Ok folks, our little one is turning 26! Can you believe it?
So, it’s that time again…. it’s time to pick a song!
Please send in your song selections for Gianluca’s video, so Kelly has time to create it. We’ve never specified in the past, but have noticed people have been choosing songs sung by the guys, or the birthday boy. We usually try to go for songs that they have not sung themselves. But I know we have a lot of new folks on this site, so that is ok.
Gian’s birthday, is, of course, on Feb 11. So, please send your song selections to our gmail account: email@example.com by Monday, January 25, 2021.
Looking forward to seeing what is chosen this year! 🙂
Be sure to send your wishes in also, by Saturday, Feb 6, if possible. 🙂
(again, please do not post any wishes on the FaceBook page, as I do not check FaceBook)
I know many of you have already seen an article or video of Star Rosetano’s interview with Gianluca on December 30, 2020. God bless all of the Facebookers and fan pages who are so prompt to get this stuff posted as soon as it happens. I’m not that diligent, or timely, but I thought I’d do a fresh translation with a little color commentary.
First, though, an important message. Gianluca and Ernie Ginoble posted last week that they both tested positive for COVID-19. Baruch HaShem (that’s Hebrew for “Thank God”), neither is seriously ill. They are both isolated in Gian’s house to protect their parents and their Nonno Ernesto. Given how close the Ginoble family is, isolation is probably hard on the boys. We don’t yet have information on whether Ignazio and Piero were exposed or even recently tested. Here’s what Gian had to say:
“My brother and I have tested positive forCOVID-19. Actually, we are at home isolated from the rest of the family and are doing well. Despite the care and precaution we’ve adopted, we did not escape this virus. So, I seriously recommend that everyone pay maximum attention, wear a mask, respect the rules and social distancing. Only by working together will we be able to overcome this dark period in our history.”
On a positive note, we now know that Digital Journal (that’ the internet news “supercenter”) selected Il Volo’s Radio City Music Hall concert last February as the worldwide best concert in 2020. Gian, who has a close relationship with the local and regional media people in Abruzzo, was interviewed by Luca Maggitti right after this news reached them.
Before I translate Gian’s December interview, I thought I would enlighten our readers about the unpredictability of using automatic computer translations. I very much appreciate everyone who posts or translates on any of the Il Volo fan pages, even when they use computer translation software. But let me give you an example of what happens when you trust these crazy tools too much. We can even have a little Italian lesson while we’re at it.
Last year, I saw an automatic translation of an interview question to Ignazio, where he was asked what he does when he gets home from a tour. He described how he appreciates ordinary things like doing the laundry, and “portare in giro il cane”. That’s the Italian idiom for “walking the dog.” But that got translated by a computer, literally and humorously, as “carrying the dog around.” I don’t think Ignazio meant to say he was carrying his dog around town in his arms. Then again, knowing how fond he is of his Arturo, maybe Igna wanted to carry him!
Translation: “While I was shut in the house for a week and a half, it was he who kept me company. Arturo!” (Also note that there’s a graphic of Arturo on the living room wall).
Besides, when Arturo was a new pup, he had a little problem responding to the leash, so maybe Igna had to carry him sometimes!
Then again, maybe it’s because Ignazio is a Sicilian (even if he does live in Bologna)? The last time I spent part of the summer in Sicily, my landlord also “carried” one of his dogs around. When I saw him going up and down the second-floor stairs with his dog in his arms, I yelled over the muro di pietra (stone wall) of my terazza to ask what he was doing, and he responded, “Cosa pensi che sto facendo? Sto portando in giro il cane.” “What do you think I’m doing? I’m walking the dog.” Between gasps and laughing, all I could say was, “Beh, stai davvero camminando, e quello è davvero un cane. “Well, you really are walking, and that really is a dog.”
It turns out one of my landlord’s little twin dogs (who look just like Roberta Morise’s little doggie on the beach here with Igna) was totally blind. His other little one had no teeth (as my landlord says “proprio como il suo padrone” “just like his owner”). I couldn’t pass up a joke, and blurted out, “Con loro due hai quasi un cane intero.” “Between the two of them you almost have one whole dog.”
