While the Italian summer tour was in progress and then the one in Canada-North America-Australia, I received some concert reviews you attended.
I could not publish them before, because I was busy following all the various stages of the Il Volo tour, but now that Ignazio, Piero and Gianluca are at home, I intend to publish them.
I start by publishing the Ostuni concert review that came to me from Leena.
Leena is a Finnish woman, married to an Italian and they have two children. They live in Finland and in the summer they come to Italy on vacation.
I have known Leena thanks to the publication of the Ostuni concert. You remember that in the comment of a video, I explained that a woman had raised a sign that read:
“I come from Finland and I love you.”
Well, Leena read our post published on the Facebook page and understood that we were talking about her, she wrote me a message: “It was me with the sign, thank you, because I didn’t understand that Piero had read and commented on it”.
So we got in touch and exchanged many messages.
Leena, in Finland teaches Italian to a class of nearly 50 adults. She also talks about Il Volo and sometimes she uses their book “An Extraordinary Adventure” to give lessons, isn’t it fantastic???
But here’s her review:
The concert in Ostuni on July 26, 2022
I could not believe my luck, that of having the opportunity to attend a concert of Il Volo, only because this year they had decided to stop over in Ostuni and only because at that time we were already in the neighboring region for the holidays. Even now, after three months, I still can’t believe it. It seems something detached from my everyday life.
I would say that the one in Ostuni was a routine concert for the boys of Il Volo. It was still too hot when the concert started, if I remember correctly thermometer in the center of Ostuni showed 34 degrees (93 degrees Fahrenheit) and the heat there of Puglia is a humid heat that suffocates.
I had already noticed on the streets of Ostuni that there was very little publicity for the concert, practically I only saw some billboards hanging near the town villa but that billboard also advertised all the other concerts of the “Soundtrack festival” of that one week, not just theirs. I was sorry about this because I couldn’t understand why there was so little publicity given their talent and international fame.
On the evening of the 25th, while walking in Ostuni, I heard an American tourist say to their phone, “Tomorrow they will sing there,” so maybe this person too was there in Ostuni for the concert.
About a week before the concert they sent us the message in which they said it would be possible to attend the soundcheck in Ostuni. I was overjoyed because I had hoped so much since I didn’t intend to attend the M&G after the concert. On the day of the concert they called us for 6:20pm at the main entrance of the Foro Boario, the place of the concert.
The Foro Boario is a former market square for the cattle, in the shape of a stadium where they now hold concerts, and is surrounded by high walls.
When they let us in we all lined up, maybe there were 8-9 people. They sang three songs: Grande Amore, Nessun Dorma, and No Puede Ser.
I could notice many interesting things: Gianluca had a little sore throat or was it mildly cooled and seemed very suffering from the heat, Ignatius seemed the most relaxed of the three while Piero was the one who entertained us talking into the microphone throughout the soundcheck. After trying No puede ser, Piero was not happy with the performance by the musicians . After that song, it was clear that it was all over and I think they were leaving without getting off the stage to talk to us, therefore, I took courage and I am rushed to Ignazio and I asked him if they accepted gifts, so I delivered him the gifts I had bought in Finland, he seemed to me extremely kind and good.
If I had had more courage I would have asked him for the autograph for their book “An Extraordinary Adventure” that I had with me at the soundcheck but since they hadn’t gone down, I didn’t want to disturb them.
Now I regret it bitterly, if only I had had the courage to ask for that autograph, I am sure he would have done it to me. Maybe there will be another occasion.
After the soundcheck I went back to our accommodation, ate and then, I am back to the Forum again. I immediately noticed that the audience was composed mostly by people older than me, people aged 50 upwards, mostly by ladies but also by their husbands. This thing surprised me a little bit because I was expecting a slightly younger audience but I was pleased see that Il Volo attracts this type of people (perhaps people a little like me). The audience was very calm and polite, the atmosphere was very familiar and in the air there was this great expectation and enthusiasm among all of us to see and listen to the boys.
The concert started almost on time, at around 9:37pm and lasted exactly two hours. They sang 24 songs.
Here is the lineup in exact order (I wrote them down during the concert):
1. The Ecstasy of Gold 2. Nessun dorma (short version, only the first verse and the first chorus) 3. Il Mondo 4. Se telefonando 5. Se 6. Granada 7. Your Love 8. All by myself (Ignazio) 9. Your Ssong (Gianluca) 10. Un amore così grande 11. Delilah 12. My Way (Gianluca and Piero) 13. Hallelujah (Gianluca and Ignazio) 14. La donna è mobile (Ignazio and Piero) 15. Io che non vivo senza te 16. Here’s to You 17. Medley from: L’ amore si muove – Musica che resta 18. Can’t Help Falling in Love (Gianluca) 19. Caruso 20. Volare 21. Surrender 22. O ‘sole mio 23. Libiam de lieti calici 24. Grande Amore
When they got on stage and started singing, I heard right away that Gianluca’s voice no longer seemed as cold as it had been at sound check. Really very good !! I don’t know how he could fix it in a short time. We had the fourth row seats on the left so I was a lot focused on him during the concert. I noticed he had put on, or a makeup artist had put on him, a lot of black eyeliner on his eyes, this thing stood out immediately. Instead Piero and Ignazio seemed without makeup either, at least I didn’t notice anything. They started by singing the first three songs and only after the third did they start talking. When they finished “The Ecstasy of Gold” or “Nessun dorma”, I don’t remember exactly which one, Gianluca turned towards us, and with a little bow and with his hand over his heart he told us : “Good evening everyone”. You couldn’t hear it but I read the lips. After having sung “ Il Mondo”, they welcomed us and gave some compliments on the beauty of Ostuni, Gianluca said : ”How wonderful!”looking at the old part of Ostuni on the hill (I laughed because Gianluca says always “how wonderful”).
Ignazio immediately started joking saying that those people who had gathered at the foot of the city walls were tax evaders because from there it was possible to follow the whole concert without paying the ticket. Then they continued to sing. I remember that after “Your Love” Piero and Ignazio were terribly serious and also sad, they remained in silence in front of the microphone for a while. I know they think of Vito when they sing this song and I know that too little time has passed since his death but in Ostuni they didn’t mention it in any way.
My heart breaks too every time I hear Ignazio sing this song (I presume to say that I know exactly how it feels because I too lost my father at 25 and in my opinion at 25 is too young to lose a parent). Perhaps others in the audience have also heard this because even if we were sitting scattered in the stalls and in different rows, far from each other, it occurred to us to raise the billboards at the same time to lighten the atmosphere a little. I had made a big billboard, sticking together with tape cartons made from four packs of brioches and pasting on some sheets of paper on which I had written:
“I come from Finland and I love you.”
It had taken me hours to make it. When I raised it I was so excited that Piero’s immediate reaction escaped me. I only heard his question, “How do you say I LOVE YOU in Finnish?” But I absolutely didn’t want to shout it at him among the nice ladies who were sitting around me, and then also because in Finnish it is long, there are eight syllables (MINÄ RAKASTAN SINUA), I don’t think they would have remembered it.
They sang several songs without introducing them. This got me thinking that they were in a hurry to finish because they were really tired. I could also be wrong, but I had the feeling that Piero was looking forward to reaching Agrigento for the long-awaited concert in his native land, and Gianluca was just really exhausted by the heat and the frantic rhythm of the tour (Ostuni was their fifth concert in seven days, the tenth in the whole month). I wanted to hear a lot of their speeches, too about their career , but they talked little about it. They only said that they three who had met on that program and who had put them together and since then they sing and go around. I think they were almost too modest !!! Maybe their modesty is something that goes away with the years … but this is their still being very young, they are all less than 30 years old, it is another thing that I only understood attending this concert. Just watching them on TV I didn’t realize. You almost want to protect them the way you protect a child.
(Leena at the concert)
Before “Your Song” Gianluca did a slightly longer monologue on the importance of parents during adolescence, he was very sweet.
