that phrase himself on this day in 2015.  If you’ve yet to get a Valentine this year or even if you have, this is especially for you:

Thanks to Nikki for sharing!

This is one of my favourite Alfie Boe songs ever and I especially love Emilia Mitiku’s vocals.  This song was nominated in the 2014 poll to decide Alfie Boe’s Most Romantic Song so I know I’m not alone in loving it.

That said, my favourite romantic album as a whole is Love Was A Dream – just magnificent. Here is You Are My Heart’s Delight from that album (thanks to Linda for sharing):

A happy memory of the late, great Sir Terry Wogan too.

Lastly, the last time we looked at Alfie Boe’s romantic songs a song from Serenata came out on top, so here is My Heart is Yours from the first night of the Serenata tour (thanks once again to Linda for sharing):

Love Was A Dream and Serenata are available here:

love was a dream

serenata

Storyteller DVD featuring Dimming of the Day:

storyteller dvd

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Just over a week ago I posted about the music that Alfie Boe has introduced me to and how my musical tastes have changed.  I then asked you to tell me how Alfie has educated you musically and you have responded enthusiastically!  A wide range of musical tastes and choices were talked about and interestingly, it’s not just new music that we are spending our money on.  Alfie has changed our musical horizons so much that we are as likely to go to a concert by a new artist or a theatrical production as we are to buy a new album which costs a fraction of the price.  Most of us are also just as likely to go alone to these concerts and shows, having never thought of doing so before.

As we already know, most fans first came to be an Alfie fan through Les Mis and were already listening to music from musicals; some were even lucky enough to be at the O2 in 2010! Some however, were not into musicals at all and have since become immersed in that world as a result.  Alfie’s first two Decca albums in particular are rich with musical numbers and seem to have inspired a lot of fans to revisit those tunes and shows.  Blues and swing, following Alfie’s most recent albums, have also been re-introduced to many of your music collections.

Again, most fans had some affinity with light classical music before Alfie but have become much keener once they discovered Alfie’s rich back catalogue of classical music and opera.  I think that most of us can say that we know a whole lot more about opera than we did before we heard Alfie, whether that means re-learning what we once knew or coming to it from a blank canvas.  La Boheme was mentioned several times as a favourite opera, probably because Alfie has played Rodolfo a few times and we can watch him on DVD whenever we want – that also means that we know the words when we go to see that same production at the Coliseum with ENO!

In my original post, I mentioned the likes of Led Zeppelin, The Who, Jimi Hendrix, The Clint Boon Experience as artists who I had come to listen to through Alfie and who I would never have listened to before.  I think I can safely say that having looked at all your responses, I am not alone in that view – Led Zeppelin and The Who were the top two artists that are being discovered or revisited.  I’m sure that we’ll all be Who / Quadrophenia experts by the time 5th July has come around.

Lastly, Laura Wright, John Owen-Jones and Michael Boe were the top three new artists that you told me about; singers who it is unlikely that you would have heard about and become fans of, without Alfie.  Emilia Mitiku and Warren Zevon were other names mentioned – Alfie recorded Zevon’s Keep Me In Your Heart on Trust (it’s the one with the buttons on your blouse, so careful now!):

The comment that came over most often, however, was how much you are all enjoying Alfie’s musical journey – one reason being that we have no idea which way he’ll go next!  One thing’s for sure – it won’t be what we expect!

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