IL VOLO, TRIBUTE TO ENNIO MORRICONE by Daniela

And here it is, finally the big announcement.

Il Volo, in a press conference, gave the great news: on June 5 in a square in Rome there will be a great tribute concert, to the maestro Ennio Morricone and his splendid music.
The news had already been announced yesterday evening on the Instagram profile of Il Volo, with this press release.

“Tomorrow morning we will make a very important announcement, of something we care about …….”

The press conference was held in Campidoglio, seat of the Municipality of Rome , at the presence of Il Volo, the mayor of Rome, Virginia Raggi, and the journalists.
Here is what was said:

The mayor Virginia Raggi enters, followed by IL VOLO: Piero, Gianluca and Ignazio. The conference will take place with the rules of distancing and with the mask always worn. The journalists take the group photo and Gianluca says, “We are smiling!”
GA = Well, good morning everyone, my name is Gian Arnaldi and I have the task of conducting this press conference today. I have the task of presenting the project “IL VOLO, A TRIBUTE TO ENNIO MORRICONE”.
Before introducing the people in the room, I would ask the director to broadcast a very short video on the presentation of Il Volo.
(The video starts, but after a while, it stops due to technical problems…..the  Ignazio voice is heard and he saying: “It went well, didn’t it?”)
MAYOR = Okay, but I would applaud!
GA = We have a technical problem, but the meaning of the video, I think we have already expressed it.
First of all, I would like to thank all those present at this press conference, both in presence and via streaming, a requirement dictated by the current health containment legislation.
I thank the people present on the stage who, despite the mask, you already know, the mayor of Roma Capitale, Virginia Raggi, whom I thank for being present today and for the time he dedicates to us and obviously the guys from Il Volo: Piero, Ignazio and Gianluca.
Before starting with the actual press conference, I would like to make, if you allow me, a very brief introduction on the reasons that led to this project.
Years ago, a well-known event creator, named Thomas Errera, who can’t be here today, started proposing what seemed to be an impossible dream, that is, to organize a big event, a big free concert in Rome, something truly unique, original, exceptional, never realized before.
The idea was precisely to turn the spotlight on the artistic, cultural, organizational, and productive capacity of the city of Rome. Turn on the spotlight, not only for Italy, but for the whole world. And then, it began to take shape, what seemed an impossible undertaking, to carry out a great concert, in front of the basilica of St. Peter (Vatican). This impossible dream, thanks to the people who are on stage today, June 5th next year, will finally have the bet open.
I would like, also in the name of Thomas Errera, to thank the Common of Roma Capitale and the mayor Virginia Raggi, for the support they have given us, for the support and availability shown in all these months, for the realization of this great project, and in this regard, I would really like to give the floor to the mayor Virginia Raggi.
Thank you. (appaluse) 

MAYOR = Thank you and welcome. Really welcome. It is a special moment.
First of all, allow me to thank and greet Piero, Gianluca and Ignazio, three guys, we saw a video “on the fly”, as they said, which remembers, with very quick brushstrokes, what their climb to success was, and now they are have become internationally renowned artists, so we are really happy and honored to host you here. They are guys with an amazing, extraordinary voice, who bring the beautiful song all over the world and keep our traditions high.
I also greet and thank Ferdinando Salzano, founder of Friend and Partners and co-producer of the event, the special project manager of Il Volo, Danilo Ciotti and all those who are clearly following the conference, also in streaming, including a special thanks to the manager of Il Volo and co-producer Michele Torpedine. To Thomas Errera, he is not here with us, we ideally send a hug
Clearly a greeting to all those who are in the room and thanks to Gian Arnaldi, who accompanies us today this morning.
So, before starting with the conference, allow me to open a little parenthesis on the events that are happening in Italy in these days and in particular in Rome. (riots and protests due to the new stringent rules for Covid).
Again last night we had, in fact, some vandals, who put a part of our city to “sword and fire”. I feel I can firmly condemn this violence, in this moment of crisis and great difficulty that is bringing families, people, traders to their knees. Certainly we do not need someone who “blows” on the fire and tries, in some way, to destabilize further a situation that is already very critical, to which we are trying to give concrete answers.
Therefore, it is condemned, absolutely firm, these acts, and instead concretely support all those traders, who at this moment, together with us, together with the government, are looking for the best and possible solutions to face this crisis.
This must be said and remembered, because then, the reality is also this.
Returning to the merits of the conference, here too we need to make a premise: why today? Because we absolutely have to think about the future. We must think about what will come next, we must give a message of hope, especially in a moment like this, we must focus again, on great events, which Rome is able to host, we must focus on culture, on possibility and capacity of this city, combined with artists of national and international caliber, has to attract investments, to attract work, to attract further artists.
Tourism, culture, creativity, work and investments must restart and we are already starting to think about the future, as has been said, we have been doing it for some months, actually.
What we are presenting today is therefore a great event that will take place on June 5th next year. It will be a first edition, and it will be a tribute to Ennio Morricone, which these guys will do in the form of a great concert open to all, free, of the highest level, I dare to say, and that however, we would like to be the beginning, of a series of concerts that Thomas Errera created and called “UNITED FOR THE WORLD”. We need to have points of reference, we need fixed appointments, which remind us of what we are able to do, which make us find ourselves around an event, around great talents, great artists, and this ideally wants to be there. start, and doing it today, in such a difficult moment, is also a strong sign of the will to move forward and overcome this moment.
Where will this concert take place? I allow myself to give little information and then I pass the word to the guys, to the artists who will tell us better.
The concert will take place in Piazza Pio XII, with a formidable scenic backdrop that is that of San Pietro. We ideally want to gather in the embrace of Bernini’s Colonnade, such an important event, which, moreover, gives a tribute, which we all feel, to Maestro Morricone, to whom we also named the auditorium.
It is a part of Italian history, it is a part of us that now goes to the world, travels the world, and is recognized by everyone and therefore this wants to be, beyond a tribute, a moment of great unity, we need it.
So I thank the guys from Il Volo, who participated and will give life to this project, this great event. I thank all those who have and are working on the conception and implementation, and I can only invite you, next June 5th to join us, and join us in this large square, where we will start dreaming again on the fantastic notes of Ennio Morricone, sung by these guys.
Really thank you! (applause)
GA = Thanks to the mayor for her speech.
At this point I would give the voice to the guys from Il Volo. I would start with Piero Barone, who maybe tells us, a little more in detail, some characteristics, some peculiarities of this event.

