Ramin Karimloo, John Owen Jones, Alfie Boe and Michael Xavier

Today I am going to blog about one of my favourite subjects, music! And specifically, a form of music some of you may have paid little attention to, musical theatre. There is a quiet revolution happening in musical theatre. In the past  it was the shows, the composers and lyricists and the stories that were the stars. Yes, we knew the names of some of the performers, Howard Keel, Kathryn Grayson, Julie Andrews, Rex Harrison, Michael Crawford etc. but few of them had careers as singing stars outside of theatre and film.

The new breed of musical theatre star is releasing Cds and doing tours and many of them have stupendous voices. You don’t need to be a fan of the shows to appreciate them and enjoy their talent. And they are all over You Tube, hundreds of magnificent clips.

Today I am going to show you some of my favourites and I encourage you to click-through and have a listen. You might find you want to hear more and you find a new singer to enjoy. I do hope so.

Firstly Ramin Karimloo. He needs no introduction to those who know Phantom of the Opera and it’s sequel, Love Never Dies. And he is about to star as Jean Valjean in Les Mis in London. But he has another career writing and recording popular music. And he is simply brilliant.

This is a video of ‘Till I hear you sing again’ from ‘Love Never Dies: 


And this is Ramin singing in a shop in London called Dress Circle with his guitar:


Secondly, John Owen Jones. He is Welsh and he is known as one of the best Jean Valjean’s of all time and his rendition of Bring Him Home is exquisite. But he also has two Cds out.

This is ‘Someone to Fall Back On” from the 2009 CD


And this is John singing a capella in the Dress Circle Shop


Thirdly is Alfie Boe. Alfie is a scream. He is a trained opera singer and sang Jean Valjean in the 25th anniversary performances of Les Mis at the O2 last year. He stayed with Matt Lucas and he warbled a bit for the camera. I loved the comment below it that said “I searched all over the kitchen department of Ikea and I couldn’t find one of these.”


Classic. And this Matt Lucas and Alfie sort of singing The Impossible Dream


And lastly the lovely and talented duo Michael Xavier and Emma Williams singing from “Love Story” at the 2011 Oliviers. It is such a sweet song and they are fantastic together.


So I hope you have a listen to some of them, they will reward you. And here’s to music and glorious voices and people with a passion for singing and telling a story with emotion.

Past genius and present genius together, 02 October 2010


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