La Passione

All posts tagged La Passione

Granada in Seoul, Korea – and my blog stats at that time went through the roof when the videos were published!  We were so keen to hear Alfie sing classical music again that we couldn’t get enough.  The repertoire included How Great Thou Art, Brindisi, Les Mis and When I Fall in Love as well as Alfie’s first foray into singing in Korean – how nervous was he????

Here is the fabulous Granada, with Maria in the same clip:

I think you’ll agree with me that the very enthusiastic conductor gave a very energetic performance!

Alfie sings Granada on his Neapolitan album, La Passione:

la passione

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Funiculi Funicula with the Leigh Orpheus Male Voice Choir, in a fund raising concert for the RNLI.  Alfie recorded this for the La Passione album in 2007 and it’s one of my favourites – I always sing along despite only knowing two words!  And I bet I’m not the only one!!!  The only things I’m not keen on is the lack of beard; regular readers will know that I’m quite keen on Alfie Boe’s Beard – and I definitely know I’m not alone on this one!

This concert was at the Cliffs Pavilion, Southend, where Alfie appeared on his UK tour of summer 2012.  The set list then was considerably different – as befitted his musical journey at that time.

Since Alfie has included some more classical songs to his recent repertoire, I wonder if he would ever consider singing this again?  Oh well, a girl can dream!

La Passione can be ordered below:

la passione

Alfie’s return to Neapolitan songs, Serenata, is also available:

serenata

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Back in November 2014 I asked “How Did You Find Alfie Boe” and I’m pleased to say that lots of you responded, being only too pleased to tell me how and when you first heard that beautiful voice.  A few of you have been on board Alfie’s musical train right since the very beginning – and by that I mean since he was singing locally in Lancashire!  One of his many nephews and nieces even filled in the survey although I don’t know which one! One respondent had followed him since he was appearing regularly in opera and another couple since his first album, Classic FM Presents.  Other reasons given were his 2007 appearance on Parkinson, other TV appearances, Desert Island Discs, through friends, surfing youtube, through hearing David Miller of Il Divo talk about Alfie and his performance at the Diamond Jubilee concert in 2012.

However, like most of us Alfie fans these days, the vast majority (82%) of the respondents found Alfie through Les Miserables.  Of those 82%, just over half first saw and heard Alfie on a PBS 25th anniversary promotion and the others saw him either live or on the DVD of that concert.  This is what one smitten fan said

Saw him on PBS in Florida, USA in March 2011 singing Jean Valjean role and stopped in my tracks when hearing that voice. Watched the whole O2 Les Misarables concert and then had to find out who this wonderful tenor is. YouTubed him and listened and read everything I could find on him. The Alfie and Matt Lucas video Nessun Dorma with his hands in his pockets was what clinched him for me. Joined his Facebook page and his own web page and since have met many wonderful fans of his who over the last 3 years have become good friends. All this from that one O2 performance.

After finding out how and when fans found Alfie, I then wanted to find out when they made their first Alfie related purchase, be it  CD, DVD etc.  I admit that I was expecting most responses to be “immediately” or very quickly, given the devotion shown to Alfie by fans.  However, I was slightly surprised to find that although two thirds of responses indicated that a purchase was made either the same day or next day, the next highest response was months, at least 6-12.  In three cases there was a wait of at least a year and one waited for 3.5 years before making up (her?) mind to buy a CD.  Incidentally, the length of time before making a purchase and considering yourself to be “Boed” does not match up; with the exception of the Lancashire locals and the fan waiting 3.5 years, every single respondent considered themselves “Boed” immediately.

The survey then went on to ask which albums fans had in their collection.  For this survey, I only considered Alfie’s albums released under his own name (not including Serenata which was released after the survey) and the collaboration with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Home for the Holidays.  The rest of his recording career can be found on the Alfie Boe Discography.  The results are:

Classic FM Presents – 61% of respondents own this

La Passione – 82%

Onward – 72%

Love Was A Dream – 69%

Bring Him Home – 98%

Alfie – 95%

Storyteller – 95%

Trust – 90%

Home for the Holidays – 37%

As you can see, the most owned albums are the Decca ones released since the Les Mis connection although La Passione is the most popular album of Alfie’s back catalogue.  It occurs to me as I sit writing these results up, that I should have asked in which order these albums were purchased; it would have been interesting to see how many people had La Passione before Les Mis.  I suspect that like me, the answer would be not many,  otherwise Alfie would surely not have contemplated becoming a personal trainer for the SLC police.

