21. March 2009 · Comments Off on What’s It All About? · Categories: Opera, Ramble, Videos

Some time ago I played “Baz Luhrmann’s La Boheme” when it began its short life in San Francisco (prior to moving to Broadway). I loved it. The conductor, Constantine Kitsopoulos, was a delight and so wonderful to work with (I wish I’d get to work with him again. Sigh.). Mr. Luhrmann was gracious and extremely energetic and a kick to watch in action. And all the singers we met were very kind. I was sorry that the production got slammed so much; I really enjoyed it and it’s a highlight of my little career no matter what the critics said. (It gets called “controversial” and I guess it’s because of using mics. Good thing no “real” opera companies ever [cough cough] do that sort of thing.)

One of those singers was this guy named Alfred Boe. He was introduced as “Alf” and of course some people giggled a bit at that. Or chuckled. But anyway … rambling on … he was, in the opinion of one of my colleagues, the best Rodolfo. I’m not a good judge of voice, but I did enjoy hearing him and certainly thought he had a wonderful voice. And he was quite nice, even to us lowly pitfolk. (Side note: I’ve read that he met his wife while singing in San Francisco.)

But he’s no longer Alfred of Alf, I guess. He’s now “Alfie”. (Maybe he always was and we just didn’t know? It’s possible.) I just read about him here. And it sounds like he’s doing quite well at what he does. Go good for you Alf Alfred Alfie!

So … here’s Alfie … with an oboe, no less (using, I believe, the thumb plate system).

But of course I’m mostly a sucker for those romantic Italian ditties …

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