Whether or not you have anyone to share Valentine’s Day with, here is a little treat just for you:
This topped Alfie Boe’s Guide to Romance in 2014, or it would have done if Serenata songs were not taken into consideration! For a really romantic evening with Alfie, Love Was A Dream just can’t be beaten in my opinion but sadly, these songs have never really featured in Alfie’s live repertoire. I’m still dreaming that they’ll make a come back one day though.
I have another treat for you too – you may have heard that February 9th is now Alfie Boe day – now I know that everyday is Alfie Boe day for all of you – in Utah. Here is Alfie singing in the Utah senate last week:
Beautiful – and beautiful words of introduction too.
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):
Happy Valentine’s Day Alfie fans – this is my Valentine gift to you:
Alfie’s message was just this: Happy Smooch Day – love to you all (via twitter) xxx
In the November 2014 poll for Alfie Boe’s Guide to Romance,My Heart is Yours came out on top when Serenata was included. When Serenata was disregarded, then the winner was When I Fall in Love, mainly due to the romantic association for Alfie and Sarah as noted in his autobiography (Alfie found out he was to be a Dad again just before recording the song).
As mentioned in the Guide to Romance, my favourite romantic album of Alfie’s is the current album of the month, Love Was A Dream, a complete album of romantic arias. Not only does it ooze romance but the sound of Alfie’s soaring vocals, recorded right in the middle of the orchestra, has rarely been bettered.
Now, you may have noticed that the title of this blog post alludes to Boe’s Guide to Romance and this doesn’t just mean Alfie! His elder brother Michael, who we have featured here before, is today marrying his long term partner, Sean Ashmore – now that beats everything else hands down for romance! Michael has kindly allowed me to use a photo of their wedding – thanks Michael!
Wonder if they will use any of the romantic music from their last album, A La Voix? Click here to buy.
Michael and Sean will hopefully be recording and releasing their much anticipated new album…soon!
Love Was A Dream and Serenata are both available now:
If you’ve not read Alfie’s book, My Story, give it a go, it’s a cracker!
It must be fate – I was thinking about a new series of blog posts based on each of Alfie’s albums and decided to start with Love Was A Dream to coincide with Valentine’s Day (such a romantic album!). The fate bit came in when I discovered that this album has just entered the top ten classical album chart – way to go Alfie! It is currently at number 4, ahead of Serenata at 6 and You’ll Never Walk Alone at 7.
In the recent thoughtsofjustafan survey into how fans found Alfie I found that Love Was A Dream was the least owned Alfie album (69% of respondents owned it). I’m not really sure why this is although one reason could be that it was released before Alfie became widely known through Les Mis; additionally, the album was released on an independent label which nearly always makes it harder to achieve mainstream success. Rebecca Newman’s recent classical chart topper, Dare To Dream, was highly unusual in making it to the top of the classical charts without the backing of a major record label.
From Alfie’s autobiography, My Story, you really understand the depth of feeling he has for Franz Lehar and for Love Was A Dream. The opportunity to make the album came at a low point in Alfie’s professional life and clearly has an emotional connection for him, not least because Lehar was a favourite of his father. Alfie says:
That album has a real sentimental feel for me – vocally and emotionally and even technically….It was a really warm experience…one of my favourite albums I’ve done, certainly the most personal.
Anyone familiar with Alfie’s story knows that Lehar’s music is a personal favourite for him and his father, Alfred. As well as singing You Are My Heart’s Delight (track 5) for his first D’oyly Carte audition, Alfie spent many a Sunday lunchtime in the Boe household listening to Alf senior’s music and Alfie says that Richard Tauber was one of his father’s favourite singers. Tauber became particularly well known for singing the song; indeed it comes from a 1929 operetta, The Land of Smiles, written for his voice by Lehar. Here’s Alfie at the 2012 Proms in the Park:
The remainder of the tracks (click here to see the complete list) are taken from other Lehar operettas dating from 1905-1934. Tracks 2 and 9 are from The Merry Widow (1905), an operetta that Alfie performed in with ENO in 2009 although Vilia (track 2) is sung by the Merry Widow herself. Track 12 (Farewell, My Love Farewell) was the song that made Richard Tauber a star in 1922 and he then went onto originate a number of roles for Lehar – the rest of the track list comprises songs that were created for Tauber’s voice.
Love Was A Dream is, for me, the perfect album for Alfie’s voice and my favourite classical album. For me, it’s a much more romantic album than his recently released Serenata, which was promoted as his most romantic album yet (of the Decca albums, yes). So, if you’re stuck for a Valentine’s gift, or just want to treat yourself, Love Was ADream would fit the bill perfectly. To order, click on the album cover:
Alfie’s autiobiography, My Story, is also available:
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Or rather, Alfie Boe’s Guide to Romance envisaged by thoughtsofjustafan! Seriously though, as Alfie’s new album, Serenata, is marketed as his “most romantic album yet”, this is the perfect opportunity to check out Alfie Boe’s most romantic songs to date.
When polled, most fans were happy to go with My Heart is Yours as the most romantic song Alfie has yet recorded but what about before Serenata? A good proportion of Alfie’s songs can be categorised as romantic and the songs nominated included:
I can’t help falling in love
Dimming of the Day
If I go away
First time ever I saw your face
When I fall in love
You are my heart’s delight
Now, in the name of extensive research, I listened to all of these (it’s a hard job but someone’s gotta do it) and I do have my favourite. That favourite is I Can’t Help Falling in Love, just to die for. However, if I had to choose a whole album being the most romantic, I would choose Love Was A Dream. Not only does it ooze romance but the sound of Alfie’s soaring vocals, recorded right in the middle of the orchestra, has rarely been bettered.
The song chosen by you the fans as being Alfie’s most romantic is When I Fall in Love, from the Alfie album. This is not a song we have heard Alfie sing often but he did perform this in Seoul earlier this year:
In his autobiography, Alfie mentions that just before he recorded this, he found out he was to be a Dad again so a perfect choice for his most romantic song.
If you need a bit of romance before Serenata is released, click here for thoughtsofjustafan’s very own Romance with Alfie Boe playlist on Spotify – and maybe we’ll revisit this subject for Valentine’s Day next year! If you think I’ve missed anything out – please tell me via the comments box below!
Alfie and Love Was a Dream are available from Amazon:
Serenata can now be pre-ordered – order the deluxe MP3 version and download Luna Malincolia and Addio Sogni now!