British singer to headline unique concert for Pope Francis

A British Mezzo Soprano has been chosen to headline a spectacular free concert in one of Rome's most historic sites, to mark the Pope's Jubilee celebrations.

Nottingham-born Carly Paoli - whose debut single Ave Maria has been chosen as the official song of the Pope's 2016 Jubilee celebrations - will lead the line-up for Music for Mercy, a ground-breaking live event held in the grounds of Rome's Forum on July 26.

This is the first time permission has been granted for an event at the historic site, which is seen as the heart of the ancient city and is now home to some of the world's most important archaeological discoveries.

Miss Paoli, 27, will be joined by global talents including celebrated Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli, 16-times Grammy Award winner David Foster and British performer Elaine Paige at the concert which is being hosted for free by Abiah Music.

Other acts include Italian singer Giovanni Caccamo, winner of the San Remo Music Festival in 2015, and Canadian vocal group The Tenors, with others to be announced in due course.

Miss Paoli was joined by Monsignor Andreatta, CEO of Opera Romana Pellegrinaggi (ORP) and Private Secretary to the Pope, to launch the event at The Lateran Palace in Rome.

She said: "I am delighted to announce the Music for Mercy concert and thrilled to be performing on stage at such a unique venue, inside the Forum. This event is about sharing the Pope's message of Mercy and I hope we can spread that message to as many people as possible with this fantastic event."

Miss Paoli, who was born in the UK to an Italian family and is bi-lingual, also unveiled her new single, A Time For Mercy, which will be released on 24 June.

The song, a follow-up to her debut single, Ave Maria, which topped the iTunes Classical chart when it was released last month, has been produced specially for the Music for Mercy concert in Rome and will be dedicated to the Jubilee celebrations. Written by lyricist Grant Black - son of Oscar-winner Don Black - and composer Romano Musumarra - the song is inspired by the title of Pope Francis book, The Name of God is Mercy.

Carly Paoli is one of the world's most in-demand classical performers since making her international debut with 16-times Grammy Award winner David Foster in 2014. Earlier this month she was invited to perform for Britain's Prince of Wales, Prince Charles at St James' Palace in London and in April she became the last British act to perform for late boxing legend Muhammad Ali at his Celebrity Fight Night fundraiser in Arizona.

Carly is currently recording her debut album with composer Romano Musumarra, producer Walter Afanasieff - whose credits include Titanic theme My Heart Will Go On - and Oscar-winning song-writer Don Black.

The Music for Mercy concert will be the pinnacle of a series of events happening throughout the Year of Mercy to mark the Papal Jubilee, which was launched by Pope Francis in December 2015.

A Time for Mercy is available to download from iTunes now:

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