Are you planning on going to see Alfie at the Virgin Money Unity Arena in Newcastle? Here are the things you need to know …
1. Maximum of 5 people per platform (ie standard car full)
2. You must purchase a “group” ticket to be allowed on the same platform … probably best to nominate one person in each group to avoid duplication as you may not be able to sell these on or transfer to others
3. You will need to enter your car registration number as part of the booking or add “Taxi” or “Bike”
4. You CAN NOT arrive on foot
5. Chairs are provided on the platform
6. This isn’t a Drive-in … you will be allocated a time to turn up, shown to your parking space and escorted to your viewing platform
7. Food and drink will be available to pre order
8. All other details will be provided on your ticket
View this post on Instagram
My own Late Night Talk Show! I'm joined by Sir @MrAlfieBoe and @PaulMcCartney to discuss car repair, veganism and the importance of fire extinguishers in your home, in the world's first five minute long late night talk show. This episode is sponsored by Felton's. #TalkShow #Feltons #AlfieBoe #PaulMcCartney #Beatles #TheBeatles #ChatShow #Legendary #JoshWeller #Comedy #Comedian #StandUp #StandUpComedy
View this post on Instagram
Violently happy to announce my own late night talk show! the world’s first five minute long talk show. In episode one I’m joined by legendary Beatle bass player @paulmccartney and world famous tenor (singer, not currency) Sir @mralfieboe. Out tomorrow, exclusively on Instagram. #talkshow
Denise Van Outen – Keep Calm And Kerry On
View this post on Instagram
VE DAY 🙏🏼 Got a little something special this morning with the @royalbritishlegion for their live stream show (from 11:15am) Remembering 75 years and the amazing heroes. Tune in (link in bio) I’ll be singing a couple of songs and closing the show with the lovely, talented @twinnieofficial *Link in bio https://www.britishlegion.org.uk/stories/ve-day-75-livestream?seg=WPDW3B
Alfie Boe is to provide a thrilling climax to this year’s Armed Forces Day with a sensational concert at Scarborough Open Air Theatre.
The nation’s gaze will be on Scarborough on Saturday, June 27 when the historic Yorkshire coast resort has the prestigious honour of being the host town for this year’s Armed Forces Day National Event.
An estimated 200,000 people – including leading politicians and members of the Royal Family – are expected to head to the resort for a series of events that will honour the dedication and sacrifice of the nation’s servicemen and women.
And Armed Forces Day 2020 will be brought to a close in style as superstar tenor Alfie Boe delivers unmissable concert at the Open Air Theatre. Tickets for the event go on sale via scarboroughopenairtheatre.com at 9am on Friday, February 21.
Chart-topping mezzo-soprano Laura Wright, who has performed at major events around the world, will be among those to join Alfie on stage for what will be a moving and magical evening.
Alfie said: “It is an amazing honour, as well as a huge thrill, for me to be back at this wonderful venue to perform on Armed Forces Day.
“I’ve played this venue many times and I’ve always received such a warm welcome from the good people of Yorkshire. The fact I will be performing as part of Scarborough’s hosting of Armed Forces Day’s National Event will make it even more special. I cannot wait for June 27 – it will be an amazing evening.”
Alfie has conquered the world’s greatest stages and arenas as the star of such legendary stage productions as Les Misérables and La Bohème – together with his own sell-out concert tours. His unmistakable voice has cemented him as one of Britain’s biggest-selling and best-loved vocalists.
Michael Ball and Alfie Boe will appear in their own Christmas special on ITV.
ITV has today (Friday, November 15) announced that the duo will join forces once again for a one-off TV special, Ball & Boe: A Very Merry Christmas, due to air on ITV this December.
Two of music’s most accomplished singers, Michael Ball and Alfie Boe, will exhibit both their unique blend of extraordinary talent and infectious humour, as they perform exciting new material alongside some Christmas favourites.
Taking to the stage, the iconic duo will be joined by an array of talented celebrity guests, who are sure to bring an extra sparkle to screens this festive season.
The TV special comes as the pair release brand new album Back Together, which is available now
Michael said of the ITV special: “It feels like Christmas has come early!
“Back together for our third TV special, this time celebrating the season of goodwill with some amazing guests and the best music.
“All with a sprinkling of tinsel and fairy dust. It’s the recipe for a perfect pre-Christmas snuggle…and that’s just me and Alfie!”
Alfie added “We’re back together…again! We’re lucky enough to be hosting another Ball & Boe ITV special, this time with a Christmas twist.
“It’s going to be an evening not to be missed, so get your slippers on, warm up the mince pies and mulled wine and join us. And wait until you see our special guests!”
Ball & Boe: A Very Merry Christmas will air on ITV in December with an exact air date to be confirmed.
Alex Belfield what a w ###er
Alfie Boe has earned the sobriquet “the bad boy of opera”, and today he certainly looks the part, lounging in his private members’ club in the Soho area of London, dressed in a T-shirt and a black leather Belstaff biker jacket with the collar turned up, his hair tousled into a quiff.
There’s a fresh scar running across his forehead too. It’s all very Marlon Brando, and when I ask him if he enjoys being a bad boy his brooding is top-notch. “I actually quite like the label,” he says eventually. “It’s a bit cheeky. And hopefully it’s a way of attracting a slightly different audience.”
Yet isn’t being “the bad boy of opera” a bit like being “the bad boy of table tennis”? You might occasionally act like a bit of a Tosca, but most ordinary people wouldn’t notice the difference. “Oh, well they definitely noticed the difference with me,” Boe says.
In the early 1990s he was blacking the wheel arches of sports cars for £90 a week in his native Blackpool when a customer overheard him singing and suggested that he apply to the D’Oyly Carte light opera company, which was holding open auditions. From there he quickly found himself performing in opera’s great houses across America and Europe, while struggling to stay sober.