PIERO = First of all, good morning everyone, it’s a press conference, let’s greet all the journalists who are following us.
It is an unprecedented conference for us.
First of all we thank the mayor Raggi, for this very welcome invitation, the Municipality of Rome for the patronage of this event.
In recent months, there have been various initiatives to draw attention to all the problems that concern operators, all professionals, in the world of music, entertainment workers, and this event is one of the reasons for we are presenting this project eight months in advance.
It is a message to all workers, many people do not know who they are, but we who work with them every day, we know them, and we hope that, with these facts, and not just with words, we can help them not to be disheartened, try to to give this message of optimism, of hope, and to think that finally EVERYTHING WILL BE OK, because we hear these words every day and we hope that with the facts, we can make them come true.
Thank you. (Applause)
GA = To Gianluca instead, I would like to ask why the homage to Ennio Morricone.
GIANLUCA = The great maestro Morricone was a source of inspiration for us, we also got to know him and work with him, especially in the studio, as we were children, 14/15 years old, we were recording our first album. It is a source of pride, perhaps I allow myself to say that he is the greatest composer of the twentieth century, so we know that this project, this tribute, requires a great responsibility.
We will work hard because this is also the way to bring our musical heritage around the world, but above all cultural, because he has made millions of people dream all over the world with his soundtracks and of course our goal has always been to bring and be ambassadors of bel canto all over the world, but not with presumption, but with great pride and with the desire to be able to make this music known even to the youngest. We started when we were 14/15 years old, we have always been a bit of different children, perhaps anomalous, for the times that run, but it is also a reason to bring this eternal music, like this city (Rome is called the eternal city) , associating this great music with this great city, is a way to bring, not only this great music around the world, but also the beauty of our places, the beauty of the most beautiful city in the world. So we can’t wait that, as Piero said, give a message of hope, to go back to living life, normalcy. So we are working hard to create a great concert, a great event, with orchestra, choir, and of course there will also be a recording project where we will collect, in a meticulous way, all the greatest soundtracks of the great maestro Ennio Morricone, sung. So, we can’t wait to go back to the studio and start working and giving hope to everyone.
PIERO = When we presented this project to other countries, America, South America, Japan and many European countries, there was great enthusiasm on their part, because, as you well know, a couple of years ago we did a concert-event and the film was shown in all American TV cinemas, and our goal is to convey Italian beauties with the music that surrounds us. In this event we are above all enthusiastic about the positive feedback from those who have collaborated, in recent years, with Maestro Morricone, such as the Sinfonietta Orchestra, which has always played with Maestro Morricone, so we are talking to them. We are really excited and delighted that there is this interest on their part.
GIANLUCA = I like to tell a little anecdote that made everyone smile a little, because the first time we sang with Maestro Morricone was in 2011. We were rehearsing with the maestro and with the Sinfonietta, we were 15 years old, I remember that I naively begin the piece, the teacher gives the cue and I don’t start. The three of us look at each other, total panic, the maestro turns towards us, I look at him and say “So you give it to me, the cue?”, that is, I called you to the maestro and he told me, “Don’t worry, I’ll take care of it.”: This anecdote makes everyone smile, and every time we remember it with great affection, because he was truly a source of inspiration for us a great example and we really miss him.
Thank you! (applause)
GA = Ignazio, as your colleagues have already mentioned, in the past you have also had close relationships with the teacher.
IGNAZIO = Yes, they have already said everything, I’ll put the icing on the cake. Following that anecdote, it was in 2011, where we had the luck, the pleasure and the honor of singing E PIÙ TI PENSO, which is a song that was part of our first album, we sang in Piazza del Popolo (in Rome) and we have this beautiful memory.
The boys have already told everything before, but to finish it is nice to remember that it is nice that 25-year-olds, not just us, can give positive messages, that is, even at a distance of one meter, with the microphone covered and we wear the mask, it’s not because we are stupid, but because we think that those who are watching us right now may think “Damn, these guys are 25 years old, why don’t we do it too?”
We live in a very complicated moment, not because we are forced to stay at home, but because everything begins to be more difficult, from staying at home, to not being able to work, to the difficulties that every category, every social class, has in this moment and we hope to get out of it soon. We as artists, we are helping our category, with other artists, we are preparing a project, to raise funds and help those in our category, who have been hit hard, speeches of shows that we do not know if they will be able to be made, will be the time that will tell us.
I want to reiterate thanks to the Municipality of Rome, to the mayor, to Friends & Partners who will produce this show with us, to Thomas, and we say “See you on June 5th.” and thank you very much to everyone for being connected in the internet and for being here . (applause)
GA = Well, we will start a short question and answer session shortly, from the many questions that are coming up from reporters. Many are of a slightly technical nature, you wonder what the stage will be like, if there will be sessions or not, in this regard I would like to call Ferdinando Salzano, founder of Friends & Partners and co-producer of the event. We know it’s a work in progress now, but we think you can anticipate something.
Time to sanitize the microphone. (they are very loyal to the rules)
MAYOR = Guys, if you want to improvise !!
GIANLUCA = The final piece of E PIÙ TI PENSO, we can do it a cappella (he asks the other two).
SALZANO = Hello everyone, quickly, because I think it is better to leave room for questions.
First of all, a big compliment to the mayor, because it takes great audacity today to announce a live event.
I work as a producer, and the journalists, both those present and those who are online, know perfectly well what is happening, in a specific matter in the world of music.
This is really a great gesture of trust, in the sense that I am living it like this. The latest decree law that obviously affected many sectors, but in the case of ours, it also affected the impossibility of being able to work in the coming months, so December and January, even with COVID capacity, so it is an important law decree, probably, indeed certainly necessary, but very painful for the entertainment world.
Today’s announcement, aside from the thanks, I felt I was paying a compliment for the audacity, and also for the audacity of Il Volo.
Very quickly, this will be a great event. Il Volo is used to great events, and in these years that we have worked together, there have been wonderful occasions. However, I think this event has connotations and colors of great event for many reasons, those you have already told but I add another one, the date of June 5th, I like to think that it becomes a symbolic date, compared to the great live events that Rome will have, to think that this great street event, in an extraordinary location of enormous international value, could almost become the opening for our rebirth. We hope it is.
It will be a great local event, but not only, surely, mayor, we will have television, there will be a great live TV, after many months, we are not able to say which TV but we believe it will be the most important network and therefore easily guessed (Rai1).
It will therefore be a great television event that will also see the participation of many guest friends, who certainly Il Volo, as they always have done, manage to attract, also given their capacity for empathy, with everything that is the musical world.
Obviously I close, thanking Il Volo and Michele Torpedine, who I hope is following us, for the trust and for the possibility of being able to accompany them again on this beautiful and extraordinary journey. Thank you. (applause)
GA = Thank you, we still have some questions coming from the journalists connected in streaming. The first question is for Il Volo, but if the mayor allows me I would ask her too.
Simone from ALL MUSIC ITALIA, asks which is the Ennio Morricone soundtrack you are most attached to. I don’t know if you have a different answer or if you have a common answer.
PIERO = Since the idea of the project was born, we have had a marathon of films in which there has been the soundtrack of Maestro Morricone. Personally, the one I prefer, but it is difficult to find one, I would say MALENA, apart, a few months ago, we had the opportunity to meet the extraordinary Monica Bellucci (actress who played Malena).
GIANLUCA = Probably my favorite is GABRIEL’S OBOE from the movie Mission, surely it will be on the album, sung.
Yes, that’s my favorite and CINEMA PARADISO too.
IGNAZIO= I never remember the names, but it’s L’ESTASI DELL’ORO (The Ecstasy of Gold from The Good, the Bad and the Ugly), and I heard it as an introduction, even from Metallica (band)
GIANLUCA = It is not said that we could do such a thing too.
MAYOR = So we start to have some small previews too, I would say.
For me, I must say that it is the pillar of THE MISSION so far. The truth is that all these music have the ability to move something inside, they speak directly to the belly, to the head, to the emotion, I believe it also depends on the mood of each of us. It happens to get excited with different music, depending on the moment and for THE MISSION, I’d say it’s her, but I don’t exclude the others.