We were both Sicilians, so we could tease each other and get away with it. Va tutto bene trapaesani (It’s all OK among us paesanos). Besides, my landlord was an Il Volo fan, so we could forgive each other nearly anything.
Speaking of Sicilians, have you ever noticed what Piero does when Ignazio says he’s from Bologna? I saw an Italian TV interview about a year ago, which was pretty typical. When Igna says he’s Bolognese, Piero does the exaggerated eye roll and Sicilian hand gestures, and smarts off: “Mostra dal tuo accento quanto sei bolognese.” “Yeah, it shows from your accent how Bolognese you are.” Igna normally speaks formal northern Italian, but with a Sicilian accent, and switches seamlessly and at will into heavy Sicilian dialect. You can hear him on stage or on TV, saying things like “cu” (“who”) and “iddu” “(he”) “che beddu” (“how cute he is” – this can be very ironic) and “schiacciando i cabazizzi” (I’m not translating that one).
The TV show I saw was the same one, by the way, where Gianluca wouldn’t tell the name of his current sweetheart, then ran off the stage with the interviewer after telling her she looks just like her. The other two (you know who) had a field day with that.
Piero lapses into Sicilian, too, when it’s convenient. Our Daniela has at least once caught Piero calling Igna, “cumpa” (Sicilian for neighbor or buddy). That was the time this past summer when, early one morning, Piero pulled a prank on video, convincing Igna he had to get up to go do a non-existent interview. When Igna figured out that he “veniva preso in giro” was “being taken for a ride” he exercised the top row of his keyboard really well ($#@%&#*!!)
On to the Gianluca interview.
Here’s a link to Luca Maggitti’s Facebook post of a short live interview with Gianluca on December 29, which was an intro or “teaser” for an article that followed in print the next day. The interview clip appears near the top of Luca’s Facebook page. I translate it below.
Luca: Roseto degli Abruzzo, two days until the end of this unbelievable year 2020. We greet our friend Gianluca Ginoble of Il Volo. Gianluca, with the pier of Montepagano, the Pier of Roseto, at your back.
Gian: The most relaxing, peaceful place in our little town.
Luca: We had a little chat, thanks to you making yourself available, to re-evaluate, three days after the splendid concert that blew away everyone who heard it at Saint Peter’s Square at Christmas, and four days after your concert at Radio City Music Hall was named the best concert of 2020. We are seeing you here for a quick visit preceding the written interview which we’ll publish tomorrow. So, at year end, with Gianluca. We ‘re having a little chat with Gianluca on these 10 years he has lived so intensely. For our friends, what are your thoughts to lead off this chat we’ve had?
Gian: To start off, I send greetings to all who are watching us. Apart from the last few things we’ve done, I’m very pleased with the success of this Christmas concert we did, especially because it permitted us a moment of thoughtfulness, a smile, given this totally strange year that unfortunately struck all of us. So, I want to say it has been a real “mouthful” for us to return to singing at a place as magical as that (St. Peter’s Square). So, it was like a gift for us, who wanted to return this gift to all Italians and all the people who follow us. About those 10 years, as I told you, this is the thousandth interview we’ve done, but you are my favorite reporter.
Luca: You’re too kind.
Gian: I’ve already told you many, many things about how my life has changed, without regrets and in unexpected ways. I have gone from a child prodigy to the guy, the man, I am today. In just two months, I’ll be 26 years old.
Luca: So, with this meeting I wanted specifically . . . (Gian interrupts to say “Hi, good evening” to some passersby who recognize him) . . . to capture the effect of your greeting and your smile and Montepagano, and the pier on the sea; to offer best wishes for a good year. Because never before, as much as this year, have we had such a need to wish that the next year (2021) would be better than this unbelievable year. Thank you, Gianluca. Delighted to have you.
