Who Sang It Better – Come What May

Come What May pictures of different versions of the song

With Valentines Day approaching I thought it would be good to look at one of my favourite romantic songs…Come What May. I love that this song has been done in so many different styles and it will actually be the first duet I have featured on this series!

Come What May is a secret love song between Christian and Satine and in the musical comes near the beginning of Act 2.

Moulin Rouge! The Musical opened on Broadway in July 2019, starring Karen Olivo and Aaron Tveit, both of whom obtained an Olivier award nomination for their portrayal.

I love how the Tveit starts off the song almost conversationally but by the time he sings ‘heart’ at 0:42 you can tell that his voice really suits the song. Tveit’s intonation when he sings ‘Come What May,’ the first couple of times is also beautifully defiant. I also love how powerful and passionate Olivo’s voice is. The two voices really suit each other, different enough to be distinct in style, like the characters but, similar enough to blend well on the harmonies.

Next up is Alfie Boe and Melanie C. Alfie Boe featured this song on his album, although on his album it is sung with Kerry Ellis. Whilst Alfie Boe is a musical theatre star is style is a lot more operatic and therefore the song sounds different, especially when paired with Mel C who is rooted in pop, although has since crossed over to musical theatre. I do love how Alfie isn’t afraid to make it his own and show off his own style, for example when he takes it up at around 3:10 instead of the melody we are all used to. Melanie C however does seem to struggle with the song, it’s a huge song and she seems to lack the power needed to pull it of. On top of this her inflection seems off and I find her movements distracting!!

This version is from Glee and performed by Darren Criss & Chris Colfer. Firstly I love that we have a same sex version and I think we still get a beautiful contrast in sound due to Colfer’s higher register. I also think that this version is really tender and beautiful. I know a lot of people aren’t huge fans of Glee but I actually think this version is really well done.

Collabro once again put their own take on Come What May, which is more classical than many of the other versions. I do love the harmonies they produce in particular at 1:45. I do however miss the contrast within the song that a woman’s voice (or a high tenor) can bring however the beauty of this version is the layers they produced as the song grew.

I couldn’t look at this song without considering the original, sung by Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor in the 2001 film. This was nominated for a Golden Globe. Kidman and McGregor may be actors over singers but I think that they pull off the song, mainly as they just ooze their characters during the song so whilst they may not have the most perfect voices I utterly believe every word that they sing. I also love how this song just continues to build and build throughout where as in some of the other versions it seems to reach it’s peak halfway through and then not go anywhere.

Which was your favourite version? My favourite is Tveit and Olivo as I think they are both vocally stunning and the emotion behind it is there as well however it was closely fought with the original, just as the original is so iconic and so steeped in emotion.

If you liked this article you might also like my looks at Bring Him Home, Tell Me It’s Not True and Gethsemane. You might also like my Musical Theatre songs quiz.

One comment

  • The young couple on Michael Mcintyre show
    made me cry, forget the rest, have heard it sung by many, not like this newly married couple
    I keep watching it on you tube
    Janette Steele

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