PIERO = Seeing the films, commented with the music of Maestro Morricone, pushed us a little to express those emotions we felt with singing.
A few days ago, there was a man on TV, who said a very interesting thing, that music is perceived on the right side of our brain, the lyrics, on the left side, so a song, a melody sung, takes it all the brain, therefore for this reason it expresses emotions, It is a very interesting thing for a musician, for those who live with music, and it struck me a lot.
GIANLUCA = Yes, and then we want to remember that in 2011 we sang a song by Ennio Morricone, it was a medley of ONCE UPON A TIME IN AMERICA and MALENA, the song entitled E PIÙ TI PENSO and maybe we sing a piece, what do you say? (to Piero and Ignazio)
(Piero Ignazio and Gianluca sing a cappella a piece by E PIÙ TI PENSO. Applause !!)
GA = Thank you very much for this surprise, this thing was not prepared.
GIANLUCA = It is the first time that we sing with masks.
MAYOR = But the test is more than successful, apart from the mask, it was crazy.
GA = Absolutely, it gave us goosebumps, thanks guys, thanks for the surprise.
I’m looking at the phone not out of rudeness, but because I’m reading the journalists’ questions online, Andrea Spinelli of QN, has a question for Ignazio, he asks if you can already tell us something about the project in support of the entertainment world you mentioned before?
IGNAZIO = Spinelli is always curious, he always wants to know everything. It is a project we are still working on, I don’t feel like saying much, because it is being born these days: We have received messages from artists such as Shade, Fedez, Ermal Meta (Italian singers) and we are preparing a great project, everything is still boiling. in the pot”, so I don’t feel like saying more.
GA = A message from Angela Calvini dell’Avvenire arrives live, asking if you already have a rough schedule, or if it is still a work in progress.
IGNAZIO = It is a work in progress, we are working both on the live and on the record.
PIERO = It will be difficult to find a compromise on what to sing, because they are all extremely beautiful melodies.
Now we are working with the producers of this recording project, because at the same time or a few days before the event, a record will be released, then a tour will follow, we hope to be able to do it, we hope that things go well. But now it’s all a work in progress, even for those who will be on stage: We have always tried to work big, many of our wishes have been spent thanks to our desire to do, our desire to never stop, but above all thanks to the help of the people who support us every day, the various people such as Ferdinando Salzano, Danilo Ciotti, our manager Michele Torpedine.
We are grateful to them because they have always given the possibility to these three boys, to realize almost impossible wishes, but thanks to them, thanks to their love and support, because apart from work, there is also the human relationship, and this makes us feel good.

GA = Thanks.
Carlotta D’agostino, of Spettacolo News, leaves the scope of this event for a moment for an interesting question.
In 2015, you opened the Monza Grand Prix (F1 car race) in front of a huge audience. Sunday will open the Imola Grand Prix, (Sunday 1 November Il Volo will sing the Italian Anthem as the opening of the Imola F1 GP), but the public will be reduced, because we are in a very different historical period. What will it be for you to sing the Inno di Mameli (Italian anthem) for this occasion?
GIANLUCA = If I’m not mistaken, the last time the Grand Prix was done was after the death of Senna (F1 driver).
IGNAZIO = In Imola.
GIANLUCA = Yes, in Imola it was the last time, after Senna’s death, if I’m not mistaken.
IGNAZIO = Yes, it has been years since there has been a GP in Imola.
But I think ….. we had the honor of singing for the Pope in Panama, and there were a million boys. During the mass, there were a million boys, but it is as if there were none.
GIANLUCA = It was World Youth Day.
IGNAZIO = Yes, it was WYD. Sometimes it doesn’t matter how many people or how full a place is, but what you feel at that moment does matter, surely there won’t be the same adrenaline, but we know that all sports fans will be there, in front of the screen watching a “ historic moment”, but not because we sing the anthem, but because Imola is a special circuit, in the memories of many fans of this sport of Formula 1, but above all many fans of Ayrton Senna, and therefore for us it will be very, very exciting , sing the hymn in that event.
PIERO = I wanted to add something about the Italian anthem, because in recent months we have often heard it sung from the windows.
The hymn is a signal of union, when we sing it, it is a signal of extreme sensation, clearly singing it together with the chorus of the audience, large or not, will be particular, because clearly, the text was drawn up in a past that we have not lived, but it teaches us that in moments of pride, difficult, particular, we are all united and we, and it shows in this moment that we are living. (applause)

