Let me tell you about the day I fell in Love. Not with one guy but with three. I turned on my TV and there they were three handsome teenagers stepping on the stage at the Detroit Opera House. I had seen them before on American Idol and Good Morning America but, on this day, I would lose my heart to them.
Every note they sang went straight to my heart! Just amazing! Ever song they sang was wonderful but when they sang El Reloj something happened to me! I knew no other group would ever take their place in my life or my heart. They totally reached me with that song! For me I wanted the CLOCK to stop at that moment in time!
Why this song? They sing so many beautiful songs. What was it that captured me that night? It wasn’t so much about the song as it was about the voices. It was how natural the delivery was. Teenagers with such maturity! Such strength in their voices. Voices that flowed through the air! It was the simplicity of this song and how they delivered it that captured me.
Their voices form a symphony. Gianluca’s voice vibrates and expands to realms I’ve never heard before. Ignazio’s voice makes your heart stop as you journey along his notes that lead to absolute ecstasy. Piero’s voice fills all your sense and brings you to such heights that you have to stop and breathe.
If you want to present a voice, in this case three voices, this is the way you do it. They were together such a short period of time and yet they were perfect! And it went beyond the voices. It was their personalities, their presentation, their interaction with the audience. They were young but they had it all. They won the people with their voices but, they totally captured them with their charm and personality.
A few months ago, I wrote a story “On the Road to PBS” about how the guys got to where they were. So, I’m going to revisit some of that story so you can see how they came to the PBS stage.
Piero, Ignazio and Gianluca grew up on PBS. From their first concert on October 27, 2011 at the Detroit Opera House, they won the admiration of the American people and stole their hearts. They have done six concerts with PBS over the past 10 years. And now for their 10th Anniversary, PBS will televise the Tribute to Ennio Morricone in America! Great news for America especially since we not only love our guys but also love the music of Morricone. A marriage made in heaven.
When they began, they introduced America to a new style of music. Operatic pop! A very different kind of music for teenagers. Their aim was to show young people how good this music is. They won over the children, parents and grandparents. They were an immediate sensation. America fell in love with them. But where did it all begin for them. Let’s listen to what the guys had to say about how they were discovered.
Piero will take us back to his grandfather, Pietro Ognibene’s, back yard where he is swinging on a swing that hung from a mulberry tree. His grandfather was sitting on the veranda, as he usually did, at this time of day. His grandfather has been blind for many years and so he always had a tape recorder with him which he used to record music and poetry. Piero’s grandfather is also a singer. On this day he was recording a little Sicilian song which Piero said his grandfather wrote. So, let’s listen to what Piero had to say…
“I was swinging on the swing, I was about four or five years old, I was really, very small. I listened to him a little and at a certain point, when he stopped singing, I started: E lu suli, talia, talia, talia. Sopra ‘sta pedra luci ci duna. What can I tell you? It just came out like that.”
His grandfather turned off the recorder and called his wife. Rina came out on the terrace and he asked her, “Unni è Piero?” (Where is Piero?)
She replied, “In Altalena” (He is on the swing)
Pietro asked, “Ma cu cantava? Iddu?” (But who was singing? He?)
She replied, “Eh, si.” (yes)
He told Rina to call him.
So, Piero got up and went to his grandfather. Pietro lifted him up and put him on the table next to the recorder and told him to “sing the song again.” Piero sang the song exactly as his grandfather sang it. And so it begins….
Ignazio’s discovery would come about because of Nina’s pianola.
Ignazio remembers, “When I was three or four years old – I played with the piano my parents had given my sister, Nina. My mother says I was one years old when I played. Nina taught me to play Happy Birthday with one finger.”
Nina’s famous pianola gave Ignazio an passion for music.
Ignazio continues, “I do not remember 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 in the middle of the class to sing, forget it. I had a passion for music but, I had an even greater passion for pranks. I tell you, since I started talking and walking, mine was an escalation of agitation.”
But as Ignazio explains, this agitation passed and the most important event in his life began to take shape…
“With the passage of time, I found something good to do at school, that is, an activity that was able to hold my interest enough to prevent me from slipping into some disaster. I joined the school choir. I always liked to sing, to be ‘in the middle’ of the music. And more and more passionately I began to understand how to make better use of Nina’s famous pianola. I learned how to start the musical bases and flip through them. And that’s when I discovered La Donna È Mobile. I liked it so much that I sang with the base and invented words. I don’t remember the words but, it certainly was a song about Pavarotti. Having seen Pavarotti on TV, I knew he always had a big handkerchief so I would invent text and sing on the air La Donna È Mobile.”
