Watch: Opera singer Carly Paoli earns huge GAWA roar as she reveals Northern Ireland shirt during anthems ahead of Italy clash

It was a remarkable night at Windsor Park on Monday as Northern Ireland held out European champions Italy and even came away ruing big missed opportunities to turn the 0-0 draw into a home victory.

ut even on the night of such a thrilling match, one of the loudest roars came before kick-off thanks to opera singer Carly Paoli.

The British-Italian soprano first sang Italy’s stirring anthem Il Canto Degli Italiani (The Song of the Italians) in a blue cloak.

Her stunning voice had already wowed the crowd but then a quick wardrobe alteration sent the GAWA into raptures.

Ahead of singing God Save The Queen, Paoli ditched the blue cloak to reveal a full Northern Ireland kit, much to the delight of the home fans.

Have a look back at her performance, including the moment that thrilled the Northern Ireland support, here:

Northern Ireland fan Chris Adams responded by saying: “Carly you have won an army of new fans” while Darran Gilpin admitted he had a “few deep breathes after those anthems last night trying not to (cry)” and Wayne Stewart said Paoli’s costume change had initiated the “biggest cheer of the night”.

Paoli found herself at Windsor Park thanks to her friendship with Lorraine Campbell who is married to former NI player David Campbell, a member of the squad at the 1986 World Cup finals and also the agent of current international Shayne Lavery.

“It’s a real honour to sing both anthems,” she told the Belfast Telegraph last week in an interview in which she teed up her “exciting costume reveal”.

“As a singer I have been performing in Italy and Malta throughout the pandemic — a lot of it being filmed.

“It’s going to be a complete thrill to be back in front of an audience in a stadium.”

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