GA = Thanks. Natalia di Stefano from Corriere della Sera asks, in the concert on June 5th, will music and image be in dialogue? Do you foresee videos with films set to music by Morricone?
IGNAZIO = We are working on it.
GIANLUCA = Yes, it’s all in the embryonic stage. We are working, but we absolutely wanted to announce this great project, but we will return to the studio, we are working on the scenography, on what will then be on stage.
We will aim for something big, even on the choice of songs. It will be easy to choose the songs already sung, like that of ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST, so on some songs there are already lyrics, on some not, but we are also working on this. We will certainly be giving details on this project very soon.
GA = Laura Frigerio of Back Home Music, asks if, since Morricone was an author of important pop pieces, do you foresee a lineup with soundtracks only or even a tribute to his pop songs?
GIANLUCA = Like SE TELEFONANDO.
IGNAZIO = Looking at all the songs that the maestro has arranged, we were surprised, because one of our songs, which we sang from the beginning is IL MONDO, and the first version, written by Jimmy Fontana and interpreted by him, the arrangement musical was by Morricone. So there will also be songs that have been part of the master’s life. There will not be only soundtracks.
GA = Well, last question.
Claudia Fascia from Ansa asks which authors you worked with on the lyrics on Morricone’s music and also, if you already have time, on the recording project.
IGNAZIO = Now, we’re always saying we’re working on it, because it’s the truth. As we have already said, we wanted to do this conference because the message is today THE MUSIC MUST NOT STOP, we already said it in a television program made with Salzano a few months ago. We are trying to keep the compositions of Maestro Morricone unique, so do not add lyrics to the soundtracks, but use the existing ones and collaborate with the family, to ensure that some soundtracks without lyrics, can then be with a melody sung with the text.
PIERO = It is clear that for this tribute, the location is there, we couldn’t wish for anything better. Today, eight months in advance, we can say it publicly, we extend the invitation to attend the event, in the audience and on stage, to all the characters, actors and musicians, who have had to deal with the Oscar-winning Maestro Morricone, composers, directors.
Therefore, it will be a tribute that the master deserves, a great night, a great evening, a great event dedicated entirely to him.
GA= Well, thanks everyone. I just have to thank all the journalists present, the journalists in streaming connection, the mayor Virginia Raggi, thank you very much for the time and availability you have shown us, the guys from Il Volo and allow me to send a big hug to Thomas. Thank you all.
Great news, and a great lecture.
I really liked the always right words, said by the boys.
It will be an amazing event in which we all hope to be able to participate.
We will follow all the great preparation step by step and will keep you informed.
Thanks to Il Volo, for this wonderful surprise !!
Daniela
Piazza Pio XII. The square is at the edge of the border with the Vatican, with the vision of Bernini’s beautiful colonnade and the magnificent St. Peter’s Basilica.

 

 

Credit to owners of all photos and videos.

Il Volo’s Viva Las Vegas (Almost) By Giovanna

Today it is exactly seven months to the day, since I was supposed to see Il Volo in the US for the first time.  It would have been my third Il Volo concert.  As we all know, the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the last three shows of Il Volo’s 10th Anniversary USA tour.  The third of the cancelled shows was going to be the grand finale at the Pearl Theater at the Palms Casino in mid-March.

Since Il Volo was going to perform in Las Vegas, home of all Elvis impersonators, good and terrible, I was looking forward to how many Elvis songs they might do (“Surrender/Sorriento,” “It’s Now or Never/O Sole Mio,” “I Can’t Help Falling in Love with You,” etc.) 

Maybe they would even do a little Freddie Mercury, while playing around at soundcheck.  I understood a certain high tenor named Boschetto does that sometimes with backup harmony from the others.  And, of course, Il Volo appeared with “La Streisand” when she had a residency at one of the clubs on the Vegas Strip 10 years ago.  I thought they might do “Smile” as they did with her back then.

Strange as it sounds, I was also looking forward to hearing the guys do the scripted joke routine that they do repeatedly in English on American stages.  Even though it may be “old hat” to Americans who have been to multiple Il Volo concerts in this country, the well-rehearsed wisecracks and gimmicks in English would have been new to me.

You see, the only two Il Volo concerts I’ve ever been to were both in Italia.  The guys, relaxed and on their home turf there, didn’t do their usual routine, but instead did spontaneous jokes suitable to the locale.  For example, at the Lecce concert in 2019, Ignazio admitted he no longer had a fidanzata (girlfriend) and was “available.”  As an afterthought, he remarked that maybe he needed to find a nice Salentina girl from among the local Lecce young ladies. (They are very slender and very dark, and as a rule very beautiful.)  That caused a predictable response:  a flock of young Salentina girls, dressed up for the occasion, tried to rush the stage.  Igna didn’t seem to mind at all.  He seems to like to cause a disturbance, then take it all in stride, while the other two want to know “Ma cosa sta combinando, ora?” (What is he stirring up now)?

And of course, in Taormina, Sicily, when Ignazio started razzing Piero about his chopped off summer haircut, it was in Sicilian slang (which I won’t repeat here).  He was implying, with rude words, that Piero cut it himself.  If you know Piero, you know that his usual response to that kind of thing from Ignazio is, “Ma che te ne frega?” So, what do you care?  Actually, I thought Piero’s summer haircut looked fine.  Check out the picture below from Italy last July.  What do you think?