It seems at three years old Ignazio was already composing wonderful music!
Gianluca tells us that his life was different from Ignazio but, in many ways like Piero’s.
“My life as a child seems so far away. I remember very little of my childhood! I’m not like Ignazio I was born and raised in Montepagano. I was traveling only with dreams. What made me dream? Music naturally. Dad and mom realized that I had something special in my voice when I started to sing at the age of three or four years.
My parents tell me when I was three years old, I sang ’O Sole Mio in the town square in front of all the elderly gentlemen friends of my grandfather who, sitting around the bar table, were listening to this little boy with such a particular voice.”
Each boy has now been set on the road to PBS so where did they go from here?
Over the years, each boy approached his musical education in a different way.
After his discovery in the garden, Piero embarked on a classical music education. He began piano lessons at the age of 8. At 10 years old he joined the Little Singers of the Philharmonic Association – Santa Cecilia of Agrigento. And then he began the competitions around Sicily.
In Marsala, Ignazio sang with his first singing teacher Lilliana Andreanò. He continued his singing lessons moving on to other teachers as he progressed. He took three years of piano lessons. He also participated in competitions around Sicily. Even after moving on to other teachers, Ignazio continued his relationship with Lilliana Andreanò. She advised him every step of the way right up to his audition at Ti Lascio Una Canzone which she convinced him to do.
Gianluca, unlike Piero and Ignazio, never had a singing lesson or piano lesson. He joined the Piccolo Choir of Roses. At one of their events, he was discovered.
As you know they came in first, second and third on Ti Lascio una Canzone. But their biggest win was becoming Il Volo.
After American Idol, they did many shows but the one show that really set them “in flight” in America, was the PBS special “Il Volo Takes Flight.”
Click photo below to view the LAaRT interview.
Their concert was shown on PBS stations across the US and Canada.
After they performed on PBS, things really started moving. They were now bringing their bel canto around the world. One of the most memorable moments of their lives was touring with Barbara Streisand.
After seeing the guys on the PBS special, Barbra Streisand invited them to join the “Back to Brooklyn” tour. They were an integral part of the tour. They performed with Barbara Streisand in 12 of her shows in the United States and Canada.
Their first ever live album titled “Il Volo Takes Flight” was released in 2012.
The hit “Il Volo” rose to first and second place in the Billboard Classical Crossover charts.
In 2013, ”Más Que Amor” was certified “Gold” in Mexico and Argentina and, this catapulted the guys into the Latin market. From that day on they took the Latin market by storm.
In February 2014, they receive two nominations at the 2014 Latin Billboard Music Awards, as “Top Latin Albums Artist of the Year, Duo or Group” and “Latin Pop Albums Artist of the Year, Duo or Group.” At the awards show they were awarded as ”Best Group of the Year in the Latin Pop Album” category and they also won the “El Pulso Social Award,” as the artist who dominated interactions on social networking sites during the Billboard Awards. This is unheard of! Three Italian kids taking over the Latin market! What a win!
But for the guys, the close of 2014 was the highlight of it all!
The Christmas Concert at the Italian Senate on December 21, 2014 gave them new hope for their presence in Italy. Ignazio wrote in their book: “We want to talk about the thrill of singing in front of the highest offices of state! What twenty year old boy has something like that happen to him? It happened to us, and it seems to me a beautiful result, an honor. You cannot imagine the emotional feeling to be called ‘guests of honor’ inside the Senate. We were accompanied by the, fantastic, Filarmonia Orchestra Veneta conducted by Diego Basso. Half the beauty of the song is in the orchestra.
The most exciting moments? Every one! But the hymn of Mameli was the heart-pounding one, the first song, singing in that place, with everyone singing along with us, includingGiorgio Napolitano, (President) andPietro Grasso (President of the Senate). It is one thing that I cannot explain.
And then, of course, the pleasure of shaking hands with the President of the Republic and of feeling that he knows Marsala, he has been there.”
What a way to close out 2014 but, what would happen in 2015 would set them on a new path, one which they hoped for from day one.
