Michael Boe

All posts tagged Michael Boe

If you’ve read Alfie’s autobiography, My Story, you’ll know that The Pearl Fishers, which features Je Crois Entendre Encore, is probably not Alfie’s favourite opera.  You might recall that the first line of the book is “Bizet nearly killed me” (I don’t normally recall the opening line of biographies, but it’s a cracking opener).  As Alfie acknowledges, it wasn’t really Bizet’s fault; rather, Alfie suffered a bout of chlorine poisoning whilst filming a segment for the ENO production of the 1863 opera.

The Pearl Fishers is set in Ceylon and features a tenor (Nadir) and baritone (Zurga) both falling for the same soprano (Leila) who is having her own dilemma in choosing between secular love and her oath as a sacred priestess.  Although it was a not a brilliant success when it was first premiered, the music is often popular with modern audiences.  Indeed, Alfie’s duet with Bryn Terfel, Au Fond Du Temple Saint at the 2012 South Bank Show Awards topped the recent Alfie Boe Favourite Duet poll.

Je Crois Entendre Encore has been recorded by a number of tenors (inlcuding Alfie’s brother Michael on his recent album A La Voix), and also by other artists such as David Gilmour and Alison Moyet.  Gilmour’s interpretation was interesting but I liked Alison’s version.  The video below shows Alfie singing “acapulco” (watch the video if you don’t know what I mean) at Westonbirt Arboretum in 2012, but before you take a look, here is Janet Hudson’s story about her favourite Alfie Boe song:

My favourite Alfie song is Je Crois Entendre Encore as performed at Westonbirt Aboretum July 2012. My daughter had bought tickets and was taking me to the concert as a birthday treat. I was so looking forward to it and dared to hope Alfie would sing this song. Just a few days before the concert my then 12 year old grandson was rushed to hospital and diagnosed with Leukaemia. Needless to say we didn’t make the concert. Every time I hear Alfie singing this beautiful song I am moved to tears with all kinds of emotions. I am filling up now!! Happy to say Mikey is in remission and doing well x

Thank you Janet for sharing your Alfie story we all hope Mikey continues in remission xx

Thanks to Linda Wellington for sharing xx

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The day has arrived!  Michael Boe and Sean Ashmore will shortly be entering the studio to record their new album of musical theatre songs and – as a special treat for you – we can now reveal the track listing exclusively, right here, on thoughtsofjustafan!

If you remember, Michael and Sean asked for readers to help pick the tracks and promised that the first person to pick a song that made the final cut would have that song dedicated to them – so congratulations to the ones that were chosen:

Not while I’m around – Sweeney Todd – dedicated to Pamela Eubanks
Every Single Day – Harmony  – dedicated to Maureen Goldsworthy
If Ever I would Leave You – Camelot –  dedicated to Beverley Eagle
If I loved you – Carousel – dedicated to Lilian Evans
Memory – Cats – dedicated to Cynthia Shepherd

Serenade – The Student Prince
Where or When – Babes in Arms
Not a Day Goes By – Merrily We Roll Along
Bui Doi – Miss Saigon

Stay tuned for the winner of the free CD  – this will be picked when the album is ready for release!

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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.

 

michael and sean

Great news this week for all those Michael Boe and Sean Ashmore fans – a new album is in the works!  Following on from the success of their last album, A La Voix, available from North Star Opera (click here to buy), Michael and Sean are heading to the studio soon to record an album of musical theatre songs.

Now for the exciting bit!

Michael and Sean are keen to get suggestions for this new album, as yet untitled, and are running a competition to win a copy of the CD!  One suggestion will be picked at random.

To enter, do the following:

fill in the comment box below,

tweet your suggestion to @mashboe

post on facebook  (click here for the page)

As an added incentive, Michael and Sean will dedicate each song on the album to the first person to suggest it  – so get thinking!

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: