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Freddie Mercury Saved My Life with Alfie Boe
"I’m humbled that I’ve got the training that Freddie knew he lacked. But I think his passion and creative energy made up for it and made him the genius he was. He saw no limits to where his talent could take him, and no boundaries to his extraordinary musical imagination. "
The bad boy of opera, Alfie Boe explores the art of Freddie Mercury; the outrageous genius, the ultimate front-man of Queen and superlative songwriter and singer. Alfie’s journey from opera to exploring all kinds of music is almost the mirror image of that of his hero Freddie Mercury who went from rock to opera as he used his genius to propel Queen from conventional rockers to become one of the greatest bands ever - embracing many musical styles and art forms.
Alfie uses his own experience to propose a new strong personal vision of what makes Freddie Mercury an icon. In this film he argues that Freddie’s genius comes from the very lack of formal musical training that Alfie found himself kicking against in his own quest to escape the constraints of the opera world.
At each step of the way, Alfie immerses himself in the music. He performs ‘Barcelona’ live – a song Freddie Mercury himself only performed live twice - in order to gain a deeper understanding of the craft and genius of Freddie from his own perspective. He meets people who knew him as a teenager and is shown never before seen footage of Freddie Bulsara when he first came to England as a refugee.
Alfie travels to Switzerland to the old Queen recording studios at Montreux, visits Barcelona to talk to famous soprano Montserrat Caballe who duetted with Freddie and discusses Freddie's unforgettable performance at Live Aid with founder Bob Gedolf.
Alfie meets Freddie's close family and talks beginnings with Queen guitarist and song writer, Brian May who explains; "The biggest influence on Freddie was Freddie. And it happened when he started to record, because then of course once you hear yourself coming back out of the speakers, it’s a very different thing. It’s, it’s so different to just doing things live. And as soon as Freddie was hearing himself coming back, he was visibly dissatisfied and always searching, always trying to improve."
And, as he explores the formative experiences that made Freddie unique, we find out more about what formed Alfie Boe, the opera star who wants to explore new musical worlds.
Directed: Harvey Lilley
Executive Producers: Dinah Lord
The Perspectives documentary strand brings together powerful stories and unique insights into the arts from a range of well-known figures. Now in its fourth year, the strand will encompass six films from a rich variety of distinctive individuals offering their take on subjects for which they have a personal enthusiasm and fascination.