Next week we follow the guys as they make a big decision which will determine their future! This is a journey that will lead them back home. We follow the guys along a very bumpy path with many twists and turns that lead Through the Fields of My Mind….
Last week I received and email from Sharon Bear in Detroit. Sharon wrote:
I had received a clip of Il Volo from a 90+ year old man in Marco Island. A dear friend. That promotional clip was maddening in that I could not play it enough – dancing with my Rottweiler who was deaf but learned to feel the music, his front paws bouncing up and down as I held them up and danced. He enjoyed my playing the song. Same song. Oh about 1000 times more or less.
It became part of my being. (The song. The guys’ voices. The air is different when you listen). I wondered where they were going to perform. Then it hit me – hey! Detroit is a major music market! Duh! “Maybe” they’ll perform here!!! Clicked a few links and voila!!! They were coming to the Fox Theater for a concert in a couple weeks. “Donation” to PBS was $40 for a ticket. I ordered my ticket as quickly as I could dial the phone.
At that concert it finished. The Capture of me. I’d try to explain it but why try. You know what I’m talking about so no need to “Preach to the choir”.
Then at the end of that concert they announced that in 10 days the guys are coming back to film a DVD at the Opera House. You can buy a seat in the audience for $40. They would pass out seats in the order the calls came in for tickets. Oooookkaayyyy. How should I time my call? Not too early to be staring straight up at the lights and not too late and be sitting in the rafters. I called an hour or two after it opened. Not everyone is going to know these guys so, seats won’t be sold out too early I figured. I was right. And it was a God-thing as we say. My seat was right on the end of the third row, front and center. It was the families first row. Music producers, labels, financiers’, directors second row. Then me! Third row!! Yessss.
I woozy with the thrill of these voices. Their boyishness yet adult focus and performance. I’ll remember this forever I realized. Then came The Song – the song everyone knows, ‘O Sole Mio. People applauded, yelled when they recognized it. In mid-song Piero and Ignazio entered the audience from side doors singing their solos. Women young and old reached to touch them as they passed in the aisles singing.
Piero walked directly toward my row, casually stopped beside me, reached down and took my hand. Huh??? What? Is this real? I’m having a serenade of this song by Piero??? Yes. It is true. And, sadly, to say all the muscle memory in my arms and hands reverted back to those 1003 times I had taken my Rottweiler’s paws and bounced up and down with him to the beat of the song. Yes. Like a muscular stuck in a rut moment, I started to bounce Piero’s hand up and down as he sang. But I did “get a grip” and cherished the happening. Sometimes looking back at the video, I want to yell at myself – “that’s not the dog! It’s not dancing with the dog! It’s the ‘real Piero’ singing it! Ok. Whew. You quickly realized it was real and enjoyed it.” Too funny. How we can react when amazed and shocked. The brief goofiness didn’t count. The stirring reality of being part of this Birth of these guys coming into the world as a force of goodness, music and unity which will change lives and enrich in ways beyond music That evening was a thrilling episode in life I always will hold close – and now I’ll remember it’s Piero’s hands and how the world felt being serenaded that incredible memory.
What makes this letter so absolutely wonderful is I found the video to go with it! Enjoy!
Everyone knows that Gianluca Ginoble is the most social of Il Volo.
But he doesn’t just post beautiful photos and videos, he never stops promoting his beautiful native region, to which he is very attached.
This time he was invited to L’Aquila (the capital city of Abruzzo) for the presentation of the GIRO D’ITALIA (the most important cycling race in Italy).
Here is his speech:
Host = We have here with us a pride from Abruzzo: Gianluca Ginoble.
Come here with us, a round of applause to this very young talent, thank you for being here.
We brought you into a context a little different from the one you frequent, but sport is still a context of discipline, of sacrifice, to achieve dreams.
You have achieved a dream, a huge dream to cultivate …
Gianluca = There is also one thing in common the symbol of infinity produced by the two wheels (he refers to the symbol of the Giro d’Italia drawn, in which the wheels of the bicycle form the symbol of infinity), which is a little like the Bel Canto, which is an eternal (infinite) music.
I must say that I am honored to be here, in the midst of so many champions, we also have a common friendship, which is the great Marino Bartoletti and that I care to greet him.