When he speaks, an enormous wisdom transpires, it makes me think that perhaps he reads a lot or that he spent a lot of time with older people when he was little. Personally he is my favorite of the trio when it comes to vocality, I’ve never heard anyone sing so well. It opens completely to the public, sometimes when he sings in certain songs it seems to me that he cries, with his voice. In my opinion he is the foundation of the group. Also as a physical presence, he looks like a god of Antiquity or a man of Renaissance. I looked at him there in Ostuni from my place and thought: “Now I look at this singing god. “ There are no words. I have seen many of their performances on YouTube and you don’t understand it when you only see it on your computer screen, but now that I’ve seen it live, I immediately noticed that it has a lot of dramatic presence.
This was my first impression during the soundcheck when I saw him and thought that this man was born to be an actor. And he would also be good … But let’s hope not because we still want him for a long time singer. Or if he wants to, he has to keep singing too.
Piero is the one who on stage keeps the rhythm with the speeches with the audience, has a way of speaking a little “professor” while Ignazio knows how to be both, very playful and very serious.
Perhaps Ignazio is the one who is more in the hands of the three. His interpretation of the song “All By Myself” was wonderful. He has such a clear voice and crystalline voice that when he sings loudly, I sometimes think it’s as if he were screaming his despair to the world, and it’s beautiful. Immediately after “Delilah” he entertained the audience by saying that his pants were broken, perhaps he said it in all the concerts, but the joke was so well done it seemed improvised.
A lady sitting not far from me said to him: “Come here, we sew it for you!” And the other ladies around us agreed. Piero commented: “Here we have many expert seamstresses.”
Compared to previous years, in my opinion they have become a little more serious, they do not joke more, as well as before. In Ostuni Piero and Ignazio teased a little Gianluca and Gianluca defended himself but never belittling them or in a vindictive way.
However towards the end of the concert they appeared very worn by the heat. Gianluca’s hair had become full of small curls due to the humidity and because of the heat, he must have sweated a lot. During the last song “Grande Amore” I raised my billboard for the second time, which I had done with so much love and dedication. Piero was positioned exactly in front of me on the stage and had it revised. He smiled shyly and nodded his head. I did not think that even Piero was so shy … I knew of Gianluca, that he had been at least as a child but now after the concert in Ostuni I know that Piero is a bit too. When I think about it again and I get excited … Piero gave me an excellent impression during the whole soundcheck and the concert even if in Ostuni he has not sung his solo. He took us very seriously and wanted us to be well and kept a good memory of it.
After they finished the concert, they still had to welcome the people with a smile because they had purchased access to Meet & Greet. I felt bad for the boys because they were exhausted. There were maybe 20 people waiting for this meeting. I did not take the ticket because in my opinion the price is exaggerated and I had already paid a lot for the tickets for all of my family.
I was very lucky to be able to attend this concert because the next day we still had to go to another concert, that of the Philharmonic Orchestra of Puglia, in the same place, but they decided to cancel it shortly before due to strong wind.
My big dream is one day be able to attend one of their concerts in Finland. Here they are still little known but at least in my small way I try to spread the word thanks to my work.
They are the best trio in the world right now and it’s impossible not to love them. Besides, if they never come here in the North, I’m sure they will other occasions to see them again in Italy.
Now, my sign is here, hanging in my home, reminding me of a beautiful concert.
Thanks Leena for the wonderful review.
It is truly remarkable that you try to make Il Volo known in Finland by teaching Italian.
See you soon with more reviews: Daniela 🤗
LAST MINUTE NEWS!!
A new book has been released and written by Gianluca, Ignazio and Piero.
It goes on sale November 8, but you can pre-ordered it on Amazon.
The title is: Il Volo, WHAT I CARRY IN THE HEART
I’ll translate the presentation for you.
Il Volo is the Italian music trio that today more than anyone else represents Italy in the world.
Since the success of Sanremo in 2015, it has had an unparalleled escalation of notoriety, which has led Piero, Gianluca and Ignazio to perform in front of millions of spectators, during the various intercontinental tours, due to which they are often far away from home.
But it is not for this, indeed perhaps by virtue of this, the bond that the three artists have with their lands of origin, with their roots and their families and traditions, remains very strong, and always represents an emotional and sentimental comfort. .
In this book the three boys talk about themselves, precisely in the light of that indissoluble bond that characterizes their artistic expression: an intimate, personal and extremely intense story of their past, their present and their future.
Last week my story included a video made by Ignazio that tells how grateful he was for being one of the three. He thanks Piero and Gianluca, Michele, Barbara and their families. Ignazio also tells us something that his grandfather told him when he was young, “Nothing happens for no reason.” You or I would say, “Everything in Life Happens for a Reason.” Different words same meaning.
What was going on here. If we listen further, we hear Ignazio talk about how the three came together on the stage of Ti Lasccio una Canzone.
I’ve written about this many times and what I say is what Ignazio is saying. Faith, divine intervention brought them together.
For me, I see the day they sang together for the first time as the day their destiny was fulfilled. La Forza del destino (the force of destiny). I’ll call it as I see it! This was God’s plan! His hand was always guiding each of these boys. How else would you explain how they happened to be in the same place at the same time? We’re not just talking about three teenage boys with nice voices, we’re talking about three teenage boys with phenomenal voices. Very unique voices! Truly one-of-a-kind voices! Their voices are like no other voices in the world. Am I saying they are the greatest singers in the world? Yes! They are touched by the hand of God!
It wasn’t just that the voices were extraordinary, no, it was that they complemented one another. It was natural and it was apparent from the very first note that these voices worked well together and that their voices are in tune with one another. The first time they walked out on the stage, their fate was sealed.
So how is this possible? For me there is only one way to explain it! Before the Lord sent these three amazing men to earth, He said what this world needs are three voices that can bring joy to my people. So, He chose three loving couples and sent each one a son who would bring joy to the world through his voice!
Alone each voice is phenomenal. Together they are a symphony! Listen to their voices when they sing. Their voices are coming from every direction like a symphony orchestra that is forming the music around you!
I talked about their individual discoveries many times. Usually when you talk about someone being discovered it goes something like, “I was standing on a street corner singing when….” No that isn’t what happened here. The reason they are so unique is because they were discovered as children. Very small children! Three, four years old. They really had those intense unmistakable voices very early on. A voice that makes you stop in your tracks and say, “Am I really hearing that voice coming from that child?” They were born with those voices.
Before we explore how these voices grew and became the phenomenal voices they are today, I want the guys to tell you about their childhood. In other words, let’s start all over again!
As the weeks go by, the guys will tell you what happened after they were discovered and how they worked with their voices. How their musical education helped them to arrive at Ti Lascio una Canzone, at least in the case of Piero and Ignazio. Of course, Gianluca was different, but we’ll get to that later.
Let’s get the guys to tell you a little bit about their childhood before music became their whole life.
Let’s start with Piero remembering his time in the countryside with his family….
What an effort, you will think, to remember when we were little. In practice, we were young the day before yesterday. The feeling that all three of us have, and I do not say it because I am the oldest and the one who is accused of being the fussiest, no, it is that time has gone by too fast, yesterday we were children and, in a moment, we found ourselves grown up with a great job to carry on. It’s the most beautiful job in the world, what we dreamed and desired but, the truth is that none of us really imagined what would happen because each one of us was on his own and was busy doing different things. We did not know where it would bring us.
From age one to fourteen, I can tell you in detail the different things I did. I can tell you how many euros of gasoline I put in the motorbike. That would be 10. And, I remember, how much I consumed each day.
Then I remember that in the morning, when I went to work in the workshop during the summer with my uncle Angelo (my mother’s brother) I was impatient for it to be half past ten so I could go to the supermarket to buy a sandwich of ham and provolone.
For a couple of months, when I was nine years old, I worked with my father in the body shop, but being allergic to the powders and paints, I had to stop because I had asthma.
Then I went to the workshop of my uncle and there I had no problem because mechanics had oil and fat, but nothing that made me asthmatic.
And then at half past ten, on time, my uncle gave me two euros and I went to buy my sandwich. But how good was that sandwich?
These are things that have remained in my head and will not go away.
