It’s polling time again! It’s been a while since the last poll (in fact, we have to go back to last year when we voted for the second annual Best Alfie Boe Song) so we’re well overdue. So far in our polling history we’ve found the answers to such conundrums as Alfie’s Best Look, Fans Favourite Duet, Fans Favourite Classical Video and Best Live Song but the question I’m now asking (thanks to Jan Fitzgibbons for suggesting it) is
I know, it’s a tough one! Or then again, it might not be a tough one – you might have a firm favourite already. It doesn’t matter if you saw all or none of the performers as we are lucky enough to have the Alfie Boe YouTube page to view all three performers (click here).
Laura Wright was of course the support act for Alfie’s first headline tour, Bring Him Home (sadly for me, before I was a fan), Emilia Mitiku came in for the Storyteller tour and last but not least, New Zealand trio Sol3 Mio supported Alfie on the Serenata tour. Over the next few weeks, we’ll take a closer look at all three acts. I do have my own favourite but I’m not going to reveal it yet!
For the purposes of this poll, we’re only looking at the main support acts for Alfie’s three headline tours of the UK so apologies to all Matt Lucas and Jason Manford fans – we’ll come back to them at a later date.
To help you decide between Laura, Emilia and Sol3 Mio, here are six videos, one each with Alfie and one by themselves (Laura’s videos show Alfie’s cheeky side and watch out for Alfie’s incidental joke at Emilia’s expense too!):
One of these videos contains one of my all time favourite Alfie songs – do you know which one?
The Storyteller and Bring Him Home tours are available on DVD:
Which role will Alfie shortly take over on Broadway? JM Barrie in Finding Neverland
Who did Alfie pick as his favourite Javert in an interview with thoughtsofjustafan last year? Norm Lewis and Earl Carpenter (click here for the interview)
How many brothers and sisters does Alfie have and what are their names? 8: Anne, Joseph, John, Pauline, Michael, Fran, Teresa, Maria
What are the names of the two alternate Rodolfo’s in Baz Luhrman’s La Boheme? David Miller and Jesus Garcia
What is the name of Alfie’s management company? Vector
Name the support acts for Alfie’s three headline tours (Bring Him Home, Storyteller and Serenata). Laura Wright (if you relied on the tour DVD for this answer you may have got it wrong!), Emilia Mitiku and Sol3 Mio
Alfie won Glyndebourne’s Christie prize – what was the role? Albert Herring
In which opera house was Alfie’s last operatic role? Coliseum (ENO)
And which opera was he performing in? The Mikado
What was the name of the new song that Alfie revealed at Leeds in 2015? Against the Tide
If you got 10 you’re an Alfie Boe mastermind champion
If you got 6+, you’re a strong contender
If you got 3-5, call yourself a fan?
Less than 4 and you’re probably scratching your head and saying Alfie who?
So, how did you do? Come and tell us if you got 10 out of 10!
Back in July 2014 I posted 40 reasons to love Alfie Boe – another blog post mentioning 50 shades was recently suggested so here is 50 Shades of Boe…or 50 reasons to love Alfie!
Don’t forget to share everywhere so everyone else can also be Boe’d!
1. This is his most famous song – do you need another reason to love Alfie?
2. Nick Jonas’s (Marius in 25th Les Mis) brother Joe was in La Boheme on Broadway with alfie
3. Alfie hails from Fleetwood, Lancashire (although he was born in Blackpool in 1973).
4. Alfie is the youngest of nine siblings (4 boys and 5 girls) born to Alfred and Pat.
5. Alfie loves cooking and once considered becoming a chef (although he did once cut his finger on live TV!)
6. Other career changes considered include a personal trainer for the Salt Lake City police force.
7. 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.
8. 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?
9. 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.
10. Alfie once bunked off opera rehearsals in Strasbourg to see Bob Dylan in concert – apparently it was worth it!
11. Alfie is married to an American actress, Sarah Boe. They met in San Francisco.
12. Alfie was the subject of a South Bank Show documentary in 2013.
13. Alfie once supported the Fron Male Voice Choir on tour.
14. David Miller of Il Divo was in La Boheme on Broadway with Alfie (they played alternate nights as Rodolfo).
15. Alfie recorded some demo Queen tracks at Abbey Road studios whilst a student – he listened back with obvious embarrassment on a recent documentary!