Host = He is a friend of ours, we give him a round of applause, because he will surely come back to visit us, he follows us, he loves Abruzzo.
Gianluca = It is a way, as I said, to promote this wonderful land, known all over the world, from the sea to the mountains, and it is certainly a message of hope, to return to live a normal life, with the organization of large events, such as concerts and the Giro d’Italia, return to see the streets full of people, and therefore I am truly honored to be here to represent my land, and I am very proud to be from Abruzzo.
Thanks, I’m really glad to meet you all.
Host = We thank you (applause).
We thank Gianluca who, among the many commitments, managed to have a little time for us.
I would also like to thank his dad, who helped us, he was our hook, we salute him, Ercole. He cares a lot, because it is a family matter to help Abruzzo.
You have been kissed by a gift, you guys are so talented (Il Volo) and you never forget Abruzzo.
What other projects are there? Can you tell us something?
In the music scene, which we remember at this moment is almost at a standstill, it is really difficult for them to go on, which in any case continue to produce, thus allowing musical operators to work. Then we also remember that at the beginning of the pandemic, Gianluca was the protagonist, together with other artists, of a fundraiser, dedicated to show business operators who, with their families, were stopped. Therefore a constant commitment in this sense.
What, what projects are there? Anticipate something.
Gianluca = I want to remember, since the mayor of L’Aquila is also here, that one of the most touching experiences of my life was to be able to interpret, a few days after the 2009 earthquake, we were participating in the program on RAI1 … …
Host = You were very young.
Gianluca = I was fourteen years old and that evening, live on RAI1, I was able to interpret Gounoud’s Ave Maria, and represent my land, even if for this sad cause, unfortunately, but for me, also a way to remember how proud I am to be from Abruzzo.
Now we are leaving again, we are making a great event in June at the Arena …. I shouldn’t say it, damn it, it escaped me …. (because this video was recorded before the official news, laughter of understanding from all), I only said Arena, I didn’t say where.
It is the hope of being able to start again, in two months, then.
It is a project that will be a tribute to the great master Morricone, we also had the opportunity to present him in Sanremo, as guests this year, singing “Once upon a time in the west”. It will be a collection of all the songs, the most beautiful soundtracks of the maestro, then a tour will start and then a record that will be released shortly.
Host = Ennio Morricone was also particularly close to this region, honorary citizen of the city of L’Aquila, and is still close in memory, last year there was a concert by his sons. I must also remember the beautiful performance of Il Volo in the “Perdonanza 2019”, in Collemaggio avenue there were at least 15 thousand people, at the time we could all be close.
Gianluca = But we’ll be back, mayor.
Host = It was a spectacular thing, with Pastore’s lights on the basilica, beautiful and you absolutely must go back.
Gianluca = Yes, definitely.
Host = Let’s have a round of applause and good luck.
Gianluca = Thanks.
Host = Thank you Gianluca from the heart, but really from the heart.
Our handsome baritone often cheers us up with his beautiful selfies, in which we delight in such beauty.
It is he who transmits his love for Luna to us!
He often shows us meetings with friends.
He gives us a glimpse of his house.
He is always the one who keeps us updated on his piano exercises, sending us small pieces of pop songs, truly remarkable.
He is always the first one who tells us about the movements of Il Volo, the last a few days ago, a trip to Turkey, but for what ??? Nothing has been published. Maybe a private event ??
Be careful and safe !!
And he is always the first to give official news, like this one:
#Repost @ gianginoble11 It will be exciting to return to perform, in this particular period, at the Verona Arena, which we are very fond of because, like us, it acts as a bridge between tradition and modernity.
Times remain difficult but it is an important step towards that extraordinary normality that we Italians need most.
We look forward to seeing you on 5 June at the Verona Arena.
See you soon!
Yeah, but he thought to give us only the good news, and to avoid telling us that the concerts scheduled at the Verona Arena for the end of August, are again postponed, for the second time !!
Damn, what a mess, I was hoping to see a concert this year. I still have the possibility of a tribute to Morricone, but they are already saying that it will be done anyway even if the public may not be admitted.
However, our government has said that from April 26, the reopening of the open-air theaters with limited audiences will begin, so there are still good hopes.
But now I want to give you a moment of rare sweetness, listen to this beautiful video of “MI MANCHERAI” (taken from the film Il Postino), recorded in September 2019 in St. Petersburg.