Gian: I send a virtual hug and a greeting to everyone, hoping that 2021 will be truly better than this past year which unfortunately, as I said, has hit us not only at the working level but also at the emotional level. Because it has been a really heavy thing to endure a whole year that made us more vulnerable, and also forced us to be more motivated. So, a hug to everyone, and let’s hope that we will soon resume doing concerts. Because the moment that we return to doing concerts, it will mean that things have returned to normal. So, see you soon. Ciao.
Next, here’s a link to the Roseto.com article, which I’ve also translated below.
GIANLUCA GINOBLE: 10 ANNI DI CARRIERA, 10 TOUR MONDIALI
Gianluca Ginoble: A 10-Year Career and 10 World Tours
Interview with the Rosetana star, who talks about past concerts and the desire to return to performing in front of audiences around the world.
Roseto degli Abruzzi, Wednesday, 30 December 2020 – 11:30 am
Gianluca Ginoble – 10 years of career and 10 world tours with Il Volo. What does this mean for a young man, 25 years old, who as a boy left the ancient village of Montepagano? “The happiness of having turned my passion into my job. Not everyone has this great privilege in life. This fills my heart with joy and makes sense of everything.”
Looking at certain photos it seems like seeing you in a movie, given the importance of the characters and the exceptional nature of the audiences. “I was thinking about it recently, sitting at the table with my family. During the Christmas holidays, I often return in my memory to many beautiful moments and retell them (to the family). And when I remember certain moments, it feels almost like a fairy tale. Sometimes I’d like to pinch myself and ask myself, “But did it all really happen?”
So, you think back to these first 10 years, what is the greatest feeling? “The awareness that everything really happened, enhanced by the slight naiveté of someone who’s still struggling to believe it. As long as I keep this youthful honesty, I will have the strength to do better and better.
After touring the world 10 times in 10 years, do you have a kind of “super-list” of the most beautiful emotions you experienced?“The greatest emotion of all is the unbelievable sight of countries and peoples in the world so different from each other in everything – culture, traditions, food, religion, behaviors – but united by their passion for our musical genre. From the composed and attentive Japanese audiences to the most passionate and unleashed South American ones, the common thread is our songs. This is really incredible, because I think it is also the strength of bel canto, which manages to unite people who appear to be extremely different”.
At Christmas you achieved a huge television success with the concert on Rai 1. A few days earlier, the Digital Journal, the world’s information network, had selected as the best concert of the year 2020 your concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York, held on February 6. If you had to recall, (what were) three special concerts for you in these 10 years? “Every concert is special to me, because it’s a blessing. I love singing, and in this long period of downtime, I sing every day, at home. So, when I have the pleasure of doing it for the public it’s always a wonderful time for me. But if you want to rank them, of course we start from that concert in New York, which received a very important recognition that surprised and honored us. Then, after that memory, I would like to recall the beauty of two concerts held at opposite ends of the world: the one at Bunkamura in Tokyo and the one at Luna Park in Buenos Aires. In Japan the audience was extremely calm, quiet, very attentive. In Argentina there was a much “hotter” and more visceral atmosphere. The thing that links these two concerts is the passion of those who came to listen to us and, therefore, the magic of seeing very different (types of) people united by music.”
For many months, the Covid-19 pandemic has paralyzed the world, as far as cultural and musical activities. How are you getting through this period? “With the affection of my family and in the serenity of Montepagano. We must wait for the pandemic to pass and for conditions to be safe for everyone. This is the only way can we return to concerts and being happy again, united by the music that for me is the oxygen of my life”.
Thinking about when you’re on tour, what are the things you now miss most? “Humanly speaking, the habit of travelling and the pleasure of always adapting to the new circumstances, the tears of joy of the public, the facets and sensations that the work I do – which is the most beautiful in the world – gives me. Professionally speaking, it’s my reflections on how I did and how the concert was, after each performance.”
Do you really do performance analysis after each concert? “Yes, it is very important out of respect for those who come to listen to us and for my continual improvement. One thing that strikes me is the ability I have developed, in recent years, to perceive the reactions of the audience to our concerts and, specifically, to my performance. I think I have the right empathy to feel people’s emotions when I sing.”