“I absolutely love performing. Love it,” he says. “But carrying a show used to feel such a pressure and responsibility. I could go months without a drink, but then eventually I’d hit it hard. I’d drink too much and end up smashing up a room. The danger is, you hurt yourself or others. I mean, we British are brought up with alcohol as the answer to everything: champagne breakfast, glass of wine with lunch and a pint after work. For me it became a crutch with which to deal with any stress — a difficult colleague, a bad rehearsal, a taxi not turning up. I really needed to control anything that put me into a spiral.” You’re an alcoholic? “Yes.”
He stopped drinking in 2014 and says that he is not ready to discuss how exactly or whether it involved rehab, but he tells me a story that illustrates just how careless he used to be about his mental health. After his stint with D’Oyly Carte he enrolled at the Royal College of Music to hone his voice. He lived in shared digs in Kensington, west London, and there was a lot of drinking. The place was a mess.
One day there was a flood in the basement and the landlord came round, saw the state of his property, and threw Boe and his friends out. His flatmates quickly arranged alternative accommodation, but Boe didn’t — he slept on a bench in Hyde Park. “I’d have a few pints of Guinness and then bed down on a bench. I just hadn’t arranged anywhere for myself, which was just silly. But at least I didn’t pack up and think, ‘Sod this,’ and go home up north. I stuck it out.”
Boe, now 46, is initially tentative and a bit shy, but he soon warms up. If he hadn’t made it as a singer, he says he would have liked to become a personal trainer, open a restaurant, or even run a bar (“I don’t drink any more, but I love being around people laughing and having a good time”).
The subtext to all these ambitions seems to be his need for camaraderie and physical exertion. In fact, if it weren’t for that jaw-dropping voice, I wonder whether he would have been better off as a rock star. “Oh, I really wanted to be in a band when I was 19,” he says. “When that customer heard me singing in the factory I was just a normal kid listening to the Stone Roses and the Charlatans.
“I only did opera because I was told early on that it was the highest form of training for a voice, and once you did it you could adapt it for anything. But even now I still want to get out there in front of a band. If anyone reading this wants to start an all-star rock band, I’d be up for it.”
His supergroup sounds fun, whereas the world of opera can appear mannered and aloof — except in the light of recent allegations levelled at the Italian tenor Plácido Domingo, who has been accused by 20 women of sexual harassment dating from 30 years ago. Domingo has called the allegations “deeply troubling and, as presented, inaccurate”.
Boe has met Domingo a few times and is as shocked as anyone else at the claims against him. “It’s sad he’s getting this sort of media attention,” Boe says. “Nothing can detract from his talent. He is a great singer and actor, and has always been generous with his time towards me, but obviously I can’t speak about what goes on when I’m not there.”
Boe is now starring as a rebel from another age, the righteous former convict Jean Valjean, in the concert version of Les Misérables in the West End. He appeared at a packed Royal Albert Hall last Sunday performing a mix of opera and hits from musical theatre (he says the organisers wouldn’t allow his planned Queen medley), and next month will release a new album of duets with Michael Ball, his longtime friend and collaborator, called Back Together.
In Les Misérables Ball is playing his nemesis, the brutal parole officer Javert — a sweet irony since their real-life friendship has been a godsend for them. Around the time that Boe was sleeping on the park bench he posted a note asking for advice through the letterbox of Ball’s London home. Ball, a star since the 1980s, didn’t reply. They eventually met while performing together on a production of Kismet in 2007 (Ball apologised for ignoring Boe’s letter) and in 2016 recorded a selection of duets that went to No 1.
The pair are now inseparable. Both have described how their mutual support has helped with the pressures of fame. Indeed, Ball says that he suffered panic attacks and drank a bottle of wine a night before Boe became a friend and helped him to get into shape (he lost 3st after seeing how Boe kept himself fit).
“Michael is a great guy and I like to think we have been a positive influence on each other. We both know the highs and lows of the job. It can be a fickle business, and having someone to go through it with gives you mental strength. Plus, we both like music outside of classical. I think Michael has dreams about a rock band too.”
Boe seems to be in a good place. He has a son, Alfie, 7, and a daughter, Grace, 11. The family moved to rural Gloucestershire a year ago, and every weekend he cycles or cruises the country lanes on one of his motorbikes. He does boxercise and, with his wife, Sarah, walks their dog, Redford (named after the actor Robert Redford, an icon in Sarah’s native Utah). At some point he starts fussing about the family Sunday roast. “I worry the Yorkshire pudding isn’t going to be perfect,” he says. “I worry about whether the butcher will have the right beef or pork. But Sarah is a brilliant cook and she helps me sort it out.”
He has come so far, can he not enjoy it a bit now? “Oh, I do,” he says, “but I also think it’s healthy to feel a bit of a rebel or an outsider, to think a bit differently.”
How did he get the scar on his forehead? “I’m a bad boy, we get up to all kinds of stuff,” he deadpans, before breaking into a hearty laugh. “Actually, I was picking apples off the tree in my back garden in Gloucestershire with the kids. One of the branches pinged back and caught me in the face.”
ALFIE BOE’S PERFECT WEEKEND
North or south
Beyoncé or Beethoven
Wine or water
BMW or Tesla
How many unread emails in your inbox?
I couldn’t get through the weekend without . . .
A spin on my bike
‘Back Together’ track listing and artwork according to Amazon:
1. The Greatest Show
2. Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again
3. Sunrise, Sunset
4. Circle of Life
5. Come Fly With Me
6. Queen Medley
7. My Way
8. Something Inside So Strong
9. I Will Always Cross Your Mind
10. Let It Be Me
11. Something’s Gotten Hold of My Heart
13. Brothers in Arms