By the way, Piero does occasionally cut his own hair. During the period when he was in voluntary quarantine after first returning to Italy this March, I saw him video-chatting with Gianluca.  He proudly announced that he cut his hair himself, then lifted some of it with his fingers and showed the shorn part of the side of his head, where he nearly scalped himself bald with the razor.  Gianluca responded that he would never consider cutting his own hair.  His own hair has to be done expertly, because it’s so curly and unmanageable.  He said this with a completely straight face.  I couldn’t tell if he was serious.  With these guys, you never know.

But I digress.  As I said, I had never heard Il Volo do their scherzi (stage jokes) in English, and the Pearl Concert Theater in Las Vegas was going to be the place.  Of course, as we know, it didn’t happen.

I was excited about Las Vegas because I thought I was going to have three opportunities to see the guys up close and maybe visit for a minute or two.  As it was: 1) My ticket included something called a Meet & Greet.  At first I didn’t even know what that was.  2) I was signed up for access to the soundcheck before the show.  3) I was signed up for the Fan Faire get-together with the guys which is hosted in Las Vegas by Myron Heaton and Jeanette Giglio at the lucky Penny Café at the Palms Casino Resort, where the theater is, and where I was staying.  Three for three.  I thought I had hit the Trifecta.

I had already met Jana VandeLaare, of Flight Crew fame, by phone when we decided to share my apartment in the Palms Place for a few days around the show.  She kept me informed by text as soon as she started hearing murmurs that the boys might need to cancel this show and go right home due to COVID-19-related travel issues.  I was on board my flight from Denver and taxiing out to the runway, when I got her text that it was likely cancelled!  My mouth fell open as I squirmed with disappointment in my seat belt.  It was too late to do anything except go on to Las Vegas.

Yes, the heartbreak was final after I got to the Palms Casino.  Jana, who had cancelled her trip, asked me to go and confirm the cancellation at the theater box office as soon as I got there.  When I did, it seems that the theater people, God bless them, had no idea what was going on and did not have the inside info that Jana already had.  When I asked them about the show, the young desk agent I spoke to told me something like:

“The band is OK with it and it’s still on.”

He was wrong on three counts out of three.  Il Volo is not a “band;” they were not “OK with it” (performing in a close crowd during a viral epidemic); and it was not “still on.”

The theater’s delayed reaction to the facts had one nice side effect.  The staff was unable to remove the Il Volo concert advertisements all over the casino, theatre, hotel hallways, in-room televisions, and outdoor marquee.  Everywhere I turned for the next several days, including all night on my apartment TV, I saw this:

Although two out of three events were now gone, at least the Fan Faire people chose to have their get-together anyway.  It would be a good way for the fans still in town to get to visit with each other, even though there would be no Il Volo guys this time.

Until then, I had two days to myself in Las Vegas, but I don’t know how to gamble.  I’m an engineering geek, so I just had to visit the Atomic Testing Museum, and I’m a Sicilian Jew from “New Joisey,” so of course I had to visit the Mob Museum.  That place was so “familiar” to me it was almost funny.  More than once, while looking at some of the old photos of Sicilian-American and Jewish-American mobsters, I did a double-take, thinking I recognized one of my old relatives.

I used the time to talk to all the young people working at these places to promote Il Volo, and was surprised to find out how many kids were interested in opera and bel canto music.  That was a pleasant surprise, and not what I expected from hardened Las Vegas natives.

On Sunday before the Fan Faire I just had to do something Italian.  I jogged up to the Venetian Casino on the north end of the Strip, past Caesar’s Palace.  As kitschy and artificial as the place is, it still made me homesick for the “old country” as we used to call it.

I came across this singing toy dog who does “O Sole Mio” in alternating Italian and English (“It’s Now or Never”).  Do you suppose that was copied from you-know-who?  It was cute, but the tenor voice they recorded in the singing dog was not that great.  Jana later said the dog reminds her of Ignazio’s mustache. Have a look.

The singing gondoliers rowing guests all over the indoor canal were iffy, except for the older baritone.  He was impressive – a mature voice, dark and smooth.

This authentic Venetian gondola below is there for display only, and is not used in the faux canals.  The black paint job is traditional, and became law in the 15th or 16th century, to stop wealthier Venetians outdoing each other with their outlandish, gaudily-painted, plush luxury vehicles.  The seven arms on the white mast represent seven of the main islands of Venice.  The one arm facing backwards represents the Jewish quarter on Cannaregio.

At least the rock and pop music outside on the piazza was in Italian.  As I picnic lunched there, I recognized some of the modern Italian music I heard in espresso bars and on cab drivers’ radios the last two years in Sicily and Puglia, and also some Italian hip hop thing that I knew the words to.  I had heard Ernie and Gianluca singing it once when they were goofing around on Instagram.  Have you ever heard Ernie sing?  His voice is as deep as Gianluca’s baritone.

I ate below this bridge facing Las Vegas Boulevard.  It’s supposed to be a reduced-scale model of the Ponte di Rialto across the Grand Canal in Venice.  Except this one has a Walgreen’s Drugstore and fast-food chain next door.

Do you remember this view from below the Ponte di Rialto, half a career ago?  It was posted on the Flight Crew page some years back.  It’s the “same bridge” I photographed, but it has a better view in the foreground.

Here’s an update of the foreground – Venice has been undergoing restoration.

This view from the bridge isn’t bad either.  Las Vegas’ Venetian Rialto didn’t have anything like this.

The Fan Faire people turned out to be superb and sweet.  Thank you to Myron and Jeannette for having the dinner.  Myron, Jeanette, Linda, Diane, (and I’m sure I missed several others) all told me Il Volo stories.  I like Myron’s story best.  He had sent flowers to Italy when the Boschetto’s grandpa died. Assuming Il Volo was back on tour, he telephoned Nina Boschetto’s pizzeria, to ask her if the flowers had gotten there in time for the funeral.  When Nina couldn’t understand him very well, she asked him to wait until she could find someone in the pizzeria who understood English.  Guess who came to the phone to interpret for Nina?

The Fan Faire bunch took this group photo before we left.  I’m the Sicilian runt, the one whose head barely reaches above the sign.