And your empathy, I think born of artistic sensitivity, what does it tell you? “It tells me whether the public liked something or not, whether I could have done it better. I am extremely self-critical and this allows me to understand if everything went well, or when and where I could do better. And, with a little presumption, I’ll tell you that I’m rarely wrong. So, when I tell myself after a concert that I could have done this or that thing better, I work hard to do it better at the next show. And on a 50-date world tour, continuous improvement is possible and necessary.”
By looking at yourself in such a self-critical and analytical way, in these 10 years you must also have learned some lessons or acquired values. Which are the most important? “While acquiring self-awareness, learning to manage your own emotions and feelings, avoiding any authoritarianism. Then the strength to believe in ourselves to transmit trust to the people around you and who share this wonderful and demanding journey with you. Because there is alwaysa need for security, and we who are the leaders of a project must be an example, certainly remaining humble but aware of our value, specifically to protect the beauty of what we’ve built and to protect all those who are part of our home.” (Author’s note: Besides meaning Italy, “home” refers to the many who depend upon Il Volo for their livelihood. These three young men have a strong sense of responsibility for their entire team and staff).
You speak like someone older than your 25 years, a sign that 10 years around the world has made you grow older than your age…
“I think it is the result of a path of growth, of books read and people whoenrich you with their thoughts and their examples. I think there’s always a reason for success. And if success – excuse the pun – continues to happen (Author’s note: In Italian, “succcesso” means “success”, but also means “happened”), there is a reason. So, because for so many people you are a point of reference, while remaining a human being and therefore vulnerable, you have to do everything to be a positive example, a charismatic leader who transmits security and serenity. Of course, this is a journey and I have learned it over the years. At first, I was shyer and more reserved, but then the world tours and experiences tempered me, I think positively.”
From your personal archive, you have selected 19 photos to share with us of concerts held in New York, Verona, Rio de Janeiro, Budapest, Buenos Aires and Montreal. What’s your wish for the year to come? “My desire is to be able to return to re-live those wonderful moments. My hope is that this will happen as soon as possible, because it would mean a world healed and restored. To quote the great Lucio Dalla: “I’m getting ready.”
Happy New Year. “Best wishes for a better year for all, with all my heart.”
Interview by Luca Maggitti
Our prayers and thoughts go out to the Ginobles for all their health. Flight Crew will post again if we hear any more on all our guys.
My choice for Best Photo of 2020 is the picture of Ignazio and Fabio embracing at Fabio and Maria’s Baby Reveal Party! Take that picture, put it in a dictionary under the word “friendship” and no other explanation is necessary!
My story today is about the man behind the picture, Fabio Ingrassia! His life, his art, his music and his friendship with Ignazio and Il Volo.
Fabio Ingrassia was born on June 6, 1989 in Marsala, Sicily. He is a contemporary artist. He attended the Mazara del Vallo Institute of Art and the Fine Arts Academy of Palermo. He continued his studies at the Academy of Fine Arts in Palermo but without finishing his studies, thus embarking on a path full of obstacles and difficulty, at least in the eyes of the artist, but certainly not in the eyes of the public!
From an early age Fabio showed a love for art and colors. He is always looking for new stimuli and new artistic expressions. He says, “Art is the desire to live, to communicate, to discover and to admire… I live art in the shadows, in black and white between colors.”
The Il Volo fans know Fabio as a long-time friend of Ignazio and Il Volo but what they do not know is Fabio is a world-renowned artist. His works can be found in North America, South America, Japan, Russia, Mexico, Germany, Belgium and of course Italy.
Fabio’s journey took him from the small city of Marsala to the stages of America where he truly lived the American dream. He joined Il Volo on the Grande Amore World Tour with three performances in Florida.
In March 2019, in Miami, Fabio created one of the most important, music recording studio works “Latin Harmony” – a mural representing the singers who recorded in the studio of Emilio and Gloria Estefan.
Trivia: Did you know Fabio was in the “Noche Sin Dia” video with the guys? See if you can find him!
Fabio says, “Italy is my first source of inspiration. I love the Renaissance and I am lucky enough to be able to admire these masterpieces whenever I would like.” He says these masters are a source of inspiration for him however, among all the sources of inspiration, music is the one that most excites him.