Yes, Gianluca, you are really full of energy.
Thanks to you, we often get news and photos that help us make certain bad days better
Thank you for always being so present, tireless Gianluca.
How do you begin to tell a story, more like a fairy tale, about three teenage boys who conquered the music industry?
They came from Italy from very different regions, very different families, very different backgrounds but, they had one thing in common, the ability to capture audiences with their amazingly, beautiful, voices.
Thinking back over the years, I realize they have put so much energy into such a short period of time. Twelve years of a lifetime but, in reality, they did it in five years! How is it possible that these three men could do, in such a short period of time, what most men cannot do in a lifetime? The secret is in the voices!
Going back to the beginning, I remember what Gianluca said, “I thought there were three hundred thousand boys singing like me, and instead that night I discovered that there are only two: Ignazio and Piero.” Of course, Gianluca was referring to the night they sang together for the first time onTi Lascio Una Canzone. So, let’s begin there!
When they came together as contestants on Ti Lasacio una Canzone, they never dreamt that they would walk off the stage as stars! Individually, they sang with some very famous Italian singers, Al Bano, Massimo Ranieri, Fausto Leali, Adamo, Piero Mazzoccheti and, they were singing their songs and these men were in absolute awe of these teenagers.
From the first note that came out of their mouths, everyone recognized how unique their voices were. Roberto Cenci the artistic director and director of Ti Lascio una Canzone recognized the importance of these three voices. He recognized that the voices were different but alike in their uniqueness. Cenci understood if you put the voices together, they will blend beautifully and, they will be very appealing. How right he was! An experiment that turned into stardom.
And how did Michele Torpedine put it?“The three casually put together to sing a song of the program possess an incredible vocality for their age.” Watching them on TV Michele is thinking these guys are good and again repeats it to himself, they’re good! He thinks, “What if I try to put them together seriously?” Michele and everyone else felt they were incredible!
But it needed much more than just a feeling and it went beyond incredible. It needed something to come to life. It needed a new idea. It needed to be different because they were different. So how do you make it different? Bel Canto!
Bel canto is Italian for “beautiful singing.” From the mid-18th century through the early 19th century, Italian opera developed what is now known as a bel canto style. Composers began to write long, sustained vocal lines intended to show off the beauty of the voice.
Well, that works! They certainly have beautiful voices!
If you start with the premise that bel canto can make the difference, then you need to find the best way to present it! First, have them sing all the Italian classics. If you look at the music industry at the time you have to say “it won’t work” but, it did. Why? It worked because their voices were unique, the presenters were teenagers, and the world was waiting for something different. The difference was they needed to go back to what was and present in a different light. A unique idea. A little risky for sure but, a lot of very talented people in the industry felt it could work. And it did!
Bel canto for sure! But those voices that embody bel canto needed to go beyond and so where do you go? In their concerts they sing beautiful arias because they have beautiful operatic voices but, they will tell you, they do not sing opera. So, they reinvented the idea of opera. Just as bel canto reinvented opera, so did they reinvent it with their Operatic Pop. Always light, free flowing, ethereal! They took away the rigidness and left the beauty of the words which they present in their special ways with their special voices!
A few days after I finished this article, Michele Torpedine appeared on the Marzia Roncacci show. During the interview Marzia surprised everyone with an appearance by Piero. She asked one very important question, that is the question I just presented. So, I would like you to hear it in Piero’s own words.
Marzia: Listen, Piero, and also Michele, how do you explain this great success of yours, of three young people, because you are now very well established, even abroad, it is not so easy, there are only a few who are known and, they can be counted on your fingertips.
Piero: Our success is the echo! It is the resonance of the music we sing. As Pavarotti did in the past, bel canto is the winning weapon. Bel canto is the most popular Italian music in the world, and it is nice to hear in any theater or arena in the world, even in Japan, when the public hear these melodies, written right here in Italy, they go into ecstasy. Our voices also contribute, it is clear, and to hear young people with these voices …. but it is clear that if we didn’t sing this kind of music, it would be much more difficult.
Piero is very modest! Their voices are very important. They brought bel canto back to life in a unique way! Bravo!
So, let’s move on! Where do you begin?
