“It’s been an absolute whirlwind of a year actually,” Carly Paoli enthuses, her ocean blue eyes glinting with a hint of elation as we make ourselves comfortable at the majestic dining hall to talk about the incredible year she’s had. We’re inside one of the regal residences at The Ritz-Carlton KL where Paoli is currently residing with her family and entourage as she is scheduled to perform at the ninth edition of A Journey Through Time (AJJT) in Starhill Gallery. On camera, the British mezzo-soprano singer morphs into the feminine yet graceful vocal prowess persona she embodies on stage, exuding a 1940s Hollywood glamour vibe. Off camera, she’s changed out of the ethereal CH Carolina Herrera floral black gown that she absolutely must get her hands on when she returns to the UK and is dressed down in a white fluffy bathrobe, reaching for a bowl of fruits while humming a tune to herself.
It’s hard to believe that over a year ago, Paoli was just another fan waiting in line to catch one of her favourite singers José Carreras perform live in Marbella. But as fate would have it, the 26-year-old classical singer from Midlands is a living testament that fairytale dreams do come true as she has shared the stage with some of the biggest names in opera music.
Her journey to opera stardom began in 2014 when she flew out to Canada and made her international debut at The David Foster Foundation Miracle Gala, performing alongside globally renowned artists including Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson and Aerosmith’s lead singer Steven Tyler. Paoli wasn’t one to be easily rattled by stage fright as she seized the moment she had been waiting for her entire life. “I wouldn’t say I was thrown into the deep end because I’ve studied music my whole life and I’ve always performed since I was a child,” she says in a melodic voice, her British accent ringing in the air.
Get the February issue of Prestige for our exclusive interview and photo spread with Carly Paoli, where the classical singer opens up about her journey to stardom and what we can expect from her upcoming debut album.