We chatted to Alex about conducting Sunset Boulevard at the Royal Albert Hall.
Hi Alex – how are you feeling about being asked to conduct Sunset Boulevard? Very excited! It’s one of my all-time favourite scores and to conduct it in such a luxurious and iconic venue is amazing. It really feels a great privilege.
How does it feel to be getting to perform it in such an iconic venue? The venue holds such history, and as a concert venue it is one that as a conductor you hope one day you will play. This is my debut there, I thought it might be doing a Christmas concert or something, so for it to be this show is beyond my wildest dreams.
There’s an amazing cast lined up for this performance – how has it been working alongside
everybody so far? It has been delightful. We have done the show before with most of this cast so we know it works. And the bonus of being able to work again with them on it is amazing because we can delve further
into the material, add even more detail and thus hopefully make it even better than before.
What do you think makes this such a strong musical from a musical perspective? It’s a great story. That is the crux of all great musicals. If you have a great story to tell, you can engage the audience. It’s also a real microscope on the underworld of Hollywood, which is a subject matter that I find fascinating. The score harks back to the old movie scores and really evokes the time and world of movies in the 50s.
Have you a favourite moment in the show that musically really stands out for you? Yes- this one is easy! ‘As If We Never Said Goodbye’ is possibly one of my favourite moments in a musical ever. The first time this fading actress returns to a movie studio – her old haunt. It’s magical, moving and a killer song. I never tire of conducting it- I get teased by my colleagues about how much I like to rehearse that moment!
For those who have never experienced Sunset Boulevard live before what can they expect? Expect a captivating story, a soaring score with iconic songs, but also an incredible cast who sing the bones out of this and an orchestra who commit and play every note in all its spectacular and glittering glory.
By Emma Clarendon