Royal Opera House

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I am often asked what it is about Alfie that I love – if this often happens to you as well, this post is for you to share with everyone that hasn’t yet been Boe’d so go ahead and click on the share buttons at the bottom of the post xx

So here goes – I’d love to know what you would add to this list!

1. This is his most famous song – do you need another reason to love Alfie?

2. Alfie hails from Fleetwood, Lancashire (although he was born in Blackpool in 1973).

3. Alfie is the youngest of nine siblings (4 boys and 5 girls) born to Alfred and Pat.

4. Alfie loves cooking and once considered becoming a chef (although he did once cut his finger on live TV!)

5. Other career changes considered include a personal trainer for the Salt Lake City police force.

6. Alfie is a Lyric Tenor which means his vocal range (excluding falsetto) is approximately the C one octave below middle C (C3) to the D one octave above middle C (D5) with the ability to extend a little to either side.

7. Alfie played Jean ValJean in the 25th Anniversary Les Miserables concert and at the Queens Theatre for 5 months in 2011 – but you all knew that one right?

8. When playing JVJ as The Mayor in Les Mis, Alfie used to wear the socks belonging to the convict JVJ costume in order to better inhabit the role.

9. Alfie is married to an American actress, Sarah Boe.  They met in San Francisco.

10. Alfie was the subject of a South Bank Show documentary in 2013.

11. Alfie once supported the Fron Male Voice Choir on tour.

12. David Miller of Il Divo was in La Boheme on Broadway with Alfie (they played alternate nights as Rodolfo).

13. Alfie recorded some demo Queen tracks at Abbey Road studios whilst a student – he listened back with obvious embarrassment on a recent documentary!

14. Alfie used to work at the Blackpool Opera House in a backstage / security role.

15. Alfie has recorded Empty Chairs, Empty Tables with two of the singers who played Marius: Michael Ball (original Marius and 10th anniversary concert) and Nick Jonas (25th anniversary concert).

16. Alfie was a body mechanic at the TVR factory in Bispham – if you know nothing else about Alfie, you know that!!

17. After graduating from the Royal College of Music, Alfie went on to train at the National Opera Studio.

18. Won the Christie prize at Glyndebourne for Albert Herring.

19. Appeared on several Clint Boon Experience albums as “opera dude”.

20. Spent a few nights sleeping on a park bench in Hyde Park “in between digs” so to speak.

21. Played drums in a local rock band, Whisky Train as a teenager.

22. Alfie is an ambassador for the Prince’s Foundation for Children and The Arts.

23. Alfie sang at the wedding of Peter and Autumn Phillips. (Ave Maria and Panis Angelicus).

24. Alfie famously prefers to perform in opera, rather than listen to them – this is usually quoted incorrectly as “Alfie hates opera”.

25. Alfie often takes fans cameras and phones and takes photos of himself and the band on stage – perks of being front row!

26. Alfie auditioned (and was called back) for Raoul in Phantom of the Opera – the RCM beckoned though and we shall have to imagine his Raoul.

27. Won a Tony Award as part of the cast of La Boheme on Broadway.

28. First professional audition was for the D’oyly Carte Opera company – he sang You Are My Hearts Delight.

29. Moonwalked across the stage during final performance of Romeo et Juliette at the Royal Opera House.

30. Appeared on Vanessa Feltz’s BBC Radio 2 programme as part of the Wednesday Words of Warmth – his tip to get through a Wednesday was to make a big bowl of meat pasta sauce.

31. West London Karaoke Champion 1994 singing Suspicious Minds.

32. First recording Alfie appears on is Die Fledermaus, with the D’oyly Carte company (in the chorus).

33. Suffered from chlorine poisoning whilst filming a projection for The Pearl Fishers at the ENO.

34. Brother Michael is also a talented singer, recent album is called A La Voix.

35. Alfie and Sarah’s first dance at the their wedding was Led Zeppelin’s Rain Song.

36. First, and so far only,performer, with Renee Fleming to sing on the balcony of Buckingham Palace (at the Diamond Jubilee celebrations).

37. Alfie was first introduced to La Boheme by his brother Michael – thank you Michael!

38. Alfie is great at comedy falls – as witnessed by viewers of Jonathan Ross show in October 2013!

39. Twitter often mentions how much Alfie looks like Declan Donnelly – maybe, but only without his beard – judge for yourself:

dec

40. A photo of Alfie; together with his amazing voice, what other reason to you need to love Alfie Boe? (thanks to Carole Hunt who took this gorgeous photo and generously allowed me to use it on my blog – what a star xx)

alfie-carfest.jpg

 

 

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For as long as I can remember I have been in love with ballet.  As a child I went to ballet classes for many years even after it was painfully obvious I was not cut out to be the next Margot Fonteyn!  Our local theatre often hosted touring productions and my Dad often took me to see them, Coppelia being our join favourite.  My Dad, who also first introduced me to opera, spent many happy hours regaling me with stories of his visits to the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, and seeing Nureyev and Fonteyn, amongst others dance.  What fabulous memories he passed onto me.

Now, last year, I had a big birthday and my lovely cousin, knowing how much I had always wanted to see a ballet at Covent Garden, bought me tickets to the ballet as a present.  Alas, the day came and I was ill – calamity!  Luckily, she was able to return the ticket and we made another date for June.  I had been looking forward to this day for so long (having longed to go for the best part of 30 years) that I was worried I would be disappointed by the reality.   I needn’t have worried at all – the whole experience was magical.

The programme was a triple: The Dream, The Concert and a totally new short ballet, Connectome which was only on it’s fourth performance.  I enjoyed this new ballet although some of the modern choreography wasn’t to my taste but I totally loved The Concert and The Dream.  The Concert is a comedic ballet in which the dancers are the audience of a solo pianist, who appears on the stage with them.  It is very funny.

However, The Dream is the ballet that reduced me to tears.  Upon reading the programme, it was immediately apparent that this was very likely to have been a production that my Dad would have seen when it was first performed in 1964.  The choreography by Frederick Ashton is much more to my classical taste and the beauty of the music and the dancing, as well as thinking “I wish I could tell my Dad about this”  meant that I was almost a sobbing wreck by the end.  My cousin asked me if I liked it and was slightly taken aback when I managed to croak “I miss my Dad”.

Until that moment, all the feelings of loss and grief I had disregarded in the excitement of the evening came together with the beauty of the music and the dance and the emotion came to the fore.  I am so grateful that I had the chance to experience it with family – thank you Corrine xxx