Fabio has a strong admiration for Il Volo. One of the paintings that is a major part of his collection is “The Power of the Genius” where he represents Il Volo, “Three Voices One Soul.”
On September 16, 2018 together with the comedian Roberto Lipari, Fabio performed in front of 200,000 people on the occasion of the Pope’s visit to Palermo.
On August 19, 2020 Fabio and Alessandro Quarta performed at the Noto Music Festival. Fabio said, “We ‘created’ together a concert on stage, a carnal relationship with his violin, between sensuality, nostalgia and – sometimes – sadness.”
Fabio works in so many different art forms it would take not just a story but a book to write about all of it. From his sand paintings in which he is not just painting a picture but telling a story to his tattoo art.
The work of art that most of you have seen and which I truly admire is the painting he did for Domenico Dolce for 62nd birthday. It was magnificent. The painting is Fabio’s interpretation of the Moment of Creation for Domenico Dolce! In the tradition of the renaissance, he included himself and Maria in it.
He presented the painting on Instagram and asked the question, “What do you see in this painting?” Most people answered that they saw Fabio. But what he was referring to was Caravaggio’s technique of chiaroscuro. The use of light and dark to give bold effects to the painting.
Not only did he use this technique but, he incorporated baroque pieces into the painting, like the detail on the chair that Domenico is sitting on. Most artists consider these old techniques and don’t use them in their painting anymore. He has taken Contemporary art and incorporated these old elements and created a new art form.
Now I want to talk about his relationship with Ignazio and Il Volo.
Fabio and Nina Boschetto were classmates at art school and this is how he met Ignazio. He was a regular at the pizzeria.
In an interview, Fabio said, “I had the chance to see Ignazio’s passion growing, year after year. I remember the moment in which it became clear to me that success would be his path, and that it couldn’t be otherwise. When Ignazio, enthusiastically, showed me the video of the musicalStreetlight, to which he took part in, it was like a hurricane. He managed to draw everyone into his passion for music. One day you could find him studying singing techniques, another one playing the piano, and yet another one playing drums. As a friend and as a Marsala citizen I am very proud of his artistic path and of his successes.”
Let me tell you how I see their friendship. I see not just as a friendship but two brilliant minds that think alike. I think of Ignazio as not just a singer but as a whole production and I think of Fabio as not just an artist but as art itself.
What do I mean by this? Ignazio and Fabio are constantly creating. Constantly going to the next dimension. There is nothing Ignazio can’t do musically and there is nothing that Fabio can’t do artistically!
Before I move on to the part of the story, I know you are all waiting for, I would like to mention the incident when Ignazio broke his arm in Tampa.
The stage was narrow and Ignazio picked up a child and took him in his arms to take him to the center of the stage where Piero, Gianluca and the other two children were.
There were electrical cables on the ground and Ignazio tried to avoid them, but he tripped and fell holding the child. To protect the child, Ignazio twisted his body, so that his left arm hit the ground taking the full brunt of the fall while raising the child above his head to protect him.
Ignazio got up right away still holding the child in his arms and finished the song. At the next song it was clear that Ignazio had a broken shoulder but he managed to finish the concert. He left before the meet and greet. Barbara Vitali immediately took him to the hospital. In the next concert he had a sling on his arm and it remained on for two concerts. The most important thing was he needed to rest.
At that time, Fabio was in Miami and he immediately left to be with his friend. Ignazio’s spirits were low and Fabio kept him company and supported him until he was able to appear at his next performance. That’s a friend!
And now it’s time to talk about Verona! I know both of you and I wonder how Fabio does his magic in Concert. Fabio’s aim has always been to combine musical art with pictorial art… He says, “The combination of pictorial art and that of music is one of the ways to reach the viewer on a deeper emotional level.”
On September 24, 2019, Fabio performed at the Verona Arena during Il Volo’s concert. While the guys sang “Smile,” Fabio painted Charlie Chaplin.
