Last Night of the Proms is a British Institution and more recently, that has included Proms in the Park. The finale of the Last Night is always the patriotic fervour of Rule Britannia, Pomp and Circumstance et al and is guaranteed to get the crowd singing along enthusiastically (depending on whether we know the words!). This repertoire will have been bread and butter to Alfie as an aspiring and jobbing operatic tenor so he would have no trouble in remembering the words!
I have fairly often watched the second half of Last Night of the Proms on TV throughout my life and enjoyed it but never thought to attend Proms in the Park despite living just down the road from the London venue. All that changed in 2012 when I first fell into the world of Alfie Boe and got a ticket to see Alfie at the London Proms in the Park. I had met the ever lovely Linda W (not forgetting Alfie!) the week before at the Bluewater book signing and spent a delightful day with her in Hyde Park before the music started.
Since then, Alfie has appeared twice more at Proms in the Park (Glasgow and Belfast) and a furious evening of TV channel hopping and online surfing has duly commenced for me and every other UK fan sitting at home; I well remember the fury expressed when the BBC cut Alfie off in 2014 and then failed to show much of his set in the highlights!
Going further back, Alfie’s first recorded Proms in the Park was Swansea and of course, he appeared with Michael Ball in the Proms proper in 2008. Hopefully, Alfie will appear in many more Proms in the Park’s in years to come – until then we’ll have to content ourselves with his past performances, now in a playlist:
My favourite videos from this list are the bookend performances: Swansea and Belfast. I adore Alfie’s operatic performances, particularly Brindisi so it was wonderful to hear La Donna e Mobile in Belfast last year whilst also hearing the beauty of Serenata. I suppose it depends on where you stand in the classical Alfie vs. rock Alfie discussion as to which your favourite is – but do leave a comment and tell me.
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