My haven: Alfie Boe, classical tenor and Royal favourite, 39, in his Cotswolds 'man cave'
23:09 GMT, 26 October 2012
The classical singer talks us round the home he shares with his wife Sarah and two children…
Alfie Boe, tenor and Royal favourite, at home in the Cotswolds with Guinness his golden retreiver
1. DRUMMER BOY
This drum kit means a lot to me because it was bought for me by my father Alfred when I was 14. Although I'm a singer, privately I love to play the drums when I hide away here in my 'man cave'. My mother tells a story that when she was expecting me she was watching a band on TV and the drummer suddenly burst into a solo. The minute he started I kicked inside Mum's stomach and knocked off a cup of tea that was resting on it!
2. TO THE KING!
Elvis has been a huge influence on me. I remember picking up a guitar and swinging my hips to Elvis records when I was seven. Although I made my name in opera, I get more excitement out of singing rock and pop now. I think it's the beat, the electricity pumping through the audience. Singing on the balcony of Buckingham Palace at the Queen’s Jubilee concert was one of the greatest experiences of my life.
3. MINE'S A GUINNESS
We’ve had our golden retriever for nine years, after we flew him over from the US where he was living with my wife’s family. We called him Guinness because as a puppy he was caught drinking a glass of Guinness I’d put on the floor. I’ve taken him on tour with me in the past, but what he really loves is exploring the Gloucestershire countryside where Sarah and I live with our daughter Gracie, four, and son Alfred Robert, nine months.
4. TURNING POINT
Playing Jean Valjean in the 25th anniversary concert production of Les Misrables in 2010 turned my career around and gave me the chance to make albums and tour. I then took the role in the West End last year and when I left they presented me with his jacket. As the lead it was a very emotional role, but I looked forward to going to work every day. It was great to get a standing ovation every night.
5. AMERICAN DREAM
I was asked to sing the American National Anthem in front of 60,000 people at the Yankee Stadium in New York earlier this year after the Les Mis anniversary concert was shown there, and they gave me this baseball bat engraved with my name. I was very nervous because I didn’t want to forget the words, so they put them up on a screen for me – but there was a cameraman in the way so I couldn’t see them. Thankfully I got it right.
6. ALL DOWN TO DAD
We lost my dad to a brain tumour 16 years ago. He was only 63, and I was there holding him when he died. He’d been a process worker at a chemical company in Lancashire for 35 years. He was an inspiration to me because his taste in music was so eclectic. He’d play opera – Gigli, Tauber and Caruso – during Sunday lunch with my five sisters and three brothers. I owe him so much for introducing me to such music so early in life.
Alfie’s new album Storyteller is released early next month, and will be followed by an arena concert tour.