A church choir in the UAE is set to share a stage with legendary Italian singer Andrea Bocelli at his concert on Friday. 
The Dubai Vocal Ensemble (DVE) , who are the resident chorus at St Mary’s Catholic Church in the city, will provide back-up vocals for the renowned tenor’s performance at the du Arena in Abu Dhabi.
“It’s a dream come true and such a big privilege for us,” said an overwhelmed Joy Santos, who is musical director for the all-Filipino group.
“When I came to know Andrea Bocelli  was coming here, I asked my husband if we can go and watch his concert, but I never expected that I would end up being there to perform with him in front of 10,000 people.” Santos said the opportunity came to the group through music management firm The Fridge Dubai.
“The company contacted us and asked if we could be the back-up singers for the concert ,and of course we said yes,” Santos revealed, adding that the singers couldn’t wait to be on stage alongside the iconic musician.
“We are very lucky to get this chance and it’s also an achievement for us as we are the only Filipino group selected to perform with him. We have been practising every day after work and everyone has been trying to take days off so they can rehearse and be well prepared.”
Santos said the troupe - many of whom were experienced singers from the Philippines - would be formally attired for the big night.
“The girls are going to wear long black dresses and the guys will be in black tuxedos,” she said.
Earlier this year, DVE was declared ‘Choir of the Year’ at a local choir festival and competition. The chorus was also part of a 24-piece human orchestra that was scheduled to perform at the Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum International Photography Award (HIPA) ceremony earlier this week.
Bocelli will perform with a 70-piece orchestra and 60-piece choir, including DVE, on Friday as part of du World Music Festival. Since his last visit to the UAE, the iconic music figure has released a new album, ‘Passione’, A follow-up to ‘Amore’.