This is when you meet the real Fabio! So, let’s listen to Fabio in his own words . . . .
“I was painting in my studio. Pongo and Peggy my dogs as usual were watching me from the glass door, ready for dinner. I was very nervous. I still had some panic attacks and the more I tried not to think about it the more I thought about it.
It was 7:00 pm and Ignazio called me and asked me to be a guest of Il Volo at the concert in Verona. I can’t express my happiness but in the best of my expression I said WOW!
From that moment on I immediately concentrated on the realization of my performance. What to do, on what support, easel, color.
After choosing the song and the character to present with Il Volo, I had to try and try again until I got the time and the result I wanted. I had to create a story, not a simple painting . . . a story that had a beginning and an end . . . The song was ‘Smile’ and I had to represent Charlie Chaplin. I liked the idea so much! I had read everything about Chaplin because one evening at dinner Valentino Picone made me fall in love with him by telling me of his importance in the world of cinema.
After days and sleepless nights, I found what I liked . . . I would start with the horizontal canvas by painting a Chaplin from behind in a countryside landscape, then I would turn the canvas, spin it and continue the painting until the face was blown up.
Time was short for such a large and complex canvas. I asked for more time but there was not much that could be done.
I tried the painting only once, in my parents’ living room. The proof was beautiful but, I was out with the time, I could not fit it within the four minutes I had available.
I did mental training on distances, movements and dimensions to maintain and I tried closing my eyes trying to simulate the realization of the painting, making it several times would have been too expensive.
I get the canvas, the easel and the suitcases in the car and Maria and I leave for Verona.
The next day I immediately went to the arena to set everything up and do a test, but the arena is outdoors so we couldn’t try the lights. I was worried, for my way of working I have to have everything 100% and that uncertainty gave me anxiety.
The evening comes, we are in the dressing rooms, Piero, Ignazio and Gianluca were rehearsing and I was getting paranoid about the lighting issue, I wanted to give 100% and not having control over that, it made me question myself. Ignazio calmed me by telling me that we should have fun and do nothing else. The concert begins, it’s freezing cold but, I go up on stage in short sleeves, the adrenaline rushing, I looked at the full Arena and for two hours I had goosebumps. Really incredible . . . indescribable . . . then my moment arrives ”Smile” begins. They place a light on me on the right of the stage and the magic begins. I forget about the 14,000 people behind me. My mental exercise was now real . . . the brush slips on canvas creating shapes, but the light is too strong and reflects my eyes, so I close them trying not to lose control and I create Charlie’s hat with my eyes closed. Three minutes are few but, in that context, they become even less, the canvas turns and my race against time becomes more and more fierce.
When the song ends and I turn the painting, the crowd is euphoric, Ignazio makes a speech that leaves me speechless, I hug the guys and leave the stage. I immediately run to the dressing room and lock myself in. I’m always very demanding with myself. I can’t enjoy the moment because I would like to do more, but then I check the phone and I had thousands of notifications, photos, videos, I see myself again and I understood that my message had reached everyone.
So, I ran through the backstage corridors of the arena and went to look at what I had done, look where I did it and for a few seconds I was satisfied. I took the brush and defined it with details.
Behind the scenes it was a competition to see who wanted to take the painting but, in the end, together with Ignazio, we decided I would take it home becauseit represented how two friends can share a dream together, having fun and thrilling the public.”
This brings me back to where my story began, The Baby Reveal Party!
If a picture is worth a thousand words, this would be the picture. The look on Ignazio’s face, the smile, the absolute joy he is feeling for his friends. I said this picture should be the picture of the year because it tells me that their relationship goes beyond a friendship. These two men have shared some very important moments together! On stage and off! They have both become Super Stars since their first meeting at the pizzeria and to me, they are more than friends, they are brothers!
But on January 5 Fabio cheered us up with this good news: “With great joy and emotion we announce the birth of
💙 NOAH INGRASSIA💙 3,650 kg (8 lbs.) of pure love 😍
Thanks to all.” 🙏🏻💙
Congratulations Fabio and Maria on the birth of your beautiful baby boy, Noah! God bless your beautiful family!