And there are also sad things that have remained in my head and will not go away, like that morning of 2001 when, at eight o’clock as I was getting ready to go to school, there was a phone call, my grandfather Francesco, my paternal grandfather, had died. I was small, but the pain was great, because I had a wonderful relationship with my paternal grandparents.
My grandmother Graziella has always been proud of what my father has done in life and today she is proud of what her grandchildren do.
And today, in moments of happiness, the thought always goes to my grandfather Ciccio. How many times have I thought of him and how many times have I heard my father say, ‘What a disappointment that his grandfather did not get to enjoy all the beautiful things that have happened?’
Because when you love a person, that good remains inside you, you cannot forget it anymore.
Instead, what I’ve done in the last five or six years, I tend to forget. Not because I am not happy to have done it, on the contrary, I am very happy. I do not like to say banality, but the life I live is a dream that has come true: living with music was all I wanted.
But in a short time so many things have happened, but just so many, that you cannot remember them all.
On the contrary, I remember, perfectly, and I can tell you about the time my father stood me on the hood of a car in his body shop. My father’s workshop is big and always full of cars and there are the noises of the coachbuilder’s. It certainly is not an ideal place to sing, but it was actually one of my first stages. Can you imagine my father lifted me up on the car with the jack and put me on top of the car? I was no more than four years old, and I started to sing? At that point, all the people in front of the workshop looked out, slowly spilling out one after the other. I remember them, they stood there listening to me, their heads popping out of the door, and I sang and, it was the most natural thing in the world for me.
Mine is a real Sicilian family, one of those that on Sundays unites at the grand house of my grandparents and I tell you that we have lunch, from the first to the sweet, things so good that you cannot even imagine and, as soon as summer arrives, we move to the countryside.
I have spent every summer from when I was one to thirteen with my grandparents and my great-grandmother Lina (my grandmother’s mother). I swear, they were perhaps the most beautiful days of my life, and I will never forget them.
In the country I could not wait for it to be Saturday morning, when we lit the wood-burning oven: I went to collect wood around the ground, I helped to light the fire, and I helped to take out the pizza. In addition to pizza, we did “u pani impurnatu”, bread baked in the oven. How good it was! It kept that good taste all week, then on the following Saturday we did it again, beautiful, warm and fragrant.
We also made the “impanate”, which are rolls of pizza dough with vegetables inside, a typical dish of my area. In short, I ate a lot of good things, and it was visible (I was really fat).
I’ve always had a passion for motorcycles and cars, when I was six or seven, my father gave me a minicross. In practice, a cross-country minimoto, but without the gears.
Why did I tell you that I spent the best time of my life in the country because there, with my mimicross, I lived the most beautiful adventures in the garden of the Riolo family? The Riolo’s were the owners of the villa that is right next to our countryside. They were the richest family in the country, and they lived in Agrigento. And since the Riolo’s only came to the villa once a month, the marvelous orchard that surrounded it was practically abandoned.
What was I doing then? I took the minicross, my grandmother would sit back, and we would get into what we called “a stradella pi ‘Riola”, the road of the Riolo, two hundred meters of dirt road to be done with the motorbike. And those trees full of fruits were very beautiful. The Riolo’s knew of our raids, my grandmother Rina told them we went to collect the fruit and they gave us permission to do so. My grandfather had worked many years for them and now they were family friends. But for me, what we were doing was going to “steal”, it was a secret. In fact, around the garden there were no fences, so you could enter from anywhere, but the fact that we entered through a gate on the saddle of the minicross gave me the feeling of really doing something dangerous and secret.
“Grandma, where are we going?” I said, even before finishing the road.
“Lemon tree,” she answered.
“Here we go!”
And off to fill the bag of lemons.
“Grandma, where are we going now?”
And off to fill the pear bag.
And then the peaches, the plums, there was fruit for all tastes.
One day, I remember, the Riolo’s came to the countryside with us, and they carried a bag of small, round, burgundy fruits.
I said to Mr. Riolo: “And what are these things?”
I did not know them. I had never seen them before. They tasted very good, very soft, very sweet. They were jujubes.
“Where did you get them?” I ask him.
“Ci n’è’ na macchia chi un finisci chiù”, that is “There are many of these trees in the garden.”
And while Mr. Mimmo explained it to me, I already saw myself under the tree picking up the jujube with the minicross, my grandmother and small bags.
But how did we carry the bags? When they were beautifully full, they were heavy. We put a broomstick on the handlebar of my minicross and we hung the bags on both sides and, we walked.
We also took walnuts and prickly pears. And with prickly pears it was another story. We picked them up, and then with my great-grandmother we peeled them, she cleaned them without even putting on her gloves and, at the end she scraped away the thorns from the hands with the knife and rinsed herself with the water.
The other beautiful period in the countryside was that of almonds, but this time it did not have to do with the Riolo countryside. My aunt Lucia, my grandmother’s sister, had them on her land, and in the second half of August she had a “cugliuta di mennule” (almond harvest). There were always two, three huge bags to be shared for the whole family. Who peeled those almonds? The great-grandmother. Stone, fingers, tac, tac, tac. And after who divided the almonds from the skins? I. So, grandma tac, tac, tac, and I divided. An assembly line!
This was what happened to us in the countryside. They are images that I will never forget.
Ignazio lived in a city and his experience is different from Piero. Let’s listen to Ignazio tell us about his family leaving Marsala and how he entered this world…
It’s not that I’m crazy or strange, it’s right that my story would never have existed without my parents.
Therefore, their memories are mine too.
Mamma Caterina and my dad Vito left Marsala in 1990, when my sister was four years old, and they moved to Buonconvento, in the province of Siena.
Obviously, I cannot tell you anything about that city, because I did not exist yet. The only thing I know is that they had chosen that city because there was a great friend of my maternal grandfather who was a building contractor, it was he who offered my father a job.
In Marsala things were not going well, it was difficult to make the family live, and so my parents decided to try to move.
I imagine them leaving with many hopes but also many fears and having in mind only the thought of how many things they will do to make a good feeling for the family they have just begun to create. Of sacrifices they have made many and big for me and for my sister.
I do not spend days when I do not think about how proud I am of them.
Mom has done many jobs, and also dad: they have always tried to learn any trade, just to earn some extra money.
Besides the fact that I think this is a beautiful song, I think this is a wonderful video. It tells a beautiful story about our guys!
In Buonconvento, dad Vito started immediately as a mason with that friend of his grandfather and, mom Caterina has changed a bit of work but has never been with hands in hand (empty hands).
But already in 1992, they realized that they did not earn enough to keep going.
And that’s why I was born in Bologna: because they decided to leave Buonconvento and moved to San Martino in Argine, a fraction of the Municipality of Molinella, just near Bologna.
Even in this case, the move was linked to a knowledge of my parents, an old friend of my father who he met by chance, during a visit to my grandmother’s cousin.
Even at San Martino in Argine my father, being a mason, immediately found a good job.
Mom, who has always been a determined person with a great desire to get busy, has improvised herself as a cook – she’s very good at cooking, I do not know if you understand – and she started working as a chef in a restaurant not far from home.
Nina grew up and the two of them made sacrifices, but within a few years they managed to achieve a certain economic stability and decided to move into a house, finally all for them, in the hamlet of Guarda di Molinella.
A fraction that, to exaggerate, had just over three hundred and fifty inhabitants.
The house was very small, but it was still my first home, the one in which I was born.
I was the most pampered of the family. I’ve always been a lively child. I laughed all the time (I have not stopped yet). I learned very quickly to talk and walk. I was never silent, I was firm and impossible, but I was also an awake baby and I started early. I was three or four years old when I started to play the piano that my parents had given Nina.
Mom Caterina, in fact, says that the very first time I played with the pianola, I was younger, I was a year old, and my sister had taught me to play ‘Happy Birthday’ with just one finger.
I was a happy child, even though mum often tells me ‘you’ve never been a child,’ in the sense that I’ve always been quite serious and responsible. Would you ever say that?
Anyway, I was a happy child and even my family was starting to get better, the situation was not yet roses and flowers, but in four years it had changed a lot.
But the moves were not finished yet.
My parents have tried every time to move where they thought they could be better from the working point of view, but above all to make Nina and me feel better.