16. Alfie used to work at the Blackpool Opera House in a backstage / security role.
17. 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).
18. Alfie recorded Barcelona with Katherine Jenkins for her 2014 album, Home Sweet Home – having first sung it live at Freddie for a Day with Laura Wright in 2013.
19. Alfie was a body mechanic at the TVR factory in Bispham – if you know nothing else about Alfie, you know that!!
20. After graduating from the Royal College of Music, Alfie went on to train at the National Opera Studio.
21. Won the Christie prize at Glyndebourne for Albert Herring.
22. Appeared on several Clint Boon Experience albums as “opera dude”.
23. Spent a few nights sleeping on a park bench in Hyde Park “in between digs” so to speak.
24. Played drums in a local rock band, Whisky Train as a teenager.
25. Alfie is an ambassador for the Prince’s Foundation for Children and The Arts.
26. Alfie sang at the wedding of Peter and Autumn Phillips. (Ave Maria and Panis Angelicus).
27. Alfie famously prefers to perform in opera, rather than listen to them – this is usually quoted incorrectly as “Alfie hates opera”.
28. Alfie often takes fans cameras and phones and takes photos of himself and the band on stage – perks of being front row!
29. New Zealand operatic trio Sol3 Mio supported Alfie on his recent UK tour – here they are singing Volare together:
30. 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.
31. Won a Tony Award as part of the cast of La Boheme on Broadway.
32. First professional audition was for the D’oyly Carte Opera company – he sang You Are My Hearts Delight.
33. Moonwalked across the stage during final performance of Romeo et Juliette at the Royal Opera House.
34. 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.
35. West London Karaoke Champion 1994 singing Suspicious Minds.
36. Patron of Trinity Hospice, Blackpool.
37. First recording Alfie appears on is Die Fledermaus, with the D’oyly Carte company (in the chorus).
38. Suffered from chlorine poisoning whilst filming a projection for The Pearl Fishers at the ENO.
39. Brother Michael is also a talented singer, recent album is called A La Voix.
40. Alfie and Sarah’s first dance at the their wedding was Led Zeppelin’s Rain Song.
41. First, and so far only, performer, with Renee Fleming to sing on the balcony of Buckingham Palace (at the Diamond Jubilee celebrations).
42. Alfie was first introduced to La Boheme by his brother Michael – thank you Michael!
43. Alfie is great at comedy falls – as witnessed by viewers of Jonathan Ross show in October 2013!
44. Twitter often mentions how much Alfie looks like Declan Donnelly – maybe, but only without his beard – judge for yourself:
45. Knows nothing about dancing – as evidenced by his appearances on Strictly It Takes Two!
46. First song with lyrics written by Alfie recorded for Serenata 2014: My Heart is Yours.
47. Singing the role of Jimmy in Classic Quadrophenia in July 2015 – another one you all knew surely!
48. Used 40lbs of ice in the ALS ice bucket challenge.
49. Has a golden retriever, Guinness and a black and white cat, name???
50. 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)
Love this song and the intensity Alfie brings to it. He later returned to this song for the MoTab Christmas Concert in 2012. This arrangement, featured on Alfie’s Onward album, is by John Rutter, from a hymn collected and put together by John Jacob Niles in 1933.
If you haven’t yet seen it, Alfie Boe on Carols by Kindlelight is now available on Amazon Prime in the UK and is also available for Amazon US and Germany customers. I highly recommend taking out membership (you can get one month’s free membership on trial from Amazon UK) to see this – Alfie is superb on his two songs, Hark the Herald Angels Sing and Elton John’s Step Into Christmas and you also get to see Sol3 Mio and Laura Wright sing two songs each as well. In case you can’t see it, here is a clip of Hark the Herald Angels Sing:
Onward and the MoTab Christmas Concert are both available here:
Wow is the word for Alfie Boe’s current UK Tour! This was my first concert since the Newcastle opener on 29 November and it is good to see that the show is now much slicker and smoother. Gone are the disjointed set changes which marked the first show, in fact, they are now so slick that I didn’t even notice them.