The Las Vegas that didn’t happen was valuable despite Il Volo’s cancellation.  Without it, I would not have met Jana and Pat, the Fan Faire folks, and Daniela and the rest of the Flight Crew, and I would not have started writing to all of you.

I also came home all cranked up about helping in some way.  I understood we need to develop something akin to Fan Faire for when Il Volo next comes to Denver, whenever that will be.  It’s been several years since they’ve been here, so I’m hopeful that when touring eventually resumes Denver will be back on the schedule.  More importantly, I have heard the guys often say that their favorite concert events are where there are lots of young people.  We really need the next generation to catch their fire.  I repeatedly hear the guys say they want to and need to get in front of kids.  And we need to make their next trip to the mountains better than the last time.  Piero had an attack of cold-induced asthma on one trip, and Denver Airport nearly lost one of his suitcases (with his eyeglass collection) on another.

I’ve been learning my way around the music community here in Denver to create settings to get Il Volo in front of kids to give them more publicity among their own generation.  Folks that I know are involved in the University of Denver’s opera school, and their youth vocal program, who would love to hold something Italian and interactive between their vocal students, or their children’s chorale, and Il Volo.  I even started visiting with managers of Italian restaurants in downtown Denver, and found one who would love to host a Fan Faire-type event at their place near the Pepsi Center or the Opera House.  The Dante Alighieri Society (Italian language, food, and culture society) would probably spoil the Il Volo guys, feed them (knowing their allergies and special diets), and throw an Italian open sing-along complete with accordion and mandolin.  I can picture Ignazio, whom Gianluca calls “Il Canta-Cuoco” (the singing chef), taking over the Saint Anne’s parish kitchen.

I’m in the process of calling/emailing Barbara Vitale to ask her to put this in front of Piero, Gianluca, and Ignazio early enough for future planning, long before they confirm a new tour schedule.  Touring has to wait until post-COVID of course, but planning early won’t hurt.

If you are from any large city in the US, you probably have been to and have experience with Il Volo receptions and such.  We Denver folks can learn from you.  If you are from the Colorado Front Range, or even if you’re not but want to help, get in touch with me. Email me comments with ideas, contacts.  If you are from the old Denver Il Volo on-line fan club, tell me.  When the touring resumes, let’s don’t wait for an Il Volo event to appear.  Let’s create one.

Oh, by the way, Denver has already started doing something for Il Volo.  As of now, we have two synagogues praying for Alessandro Quarta’s complete recovery. Che Dio sia misericordioso e che la sua guarigione sia rapida!  May God be merciful and may his healing be quick.

Credit to the owners of all photos.

TORPEDINE-RENIS, LET’S MAKE THE POINT! by Daniela

In these days we have all seen articles published concerning the definition in the first instance of the complaint for the dispute between RENIS-TORPEDINE and the subsequent declaration of Piero, Ignazio and Gianluca.

So let’s try to do a little order.

This article, published in Bologna on 30 September 2019, informed us that there was a dispute with a subsequent complaint by Tony Renis, against Michele Torpedine, for the management of Il Volo.

la Repubblica – Bologna Article 2019 – Click Here

I translate the article:

BOLOGNA – The dispute over the management of the earnings of ‘Il Volo’, the trio of singers who surprisingly won the Sanremo Festival in 2015, ends on trial and causes two big names in Italian music, once partners and also friends, to fight. The Prosecutor of Bologna has in fact sued the music producer Michele Torpedine, former manager of Zucchero and Lucio Dalla, among others, for mismanagement of earnings or wealth.

It all stems from a complaint filed four years ago by the lawyers Antonio Cappuccio and Tiziana Zambelli, defenders of Tony Renis, aka Elio Cesari, and who will now appear as a civil party “for due compensation for the damage.”

So, the complaint was made in 2015.

I read  also in another article of 2018 that Renis filed the complaint in September 2015, the year in which in February, Il Volo wins Sanremo and in May is at Eurovision.

The quarrel goes on in the Italian courts. Initially, archiving  is requested , because some documents from those years cannot be found, but Renis’ lawyers oppose and the controversy continues, until a couple of days ago, when the court issues the first instance sentence, which we all have read.

la Repubblica – Bologna Article 2020 – Click Here

I translate for you.

The dispute over the management of the earnings of ‘Il Volo’, the trio that won the Sanremo Festival in 2015, ends in the first degree, with a one-year sentence for the music producer Michele Torpedine, accused in Bologna for patrimonial infidelity.

The criminal case was born from a complaint presented by the defenders of Elio Cesari, aka Tony Renis: Torpedine was originally the director and Renis was a 50% shareholder of Rentor, the company that managed the trio exclusively. The investigations disputed a conflict of interest linked to a contract that in 2014 Torpedine entered into an exclusive agreement in favor of Family Srl, of which he was sole director. With this deed he would have caused Rentor damage equal to the loss of the exclusive rights and the compensation related to the trio’s activities.

The court also sentenced to civil compensation, ordered an executive provisional for Rentor, constituted a civil party with the liquidator Marzia Chessa, defense of the lawyer Gabriele Bordoni, of 50 thousand euros and 20 thousand for Renis, defended by the lawyers Antonio Cappuccio and Tiziana Zambelli, plus 10 thousand in court costs. Torpedine was defended by prof. Gaetano Insolera.

So, for the moment, a verdict has been issued that sentences Michele Torpedine to one year in prison and to pay 80,000 euros.

This quarrel has been going on since 2015 and 5 years have passed, and in all this time, Piero, Gianluca and Ignazio, have NEVER given their opinion, but at the publication of the verdict, Il Volo made this publication:

Michele, sometimes truth and justice need time. We know you well. You have been by our side for more than 10 years. You defended us from everyone, you fought for us, you taught us so much and above all you love us. You always made us understand who we should trust and who instead preferred to use us for their own interests and personal glory. We are proud to have chosen you and to have renewed our trust, for ten years, day after day. This is a truth that no sentence can hinder. For the rest, just have patience: in the end the truth always comes. In life and also in the courts.

Really beautiful words, which express all their solidarity and their affection for the one who has always followed them and who has not forgotten them in moments when notoriety was tarnishing, but, like a good father, has always kept them holding hands and indicated the way to follow.

