Three very lovely ladies, Mary (Mary B.), Jane (Mary Jane) and Allene, went to the
Mall Of America for a CD signing event. They had one goal, to meet three very
special Italian Singers we all know as Il Volo. Oh, they achieved their goal! Here is their story: (click on pictures to enlarge. Upper left arrow will return you to the story)
It seemed like it took forever for Friday – yes Black Friday – to come. Thanksgiving dinner was wonderful and delicious, but I still had may hours to wait until I could go
to bed and dream of seeing my Guys at the MOA the next day. When I did get to bed, I hardly slept a wink! Oh how wonderful it was to finally meet some fellow Il Volo lovers. Mary and Jane and I hit it off at once. We talked and talked.
Jane and I were the first in line, getting there at 11. At 12 we could move up the the stage, so were in the front row. We stood there for 2 more hours until the show started. It was worth the wait…they were so close.
SO, HOW’D THEY LOOK?
There is no way I can describe my feelings when I finally set eyes on Piero, Ignazio, and Gianluca in person for the very first time. I thought to myself, OMG they are the handsomest young men on the planet!! Piero, of course, had most of my attention.
They looked so amazingly handsome! Their beautiful dark Italian hair was even darker so up close and in person making them look even more gorgeous (if that is even possible!) Ignazio’s suit lapels were black satin with decorative studs running down them. Totally Ignazio!! Gianluca was in his blue/green plaid suit and looked
every bit the part of a young Frank Sinatra back in the day. Piero had satin lapels as
well. These guys know how to pick the clothes!! Barbara was with them as always
coaching and “mothering” them so sweetly.
They looked wonderful—all in dark suits. Ignazio’s hair looked great….am trying to
recall facial hair—funny it’s so blurry since I saw him up close 3 times…I think his
chin whiskers were nicely trimmed, and there might have been a light mustache.
I’ve never seen him quite that handsome before….He was gorgeous. During one
song he stepped off the stage and hugged a woman on the other side of me. I was
hoping he’d move down to me, but he had to get back on the stage to finish the
song. Never mind, I got that hug later. Piero reached down to a little girl standing
next to me during the song….you know how they love to play to children. All three
boys were at their handsomeness-est. Personalities shone.
HOW DID THEY SING?
They sang their 3 Christmas type songs, and were done before I had my fill of looking at them!
Then it was time they took the stage. Much to our delight they began the
performance with O HOLY NIGHT. Simply breath taking. They performed a
medley of merrier Christmas tunes next. Ignazio’s eyes caught the attention of the
woman standing next to me who was grooving to the music. He came right down
from the stage and gave her the most tender hug. True to his style…he is just so
tender and caring. She swore she will never wash the shirt she was wearing again!
During the next few minutes the boys as well as the audience were totally surprised
as we looked up above and saw LOTS OF PAPER MONEY floating down from the
rotunda ceiling high above. It landed all over the stage and audience. Some were
lucky to pick up a few dollars! Piero leaned down and handed a little girl in the
front row a $100.00 dollar bill! Seems there was something printed on the back side
of these bills which turned out to be some one’s marriage proposal!! We never did
find out who it was or if she said yes, but someone went through a whole lot of
trouble to set this all up. The performance ended (way too soon) as we could have
stood there ALL DAY listening and looking at these wonderful guys.
They left to have some lunch, so we waited another hour or so. And then the signing: I said something brilliant to Gianluca like Welcome to Mn., didn’t say a word to Piero – was completely tongue-tied when I came face to face with him – and I blurted out to Ignazio that I had come 100 miles to see them. Oh, yeah, I also said “please come to Mpls. for a concert for me”. (yes I said for me, how DUMB was that?)
THE MEETING (separate accounts)
Another long wait for Barbara to take the three of us to see the boys. Jane finally
took matters into her hands, and went to find out what was going on. When she
came back, she was all smiles, and said she had found someone who would take the
three of us to were Our Boys were.
Got on a freight elevator, down we went to the bowels of the Mall, and waited for
just a few minutes in a hallway, and finally were waved into a room. Barbara, Piero,
Ignazio and Gianluca were there. Mary handed each of the boys a gift bag for their
mother. And then came the hugs goodbye. I’m sure Ignazio had to bend really low
to get his hug from me, and Piero, and Gianluca, too. But I was too intent on finally
getting my arms around them to notice. I hugged Piero extra tight and whispered in
his ear that I loved his voice, and he graciously said thank you. Love those Italian
And it was over. But I am already planning what I’ll say next time I see them.