For this reason, the moves were not lacking either before, nor after my birth. Indeed, when it seemed that we were fine, it was always time to leave.
I do not remember the details of the houses where I lived, of those I saw and of those they told me about, but there is a particular address that remained in my mind: Via Marconi 94 in Molinella, because it was the address of the new, bigger and more beautiful house, in which we moved just when I was about to start elementary school.
I cannot remember exactly the first day of school, but I certainly did not take long to get noticed.
If you’re thinking of scenes of me being put me in the middle of the class to sing, forget it.
I was passionate about music, that’s for sure, but I was more passionate about pranks.
I told you: since I started talking and walking, mine was an escalation of agitation.
In the official classification of the class, I was the second most mischievous. Nicolas was in the first place. But ours was an open challenge, a race at the last red cross. Now the question arises: what are the red crosses? Here, the teachers had invented this billboard on which they had written all the names in alphabetical order and where, according to the behavior in the classroom and the academic performance, went to mark two types of crosses: the blue if you took a good mark in the task in class or if you behaved well, you did not run, do not shout, do not disturb during lessons and a whole series of “NOT”; the red, however, if you had taken an insufficiency or if you behaved badly, and evil was everywhere. Nicolas and I were the most popular! Our billboard line was a red fire specimen.
With the passage of time, I found something good at school too, that is, I mean an activity that was able to interest me enough to prevent me from slipping into some disaster. I had joined the school choir.
I did not do the phenomenon, but I enjoyed it, I always liked to sing, to be ‘in the middle’ of the music.
And more and more passionately I began to understand how to better use Nina’s famous pianola. I had learned how to start the musical bases and flipping through them I had rediscovered that of La Donna È Mobile.
In short, I had begun to like it so much that I sang with that base, inventing words.
Now the exact words that I invented do not remember, but for sure my song was about Luciano Pavarotti. Because? Because as a child I always saw him on television and every time he had a huge handkerchief in his hand, so I invented a text with Pavarotti and his handkerchief.
I sang on the air of La Donna È Mobile, but I did not know yet that a movement would affect me again: on the horizon was another move, but unfortunately it was not the only thing we had to deal with in those years.
Now I would not want you to make a wrong idea of me as a child. A saint I was not, mind you, but thinking about it now if I was mischievous at school, maybe there was a reason.
More or less since 1998, when I was four years old and I had just started kindergarten, there was not a nice climate in my family: mom Caterina had been diagnosed with facial cancer.
With all the ingenuous that a child of that age can have, I did not understand what was really happening, but I realized that things were not going well, when I began to see less and less mother at home.
After a few months back and forth from the hospital without finding a solution, Mum did something she always did for me for as long as I can remember: she explained the situation to me, speaking openly.
This is a great merit that I must acknowledge to the whole family, but perhaps a little more to mom, because the fact of speaking clearly with us children and telling us the truth about things that affected our family and life in general, taught to me to face early adult speeches.
With mum we always talked about sex, about society, a little bit of everything that life had in store for me since childhood.
I do not even have to tell you that since my mother Caterina’s speech, my life has changed.
I was small, but I could not afford to think like the other children of my age.
And for my sister the situation was even more complicated because since 1998, the year of our mother’s first hospitalization, and 2003, the year when all that bad story is over, my mother has become Nina.
For the first two years of elementary, those dotted with red crosses, I have not often seen mom, a little because I went to school, a little because she had to return frequently to the hospital and stay there for long periods.
Dad Vito worked and my sister, despite her twelve years, had to be a housewife. She has become my biggest reference point.
We had to grow both of us very quickly, without thinking about toys and different entertainment, and not so to speak, but really.
The truth is that we were not interested in anything that usually affects two children of that age, because the only thing we wanted was to have mom at home.
It is difficult to say what was the worst moment, because her absence was always felt.
For sure, however, I was particularly impressed by a quarrel with my sister.
I was four and she was twelve and I was playing with a toy, she was fed up because I was making noise, she took it from me and we had a fight. After responding badly to her, I immediately repented. For me Nina was very important, really like a mother. In the end I did not sleep for a week. But I never told him, at least until now.
After five surgeries and one hundred and fifty points in the face, mum Caterina has returned home. Too bad they did not leave me much time to enjoy it. I wanted her sitting on the sofa and I wanted kisses, hugs and everything I haven’t had in those years. Mum is mine and woe to those who touch her! And instead, a few years earlier, mom Caterina had started working in a pizzeria and, not even the time to leave the hospital, she rightly started working again. What could I do?
There were days when I watched her go to work and I stayed with Sabrina, my nanny, as well as girlfriend of the pizza maker who worked with mom. But there were days when she allowed me, and I followed her to work. And since I never wanted to miss it again, I stood by the fridge of drinks and from there I had the perfect vision on her cash desk.
Because mom at that time, she did not work in the kitchen, but ran the place, so most of the time she was at the cash desk or answering the phone, and I never took my eyes off her, I did not miss a movement, we could talk, in addition to the fact that I was busy selling many drinks to customers who entered the pizzeria.
So, let’s take a look at the situation: mom Caterina has returned home, the pizzeria has become my second home, I was a great seller of drinks and everything seemed finally to get better.
At school, then, as I told you, I was part of the choir, and I was even more passionate about music.
In short, finally, a little of tranquility. How long did it last? Four years, more or less….
As I mentioned, Gianluca was different in how he was raised and how he progressed in his singing. But let’s start with his early years in Montepagano….
No, I’m not like Ignazio, I was born and raised in Montepagano. I was traveling only with dreams. What made me dream? Music naturally.
I had a radio with a knob that turns to find the radio station, and I always looked for someone who would broadcast the songs of Andrea Bocelli, my absolute idol, or Domenico Modugno, or others of this kind.
In the summer, then, I would take the radio when I went with my friends in what we call ‘la pinetina’ (the small pine forest), that is a park equipped with wooden games and tables and with lots of green space.
When I was between eleven and thirteen, I used to go play soccer, make long games with Pokemon cards and listen to music.
With my radio, I was looking for songs that made me dream, even though I knew that my friends, on the other hand, liked the Eiffel 65 (we were in the early 2000s). For a while they agreed to listen to what I chose, but at a certain point they protests started: ‘Come on, change … What balls! What’s this?’
Even I liked those more modern genres, I always listened to everything, but what I really loved was something else.
In November 2000 my brother Ernesto was born, when I was five and a half years old. I was just starting to hum.
A year later I started to get interested in Bocelli and Modugno.
And Ernesto in the cradle, listened to these melodies with me.
But the most beautiful thing I remember – and it is a memory of those that I have just printed in the head, is that when he was big enough to come in the small pine forest too, I made him listen to these songs that my friends did not appreciate, always with my radio with the knob.
We sat close together on the ground, and I kept the radio on the legs, or we sat on the swings with the radio resting on the ground and, while listening to the music so strange for our age, I told him my dreams.
He has never studied music, he has never studied singing, but he always knows how to give me the right advice, the right vision. It’s like when we sing together: I play the melody and he immediately makes harmony. At his age, I did not do it.
I think the radio did well to him.
The Roots of Music are Endless.
In which it is said that the great passions, when they are really great, can conquer your heart at any time and in any place you live.
Yes, we were lucky all three to have the families we had. Ignazio and Piero were able to study music thanks to the sacrifices, and even big ones, of their families.
I’ve never studied it, if I have to tell the truth, but the music at home has always been there.
My grandfather Ernesto, as my father says, has been a musician since he was a boy: he played the contralto flugelhorn in the band of the town, he toured all around Abruzzo doing performances with the band, and has always been a lover of the opera.
My father Ercole, instead studied music, played drums and sometimes he still does it. Let’s say he’s more rock than grandfather!
Dad and mom Leonora realized that I had something special in my voice when I started to sing the initials of cartoons, at three or four years. But, as it has always been, they let things take their way without ever forcing me….
These were the beginnings for Piero, Ignazio and Gianluca.
What did we learn today? They were just three ordinary boys growing up in Naro, Bologna and Montepagano. Or were they? I started by saying Everything in Life Happens for a Reason, we have heard about some of those reasons, but we have to continue to explore their lives to learn more about how they approached their music and how all the pieces feel in place.
