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Wednesday, 02 December 2015

SOARING WITH AN ANGELIC VOICE

New Straits Times

Carly Paoli, who has performed with Jose Carreras and Andrea Bocelli, is set to release her debut album, writes Dennis Chua

EARLIER this year, a lorry driver's daughter from Mans-field, Nottinghamshire, UK, realised a dream when she   sang on the stage where the Three Tenors — Jose Carreras, the late Luciano Pavarotti and Placido Domingo — debuted together 25 years ago.

Carly Paoli, 26, was virtually unknown to the crowd that gathered at the ruins of the Caracalla Baths near the Colosseum in Rome, Italy.

She sang alongside Carreras, Andrea Bocelli, flautist Andrea Griminelli and Pavarotti's protege Cynthia Lawrence, and mesmerised the crowd in a passion-ate duet from Mozart's Cosi Fan Tutte with Lawrence.

The concert was one close to her heart, organised by the United Nations Children's Fund, or Unicef, in aid of underprivileged youngsters around the world.

Paoli, who is of British and Italian descent, has performed for the royals of Monaco and Malaysia, serenaded Prince Charles at Windsor Castle, and appeared on stage with American singers Jennifer Hudson and Steve Tyler.

She will soon release her debut album, which features Carreras. It is produced by Italian producer and composer Romano Musumarra.

Last year, Paoli in a show themed A Journey Through Time VIII, sang at Starhill Gallery in Kuala Lumpur.

She returned for a sequel at J.W. Marriott Hotel, Bukit Bintang, last Friday and enchanted more music lovers with her soulful singing.

In an interview, Paoli says she grew up listening to great music and had always wanted to be a successful singer. 

Tell us about your musical background.

I studied performing arts at Tring Park School for two years. That's where screen and stage legends like Julie Andrews and Jane Seymour studied as well. Later, I spent five years at Royal Northern College of Music, where the focus was on singing and showmanship.

Did you always dream of becoming a singer?

Yes, my mother also encouraged me to do so. I loved Disney music and sang along to popular songs from the movies when I was a pre-teen. I also watched musicals like Singing In The Rain and The Wizard Of Oz. I was raised in the language of opera and surrounded by the soaring voices of sopranos like Maria Callas and musical legends like Gene Kelly and Judy Garland. I was inspired by the classic musicals from the 1940s and 1950s as they bring to life emotional stories with their beautiful lyrics.

Any musical talents in your family?

My mother is a great singer, and my uncle, Luigi Paoli is a reputable folk singer in Italy. I spent my childhood summer holidays in the Puglia region of southern Italy. My uncle lives there and he taught me a lot about sing-ing and has made more than 40 folk records. I was blessed to get the performance experience in Italy, singing in piazzas, and I became quite well known in that area.

Tell us about A Journey Through Time.

It is my second performance in Malay-sia after the first event last year. I sang eight songs from my new album. It is so good to be back in KL, a city with fantastic people who love good music. As for the timepieces which are my "co-stars", I'm promoting Bedat & Co's Extravaganza as brand ambassador. These elegant timepieces are specially designed for women and symbolise empowerment and style.

How about your upcoming musical projects?

My album will be out next year and the main songwriter is Don Black, who has worked with Shirley Bassey and Michael Jackson. The producer is Romano Musumarra, a brilliant pianist who performed with me in KL.

What other genres of music do you enjoy?

I love pop, rock, soul and Latin music, too. My favourite singers are Frank Sinatra, Julie Andrews and Maria Callas.

Who would you wish to collaborate with?

The late great Luciano Pavarotti. He is a superstar of the stage and a generous, kind soul who has done a lot for the less fortunate around the world.

What is your most unforgettable experience in your world tours and concerts?

Singing in Carnegie Hall, New York, a month ago. I've always dreamt of singing in this world-class, legendary concert venue which has seen performances by the who's who of modern music.

Is there any talent you wish you had to complement your vocal prowess?

I would love to play the piano. It's a versatile instrument that can accompany all genres of music.