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Opera stars join Maestro recent news 01.09.08

Opera stars join Maestro

Soprano Rebecca Evans and tenor Alfie Boe will join the Maestro show for Episode 4 as the five remaining students face the challenge of conducting opera.

Tenor Alfie Boe was born in Blackpool - his full name is the suitably operatic "Alfred Giovanni Roncalli Boe" - his middle names perhaps laying down a marker for a future exponent of Italian opera. Alfie's father probably instilled in him a love of the tenor voice, after he was made to indulge his father's love for the great Austrian tenor Richard Tauber, by listening to recordings after family Sunday lunches. Alfie joined a local operatic society 'to meet girls', but it was while working in the TVR sports car factory in Blackpool that he was spotted by a music industry client and encouraged to join the D'Oyly Carte touring company. Alfie went on to study at the Royal College of Music, the National Opera Studio and was accepted into the Royal Opera House Young Artists' Programme.

Alfie's big break happened when film and theatre director Baz Luhrmann engaged him for his controversial Broadway production of Puccini’s La Boheme, earning Alfie a Tony Award which sits beside his John McCormack Young Voice and Lyric Tenor of the World Audience awards. Alfie has made popular recordings for EMI, including ‘La Passione’, a collection of traditional, mainly Italian folk songs featuring the perennial classics ‘O Sole Mio’, ‘Funiculi Finicula’, and ‘Santa Lucia’. Alfie comfortably straddles the worlds of the light tenor repertoire and major roles in opera, with productions at Glyndebourne, La Monnaie, Brussels, Strasbourg, English National Opera and the Royal Opera, where later this year he performs in Richard Strauss's Elektra.

Rebecca, from South Wales, is a company favourite at Welsh National Opera, where her roles have included Mimi (La bohème), Pamina, Susanna, Ilia, Marzelline (Fidelio), Norina (Don Pasquale), Hero (Béatrice and Bénédict) and Gretel (Hänsel und Gretel). She's also performed major roles at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, and in Munich, Berlin, Lausanne, and the Netherlands; her American credits include the Metropolitan Opera, New York, and engagements with Sante Fe Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago and San Francisco Opera.

A Grammy Award-winning artist, Rebecca has recorded prolifically including Marzelline, Pamina and Gretel with Sir Charles Mackerras, Ilia with David Parry (Chandos); Nanetta with Sir John Eliot Gardiner (Philips); a series of Gilbert and Sullivan recordings with Sir Charles Mackerras and a solo recording of Italian songs (EMI). She sang Belinda in the BBC film of ‘Dido and Aeneas’ (later released on CD and Video) and hosted her own BBC television series ‘A Touch of Classics’ with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales.

Recent News

  1. More Maestro for Christmas recent news 08.12.08

    More Maestro for Christmas

    A revealing new documentary, Maestro: The Inside Story, will be shown over Christmas.

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  2. Sue takes Hyde Park by Storm recent news 13.09.08

    Sue takes Hyde Park by Storm

    Maestro winner Sue Perkins tonight wowed the 35,000-strong Proms in the Park audience at the Last Night of the Proms.

    Read full story

  3. Sue's win - first verdicts from the press recent news 10.09.08

    Sue's win - first verdicts from the press

    Charlotte Higgins, the Guardian’s arts correspondent, was first up with a review of the Maestro Final posted on the Guardian Culture Blog at 9.53 this morning. A Spectator review has also been posted by Henrietta Bredin.

    Read full story

  4. Congratulations to Sue Perkins! recent news 09.09.08

    Congratulations to Sue Perkins!

    At tonight’s Grand Final, writer and comedienne Sue Perkins emerged from the audience vote to win the BBC’s first ever Maestro competition.

    Read full story

  5. Vengerov flies in for Final recent news 04.09.08

    Vengerov flies in for Final

    Virtuoso violinist and conductor Maximum Vengerov will replace Simone Young on the panel of judges for the Maestro Final on Tuesday 9 September.

    Read full story

  6. Dramatic vote saves Jane and Goldie recent news 02.09.08

    Dramatic vote saves Jane and Goldie

    The Maestro series reached new levels of tension as four students faced the orchestra vote.

    Read full story

  7. Opera stars join Maestro recent news 01.09.08

    Opera stars join Maestro

    Soprano Rebecca Evans and tenor Alfie Boe will join the Maestro show for Episode 4.

    Read full story

  8. Do Men Hog the Podium? recent news 01.09.08

    Do Men Hog the Podium?

    Will female conductors ever achieve equality? I think they will, says conductor Madeleine Lovell

    Read full story

  9. Press on 'posh talent show' recent news 01.09.08

    Press on 'posh talent show'

    TV talent shows come in many demographically targeted guises - I commend a different event - Maestro.

    Read full story

  10. Bradley exits the competition recent news 26.08.08

    Bradley exits the competition

    Bradley Walsh did not survive the BBC Concert Orchestra’s vote this week.

    Read full story

  11. Behind the scenes recent news 26.08.08

    Behind the scenes

    Maestro viewers have asked about the various musicians who have helped the students in their preparation.

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  12. What the papers said ... recent news 22.08.08

    What the papers said ...

    I watched Maestro (BBC2) mostly because it was there … how wrong could I be because it was riveting.

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  13. Sue's reality check recent news 22.08.08

    Sue's reality check

    Maestro student Sue Perkins posted a thoughtful article in the Guardian newspaper. These are her thoughts on what she has learned

    Read full story

  14. How Goldie got into Classical recent news 22.08.08

    How Goldie got into Classical

    Ex-grilfriend Bjork had a hand in Goldie’s conversion to classical …

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  15. The Thoughts of Alex and Brad recent news 22.08.08

    The Thoughts of Alex and Brad

    Alex: “The first thing you have to learn as a conductor is how to stand up straight.”

    Read full story

  16. Lessons learned, by David Soul recent news 21.08.08

    Lessons learned, by David Soul

    Rejected student David Soul bares his … about what he learned from the Maestro experience.

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  17. Second student leaves Maestro recent news 19.08.08

    Second student leaves Maestro

    Following the BBC Concert Orchestra’s vote, Bradley Walsh was saved and David Soul exited the competition.

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  18. Don't smile at the brass ... recent news 19.08.08

    Don't smile at the brass ...

    In the run-up to Episode 2, Katie Derham has been finding out how to get an orchestra to do what she wants …

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  19. First student exits Maestro recent news 12.08.08

    First student exits Maestro

    The BBC Concert Orchestra decides who remains in the competition.

    Read full story

  20. How hard can it be? recent news 05.08.08

    How hard can it be?

    Journalist Christopher Middleton visitis the students as they try out their conducting skills on an orchestra of young musicians in a church in London.

    Read full story

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