Susan De Bartoli has published a beautiful writing, which many have already read and which summarizes what we all fans of Il Volo feel in our hearts.

Grazie mille Susan, for expressing so well in words the feelings of all of us! Here it is:

An Open Letter to Michele Torpedine:

These three families gave you their sons because they trusted you and believed in you! What you have done for these young men over the last 10 years has helped them to become the fine young men they are today! You always gave them the best advice and they trusted you and believed in you and that is why they are at your side today! You are proud of them as you should be because you helped make them who they are today!

On many occasions I have heard them praise you for all that you have done for them. They said you taught them everything they know but, above all you taught them to stand on their own two feet and to deal with everything that has been thrown at them over the years. You never left their side! You always defended them! You are a second father to them! And you went above and beyond to teach them everything you knew. You love them and they love you!

We believe in you and thank you for what you have done for Piero, Ignazio and Gianluca! I know you always acted in their best interest! I stand with you! The truth will prevail.

It is only at the first degree sentence, therefore Torpedine will certainly oppose.

But I wonder why the complaint was made in September 2015, after the excellent results of Sanremo and Eurovision and the upcoming concerts?

By the admission of Ignazio, Piero and Gianluca themselves, who returned from America, here in Italy and in Europe, they were not known.

They might have been a flop, and in that case they wouldn’t be interested in anyone anymore, but Torpedine has always believed in them, and therefore, with the new notoriety comes the fight.

It goes without saying that I’m on Torpedine’s side, and I think I also interpret the thoughts of all of you who love Il Volo. 

The dispute will continue and we will read the various results, then the law will be able to put an end to this unpleasant situation.

Daniela 

Credit to owners of all photos and articles.

THE LION OF THE SAVANNAH

A couple of days ago, a photo of the maestro Alessandro Quarta appeared on Facebook, whom we all remember he accompanied with his violin the performance of “Musica Che Resta” on the fourth evening of Sanremo 2019, very special photo, because it portrayed him in a bed in the hospital.
Here he is.

Accompanied by this, his comment:
TORNERÒ più Forte di Prima, questo è SICURO!!!!!
Dovevo togliere qualcosa di troppo nel mio corpo, qualcosa che non era gradito!!! Ma sto bene, anzi…più forte di prima!!!
Un grosso abbraccio a tutti amici miei e vi terrò aggiornato quotidianamente
Ale

I WILL COME BACK Stronger Than Before, This is SAFE ❤ !!!!!
I had to remove something too much in my body, something that was not welcome !!! But I’m fine, indeed … stronger than before !!!
A big hug to all my friends and I’ll keep you updated daily. ❤
Ale

Many of us wished him a speedy recovery, thinking of some small intervention, even Michele Torpedine commented:
Mick Torp:
Hi Alessandro I can’t imagine how much you will be stronger than before … given the previous level !!!!!! A lot IN THE MOUTH OF THE WOLF !!!
Today Alessandro published a video, which moved us very much, and left us all speechless, and which I translate for you.
As you can see, I am about to be discharged from the Bolzano Hospital.
What happened? I’ll explain it to you right away. A tumor of 8×5 cm, here, located between the vascular bundle of the neck, and the cranial nerves, as well as at the point where the violin rests.
In the last three years I was struggling to hold the violin (he means still on the neck), it escaped me and it had never happened ….. to try to keep it still I made movements with my head (he makes the movement and it feels bad and then he says) ouch, I have to make it slower (the movement, otherwise it causes pain), because I felt it (the violin) escape from the neck, as if someone was pushing it away and it was this “Easter egg” in here.
I was very afraid,…. yes, however,…. “what does not kill us strengthens us.”  Nobody knew.
I thank Professor Luca Calabrese, European luminary, for face and neck cancers, the Bolzano hospital who treated me and where everyone pampered me in a wonderful way.
And then I thank all of you, you have been many, many, many, many, you have been close to me, you have given me courage, strength.
Who stops Alessandro Quarta?
I’ll come back stronger than before, guys, the lion of the savannah will come back, the pirate … call me whatever you want …. nobody stops me.
I am tired of Covid, I want to return to you, we hope that this Covid disappears as soon as possible, I can’t take it anymore.
I want to live again.
I don’t give a damn about money, I want to live, I want to play in front of you (wipes a tear).
What the hell do you do with money if you get cancer and die!
Thank you, for being close to me, and see you very soon, strength!!
“What doesn’t kill you strengthens you.”
Bye.

It was really a great shock to see this man, who looks like an indestructible rock, get “naked” and thank us for giving him strength and courage.
Alessandro, the warmth of your audience has arrived.
You’ve been through a tough time, but we’re sure you’ll come back strong and confident to what your home is also, the stage.
We will all be there to applaud you, because you are good, but also because we LOVE YOU !! 
We are waiting for you, “lion of the savannah”.
Daniela

Credit to owners of all photos and videos.

BILLBOARD INTERVIEW 2019 by Daniela

In the absence of any news, requests for translations continue.
Albertine, sent me a video of a small interview with Il Volo and Billboard, during the presentation of the 10 years CD.
During that time there were many interviews and I had not seen this one, I enjoyed listening to it and I think you will enjoy it too when you read the translation.
Good fun!

