This is me: Mackay music student to release first solo album
After four years on the stage in London’s West End, a CQUniversity Music Theatre alumnus dubbed ‘Australia’s own Bocelli’ is releasing his first solo album.
Since graduating from CQUni’s Central Queensland Conservatorium of Music in Mackay in 2009, Paul Tabone has performed in Germany, Italy, Bucharest and, most recently, London.
He has studied with internationally renowned teachers and performers in London, Wiesbaden, Milan, Florence and Bologna.
When COVID-19 prematurely ceased Tabone’s role with Andrew Lloyd Webber’s production of The Phantom of the Opera on the West End stage last year, he decided it was time to head to the recording studio and his album This is Me was born.
“In the shadow of lockdown and theatre closure I missed singing, performance and audiences – and for me, this became a time to reflect on my journey and the burning need to get on and make my first album, and re-popularise this fabulous art form,” Tabone said.
From a sugarcane and pumpkin farm in the tip of Far North Queensland, Tabone fell in love with music at age six and went on to become a tenor opera and musical theatre singer.
Tabone’s biggest claim to fame was at age 28 when Signora Nicoletta Mantovani (wife of the late renowned tenor Luciano Pavarotti) chose him to perform as one of four tenors at the world-renowned Arena in Verona, sharing the stage with operatic icons Andrea Bocelli, Placido Domingo, Jose Carraras and Ambrogio Maestri to an audience of 20,000.
The performance was a memoriam to Luciano Pavarotti for the 100th year birthday celebration of the Arena.
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Tabone said the album was a personal journey and a celebration of his Australian and Italian heritages.
“Every song in the album is special to me and reflects who I am and where I come from and the people and places that matter to me,” he said.
“I’ve lived in Italy and United Kingdom and sang all over the world, but I’m close to my roots and have a deep love and respect for the land, the earth and my heritage, Australia’s heritage. It’s important my album reflects this.”
With the help of Wiradjuri soprano and composer Shauntai Batzke, Tabone had part of the song, I am Australian translated into an Aboriginal language to pay respect to the Wiradjuri people and Australia’s First Nations peoples.
He continues the song in Italian, honouring his own family and all the Italians who have made Australia their home.
He sings a song performed at his own parents’ wedding – a gift for them and a homage to Pavarotti.
Tabone also sings songs he loves with a passion he hopes to share with people who may never go and watch opera, but who will be inspired by the joy and heart.
Music producer Robin A Smith, who worked with Tabone on the album, described Tabone as an incredibly versatile singer with “a beautifully warm and rounded tone”.
“He can cover all material from Bocelli and Pavarotti to high opera; Neapolitan songs, and his Caruso is formidable,” Mr Smith said.
“His style is as original as it is eclectic – a classical crossover, luscious and rich, reflected perfectly in the songs he has chosen for this album.”
This is Me will be released for pre-sale on February 15 together with the video clip of the track Paradiso — an arrangement of Bryan Adams’ Heaven.
Pre-Sale copies will be personally signed and include a free gift.
Copies can be pre-ordered at www.paultabone.com and will be available for worldwide purchase on March 6 via all online music platforms including Spotify, Amazon Music, Apple Music and iTunes.