Festive favourite Alfie Boe revealed what he would say if he could have one last conversation with his dad, who passed away when the singer was 23.
Talking in a Letter To My Younger Self, Boe said: “If I could I’d be able to live my life now in a very different way. But I’ll never be able to do that, so I have to learn to live with it.
“I wouldn’t want to ask him any questions, all I would want to say is thank you. And say sorry for being the kid I was sometimes.
“And tell him I’ve tried to do the best I can for my children just as he did for me.”
He told The Big Issue that he believes his dad is there along with him when he performs. Reflecting on the effect his temper has had on his relationships, he said it’s important to be able to forgive oneself.
But, he said, boxing helps bring him peace. “I don’t go to the gym to be aggressive. I find the rhythm of the gloves hitting the bag quite meditative.”
The car mechanic-turned-opera star also revealed that he was first pushed into singing by his mother as a solution to his being a “moody teenager”.
As a child he was reluctant and nervous to perform at the local operatic society, but being “dragged out” to sing Bring Him Home from Les Misérables kickstarted what became a lifelong love of opera.
He was not allowed to join his school choir after those in charge decided he wasn’t up to scratch, something which only added to an already difficult school life – the best part of his day was coming home, he said.
Achieving undeniable success despite a tough school experience, the star tenor won two Classic BRIT awards – Best Album and Group of the Year – with old friend Michael Ball earlier this year for their project Together Again.
In the Letter To My Youngest Self, Boe said he takes the time to enjoy his successes. “My proudest moments have been singing for Her Majesty’s 90th birthday at Windsor Castle. Or singing for her Diamond Jubilee on the balcony at Buckingham Palace.
“Standing on stage arm-in-arm with Shirley Bassey at the Royal Variety Performance. And I have relished those moments. Sometimes I get that shivery feeling and I suddenly can’t believe I’m there.”
Read the full letter in this week’s Big Issue.