Shared from the 5/9/2021 Chattanooga eEdition

The dream: Dinner and a song with Dolly



Marc Martel, left, known for providing the singing voice of the late Freddie Mercury in “Bohemian Rhapsody,” and opera singer Jonathan Cilia Faro have recorded the duet “Too Much Love Will Kill You,” a song written by Queen guitarist Brian May. It will be released May 14.


Each time opera singer Jonathan Cilia Faro pulls into his Nashville driveway, he looks across the gate at his neighbor’s house and has one wish.

“I live behind Dolly Parton, and I hope to one day sing a country/opera duet with her,” he said. “Actually, I love making pizza or pasta and would love to host a dinner and sing with her.”

Cilia Faro hopes to sing with lots of well-known singers from all genres of music, and he is on a mission to make that happen. His first duet was with Marc Martel, the singing voice of Freddie Mercury in the movie “Bohemian Rhapsody,” based on the life of the late Queen frontman.

Cilia Faro and Martel have recorded five songs together. The first, “Two Much Love Will Kill You,” will drop May 14, the rest in coming months.

Cilia Faro was born in Sicily, but spent several years in New York before moving to Nashville a year ago at the behest of his friend Brad Stine, a nationally known comedian.

“I first came here 20 years ago as a tourist and liked it,” he said of Nashville. “It reminds me of Sicily, but being an opera singer, it wasn’t the place for me then.”

Cilia Faro describes himself as a lover of good music, no matter the genre. He especially loves singers with big voices, which would explain his love of opera. Mixing it with other genres has been a goal of his for years, and after much encouragement from Craig Driver, a Chattanooga-area producer and manager he met in Nashville, he has gotten serious about the task.

“He inspired me so much,” Cilia Faro said. “Craig told me to be patient and that one day I would eventually meet everybody who are my heroes. We are writing a song about friendship and hope.”

Driver is just as effusive about Cilia Faro.

“He has such a great spirit and voice,” Driver said.

“Two Much Love Will Kill You” was written by Queen guitarist Brian May. Luciano Pavarotti and May were joined by Queen drummer Roger Taylor for a live version of the song in 2003 in Italy.

“I was there,” Cilia Faro said, “and was inspired and said, ‘One day I want to sing this because it is so powerful.’”

Cilia Faro said he lived for a year or two in Montreal, Canada, where Martel is originally from. The two met through mutual acquaintances.

“He came to my house and went through my record collection and pulled out an album of Pavarotti duets.

Cilia Faro said his ultimate goal is to “bring back real music. Every day I pray all social media will be shut off and we will fall in love with real music again.”

Contact Barry Courter at

or 423-757-6354.

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