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Italy’s singing nun works on debut album

A charismatic Italian nun who won a television singing contest after wowing viewers with her lively dance act and soulful renditions of 80s classics is now working on her debut album.

Italy's singing nun works on debut album
Sister Cristina in the recording studio. Photo: Universal/YouTube screengrab

Sister Cristina, a reformed rebel from Sicily, won a record contract with Universal for her victory in The Voice Italy in early June.

The music company has released a video snippet of the soul sister in the studio, working on a recording of Alicia Keys' "No One", the song that won over the show's judges during auditions in March. 

Watch the video here:

No other details of the album were given other than that it would be “coming soon”.

Preparations for the debut album come after Sister Cristina hinted hat she did not want a musical career.

"I'm not here to start a career but because I want to impart a message," she said after winning The Voice Italy, adding that she was following Pope Francis's calls for a Catholic Church that is closer to ordinary people.

The nun wowed viewers with her versions of songs like "Girls Just Want To Have Fun" and "Time of My Life" from the film "Dirty Dancing".

But it was her performance of "No One" that first drew attention.

Fame brought media scrutiny to her past, including interviews with an ex-boyfriend and with Claudia Koll, the director of the musical academy where she trained – herself an ex-starlet who is now a lay sister.

"Cristina's personal journey has brought her to maturity and artistic fullness thanks to a mysterious and special force. By giving herself to the Lord, she has enriched her art," Koll said in an interview.

Sister Cristina said she used to rebel against religion when she sang in a band but was inspired to be a nun when she auditioned for a part in a musical about the founder of the Ursuline Order, Saint Angela Merici.

She became a novice in 2009 and worked for two years with poor children in Brazil before formally joining the order and still has to take her final vows. 

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ITALY

Italy’s Renzi wants ex-ECB boss Draghi to become prime minister: report

Ex-PM Matteo Renzi would like to see former European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi become prime minister of Italy, a party source told Reuters on Sunday.

Italy's Renzi wants ex-ECB boss Draghi to become prime minister: report
Matteo Renzi. Image: Andreas Solaro/ POOL / AFP

“I would say that is one of our proposals,” confirmed the source, who declined to be named.

The Italian government collapsed last week when PM Giuseppe Conte resigned. The former coalition allies are currently trying to come to an agreement and sort out their differences.

The centre-left government had been in turmoil ever since former premier Matteo Renzi withdrew his Italia Viva party earlier this month, a move that forced Conte to step down this week.

During the past year, Renzi frequently criticised Conte’s management of the pandemic and economic crisis.

Italy’s La Stampa newspaper also reported on Sunday that President Sergio Mattarella was considering Draghi for the prime ministerial role. However, Mattarella’s office promptly denied this, saying there had been no contact between them.

So far, there has been no comment from Draghi, who hasn't been seen much in the public eye since 2019.


Italy's president, Sergio Mattarella, gave ruling parties more time on Friday to form a new government, after the resignation of Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte. 

Coalition parties Italia Viva, the centre-left Democratic Party (PD) and anti-establishment 5-Star Movement must come to an agreement to allow the government to heal. 

Renzi, a former prime minister himself, has pubilcly stated that he does not want to talk about who should lead the next government at this stage, reasoning that the parties need to agree on a way forward first.

“Any effort today to fuel a discussion about Draghi is offensive to Draghi and above all to the president of the republic,” Renzi said in an interview published on Sunday with Corriere della Sera.

A senior Italia Viva lawmaker also told Reuters that “If the president gives a mandate to Draghi, we would certainly support this”. 

Renzi, whose party is not even registering three percent support in opinion polls, quit the coalition over Conte’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and his plans for spending more than 200 billion euros from a European Union fund to help Italy’s damaged economy.

READ ALSO: Why do Italy's governments collapse so often?

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