Things are going well for classical singer Carly Paoli.
The 28-year-old has just released her debut album, Singing My Dreams, as well as securing a support slot with musical theatre band – and 2014 Britain’ Got Talent winners – Collabro for their winter tour, which includes a show in Sheffield.
The album, which features a duet with Spanish tenor and operatic legend José Carreras on En Aranjuez Con Tu Amor, is an enchanting collection of classical and classic pieces, as well as original compositions – some featuring lyrics by Carly herself.
And Carly, who was born in Mansfield and received coaching in her younger years at Directions Theatre Arts in Chesterfield, says: “The first song on the album is like a prelude to the rest of the album as the last line is ‘let the music go’ and I have written the lyrics to two of the tracks myself.”
Shortly before its release, she showcased songs from the album at an event at Bafta 195 Piccadilly in London.
The mezzo-soprano says: “It was an exciting night and it went fantastic. It was a really lovely night.
“It was a really amazing venue to showcase my music and it was quite overwhelming.”
Carly has described her debut album as being about her ambitions and says it is a product of what she has been singing about since she was a little girl.
She says: “This is a really exciting time, not just for me, but for my family and my team who have believed in me as an artist.
“They have all worked so hard, it has been a real team effort.
“I have had incredible support around me.”
The release of her album follows her success in winning the prestigious Premio Barocco award in Italy.
The award recognises achievements in arts and culture – previous recipients include Sophia Loren, Dame Helen Mirren, Gerard Depardieu and Luciano Pavarotti.
At the time of her nomination, Carly said: “It’s a huge honour for me to be nominated for this prestigious award.
It is a huge blessing to do what you love for a livingCarly Paoli
“Puglia is as much my home as the UK, my family are there, it’s where I spent all my free time growing up and gained so much performance experience.
“It’s a lovely feeling to have been recognised there for my dedication to music and also love of the region.”
Carly has a busy time ahead, including appearances on UK television and she is also jetting over to Italy where she will also perform on television, as well as the Collabro tour.
She says: “It is full steam ahead. Everyone told me I would get busy.
“But it is everything that I love – It is a huge blessing to do what you love for a living.
“I’ve always sung. Since I was four, I’ve never shut up. My mum worked in Thomas Cook and my dad is a lorry driver so I spent most of my evenings at my grandmother’s house, having my dinner and singing Abba in front of the TV or mirror.
“In my early days working as a singer I made money singing in piazzas in Puglia, in southern Italy,”
Carly is supporting Collabro on their winter tour, alongside Sheffield’s own Philippa Hanna and including a date at Sheffield City Hall on Friday, December 1.
“I am looking forward to it, she says.
“I am excited to have the chance to make my UK tour debut with Collabro.
“Like me, they have a passion for singing; we’ve all achieved our goals on different paths, but we all share the love of performance.
“To be able to perform with four guys, who love the world of musical theatre as I do, is an absolute dream.”
And Collabro said: “We are thrilled to welcome Carly as special guest. Her voice is stunning and we cannot wait to perform some huge songs alongside her this autumn.”
Tickets to see Carly with Philippa Hanna and Collabro at Sheffield City Hall are now on sale from sheffieldcityhall.co.uk