Just one final note. This morning I learned that Anna Vitale, who many of you know, had suddenly and unexpectly passed away. Anna was a big Il Volo fan who followed everything the guys did and commented on everything. Every night Anna would bid everyone a good night before going off for the evening. Dear Anna, I wish you a good night in the arms of the Lord! We will all miss you!
Join me next week as I go back Through the Fields of My Mind and open the door to a new adventure!
If you would like to share a story with me, please email: email@example.com
To read more Il Volo stories visit us at www.ilvoloflightcrw.com
*Excerpts from Il Volo, Un’avventura straordinaria, La nostra storia.
And after 11 years from the first promotion, Il Volo returns to Australia, but this time for three concerts.
The Australian audience has been waiting for many years to be able to attend concerts there in Australia, and now, after a long wait, is satisfied, because there are three concerts : one in Melbourne, one in Adelaide and one in Sydney.
But as usual, let’s go in order.
First of all, let’s take a dip in the past, when 11 years ago Ignazio, Piero and Gianluca, really children, came to Australia.
Here they are guests at the Morning Show.
How sweet to see these old videos, and to reconfirm how much skill there was already in Piero, Ignazio and Gianluca.
And here is a promotional video made by John St. Peters, an Australian singer and presenter who recommends not to miss the Il Volo concert in Australia.
So, after having done the beautiful concert in Los Angeles on October 15, the boys immediately left for Australia, a long plane ride awaited them, 15 hours of travel plus the long check in and arrival and a difference of 18 hours more time than in Los Angeles, and a concert to do in Melbourne on the 18th, really amazing how they could do all this, but they did !!!
October 18: MELBOURNE
Let’s say right away that the lineup of songs has changed, many songs have been removed and others from their repertoire have been added.
The audience greets them with a great roar, here they are!
A beautiful collage
CAN’T HELP FALLING IN LOVE
TORNA A SURRIENTOwith irresistible Ignazio
After the concert, IL Volo released this thank you video.
Our First Tour in Australia 🇦🇺 and we started last night in Melbourne with a sold out show. Amazing audience!👏
At the end of the song after the applause, a fan calls Gianluca, from the seats above, and Gianluca answers, everyone laughs.
The fan says in Italian that she has been following them since they were little. Gianluca thanks everyone because they have been following them for so long, thanks for the support and love even from so far away and says they will try to come to Australia more often, people respond with a roar of agreement.
(the rest of the speech is in English)
In Adelaide, Il Volo was also greeted by RadioItalia1, an Italian broadcaster that broadcasts from Adelaide.
Wonderful to have Il Volo in Adelaide.
Congratulations to Frank Scali for bringing them to Australia. And to Radio Italia Uno
President Dino Musolino for helping bring this extraordinary trio to Adelaide.
We do not miss out this time.
In Adelaide there is also RADIOITALIANA531, which followed and broadcast part of the concert on the radio.
In the afternoon Il Volo was interviewed by Radio Italiana 531, a nice and friendly interview, a chat between friends talking about football, cooking, about the beginnings of Il Volo. Radio Italiana 531 also asked Piero Ignazio and Gianluca if they are aware of how much love there is for them in Australia!
But here are the words of Radio Italiana 531:
“Stefano and Marco, interviewed the band Il Volo on the day of their concert in Adelaide at Thebarton Theater, on the occasion of their World Tour.
Ignazio, Piero and Gianluca opened up and made themselves known better, between official promotional moments and fun and authentic moments.
“What an honour to sing with Il Volo as they closed their first ever Australia tour last night. Three elite voices at the top of their game, but more importantly kind and generous men who welcomed me with open arms.
Thank you Piero, Ignazio and Gianluca ✨”
Like all good things, everything has a beginning and an end.
Gianluca thanks with these beautiful words: “@ gianginoble11 Canada, the United States and Australia. Thanks for your love. We had a great time together. Soon! IL VOLO”
After so many successes, it’s time to go home.
Piero, Ignazio and Gianluca will soon return to Italy, a week of rest, but then, immediately to work, there are good projects to prepare, and many surprises for the fans and even three concerts in Italy, before the end of the year.
Get all ready, because these guys will surprise us a lot !!
Having just finished the North American Tour and the Australian Tour, I thought it would be a good idea to look at how it was in the beginning.
We need to start by understanding what it was like for the guys to come together, become Il Volo and to realize what it meant to immediately become stars!
In the beginning the idea of being one in three was something that the guys needed to learn about. They had to learn how to sing together. It was no longer this is your song, learn it and sing it. No, now it was, this is your part, your take, your phrase, learn it and sing it. They begin to understand how music and recording actually work. They were starting to learn about being three in the form of one. Sharing! And, if that wasn’t enough, they had to learn something even harder, how to get along with one another.
I’ve told you, in some of my stories, about the problems, the disagreements. This may seem unusual but in reality, it was not. You show me three teenage boys who can be thrown together and immediately like one another and totally agree with one another. No, that would never happen.
We were only three kids accompanied by our parents. We still did not know each other well. At the beginning I immediately started to connect with Piero. Perhaps because he is Sicilian like me and maybe because we always found the opportunity to make jokes and have fun.
I was very shy and a little insecure but also a little immature and too instinctive.
In quarrels, for example, maybe it happened that I also answered in an annoying way because I was the one, I felt at that time, and I could not wait until then. Piero, for example, took some good kicks from me. I threw a pizza, at Ignazio, in front of the Universal Canadian official in a restaurant in Montreal. The shrimp flew off the pizza and hit the official of Universal, I mean really.
These were some of the obstacles.Some would easily be resolved and, some would take a long time and a lot of trust to overcome.
By May 2010, things began to change.
We began to understand that something was only changing when our first record came out.
It was already May 2010 and the Il Volo album was about to come out all over the world. Maybe I was too small and naive, but I did not feel the anxiety of the job, like today.
The first major television show in which the guys appeared in America was American Idol, the world’s most famous music talent show.
The guys certainly took America by storm and slowly also many other countries in the world.
So, let’s see what the guys have to say about TheReality, the Realization and the Bonding….
Ignazio begins to explain the Reality….
In a few months I found myself having traveled the world, from Europe to the Americas, from Asia to Oceania. From 2010 to 2013 we traveled like crazy, without ever stopping. In three years, I had not been home for five months.
In 2013 at the end of the American Tour the guys found themselves at the door of Latin America and their South American Tour.
First stop Guadalajara, Mexico. And what better way to begin than on October 4, 2013, Ignazio’s 19th birthday!
Gianluca recalls how the South American Tour began…
In five years, we have done a lot of concerts, we have been in a lot of places and, I absolutely agree with Piero when he says that it is difficult to remember everything, that things have followed so quickly that they seem confused, sometimes I almost forget. However, if I stop and think about it there are flashes that come to mind, for example the 2013 tour in South America.
One of the first things I remember is Ignazio’s birthday in Messio, on the evening of the first concert of the tour.
We arrived at the hotel that was a bit in the middle of nowhere, in Guadalajara. Here we met for the first time our drummer, Salvatore Corazza. There was a huge garden and we started playing soccer.
The most special thing about Ignazio’s birthday was that we celebrated with fans. And speaking of fans, there I lost my password for Instagram and, I started to go crazy because it is very important to keep in touch with the Volovers.
Piero talks about the Realization of it….
At the beginning, in South America, we realized we were really famous only when we arrived and, the fans were in front of the hotel waiting for us. But it happened slowly, slowly. Slowly, relatively slowly, month after month. Because two months before we were in Argentina and there were twenty fans, the next one there were a hundred, the one after there were three hundred, and then a thousand, two thousand. Now the situation is unbelievable if you have not experienced it, you will not believe it because we are with bodyguards twenty-four hours a day. It’s another world.
I remember in Peru, in Lima, we land, we get off the plane and there were already bodyguards at the baggage claim. Usually, they are waiting for us after the baggage claim, two of them come to the entrance and two of them come to the exit to escort us.