Note: To read more about Fabio, to see his, magnificent, artwork, videos and prints, visit his website atwww.fabioingrassia.com
If I must tell the truth, this is my least favorite holiday! To me it’s a sad day because we remember all those who we lost over the years and we think of them in a different way than we do on other days. We think that they left us too soon and this year too quickly! I, like many of you out there, suffered many losses this year and I saw many people I love suffer!
Halfway through the year, I was speaking with my aunt, who turned 100 this year! I said, “Aunt Christina, you’ve been around a long time. What do you think about what’s going on?” She replied, “Susan, I remember grandpa saying every 20 years we have to have a war to clear out the old and start fresh again. This is our war!” I guess she is right. This war we are fighting is different, it is a war with an invisible enemy that haunts each of us every day!
What made this year different? The one thing that was really different was we were all in this together. You woke up every morning and turned on the news and no matter where you lived New York, Italy, Germany, Russia, Australia, the news was the same – Wash Your Hands! Wear a Mask! Social Distance!
As to the guys, they certainly did a great job of reminding us to do these things! And when they weren’t talking about this, they were working to help people in Italy and around the world. They took us along on all their journeys in support of these people. We joined them for Altismo Live! In support of Latin American farmworkers. We enjoyed circling Italy through project Italians 4 Life with the wonderful song Ma Il Cielo è Sempre Più Blu (But the Sky is Getting Bluer and Bluer). And, of course, O Sole Mio for UNICEF!
So, we’ve come to the end of the year that was, and now we have to take time to reflect on what we are leaving behind! Yes, there were lots of bad things that happened but there were also some good things. Having a hard time figuring out what they were? Let’s take a look at some of the good things that the guys did! They came to us live every day! So, let’s start there.
LIVE FROM IGNAZIO’S HOME STUDIO
The announcement that came from Ignazio on May 16th kept us sitting on the edge of our seats waiting to see what this project would be. We knew it would include the Il Volo musicians but what was this big surprise. Ignazio gave us a hint!
Ignazio said: With this video, I would like to thank many people. First of all, the doctors who during this time made their lives available to others. Here it is, altruism. I think it’s one of the most important things in the world.
For me, this is one of the most important songs,this song makes us understand that we are all part of this world and everyone has a piece of the universe. And so, I decided to propose “Almeno tu nell’ Universo” . (At Least You in the Universe)
What we got was a production straight from Ignazio’s soul! The drama of the black and white video along with the most intimate, passionate rendition of “Almeno tu nell’ Universo” we ever heard left us speechless. His amazing voice brought us to a universe where there is no limit, and we could float along on his magnificent notes, reaching unbelievable heights! It brought us all to tears.
Ignazio along with Giampiero Grani on piano, Alessandro Quarta on violin, Bruno Farinelli drums, Pierluigi Mingotti on bass and Gino De Vita and Andrea Morelli on guitar, set in split screen, gave the performance of a lifetime. The arrangement and video mix were so perfect it seemed hard to believe Ignazio did it all from his home. Genius at work!
LIVE FROM PIERO’S TERRACE
We could hear the silence of this small beautiful town and the only sound in the background was the chirping of the birds. Then suddenly, Piero began to sing “Nessun Dorma” and his voice rang out over Naro inviting his neighbors to come out on their terraces to listen to him and applaud his magnificent voice. And how did Piero react, the same way he does in concert, with that beautiful smile he greeted his neighbors and thanked them for their applause. And then, he gave us a birds’ eye view of Naro from his terrace explaining about all the baroque buildings and structures in the town including the history of it all. Jovanotti was just as thrilled and impressed as we were. Piero showed us around his terrace pointing out his cactus and taking time to tell us about his antique coffee mill. What a treat to share this special time with him!
And what about his beautiful “AVE MARIA” that warmed our hearts.
And then there were the:
LIVE PERFORMANCES FROM GIANLUCA’S HOUSE
Gianluca really perfected his piano playing in quarantine! We listened to him sing while looking out over his beautiful garden which looks down to the Adriatic Sea and the beautiful beach of Roseto degli Abruzzi. Picture postcard perfect, it was amazing and we were all wishing we could be there with him! And he spent lots of time walking on the beach with Luna and playing out in the yard with her.
