Carly Paoli, the British/Italian soprano, who has been described as having the ‘voice of an angel’, has responded to requests from World War II veterans around the globe, who have asked if she can sing for them on D-Day! Due to travel restrictions the Veterans will not be able to commemorate the occasion with their usual visit to Normandy this year, however Carly will be keeping their spirits up with a special concert ‘Because of You’ D-Day that will be broadcast on her social media channels on 6 June 2020 at 7.00 pm (UK time).
The World War II Veterans got in touch with Carly following her recent online VE Day 75th Anniversary singalong. Carly, who was thrilled to receive such a positive response, decided to put on a special concert for them and her legions of fans, which will be filmed at Liverpool’s St Luke’s ‘Bombed Out’ Church next weekend.
The concert which will run for 40 minutes will include You Raise Me Up, a song written by Rolf Løvland and Brendan Graham and made famous by Josh Groban; Someone To Watch Over Me, George and Ira Gershwin’s poignant American Songbook classic; One Bright Star written especially for Carly and a song that carries a fervent message of hope; Rodgers and Hart’s Where or When; Because of You, written by Donnie Demers which Carly performed in Los Angeles as a tribute to photo journalist Anja Niedringhaus who was killed in Afghanistan; Over The Rainbow, a song indelibly associated with Judy Garland and Requiem for a Dead Soldier with words set to the theme tune from HBO’s Band of Brothers, a song particularly requested by some of the veterans who watched Carly’s VE Day concert amongst whom was James ‘Pee Wee’ Martin of the 101st Airborne Division who landed on the Normandy Beaches.
Among the World War 2 Veterans who approached Carly to do this are Richard (Dickie) Forrester of the Kings Royal Rifle Corps, and Robert Larnach of the Royal Artillery. Both men who are now in their nineties, took part in Operation Overlord in Normandy. Robert Larnach commented “I first heard Carly sing during the ‘lockdown’ and thought her VE Day concert was exceptional. It is great that the younger generation are showing an interest in what happened so many years ago. Let’s never forget”.
Talking about the concert Richard (Dickie) Forrester said, “Carly is such a beautiful girl with a lovely voice, and it is so wonderful of her to think of us Veterans at this time.”
St Luke’s, known as the ‘Bombed Out Church’ in Liverpool is one of the last relics from the May 1941 Liverpool Blitz. St Luke’s was hit by the Luftwaffe and burned for three days. Luckily as the attack was in the early hours of the morning no one was killed, and the church now stands as a memorial to the 4000 people of Liverpool who lost their lives during WW2.
St Luke’s serves as a “managed ruin” and often plays host to cultural events including concerts and art exhibitions. Sir Paul McCartney has been a great supporter and Yoko Ono held her Skyladders’ exhibition there in 2008. When Carly Paoli decided to film a concert for D-Day, she approached the team at St Luke’s as she thought it would provide a perfect and significant backdrop for the concert.
The event will be filmed by a small crew who will observe social distancing rules.