DVD ownership is something else again – this time, there were only four choices as only two tours have been filmed:

Les Mis 25th concert – 96% own this

Bring Him Home tour – 83%

Storyteller tour – 75%

Home for the Holidays – 43%

Perhaps the relatively high amount of people owning the DVD of Home for the Holidays reflects the low amount owning it on CD (they don’t see the need to have it twice), otherwise the completely predictable result is that Les Mis is the most owned DVD.  Of course this was expected, given that 82% of us found Alfie that way to start with.  This is also borne out by 66% of those owning it citing it as their favourite of the DVD’s.  Storyteller comes next, followed by Bring Him Home and Home for the Holidays again bringing up the rear.

Those of you who completed the survey will remember I also asked you which album you preferred – to find out the answer, you’ll have to be a subscriber!

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It was with an intense feeling of anticipation that I embarked on the journey to Newcastle to see the first show of Alfie Boe’s UK Tour…and it’s safe to say that I was not disappointed!  Straight off, I’m going to say that although Sol3 Mio were great, I’m not going to mention them any further here – look out for further blogs.

Alfie, together with his band, started out with stripped down songs from Serenata – the way that Alfie has always wanted to play them.  Serenata Celeste was majestic and My Heart is Yours felt hugely emotional for both audience and Alfie.  Seamlessly moving into songs from La Passione (Parlami D’Amore Mariu), there was an audible sigh of anticipation from the audience when Alfie announced Caruso.  This turned out to be a humdinger of a number, especially when Alfie’s voice rose to a crescendo and the backdrop curtain fell to reveal the orchestra.  Very effective.

Musical theatre featured heavily on Alfie’s first two Decca albums and he returned to this repertoire last night.  Come What May, Wheels of a Dream and Being Alive were powerhouse performances and made an excellent intro to the Les Mis section and an outstanding rendition of Bring Him Home.  A standing ovation duly followed.  Leading into this, Richard Causon played a very effective Do You Hear the People Sing on accordion and got a fair portion of the audience singing along; this could have been encouraged more and perhaps will be in a bigger audience.

One of the most talked about parts of this tour was whether or not Alfie would sing any operatic arias – if you are a fan of his early albums you will be thrilled to find out that accompanied just by Richard Causon on piano, Alfie sang a medley of Recondita Armonia and Nessun Dorma which was simply outstanding.  Goosebumps time.  However, as wonderful as the sound was, the applause was slightly more muted than perhaps could have been expected due to the fact that we weren’t actually sure when Alfie had finished singing!  Recondita Armonia went straight into Nessun Dorma and so were half expecting that a third aria would follow.  A few of us were on the verge of standing up to applaud but weren’t sure and then of course the moment had gone.  Thanks Linda for sharing this:

At this point, I should probably mention that although Alfie’s stage patter was still there, there was much less talk as there was a whole lot of singing!

After a short break (at this point, it was most noticeable that it was the first show as there were a couple of lengthy pauses for set movements) Alfie and the band returned to the stage for Trust and Storyteller songs.  Bridge Over Troubled Water gave way to Trust and Keep Me in Your Heart...I confess to being a little hot and bothered over the “buttons on your blouse” moment… We then returned to where we started with more Serenata.  Chitarra Romana started us off and we then enjoyed Luna Malinconia, Mamma, Volare, Mambo Italiano and Buona Sera where the main performance ended.  We were encouraged to dance during this last part (only where our seats were) and Alfie had us all blowing kisses to him during Buona Sera, and yes, he did reciprocate.

The encore brought an acapella version of Danny Boy which showcased Alfie’s superb vocal abilities (and I don’t normally like this song) but I loved it last night.  The final song of the night was a fabulous Glory Glory Hallelujah from Trust – and Alfie sent us off in style.

Overall, all the fans I spoke to thought the show was absolutely amazing, Alfie at his best, something for everyone and quite possibly his best ever concert.  Writing this now, I am reliving it all over again and I definitely agree – Alfie was simply out of this world.  Having said that, it will be interesting to see how the show goes in Leeds on Friday when the teething difficulties with the staging etc. have been ironed out.

If you don’t have tickets, go and get them now – you won’t be disappointed!