But the most exciting of all was listening to Gianluca’s very romantic voice which touches every one of our senses. He sang so many beautiful songs for us while playing his piano with Luna at his feet. It gave us a warm and happy feeling which left us feeling very secure!
And then the summer began and, the quarantine was over and, the guys came together after being separated for months. And what did they do? They took us on another journey. First, we watched them take on a new appearance with their Dolce & Gabbana wardrobe. Their mini-Concert for Dolce & Gabbana’s women’s line of clothing and the presentation of the men’s line of clothing at the Campus Parade in Milan. It was wonderful to see them back together and listen to them live.
Then they went to Monte Carlo for their first concert in five months followed by their appearance at the Taormina Film Festival where these three gorgeous guys appeared, dressed like three Princes, in their Dolce & Gabbana Tuxedo’s. They were so handsome they took our breaths away. And their performance at the festival representing the film “Devotion,” the story of Dolce and Gabbana, was amazing. Just seeing them back at the Greek Theater in Taormina made us feel everything will be okay from now on. After all, this is their theater, the heart of who they are.
And if that wasn’t enough, we got to spend a Special Day with the guys in Polizzi Generosa celebrating the opening of “Devotion” and Domenico Dolce’s 62nd Birthday! What an extravaganza! The parade, the costumes, the musicians and dancers. What can I say it was just a fantastic day and it was All Live for us to see on Instagram and Facebook.
As they stepped back on the stage at the Verona Arena, for the reopening of the music industry with their presentation at the Seat Music Awards, we remembered their last performance there in 2019. Spectacular then, spectacular now!
Then came the announcement that they would pay tribute to Ennio Morricone with a Concert in Piazza Pio XII next June 5th!
Il Volo with Roma’s mayor.
Which brings another thought to mind! Do we ever take the time to consider what goes into their performance? We see them on stage and we are in awe of them but, what it takes to get them there is amazing and a lot of hard work. In January they will start preparing for their June 5th Concert. It doesn’t start and end with the concerts. There’s lots of preparation and rehearsals. Everything has to be just perfect because, after all, these three young men are perfectionists!
And then there was their final performance for 2020, their mini-Concert at Piazza Pio XII on Christmas Day. And here the guys sent us their final greeting for the year!
Gianluca: On this special day when we all feel close from afar, we wanted to find a way to wish you all happy holidays.
Ignazio: And we did so in the way that best suits us, through music from this gorgeous square where we feel like we are enveloped in a welcoming embrace.
Piero:We hope this holiday season may bring a smile to your homes and warm your hearts. On this “Oh holy night” we wish to dedicate every single note and every single word to you all.”
Yes, there was so much that was bad about this year but, I just wanted to show you that there were some good things that happened too.
As we approached 2020, I thought with a number like 2020, this will be a year of vision. What was my vision for the year? I thought it would be my best year in ten years. I had so much business and the future looked so bright but, we all know how that turned out. But I never could have imagined, when it all began, that I would spend my whole year doing what I love best, writing! Thirty years ago, I walked away from a career critiquing films. Who could imagine that I would turn back the clock and start writing again! And above all writing 40 stories about our three amazing guys, Piero, Ignazio and Gianluca!
The guys spent the year inspiring us, kept us company and certainly took the time to tell us what they were doing and what we needed to do to stay safe. In a recent interview they were asked what they missed most this year. They replied traveling. It is their life after all. And we are very much a part of that life. Hopefully we can all get back to it soon.
Finally, how do I sum up this year? Every morning when I get up, I sing. What do I sing? “Smile!” Is it because of the guys? Well, I certainly love when the guys sing “Smile,” but no, I’ve been singing this song since I was a child because I believe no matter what happened yesterday, today has the possibility to be better, so, “Smile, just Smile.”
Happy New Year!
Credit to owners of all photos and videos.
Come in and share the love of life, friends and Il Volo!