Here seven, eight bodyguards arrive directly at the baggage claim. I did not understand. Why, for us? I thought of the fans, but it was the first time we went to Peru, it was really impossible that it was. Now imagine a glazed sliding door, at the airport and you cannot see the other side. Imagine that you have just picked up your luggage, you approach the door, the bodyguard puts you next to the door and the door opens and … you find yourself in front of a wall, a wall of girls, all one above the other screaming, a single scream, something that stuns.
We were in our cars and, they followed us with taxis. The taxi drivers overcame us like crazy, with the girls hanging out of the windows that sounded trumpets, waving flags. We spent three months of our year this way.
And, instead, do you remember Cuernavaca? It was 2013, I remember that we went in the room of Jerry di Pirro, who was our tour manager, to listen to Sade’s music. I remember the white curtains and a terrible heat, in the evening, the pool …
… the insects! In that hotel I remember that I entered the room, we were in the middle of the forest and the white ceiling was completely covered with insects. My father and I spent half the evening crushing mosquitoes and other little animals with slippers.
Then I remember my father talking to the Mexicans while he cooked me pasta. Because before singing, three hours before, I always eat a hundred grams of tomato and basil spaghetti. I love that moment.
He comes in the dressing room, brings me the spaghetti made by him (we bring the packages from home). And that year he started explaining to the Mexicans how spaghetti tomato and basil was cooked.
It was a tour de force, from one day to the other air travel throughout South America, but dad was always with me. One morning I woke up in Guatemala, I look at my dad and say: ‘Dad, what do we do today?’
‘We have to leave for another city.’
‘When is the concert? Tomorrow?’
‘No, tonight! And go! Let’s start.’
That is the real passion: come without force but go forward. Only passion kept me standing.
Now I do not know, maybe we would not do it this way anymore.
However, Gianlu’ this year in July we have gone thirty hours on flights for appearances on TV in the United States. I went back to Detroit with that heat and the album to finish and the tour to do.
Ignazio recalls opening his mouth and, nothing comes out…
I tried to sing and, my voice does not come out, there is nothing to do, it does not come out.
I only know that when I finished that tour in South America I was nicknamed ‘Ignazio the tank’ by myself: I had done twenty concerts with bronchitis.
The worst was in Caracas, Venezuela, six thousand five hundred people, at seven in the evening: soundcheck.
Let’s start with the first song. I try to sing and, my voice does not come out, there is nothing to do, it does not come out. And here comes the most total panic, we stop the soundcheck, the production calls a doctor and, I was punctured with Bentelan.
In short, for a month and half I sang only thanks to the cortisone and breathing technique that our teacher Sergio Bertocchi taught us.
Our because he is also my teacher.
But maybe only say master. Sergio Bertocchi is the person who helped me most in singing, the one that solves my doubts and my problems. If I enter a lesson with a doubt, I go out and I am another Piero, happy and relaxed.
And he never leaves me alone: even outside of Italy, we do lessons on Skype, we solve doubts and problems on the phone.
When I thought that in the Grande Amore tour, I would have liked to sing an air of an opera, Bertocchi told me: ‘You can do it very well, but you have to study a lot.’ And so, I did. For me, the study is fundamental, commitment and study.
I know for sure, that without his breathing exercises I do not know how I would have sung. Without a voice I was completely out of it.
Eh, Igna’, but the voice, you had in that interview!
It was March 2013 we were in Argentina at the famous Los 5 edicion broadcast of QMusica TV. In practice the program works like this. The guest says something about himself and, between a piece and the other part of his story, presents a video of a song he likes, for a total of five videos.
What was the problem? In the meantime, we spoke Spanish and sometimes we were wrong, so we stopped the recording and got it back. So, Ignazio was already a bit tired out, let’s say.
But the worst thing is that in Argentina they do not have the Volo V, they have the B, they say ‘Il Bolo.’
And one, and two, and three, always ‘Il Bolo.’ At that point, Ignazio begins to correct the guy who was in the studio and repeating to us the things to say, and once, and twice, and three: ‘Il Volo, it is said Il Volo, V!’
Until the guy in the studio runs off of new ‘Il Bolo’ and Ignazio starts with a string of bad words in precise Sicilian that are still today immortalized in the off wave.
Eh, however, guys, we are serious people, now. And, I have made a commitment to write.
Where were we? Oh yes. The end of the Latin American tour.
This is such a sweet video
Christmas 2013 was approaching and, the record company wanted to come out with a record of Christmas songs. So Universal decided to complete the EP that came out two years ago with just five Christmas songs.
So, after the Latin American tour we started promoting the Christmas album.
And then the harsh Reality as told by Ignazio….
My house began to fail me. Being four months away, changing cities, hotels and planes almost every day is not easy. From the age of sixteen, finding yourself catapulted into a world that was completely different from the one I was used to, was not a simple thing to manage. At first no, actually the first two years I thought ‘What a beautiful life!’ Then I realized that all that glitters is not gold.
To get satisfaction and achieve the goals you have set for yourself, you have to give up many things and, work hard. Stay focused on your work. It’s not easy.
Many people ask: ‘But these guys never get tired?’ Well, yes, we get tired too, sometimes.
Personally, there was a time when I thought only of friends. I wanted to go out, I never answered the phone, the emails, the messages, I was out of this world.
It was thanks to my family, to the boys and to Michele that I realized that I was neglecting what was always important for me: the music.
I remember, as I’m sure you all remember, your teenage years. Every day was a new experience, a new discovery it was life opening up and receiving you. I guess they had that experience, but it was different. It was different because they were different and it’s no wonder Ignazio wanted to run away from it all. Just leave everything and do what’s natural for a teenager. The teenage years are very precious years. It’s the time to find yourself. To discover the world. It’s taking everything you’ve learned at home and going out and finding your own way.
Back to the story!
Gianluca agrees with Ignazio….
True, Ignazio is right. It was not easy then and, neither is it now.
In those years, in 2012 and 2013, no one knew us in Italy, we were just the three children who had come from Ti Lascio Una Canzone.
But in America, in South America, in Europe we were very well known. And not only there! After the release of our first CD, we went on tour even in places that none of us could have imagined we would go to: Australia, Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan and New Zealand. In Singapore we also had a gold record with that first CD.
In 2012 we arrived in Norway, one of the few European countries that we had not yet touched. We participated in the concert dedicated to the Nobel Peace Prize – that year went to the European Union – in Oslo. A fantastic evening that allowed us to meet Gerard Butler and Sarah Jessica Parker, who were the presenters, and an artist like Kylie Minogue.
And then, in 2014 we were in Moscow twice, once guests in a concert by Toto Cugno and once with a concert of our own, and at the beginning of 2015 we were in Beijing, guests of a TV program for the Chinese New Year.
So, before Sanremo, we lived two lives, two completely different lives. Abroad we were stars and, we came to Italy to rest. I took refuge in Montepagano, Piero in Naro, Ignazio in Marsala. It was nice to come back to a ‘normal’ life.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the “Back to Brooklyn Tour” with Barbara Streisand.
In early 2012, the guys were in Atlantic City. Piero was the only one of the three who was of legal age, so he was responsible to sign all contracts. And this is where the contract to do the “Back to Brooklyn Tour” was signed….
The tour, which was called ‘Back to Brooklyn,’ was the first that Streisand made between the United States and Canada since 1994. It opened on October 4, 2012, in Philadelphia and closed on November 11th in Los Angeles, passing through New York, Montreal, Ottawa, Vancouver, La Vegas, Chicago. Can you imagine what it meant? And we sing with her.
So, I sign the contract, but the most anticipated thing was the meeting with her. Because Barbra is a diva, all speak of Barbra with so much desire. And to find yourself face to face with a person who has made history of international music, is known all over the world, who is seventy years old and still draws twenty thousand people every evening, is incredible.
And the meeting was surreal because it is absurd to find yourself talking to her about your hair, where you go to cut your hair and trivial things, it does not seem really possible.
The fact is, however, that I am not one who dreams so much, I do not live above the clouds. I may not seem modest, but yes, I duetted with Barbra Streisand, but when I finished the show, I called Torpedine and I said, “What are we doing tomorrow?”