Their first stop was Miami. It was like stepping into a dream for them. Everything in America was different from Italy. The streets, the houses, the cars, everything was different. But above all, they really could not comprehend all that was happening to them. After Miami they went to Los Angeles.
In Los Angeles, they were invited to participant in the charity event “We Are the World 25 for Haiti”.
They took Los Angeles by storm. This is truly the beginning of IL VOLO!
By now, they were in a whirlwind!
Piero recalls, “We were fifteen and sixteen when we found ourselves in this American dream. We had signed a contract with a record company that includes famous artists like Beyonce and many others. We were invited by the record company to a party. We turned and saw, Quincy Jones; we turn around and we saw Rihanna; we turned and shook hands with Lady Gaga. We talked with them, some singers who were idols for us and for our peers.”
In fact, the guys only began to understand that something was changing when their first record came out. The boys had met all the big names and performed with them in We Are the World, but reality had not yet set in. Let’s hear what Ignazio had to say about this….
“It was already in 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 we appeared in, in America, was American Idol, the world’s most famous music talent show.”
And what a performance that was. They sang “ ‘O Sole Mio” and in that moment, they captured the hearts of thirty million people. Not to mention Ignazio giving five to Steven Tyler. But that’s another story!
During the last three episodes of American Idol’s tenth season, they performed and promoted their first album, Il Volo.The international edition of the album was released on April 12, 2011.
In its first week, the album reached the tenth spot of Billboard 200 and topped the Classical Albums chart. The album also entered the top ten in other countries, including Belgium, France, Germany, New Zealand and the Netherlands, and it peaked at number one on the Austria Albums Chart. It would later be certified platinum by the Federation of the Italian Music Industry.
Back in Italy, in their hometowns, the people were ecstatic. These three teenagers had achieved what only a few Italian artists had achieved, success in America!
By now, every program in America wanted them. The phone was ringing off the hook! They appeared on The Tonight Show, Good Morning America, The Ellen DeGeneres Show and The Early Show. There was no stopping them. The people of America had spoken and what they were calling for was, Il Volo. And slowly, the rest of the world also recognized their achievements.
The chatter began about these three teenagers with voices like “angels!” But what’s most important is what happened to the boys! These boys who came to America thinking, “who will know us there,” were now becoming a household name. And how did that happen, a little thing called PBS…
Next week we follow the guys to Detroit where they stepped on the stage at the Detroit Opera House and sealed their fate!
We continue to follow their footsteps Through the Fields of My Mind….
Sometimes whole days go by without anything new happening in our “Il Volo universe”, then suddenly in three days three news and videos that I cannot leave out.
I have already given you the news of the opening at the Arena on June 5th, now there are two beautiful new videos that I intend to translate for you, here is the first.
Michele Torpedine was interviewed this morning April 09, by Marzia Roncacci from TG 2 ITALIA. The title of the special program is “How the Good Singers are Born”.
MR = Here we are ready, good morning welcome back to TG2 Italia.
Today is Friday, we are closing the week, so we are all a little happier. We will keep you company until 11:00 am, today we have a really rich episode “piatto ricco, mi ci ficco”. (Italian way of saying that means: rich dish, I take it).
We want to talk about these characters, who may not often appear, who are behind the scenes, who are however discoverers of great talent, talented people, such as, if I tell you Bocelli, Giorgia, Zucchero, but also the guys from Il Volo: “The talent of Il Volo,” behind all these great characters, who make the history of Italian music, who is there?
There is Michele Torpedine, good morning.
MT = Good morning, Marzia.
MR = So: musician, Michele, right?
MT = Yes, it’s a big word, but it’s okay.
MR = How is a big word? You are very modest, come on.
MT = I’ve been playing for many years, but by musician, I mean something else, but it’s okay.
MR = Do you like it then: talent scout?
MT = Yes, very lucky, but I like it.
MR = I said these names of singers, which would seem almost impossible, instead you are the one who discovered them ….
MT = Because to see me, it doesn’t seem, in fact.
MR = It wouldn’t seem (they both laugh)
MT = Thank you, many are amazed when they see me and think “that’s all?”
MR = They say “Is that all here, Michele Torpedine?”
MT = One imagines that who knows what comes in, a huge, tall, double-breasted man …. and then in the end, I’m all here!
