Theatre & Events: Alfie’s party night will be proper Boe - I tell thee

Alfie Boe.
Alfie Boe.
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ALFIE Boe is looking forward to a big party night at the Motorpoint Arena tomorrow, Friday.

The popular tenor has fond memories of his last visit to the city and is excited to come back with his Storyteller tour.

He said: “Last time I was there the audience were fantastic, I couldn’t believe how amazing the crowd was. It was a really good night. We had Jason Manford and Claude-Michel Schonberg there.”

Comedian Jason sang on stage with his friend Alfie and Claude-Michel, the composer of Les Miserables, was a special guest, playing piano for Alfie to sing the show’s hit song, Bring Him Home, which has become one of Alfie’s signature songs.

He added: “I just hope that everyone gets out of their seats and puts their dancing shoes on. I’m looking forward to a good night. It’s going to be a great night, we’ve got a great lighting and set designer. It’s going to be a spectacular show. One not to miss!”

He will be joined by singer Emilia Mitiku, who is about to release an album I Belong To You, which explores her life of classic jazz and soul. The single You’re Not Right For Me has been Record of the Week on Radio 2.

The man known as ‘the nation’s tenor’ had plenty of excitement last year. He performed at the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Concert watched by nearly 17 million viewers, completed a sell-out US tour and released an autobiography, My Story.

He said of the royal show: “It was a bit of a surprise. I was very honoured and loved taking part.”

Alfie had one of his biggest career breaks through Bring Him Home, which he was asked to perform at the Les Mis 25th anniversary concerts at the O2 Arena in London. He followed that up with a hugely successful five-month run in the role of Jean Valjean in the West End.

He said: “It’s developed my career quite a lot and it did introduce me to a different audience, a little more of a mainstream crowd than the opera audiences. I’m very fortunate to have taken part.”

Alfie, who came from an ordinary background in Fleetwood near Blackpool, is well known for his strident attacks on musical snobbery, believing classical music should be open to everyone.

He said: “I think the majority of people agree with me. Whether the opera audience do, I don’t give a damn.

“There is a class distinction in music which is a bit of a shame. That’s not what the music is about.

“I don’t think anybody should feel intimidated by that. If people want to go and listen to opera they’re just as entitled as anybody else to react to it.

“I’ve been trying my best to encourage people for the last 20 years – go and see it no matter what. It’s down to the people who protect it not to be so precious and not feel intimidated by other people enjoying it. Opera belongs to everyone.”

Alfie says he has a broad musical taste, which is reflected by his latest album, Storyteller, which he describes as “an album of classic songs that are well known and stand the test of time”.

“I’m sort of carving a path in the direction of where I see my voice going. There are a number of songs that lend themselves to my voice at the moment.

“They are popular songs that I’m doing, done in my way with my own arrangements.

“The Simon and Garfunkel track Bridge Over Troubled Water has been in my life for years, for instance. It was played around the house a fair bit when I was growing up.

“My education in music spans a broad spectrum of styles. Everybody has different tastes.”

Alfie said that he is writing his own material but wants to be sure that it is just right before he goes public.

He is enjoying the fact that his career has gone in so many different directions, saying: “I find it important not to close the door. Keep your mind open to things in future.

“There’s so many things I want to do. I never went to look for all this. If everybody had a plan in their life, what’s the point? Life is about surprises and taking opportunities when they arise.

“I can’t say this is where I want to be, where I want to go. You might not be around tomorrow.

“Just take every day that comes, just enjoy the moment.”

Speaking of moments, he says of tomorrow night’s concert: “I’m looking forward to raising the roof.”

If you’re going to see Alfie Boe, why not let us know what you thought on Twitter? Tweet a review to @sheffieldstar, including the hashtag #starreview, and we’ll print the best in WOW24/7next week.