We were sharing the stage with one of the greatest living legends. These are difficult emotions to explain.
When our manager gave us confirmation of our participation in the tour after a few days of negotiation, we did not know what to say or what to do. Personally, I knew of Barbara Streisand, but I wanted to know more, so I watched Funny Girl, the first film she shot and with which she won the Oscar for the best actress in 1969. After watching that musical-film I was fascinated and excited a thousand times more to be part of the tour of that artist who had made me dream only through a screen. I did not even want to imagine what I would have felt the day we would have found ourselves on the same stage.
The first concert with her was in Philadelphia on October 4, 2012, the day of my birthday, so you can imagine what a birthday I spent. It was nice and exciting to hear her singing close to me.
When I arrived at the sound check, before the concert, I do not know what happened, but I started thinking about everything we had done in the years before, how much gratitude the boys and I had for Michele who had never left us since the first day. We were sharing the stage with one of the greatest living legends.
In my case, if possible, and even more difficult because the thrill of singing with Barbra Streisand has added the excitement of singing in front of my grandfather. Imagine the Barclays Center in New York, a huge sports arena full, bursting of people. The capacity is around fifteen thousand places, but that evening was so full of people who seemed to me twenty-five thousand. The darkness all around and then the lights suddenly, the audience roar, the music, the concert.
And what did I see in all this? I saw only my grandfather in the middle of the Barclays Center who greeted me by hand. It was the best image of that tour, for me, a kind of film, yes, in a film it would have been really good.
I did not believe it, the more I looked at him and the less I believed it. It was weird all in all: my grandfather at one of my concerts with Barbra Streisand in New York. I have always seen him in the square in the village, it seemed a mirage to see him there.
He made me like that with his hand and he was crying. And I was just looking at him, singing ‘Smile’ and watching only him.
Worse was when I just moved my gaze and I saw my father sitting next to him. And he cried too.
That time on stage I could not let myself go.
What a fantastic tour it was!
The night it all broke down….
Though this was Ignazio’s nightmare, it is in fact Piero’s story. It is the sudden Realization that someone important to you can be hurt or worse. It’s the night Piero realized that a stranger who became his friend could be lost to him forever. It’s the night the three guys became brothers. It is the ultimate Reality….Bonding….
This is the part of their story I don’t like talking about, but this story would not be complete if I didn’t include all the facts and the true Bonding….
It happened in Miami….
Let’s go back to just before the Latin American Tour.
It’s autumn in Miami….
After the tour we started thinking about the second album and at the beginning of 2013 we recorded ‘We Are Love.’
If I remember correctly, in April the album was released and in August the new tour began, from Vancouver, Canada. We will never forget that tour.
In September there was an episode that marked the relationship between us guys. It united us even more, made us understand that we three are the strength!
Miami, September 24th, was an evening like many others: we decided to go out with a group of friends and go to one of the most ‘in’ Italian restaurants in South Beach.
The evening started well. We were having a lot of fun. The owner knew us well, had made us sit in the club that was on the top floor of the building where only members went. There were about fifty people there. We had dinner and from that point I remember only when I got on the sofa and when I woke up.
Each of us lives bad, unhappy moments, sad moments, but I think that day, that night in Miami was the worst of my life. I remember every little detail and in a hundred years I will still remember it. We were in a famous restaurant in Miami, which was a restaurant and a disco, and at some point, after dancing a bit, we went out to move to another nightclub with some friends. I got in a taxi with one of them. Ignazio gets into a car with someone else who has a two-seater red car. We make our way in the taxi to the disco, which was very close to the restaurant.
So, we arrive in front of the room.
I state that we do not drink. A glass of wine at the table, yes, but always in moderation. Sometimes we like to joke and pretend to be drunk. That night Ignazio was doing it with me, like talking on the phone with his wallet.
I know him very well, but for a moment I thought he was really drunk, but the bad thing was that he was not at all, and we only found out much later.
So, the taxi leaves me in front of the disco. Ignazio and his friend drive around the block to find parking. I wait in front of the door to see them turn the corner and then come together.
At a certain point, I see our friend coming, but I no longer see Ignazio.
I say: ‘Excuse me, but where is Ignazio?’
‘He took a taxi and went to the hotel.’
Ah okay. But then I had a doubt! It came to me that flash of Ignazio pretending to talk on the phone with his wallet.
Excuse me ‘I’m going back to the subject, but, did you really see him get in the cab and say the address?’
‘No, I left him in front of my car.’
The nightmare started then. Do you know what the nightmare means?
I pick up the phone, wait for three minutes – the hotel is close to me – and call the reception.
I say: ‘Excuse me, have you seen the guy from 320 come back?’
‘No, I do not know.’
I call our friend, who had entered the disco, and I say to him: ‘Take me straight to the hotel.’
I get in the car, and I think to immediately notify Gianluca, who was still at the restaurant and was to join us at the disco. I almost called him, but then I think: ‘What if Ignazio is in the hotel?’ ‘Better to wait to sound the alarm.
I arrive at the hotel and ask again: ‘Did you see the guy from 320 enter?’
‘No, I do not think so, we have not seen anyone here.’
At three-fifteen in the morning not many people pass by the entrance of a hotel, among those few people if Ignazio enters, you notice him, he is not one that goes unnoticed.
I say: ‘Excuse me, could you give me the key to the room and let me in? At least I can see if he is asleep.’
‘No, we cannot give it to you.’
‘We are in the same group. You know very well he is my colleague.’
‘No, unfortunately for privacy we cannot.’
I begged the gentleman, I begged him, but he did not give me the key.
I go up, I go to Ignazio’s door with our friend, and we knock.
‘Igna’! Igna’!’ we shout, beat and shout, but no one answered.
In that chaos, however, from under the door we see that the light was on. Ignazio is in the room!
I seemed to see him sleeping on the bed, or at least I hoped it, I hoped so much.
At that point, the doubt came to me, ‘What if the room is really empty and he’s in some corner of Miami that felt bad?’ So, I take my friend and tell him: ‘Let’s go back to the disco street and check around it.’ But it’s not that we only made the disco area, no, we made almost all of Miami up and down to find Ignazio. But nothing three hours and no results. I had anguish that took my breath away.
At that point I had to warn the others, and I started with Gianluca.
It was not until six o’clock. My heart stopped.
I suspected something had happened because I had waited for Ignazio and Piero at the disco, but they never arrived. I thought they changed their mind, perhaps they were tired or something. Never, however, to think that it was such a serious thing.
At that time, when Piero called me, I was in bed, recently, but was in bed.
I did not even think for a moment that Piero was joking. It was too serious and, Piero is not the kind to joke about certain things.
I said only: ‘I wait you below.’ I dressed and went down to the hotel lobby.
You cannot imagine what I thought in just a few minutes when I waited for him.
It was the first time in four years that we did not know where one of us was.
It was a, very, bad feeling!
It was at that point that, together with Gianluca, we decided to wake Barbara.
‘Barbara, we do not find Ignazio.’ I told her.
It was half past six in the morning. We had not heard from him for more than three hours.
Barbara says: ‘a joke?’
‘No, we cannot find him.’
We only worried about Ignazio, but Barbara then had another problem to manage. That morning at 9:50 we had to fly to New York because the next day we had a concert at Radio City Music Hall. And not just any show, sold out, and all our parents were going to New York to Washington, our lawyers had arrived, all those who work with us, Michele, because it was the most important concert of the whole tour.
‘However,’ I tell her, ‘from under the door you can see the light, maybe he’s asleep on the bed, only they won’t give us the key to the room.’
First thing, Barbara wakes up, gets dressed, and runs to open Ignazio’s door.
She basically threatens the one at the front desk, so she goes to room 320 with a bodyguard of the hotel and they open the room.
Ignazio was not there! My world collapsed. My blood froze.
At that point Barbara calls Michele in New York. ‘Michele, there’s a problem Ignazio is not found.’
‘It’s a joke.’
From there Michele mobilizes everyone. He calls all his friends in Miami, everyone. Meanwhile, Michele also had to understand whether or not to cancel the concert and how to cancel it. I could not put my head around it, my only fear, and my biggest nightmare was the fact that Ignazio was not there.
