Tenor Alfie Boe has said that he never goes to the opera because it bores him.
The singer made the comments on Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs. ‘I never go to the opera,’ he said. ‘When I’m up there doing it that’s my world, that’s what I really enjoy, but sitting in the audience and watching it I’m bored stiff.’
Boe has sung with English National Opera and is one of Britain’s most popular tenors . He told presenter Kirsty Young that he feels ‘uncomfy’ in the audience: ‘I can sit at home and listen to it on record and really appreciate the classical singers, but when I go there it’s just not my world.’
As part of his training at the Royal Opera House he had to watch performances and Boe explained that he would take a pillow with him so he could sleep through them.
Boe’s comments have caused consternation in the opera world. A spokesman for the Royal Opera House told The Independent: ‘Our productions entertain thousands of people every year, in the auditorium, in cinemas and on DVDs.’
Writing on Twitter, music journalist and BBC Music Magazine contributor Jessica Duchen said: ‘Alfie Boe mouthing off about opera… Apparently musical ability & musical appreciation use different parts of the brain. Seems to prove it.’
Desert Island Discs with Alfie Boe will be repeated at 9am, Friday 10 June and is available to listen to on BBC iPlayer. Alfie Boe is appearing in Les Misérables at the Queen’s Theatre, London, from 23 June.