B = Music has been, is, and will be your life.
In 10 YEARS The Best Of, there are 19 tracks that you have selected, what were the criteria that made you decide to include these tracks, and, now, there were some tracks that were not chosen and that you regretted not to have inserted in the CD?
GIAN = We have chosen very carefully, what is our repertoire, it was not so difficult to choose the most famous songs in Italy and abroad, such as “Caruso” or an aria like “Nessun Dorma”, even unreleased songs such as “Grande Amore”. It contains our whole story, from “O Sole Mio”, which was our first single, when we were 14/15 years old, up to “Grande Amore” or “Musica Che Resta”. It is a choice of songs that represents us, I would say that it is our presentation, the identity card, even for those who do not know us, this is Il Volo.
B = You are the perfect evolution of what the Italian opera singers who preceded you were: Luciano Pavarotti and Andrea Bocelli, a sort of 3.0 version, pop lyric, which is a little bit what happened to pop music that has winked, to the world INDIE, to then merge together and obtain excellent results.
What do you think of INDIE music? Is there anything you particularly like? Have you ever thought about a further indie-lyric evolution?
IGNAZIO = Indian is good!
PIERO = We are trying to follow the path, the message, that Pavarotti tried to do in the past with the famous “Pavarotti and friends”, to bring the belcanto out of the theaters, and to the general public.
Andrea Bocelli has been doing it for many years. We are three young 24/25 year olds who do something different, we can say UNIQUE, we try to bring this musical genre, which is part of our culture and tradition, to our peers, there are those who do not know it, they may like it or not, however, in our opinion, everyone must know what was born in our country and not.
IGNAZIO = Regardless of whether you like it or not.
PIERO = Absolutely.
We respect all genres of music. As for the INDIE, we listen to all genres of music, respect them and try to learn a little from everyone.
B = Let’s retrace these 10 incredible years, which probably, if, at the beginning of everything, you had been told about the success you could achieve, you would have thought it crazy.
The last crazy thing, in chronological order, you have done is the exhibition in Panama in front of the Pope, on the occasion of World Youth Day, January 26.
Before that experience, can you tell me, each of you, a moment that has left its mark on you?
GIAN = I start because a good moment came to mind: one of the best moments was in 2014 winning the LATIN BILLBOARD, and this is one of the most beautiful things (looks Piero and Ignazio in the face to confirm) or not, or am I wrong ? Nice, or not it?
IGNAZIO = Yes, of course!
PIERO = By the way, we can tell a nice anecdote…… always telling serious things ….. right in that event, all three, which nobody knows, we had broken pants, below (and he marks in the groin).
IGNAZIO = I don’t remember we had broken pants.
PIERO = All three, all three had broken pants.
GIAN = NO, we don’t sing with broken pants.
PIERO = It was a very delicate material. Since before the event, we walked on the “red carpet”, the material was a little worn.
GIAN = It was slightly worn.
PIERO = It was slightly, quite worn out.
IGNAZIO = So what was the anecdote?
PIERO = Receive the prize with the pants with holes in them.
GIAN = But they weren’t holes.
PIERO = They had holes in them, trust me.
GIAN = Yours.
PIERO = No, those of all three.
IGNAZIO = But if you had holes in your pants, why did you have to think that mine were holes too?
PIERO = Because they had holes in them.
IGNAZIO = They were your pants with holes in them!
GIAN = Okay, but tell us what’s your best time?
IGNAZIO + PIERO = The pants with holes!
GIAN = Come on!
PIERO = No, there are many moments, but I believe that the moment lived with naivety, the one that while you are doing it, you do not understand what you are experiencing, is that of WE ARE THE WORLD for Haiti, with Quincy Jones, Lionel Richie, and all great American singers.
At that moment, we looked at each other and thought: “What are we doing here in the middle?”, however it was a good experience.
IGNAZIO = I celebrated my 17th birthday, on stage with Barbra Streisand, so …… that !!
PIERO = And at fifteen, you high-fived Steven Tyler on American Idol.
IGNAZIO = Yes
PIERO = And what did you do the day before?
IGNAZIO = What had I done ??
PIERO = It’s very funny, it still makes me laugh.
IGNAZIO = But you are strange, age hurts you.
B = Let’s talk about the tour, after you returned from Brazil, where you performed in front of tens of thousands of people,  you are ready, already in 2020, to restart with the North American Tour and you will perform in 11 countries, in places such as RCMH in New York, do you have something different in mind or some surprises to celebrate these 10 years in all these places?
GIAN = Surely we will strive not to repeat ourselves with our shows, and always do something new, it is clear, the repertoire is that, we certainly add some more songs, as we did in the DVD, adding classics, we also sing individually, everyone has the his space, we also sing in duet.
Maybe there will be some guests, as we had Alessandro Quarta guest on our tour this year, a great rock violinist, very strong.
We are working on this, even with the artistic or stage production, to enrich the show a little with many things.
B = During all these years, you have seen and visited many cities, thanks to your European and world dates. Many Italian artists have decided to move abroad, or to live there for several months a year. Is there a city that has aroused this feeling in you, or the love for your country is too much, so, will you want to stay here and have not thought about this thing? 
PIERO = It is difficult to choose a city outside of Italy. I could say San Francisco, but after a couple of months, I would definitely want to return.
IGNAZIO = It is difficult, I would never think of going to live outside Italy, I would like it as an idea, ……but I am more and more convinced,  that…. I live in Bologna and I love Bologna, today I came to Milan by car and thank you, that I live in Bologna because it is a city where you can move, without taking 40 minutes to cross the city.
GIAN = During the recordings of the first album, also of the second, we can say that we spent two years in Los Angeles, we lived for months in Los Angeles, and going back there wouldn’t be bad, or living in New York for a few months ….
IGNAZIO = You go there, then we meet.
GIAN = ….. to do a full immersion, not only for the language, which we now speak, but to experience New York, to experience a different city.
B = Guys like you, who in 10 years have conquered, and obtained what many artists will never obtain, how do they find new stimuli?
GIAN = Actually it is not true that we do not miss anything, maybe this is coming, but we have many goals, and still many dreams and desires. Also because so many things have happened, our life has allowed us to mature and grow faster, but it is clear that there are still many things, many dreams to be achieved.
PIERO = The desire to make music is great, apart from today we announced our new album, but above all the next events, the next concerts in Italy, we will sing on August 30th at the Verona Arena and September 4th at the Ancient Theater of Taormina (unfortunately both postponed for Covid) and on November 19th, we advise you not to miss our concert on Canale 5, Live from Matera.
B = Perfect, thank you very much and good luck for everything.
G + P + I = Thank you, die the wolf! (it is a way of responding to the phrase good luck)
Have you already seen and read this interview?
I know there is an automatic translator, but the words are often distorted, plus many of you can’t activate it.
I hope you liked it, and made you laugh with the squabble about broken pants!!
These guys are amazing! 😁😁😁
Daniela

Credit to owners of all photos and video.

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