A mum-of-four from Skegness with a passion for singing hit the high notes in the biggest moment of her career so far when she represented Great Britain and finished third at the Sanremo Senior singing competition in Italy.
The international competition sees amateur and more established singers over the age of 34 from across the world compete at the Ariston Theatre in Sanremo, Italy.
Earlier this year 41-year-old Katy Divilly began her solo singing career as her act Broadway Baby, performing jazz and modern songs in pubs and other venues in Skegness, Lincoln, and elsewhere in the UK.
Katy told The Lincolnite that when she saw the advert online for the competition she didn’t initially release the enormity of it and then realised there were 900 entires.
She had to send a video before being chosen among the lucky sixty to perform at the semi-final in Italy on November 3 and 4.
The semi-final included both amateur singers like herself and more established artists who had albums or were at more advanced stages in their careers in their own countries. “It was an honour to have been chosen and the only singer from the UK,” Katy said.
Her chosen song was ‘As If We Never Said Goodbye’ from Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical Sunset Boulevard and was loved so much by the judges that she was one of 30 to progress through to the final. The finalists were split into two categories of singers like herself covering songs and those who composed and performed their own.
“I chose that song as it’s about a mature lady who comes back to the theatre and feels like she’s never been away, as it felt prominent to me, a mature singer like myself,” she said.
Katy travelled with her mum Margaret to Italy and proudly finished third in her category in the final.
She said: “When we had the meeting with the judges to go through the process they said everybody is a winner for being there.
“To get through to the semi-final and sing on that stage was enough for me. I thought I had no hope of the final as people were performing from all over the world.
“I felt choked up seeing all the flags, including Great Britain, and knowing it was me representing the nation. It was fantastic and everybody supported each other and I had really lovely compliments from the other competitors.
“It was a dream come true just to sing on the stage and to get through to the final was fantastic and it was a really lovely atmosphere.”
Katy started singing with the Janice Sutton Theatre School in Skegness from the age of 4. When she was 10-years-old she had classic singing lessons with the late Hillary Evans.
She is now a Principal Singer for the theatre school’s two main shows each year and is loving singing around local bars and clubs in Skegness, and across Lincolnshire and beyond.
She even has gigs on Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve at Hatters and Wolfies Wine Bar in Skegness respectively.
Since singing in Italy, Katy has been invited over to Holland to perform at a Westerwolde concert in 2023 by Klaas Spekken. An Italian/Canadian singer called Perry Canestrari offered Katy to work with him in the future.
Katy is also now looking for new work locally after the pub in Skegness where she was office manager – The Lumley – was sold to another company and unfortunately she was made redundant.
Katy added: “It (competing in Italy) makes me hungry for more. With family and being married I can’t just jump on a cruise ship, but this was such a great experience for me.
“I want to develop my career where I am and do some recording and push myself out on social media. This has inspired me to push to find a recording studio and to perform more.”
When she’s not singing, or performing in amateur theatre productions, Katy loves spending time with her husband Jason who attends almost all of her gigs, and her children – George, 20, Anna, 19, Quinlan, 13, and seven-year-old Grace.
She said: “I couldn’t have done this without Jason’s support. He supports me 100% and comes with me to gigs. He is my roadie and my number one fan. I’d also like to thank my mum for supporting me, including over in Italy.”
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