Fans of both ITV’s The Voice and Alfie Boe were thrilled when they found out that one of the finalists from this year’s series, Belle Voci, were confirmed to support Alfie at his Scarborough show in June. With just a couple of days notice, Emily Burnett and Sophie Rohan, who form the operatic duo, were just as thrilled, if not more so, to be supporting one of their musical inspirations. They were even more delighted when Alfie popped into their dressing room on the day of the show and asked if they would share the stage with him on a couple of songs. Here they are on You’re The Voice, appropriately enough:
I spoke to Emily recently and asked how Belle Voci got the opportunity to sing with Alfie. It turns out that it’s all down to Jennifer Hudson turning for them on The Voice. Deciding to audition for the show as a way to get footage for their website, neither Emily or Sophie expected anyone’s chair to turn and were “absolutely amazed. It’s opened so many doors for us, we would never have sung with Alfie without it.”
As a result of getting to the final three, Emily and Sophie were signed by an agent and thus found themselves performing with one of their musical idols. They say never meet your idols, but Emily was relieved to find that Alfie was “such a nice guy, loved working with him.”
Emily and Sophie met and formed Belle Voci a few years ago when they were both working in a pub (chef and waitress). Both trained as singers, at Durham University / Royal College of Music and London School of Musical Theatre respectively and were looking for a way to forge a career in music. Opera evenings, weddings and corporate events followed before the chance to do The Voice came along. Just prior to appearing on the show, the duo decided to record and release their eponymous first album, showcasing seven operatic arias and Over The Rainbow, using the arrangement by Roderick Williams. As the album concentrates on opera, I wanted to know why Rainbow was included – it turns out that it’s just because Emily and Sophie love to sing it. Emily then said that “we hope that someone might like Over the Rainbow and then discover some of the other, operatic tracks and like them as well…it’s almost like drip feeding opera, introducing people to it who might not have had much before.” Sounds remarkably similar to something Alfie would say – “there’s only two types of music: good and bad.”
I earlier mentioned that Alfie is one of Belle Voci’s musical inspirations, one reason being that they are “inspired by the musical choices he makes…we want to be like him, he’s so bang on trend with everything.” Emily and Sophie were at the Classic BRITs this year and thought it was awesome that Alfie and Michael won two awards. Il Divo also gain a mention for their harmonies, as well as Katherine Jenkins (“she’s built an insane career for herself”), Laura Wright and Beyonce -Emily “loves her sass!”
Belle Voci’s album is available here:
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