HE has sung for the Queen and performed all over the world, but this week singer Alfie Boe was back in the north west.
Despite only returning to the UK a few weeks ago following a tour across America, the 39-year-old tenor was hitting the road to promote his new album and his fans queued at Tesco Extra, in Lugsdale Road, Widnes, to get the chance to meet him.
Speaking to the World before the signing, he said: “I’ve been through Widnes a few times on the way to Liverpool as I’m a Liverpool fan and I did some rehearsals here when I was doing a show at the Philharmonic.
“I’m thrilled to be here though. One of the good things about doing things like this is that I get to meet the people who are buying my music, it’s not often you get the opportunity to do that.
“Yes okay you see them at your show when you perform live, but when you can actually meet them and have a little chat and a photograph with them it becomes very personal.
“Sometimes it’s quite touching as you see people who maybe have a few problems going on in their world and their lives and then they explain to me how my music has changed and helped them.”
The Tony award winner from Fleetwood, near Blackpool is currently dividing his time between homes in America and Gloucestershire, where he lives with his wife and two children.
“They’re all sick at the moment so I’m on the road and keeping away from them,” he joked.
“It’s really hard being away though. I’ve got a four-year-old and a 10-month-old so it’s doubly hard.
“When I’m away I get out of the night shifts but when I’m back at home my wife definitely makes sure I make up for it!
“I don’t really get to go home to Fleetwood as much as I would like, given the nature of the job. The last time I went up there was for my son’s christening, about seven months ago.”
Alfie, who first made his name playing the lead in Baz Luhrmann’s production of La Boheme on Broadway, has won numerous Classical Brits awards and last year performed to standing ovations every night playing the lead role of Jean Valjean in the West End production of Les Miserables.
“Being in Les Miserables was a real big deal,” he said.
“It was a great honour and I knew when I was offered the role that it would open doors for me where music was concerned.
“My new album is basically songs that I like to sing and that suit my voice, and hopefully everyone will like to listen to them.”
Among the first fans in the queue to meet the formally trained Opera star were 28-year-old Rebecca Lee and her mum Sue Owen, aged 51, from Widnes, who are both looking forward to seeing him on tour at Blackpool Opera House next April.
Alfie will also be performing at Manchester Arena on March 23. His album Storyteller is out now.