A Franciscan tenor has signed a major recording contract after music executives heard him sing in his native Italy. Br Alessandro Brustenghi will now showcase his voice to millions after signing an album deal.
The 34-year-old friar, who boarded an aeroplane for the first time to travel to Abbey Road Studios, London, will donate all proceeds from record sales to the Franciscan Order for its charitable work. He has been signed to Decca Records, part of Universal Music. Executives from 25 different countries flew to London to see his first performance at the 2012 International Decca Conference in Westminster.
It was be Br Alessandro’s first performance outside Italy, although he already features in his own YouTube video. The friar, who has been singing all his life, usually works as a carpenter, making and restoring furniture. He also welcomes visitors to Assisi as part of his work at the Basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli.
He grew up listening to Michael Jackson and Bach, loves electronic music, and cites Bjork as his latest musical interest. His first album, made up of a mixture of traditional and modern sacred songs, will be released in October. It includes an original track by Royal Wedding composer Paul Mealor, set to a prayer written by St Francis of Assisi, and will be made at Abbey Road by Mike Hedges.
Friar Alessandro said: “I’m a bit nervous but I understand this is necessary as it is a good opportunity to unleash this beautiful music to everybody. I feel excited, very excited because it’s it is an expression of my vocation. Music for me is a direct line with God. It’s the way to communicate with him, and it’s the way God uses to communicate with us. It’s the way to spread the Gospel, to everybody, to the world. The story of St Francis of Assisi is very similar to mine. Francis was a humble man, and he decided to spread the Gospel with music, dance and joy.”
Listen to Alessandro on Youtube