This week of course saw the official confirmation that Alfie is to appear in the premiere of Classic Quadrophenia next year and us lucky fans got a preview of two songs, I’m One and Love Reign O’er Me, as part of the encore. How on earth Alfie sings those two songs at the end of a two hour concert is beyond me – spine tingling is the only to describe them. It is evident how excited Alfie is at the prospect of the role. The addition of these two songs means that others had to go: Luna Malinconia, Parlami D’amore Mariu, Serenata Celeste and Glory, Glory, Hallelujah were the songs that made way but I don’t think the set list is any worse off. Once again, Caruso was the first spine tingle, goose bump moment (so fantastic to hear Alfie sing these songs live) although I am a bit hard pressed to choose between that and Danny Boy. Indeed, Cecelia, experiencing her first concert of this tour was moved to tears by the beauty of Alfie’s performance on that song. You left the arena thinking it impossible to think of anyone singing it as well.
The musicianship of Alfie’s band (Murray, Matt, Richard, Dan and John) is simply outstanding; Richard’s piano accompaniment to ReconditaArmonia and Nessun Dorma is breathtaking, whilst Murray and Matt’s guitar playing is stunning and leads perfectly into the rockier part of the show. The audiences is Leeds and Manchester were a bit livelier than Newcastle and didn’t need much encouragement to dance and sing through Trust, Keep Me in Your Heart, Volare, Mambo Italiano and Buona Sera. A highlight of this section was Alfie bringing Sol3 Mio onto the stage to sing Volare with him. They did well (with what seemed like zero rehearsal) but Alfie easily outshone them. It will be interesting to see how they fare next time, if there is a next time. Thanks Linda for the video:
Sol3 Mio are the support act for this tour and a very entertaining trio they are. Having said that, their banter between songs didn’t change at all between Newcastle and Leeds so it was a pleasant change to hear them change it up a bit for Manchester. Two tenors and a baritone comprise the group and they gave us a lovely insight into what audiences for their headline UK tour next year can expect. My Way, Sole Mio, Yellow Bird and Nella Fantasia were good but the highlight for me was We Are Samoa which was by far their best song.
On the evidence of these two concerts, Alfie is going from strength to strength and I can’t wait to see what he has in store for us next!
Don’t forget the Royal Variety Show Monday 8th December 7.30pm!
Alfie Boe’s new album, Serenata, is available below:
Amazon UK customers can Click here for the chance to win tickets to Carols by Kindlelight, a concert on 4th December at Abbey Road Studios, London. Alfie Boe will join Annie Lennox, Laura Wright and Sol3 Mio (fresh from supporting Alfie on the tour) at this exclusive event which will be filmed for Amazon Prime customers in the UK, US and Germany. I guess I’ll be getting Amazon Prime then!
And as if this wasn’t exciting enough…it’s only 4 sleeps until the start of the tour!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
As it’s almost the festive season, let’s look back at Alfie and Matt Lucas on the Bring Him Home tour (thanks to Jayne for sharing):
Fans of Alfie Boe have been wondering for a while now who will be supporting him on his UK tour in November / December. Well, last week, Alfie himself told us that his guests would be a New Zealand operatic trio, Sol3 Mio. If the former Trust tour had not recently been re-marketed as the “Classic songs from all the albums” the choice of guest artist may have given us a clue that Alfie may be singing a more classical repertoire.
Sol3 Mio are comprised of tenor brothers, Pene and Amitai Pati and their baritone cousin, Moses Mackay. The three hail from New Zealand via Samoa and have been singing together as Sol3 Mio since 2011. However, they all have classical training (University of Auckland) and have been recognised as emerging talents in New Zealand, notably Pene was the 2010 NZ Performer Of The Year, Amitai won the 2012 Lexus Song Quest and Moses was recognized as an Emerging Artist by the Dame Malvina Major Foundation just last year. In addition, all three attended Wales International Academy of Voice.
The video below shows that Sol3 Mio have fabulous comic timing to match their wonderful voices and should be a great support act for Alfie, not known for taking himself too seriously either!
The dreaded classical crossover material is trotted out (no surprises there) but their stage presence clearly comes across, as does their views about taking classical music to a new audience. Sounding familiar yet? Who knows, by the end of Alfie’s tour, Sol3 Mio but be heard to say “there’s only two kinds of music”…you know the rest!
Sol3 Mio’s album is available on amazon – click the image to buy:
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