Barbara, in the meantime, calls Flavio, another friend of ours in Miami and he arrives with his motorbike. Let it be known that Barbara has a fear of motorcycles, she had never ridden in her life. She got on the motorbike and went to the police station to ask if they had arrested a boy in a green shirt and then she went to the hospitals to see if some ambulance had brought in a guy with a green shirt.
We turned Miami upside down.
What was I doing?
Piero and I took turns at the hotel, watching all the taxis and we hoped that Ignazio would descend.
Every taxi that arrived, we prayed to heaven and earth.
The police woke me up the next morning on the lawn of South Beach’s main street, telling me that if I did not get up, they would have to take me to jail. At 9:50 on that September 25th we had a flight to New York and on the 27th we had the most important concert of the tour at Radio City Music Hall. The concert was sold out for a few weeks. There were six thousand people.
Time to wake up and I realize that everything is gone, my cell phone, wallet, and jacket. They had stolen everything. What do I do? And above all, what time is it? Something told me it was late. So, I start running.
‘But where are you going?’ I told myself at a certain point. I stopped to see where I was. I was between the seventh and eighth, quite the opposite of the restaurant and our hotel that was on nineteenth. I definitely had to hurry up. So, I start running again, but the problem remained to understand what time it was.
I stop and ask a gentleman, who answers me: ‘It’s 9:50…man.’
The first thought? ‘The flight!’ In the sense of the plane … Then I start to run, but this time like a bolt in the Olympics, but I realize that the hotel is too far. A taxi, a taxi was needed.
I glanced down the road and one was passing on the opposite lane. I start running wildly without checking if any cars are coming. Fortunately, there was no one. This street in Miami is always busy but, at that precise moment no one passed. Do we want to call it ass? (Luck)
Anyway, I get the taxi. Driving was an African American woman and I asking her to take me to the hotel. In fact, I do not even know how I could remember the name of the hotel.
It was already 9:30, the plane was already gone, and Ignazio was still not found.
I was desperate. I no longer knew who to pray or what to think. They have kidnapped him, they will have killed him, they will be threatening him.
Barbara arrives from the hospital and from the police station without news.
So now I’m going up, riding on the bike with Flavio. What do I do? This time I start going around the alleys of Miami. The nightclub was on Sixteenth Street. The hotel was on nineteenth, so three blocks away, it was close. I asked every bum I met: ‘Excuse me, have you seen a boy with a green shirt?’
‘A dollar’ I heard a lot of times. And while I was shooting there, Gianluca was waiting in front of the hotel for all the taxis coming hoping to see Ignazio descend, while Barbara had been on the phone for so long that she no longer knew who to call.
Hopes were already lost from New York.
When I arrived at the hotel, I saw Barbara and Gianluca sitting on a bench as if waiting for someone. Then I got out of the taxi and asked them: ‘Excuse me, do you have any dollars to pay for the taxi?’ They both looked up together and …
… I burst into tears; I started screaming. It was as if they had taken a weight off my shoulders that crushed me to the ground and prevented me from breathing.
Barbara paid the taxi and started to call Michele, who I later realized, in the midst of all that concern, also had to find a way to solve the problems that would have caused a possible cancellation of the concert in New York.
My mother, who was already there, had understood everything, because I did not answer the phone and she had news of what happened from Gaetano and Leonora, Piero’s parents and Gianluca’s mother.
While I was riding on the Lincoln Road with Flavio, my phone rings: it was half past ten.
He has arrived, he has arrived, he is here!
I scream from the bike to vent all the evil I had inside. I cried. Do you know when you run with the bike, and you have all the tears? What’s this? And I punched Flavio, I gave punches from happiness.
We arrive at the hotel, and I see Ignazio in front of the reception with that blessed green jersey. He had gone out the night before with a blue jacket and they had stolen it, along with his wallet and cell phone.
What did I do? I call my mom because Ignazio was not well. I understood that they had given him something. My mother tells me to let him drink a lot of water and give him spoonsful of honey. And you see Ignazio lying on the bed and I with the spoon, you know when you give the syrup to your son? With the honey spoon to make him eat everything he could swallow.
Too sad and, also hard to tell.
The boys have accompanied me to my room, they helped me take a shower because when I looked in the mirror, I realized that I was full of bruises and scratches on my face and body, some bump here and there and I was also half lame.
The two of them together with Barbara had been around Miami all night, from three thirty in the morning to ten, in taxis, motorbikes, between hospitals and various police departments to look for me, while I was sleeping in the fresh air on a green lawn.
That night they beat me with blows. They threw me right and left. But I had not gotten drunk, I had just accepted a drink that had been drugged without my noticing it. Do you know one thing? From that day on, if I go to a pub or a disco, I always ask for closed drinks, I have to open them myself.
My biggest rage of that night is I do not remember anything, as if they had cut the film of a camera roll and had it attached to a later piece.
It’s not nice to not be able to remember.
Barbara, in the end, managed to move the flight, we left later and arrived at the hotel. Our parents were waiting outside, with shining eyes and the desire to hug us was like never before. Shortly afterwards, my father arrived. He was stuck in London and, poor man, had to travel from London to New York without knowing if they had found me.
In the end are the result that matters, I can say that this experience made us grow a lot and made us want better for each other.
That concert at Radio City Music Hall was one of the most beautiful concerts we’ve ever done. We sang like never before maybe because we had just found out what it meant to lose everything in a moment.
During the concert, Ignazio surprised the guys with this video.
I guess you can understand why I don’t like talking about Miami. It’s very emotional. It is important to the story but the terror of the night that Ignazio felt, the fear that Piero felt, the sense of loss and anxiety that Gianluca felt was very important because it brought them to the next step in their relationship. This was the night that three strangers, who became friends finally became brothers.
The guys experienced The Reality, the Realization and the Bonding but they paid a high price to get there. They paid with their teenage years. And they experienced things that most men would never experience in a lifetime.
One last note. Something Michele Torepdine wrote in his book “Ricomincio Dai Tre” sums up who these guys are now….
These three guys have very clear ideas and I have never seen them impressed in front of audiences that many would shake their legs. I never heard a wrong attack, and if some inconsistency arose that made something happen professionally, they knew how to handle the problem at the origin. They are always extraordinary, their voices grow with them, they mature in body and soul. There is no other team or artistic team so complete.
You are so right, Michele. I couldn’t have said it better.
Join me next week as I go back Through the Fields of My Mind and open the door to a new adventure!
If you would like to share a story with me, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
To read more Il Volo stories visit us at www.ilvoloflightcrw.com
*Quotes are excerpts from Il Volo, Un’avventura straordinario, La nostra storia.
The last concert was to be epic, and it didn’t disappoint!
Gianluca, Ignazio and Piero gave their all and the audience was fantastic, how much skill, how much love, in the beautiful Dolby Theater, there were no artists on stage and audience in the hall, but a single entity of friendly people, people who show their great talent and other people who with great love, appreciate, no separation between them, just lots of love.
Here is a video that summarizes much of the concert.
IF I CAN DREAM
But there also had to be two special events, made with two special guests.
One was Scott Joying of Pentatonix, with whom they sang a fantastic …..
It was really a very emotional performance, shivering on the skin, all four of them fantastic.
RoseMarie, dear friend, I see you in the front row, standing applauding, together with Joanie, and Judith, how much emotion, what perfection!
Scott was very happy with the performance, and the skill of Il Volo, in fact he posted these wonderful comments!
The second guest is an American singer, Isabela Mercede, who sings in Spanish, is very young and good, with her the duet, accompanied only by the piano played by Maestro Grani:
HISTORIA DE UN AMOR
Isabela was also very satisfied with the duet and published these words:
“It was an honor to be able to sing such a classic song like ‘Historia de Un Amor’ in such a special place with Il Volo.”
Very beautiful too, the words and the video published by the violinist Lisa Dondlinger:
I have been performing with Il Volo since they first appeared on American Idol and The Tonight Show in 2011. It has been an incredible journey to watch them grow up and mature as artists. It was a joy to be reunited with them for their latest performance in Los Angeles.