MR = Dear Michele, obviously we are joking, playing, because what we want to do and say today is also with a little irony. But Michele Torpedine really also has a great and beautiful story. In short, you come a little out of nowhere, Michele, you are born in Puglia and when very young you go to Bologna. A modest family and then you at some point you put the gear.
MT = You are very kind and modest …… you exaggerated! But we did it anyway. It is clear that it was hard at the beginning, like all families who come from the south and need to work immediately, maybe you miss school, study, you miss many things, and me and my brothers at 8/10 years we were already at work.
MR = The famous workforce, Michele, especially in the south.
MT = Workforce made up of children and families, however….
MR = But then we will see some photos of you that make us understand that when a person gives his all, and with your determination Michele ….
MT = The important thing is that they are not photos in a bathing suit, then everything is fine.
MR = But no, we don’t show the photos in a bathing suit, but we put the photos next to the President of the United States.
Listen Michele, great surprise for our audience, we talked about the three wonderful guys from Il Volo, here you are we see you embraced with them (in the photo) and we have one of the three with us, here he is ready . . . Piero Barone!
MT= Good Morning Piero
Piero = Good morning, hello Marzia, hello Michele.
MR = Piero, I was now telling Michele that you are the man of surprises, did you give us this nice surprise this morning, did we get you out of bed?
MT = No, he is an early riser.
Piero = No, absolutely. Today you describe me as the man of surprises, but it is a program dedicated to Michele and it is right to make dedications to Michele. It is he who has been the biggest surprise of our life.
MR = Really, how nice! Listen Piero, one thing about dedications, if you wanted to make a quick dedication to our great Michele Torpedine, what would you say, in a nutshell?
MT = And here I want you, Piero!
Piero = Michele, to friends and people who do not know him personally, I always describe him as a skilled chess player, he knows how to wait and make the right move at the right time.
His greatest virtue is that of knowing how to teach his trade. But what many don’t know is that Michele is actually the real artist. He in us, makes his dreams come true.
MR = Mamma mia, how beautiful, what Piero says makes us reflect a lot.
MT = Piero is actually right, in fact, maybe I am a failed artist.
MR = But Piero said something wonderful, it is a little like a transposition, from Michele, everything he feels, that he dreams, his state of mind, he transmits, in this case to Il Volo, these three guys wonderful that on this, on their dreams, we go to see Il Volo in Sanremo, with GRANDE AMORE, how beautiful !! Let’s watch. (start of a short video of the first evening of Sanremo 2015).
MR = Piero Barone, what a thrill, this is a great victory you had on the stage of Sanremo, you, so international, what effect does it make you see yourself again?
Piero = I always have the chills to see that performance again and I remember those moments, as if it happened last night, because we had been traveling since 2009, we had concerts everywhere, except in Italy and this thing made us suffer a lot.
Now, thanks to Sanremo in 2015, we did the concerts here in Italy and this was a great victory.
MR = Listen, Piero, I remember a wonderful concert, where I had the opportunity to be the only journalist, the one in Florence. Michele Torpedine, you were there. You invited me, and I had the opportunity to get to know all three guys from Il Volo very well and they are very funny, needless to tell you what we have been able to do!
Having said that, in Florence, I remember, people in tears. Piero, how is it possible that you make people cry when you sing? However, yours is also a particular music, isn’t it Michele?
MT = Bel canto and opera win over everything else, always. You also win with whoever is doing piano bar at that moment there. The opera has its own charm, not surprisingly it has lasted for 300/400 years.
MR = You are right. Piero, what are your memories of Florence? I remember the stage was set up like an opera house, with large red curtains, even though it was outdoors. Stupendous.
Piero = Firenze was a tribute to the three tenors, with the participation of Maestro Placido Domingo, on stage to direct the orchestra and then to sing with us, and also the support of the Pavarotti foundation.
I want to say, but many know it, that the tribute to the three tenors, this event dedicated to the three tenors, is an idea born from Michele Torpedine.
We were in Taormina at the pool in 2015, actually a year earlier, and he came at 8:00 am, for breakfast, to tell us this idea.
MR = Exactly, at breakfast Michele you presented yourself with your idea that was born in the night, I imagine.
MT = I don’t remember the time, but I had prepared myself first because I didn’t want to make a bad impression, and then I didn’t know their reaction, I couldn’t imagine. To do such a repertoire, you have to be up to it, at least to be credible, and they did it in a month.