I can’t believe you don’t have Serenata yet but if not, click on the image to order:

serenata

 

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Yesterday evening saw Alfie Boe headline Classic FM Live at the Royal Albert Hall and it’s fair to say that he wowed the whole audience.  Performing at the end of the evening, Alfie’s magnificent voice shone through Addio Sogni and Chitarra Romana.  Of the two songs, both from Alfie’s forthcoming album, Serenata, we as an audience are much more familiar with Chitarra Romana as Alfie has sung it on a number of occasions in recent years. It is also of course, featured on his previous album of Neopolitan songs, La Passione.   Addio Sogni, however, is much fresher and it was the stand out song for me.  Easily filling the Royal Albert Hall, Alfie’s wonderful tones soared effortlessly over the orchestra; it was a hairs on the back of your neck moment. I should say that he was supported brilliantly by Matt White on guitar.

Although Alfie’s performance was the highlight, the whole evening was a triumph.  The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Timothy Henty, was a delight, particularly the triumphant end, Tchaikovsky’s 1812 overture.   The performances of Milos Karadglic, Julian Bliss and Ji Liu (classical guitar, clarinet and piano respectively) were masterpieces to watch and listen to, while Sol3Mio showed huge talent.  They are supporting Alfie on his arena tour at the end of the year and their amusing stage presence promises a fun show, especially if Alfie sings with them too.

To round off the evening perfectly, another cold wait at the stage door (it is never warm!) was rewarded by an appearance by the man himself, spending approximately ten minutes signing, posing for photos and chatting.  A couple of early birthday cards were handed in before the show and he confirmed he got them so thank you staff at the Royal Albert Hall!

No video that I’m aware of but click here for the link to Classic FM – the concert will be broadcast on Saturday 12-3pm.  In the meantime, here is Alfie talking to Classic FM presenter Jane Jones (click here)

alfie classic fm live

Nice to hear Alfie elaborate on his differing fan bases and showing them different genres of music.

Serenata can be pre-ordered from Amazon and La Passione is still available – just click on the images to order:

serenata

la passione

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Number 6 in Alfie Boe’s Top Ten Songs is the only representative from La Passione, Alfie’s earlier album of Neopolitan songs.  I confess to being surprised that this is the case as the vast majority of fans repeatedly voice a desire to see Alfie return to more his classical roots.  It is also the second song on the list to be written for a film soundtrack, Gli Uomini Che Mascalzoni.

Parlami D’amore Mariu was written in 1932 by Cesare Andrea Bixio and Ennio Neri for the voice of Vittorio De Sica and translated, means “Tell Me That You Love Me”.  A whole host of recordings exist, some of the most famous include Mario Lanza and Giuseppe di Stefano but the let’s look at the original:

From this version, it’s obvious that the song was written in the 1930’s and could easily be taken from a Hollywood musical of the time.  By contrast, Alfie’s version is traditionally Neapolitan and I at least had no idea of it’s origins.  The following video is from Alfie’s Bring Him Home tour (listen to the banter with the violinist first!):

If you don’t have La Passione, click on the image below to order:

la passione

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Thank you for sending in your nominations for Alfie Boe’s Best Ever Song and then voting for your favourite.  The poll has now closed and the Top Ten is here!

Hopefully, your favourite has made the short list but if not, click here to listen to the new Spotify playlist and choose a new favourite to vote for.  Also, due to popular demand, this poll is open to multiple votes!  Time to find out if Bring Him Home is indeed the fan’s favourite Alfie Boe song or if we prefer something else.

The longer playlist (still available on Spotify) contains songs from all Alfie’s albums, and the Top Ten continues this, albeit with one exception. Judging from this, classical and rock are the favourite Alfie sounds.  Bring Him Home is the only musical theatre song to make the grade.

So come on, get voting!  The poll will be open for two weeks and then we’ll be counting down the Top Ten in the lead up to the UK release of Serenata.

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On the eve of the Azura cruise, let’s take a look at Alfie Boe’s Italian adventures this week.  Alfie has been in Positano in preparation for his new album, Serenata, which is due out in September:

Embedded image permalink

Fans of Alfie’s first album of Italian folk songs, La Passione, (click here to buy) will be thrilled to hear that he’s been back to Mama Agata’s kitchen and joy of joys, Mama Agata shared some photos with us on facebook – click here.

 

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