WORKS: Love was a Dream: arias from Schön ist die Welt, Paganini, Frederica, The Land of Smiles, The Merry Widow, Giuditta & Frasquita
PERFORMER: Alfie Boe (tenor); Orchestra of Scottish Opera/Michael Rosewell
CATALOGUE NO: Linn CKD 346 (hybrid CD/SACD)
Listening to his father’s recordings of Richard Tauber singing Lehár was where Alfie Boe’s ambition to perform first began to swell. But Boe is not Richard Tauber, and not really a natural operetta tenor.
Tenors tend to regard operetta arias, together with all those soft-grained Neapolitan songs, as grist to their recording mill, but they demand much more than a gift for ringing top notes and lilting the voice in 3/4 time.
In any case, Boe is not one of nature’s beefier tenors and his tone is thin in the upper register with some ungainly falsetto. Nevertheless, there is some elegant soft singing in ‘Farewell, my love, farewell’ from Frasquita.