MR = Incredible, how nice that concert was.
Listen, Michele, what anecdotes you have linked to Piero, to the boys of Il Volo, I imagine so many, in so many years that you collaborate together.
MT = Remember … after almost 12 years, Piero help me, we could tell many things.
Piero = Michele, the first meeting.
MR = The first meeting, come on what happened?
MT = We can’t tell you some things, but the first meeting was wonderful, because we were in the RAI dressing rooms, during the Miss Italy in the world program, it seems to me, in Iesolo (beautiful seaside town).
I arrived there in this place, they were 13/14 years old, almost children, they destroyed a dressing room for the joy of meeting us, they were crazy, you don’t know how they left their RAI studios. A disaster, but it was a wonderful emotion to meet them.
MR = Piero, have you destroyed a dressing room? What behavior is this !!
Piero = We were very happy, the first experiences Michele was there, we saw him as a person on the covers of magazines and in the dedications of many singers.
MT = The great thing was seeing them after years, on stage with the myth of music that is Barbra Streisand. Seeing them with her, doing a 12 concert tour with her, was one thing …..
MR = Of course, I can say Michele that you, these guys, and other names that we will then obviously also talk about them, are truly a source of pride for our Italy all over the world.
Now you said …. seeing them very young, beautiful, good, even this very clean image of guys who have achieved this with commitment, is important. Seeing them with Barbra Streisand singing together doesn’t just happen every day.
MT = But then a duet with her, because it’s a different thing than opening concerts. They were guests on the show and she introduced them, which is wonderful.
MR = Beautiful, here they are. Piero, speaking of international experiences, Michele now remembered you with Barbra Streisand, who have duet with her, which is different than opening a concert, they are always emotions that make you fly, indeed, that make us fly, just like your name says, no?
Piero = These are relationships that are born and built along the way. Clearly if you show yourself what you really are, these characters, these legends, then they appreciate you. The tours are beautiful, even the performances made together, but the relationship that remains even afterwards with these artists is beautiful.
MR = Listen, Piero, and also Michele, how do you explain this great success of yours, of three young people, because you are now very well established, even abroad, it is not so easy, there are few known ones and they can be counted on tips of the fingers.
Piero = Our success is the echo, it is the resonance of the music we sing. As Pavarotti did in the past, bel canto is the winning weapon. Bel canto is the most popular Italian music in the world, and it is nice to see in any theater or arena in the world, even in Japan, when the public hears these melodies, written right here in Italy, they go into ecstasy. Our voices also contribute, it is clear, and to hear young people with these voices …. but it is clear that if we didn’t sing this kind of music, it would be much more difficult.
MR = How nice, Piero, I want to thank you very much for being with us at TG2 Italia, I hope to have you here soon, also with the other two colleagues of course maybe also with Michele.
MT = I think Piero should tell you what will happen in June.
MR = Piero, what will happen in June? Verona? I will be there, I will have a double mask, Piero what will happen in June?
MT = Let’s have Piero say it.
Piero = This lockdown helped us to reflect and work on the next project. We are recording and finalizing the voices of the new album that we will present on June 5th at the Verona Arena. It will be a tribute to the Oscar-winning master Ennio Morricone. We will sing the repertoire of master Morricone, with all the written melodies, among other things of songs that we did not know had already been written by the master. We are very excited about this project that fills us with so much responsibility, but responsibility is perfectly associated with adrenaline and we can’t wait to get on that stage.
MR = How beautiful, how beautiful, we can’t wait. Piero Barone, thank you! June 5th we said Verona!
MT = It will be live on RAI 1.
MR = Live on Rai 1 with the music of Morricone and with these wonderful singers, the three from Il Volo, who are truly a preciousness for the world and for our Italy. Thanks Piero, good job, really thanks.
MT = Bye Piero
MR = Bye Piero
Piero = Bye everyone, bye Michele, bye Marzia.
It was a good interview.
Piero said very nice things about Torpedine and full of gratitude.
Then confirmed by the words of Piero and Torpedine that on June 5 at the Arena, the tribute to Morricone.
Soon we will know something about the admitted audience.
There is a little agitation, but a lot of emotion, in just under two months we start “singing” again !!!
Finally “everything will be fine!”
Credit to owners of all photos and video.
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