Yessiree, next time, I’ll be able to make sense when I meet them.
And I WILL get to a 2014 concert!!! Please let it be in Minneapolis! Allene.
We went in and Barb and the boys and a man were there—looked like they had
been having a conference. I said something like I guess we had better get at this,
and got the gift bags out of my bag, telling them that we had decided to send gifts to
the mothers, because we had often commented that we would like to to thank the
parents for raising such wonderful men. Gave them the bags…they seemed a little
surprised, but I think they liked the idea…they didn’t open the packages at that
time…I felt like they were ready to rush out and that I had to move along. The gift
bag included the scarf and a card to the mother. This is what the card said: Dear
Mrs. Barone, Thank you for sharing your so with his adoring fans. Thank you for
raising him to have values, to be kind to everyone, to have a sense of humor and
love for his family. Thank y ou for giving him the opportunity to develop his God-
given talent. His voice brings joy to so many people and enrichment to their lives. Il
Volo Flight Crew, via Mary B.,Maryjane, Allene. Then I took out the picture of
Piero and me in the cab and showed to Piero and asked him to sign it for me. He
seemed very surpised to see it, but said, Oh, Detroit. I couldn’t believe he
remembered that—then he took it over to a table to sign. I didn’t look at it right
away, because I needed to move on to the next thing, but when I looked at it later, I
was thrilled to see that at the top he had written, With love, then Piero across the
bottom. Next, I took out the copies of Marie’s poem “Going Home”, I had taken 4
or 5, and told them that it said just what the Flight Crew was feeling about them, and
since I didn’t have time to read it to them we really wanted them to read it. Piero
was holding them, and he looked at me and said, “We will read it” with feeling, and
I feel sure that he meant it, and that they will. Then I gave a copy to Barb and said,
“You know Marie…she wrote this for the boys.”
Then the boys were getting on their coats and seemed to be in a hurry. I was talking
to Ignazio and Gianluca. They were telling me that they were flying to Detroit. So I
turned to go out of the room and called out “We love you” Then noticed Piero
putting on his coat and picking up a scarf and remembering what he had said in
much earlier interview about his mother always saying, “Piero, put on the scarf,” I
said it to him. He smiled like he got it—hope so. Ignazio was walking behind me
going out the door, and I thought, I’m not going to let this moment get away, and
said, I didn’t get my hug, and I hugged him hard and kissed his cheek.
Right now I’m still coming down from the high of the meeting with the boys, and
although it was short, and not too much conversation, it was wonderful. Wow and
wow!! Il Volo love, Mary.
The highlight of the day! They were so nice and friendly, but I thought they looked
so very tired. I can’t imagine the longing in their hearts to “be home.” They gave us
hugs to treasure. Mary B. had put together beautiful gifts and thank you cards for
each of the Mother’s. They seemed touched by this act of love to be presented to
each Mother for raising such wonderful sons. I told Piero how much I admired his
parents and grand parents for the outstanding job they did in raising him! He said,
“thank you, they are very proud.” I told Ignazio to “keep on dancing on stage as he
is a great dancer.” Our time was over as they were heading out to get in the car
waiting to take them to the airport for their next destination, Detroit! As they were
putting their coats on Gianluca gave us one final “gift” as he spontaneously started
to sing some song about “home.” His beautiful silky voice conveying what he
probably was feeling deep in his heart.
It is hard to believe these gifted, professional young men are the ages they are.
Italy will be proud of them for hundreds of years to come. They are the essence of
pure talent and love which is not seen in this world nearly enough. I can not wait
until the day comes when I can see and hear them again. One of the greatest gifts I
have received in this life. They are simply the best of the best.
Our very official looking Flight Crew badges were highly noticed all day at the
mall! So many people asked us about them providing us wonderful opportunities to
“enlighten” people about the wonderful site and about IL VOLO! The mall security
also took them to mean “WE WERE IMPORTANT”…:-) Sincerely, Jane.
I compiled this story so I can end it anyway I want. Here’s the way I want:
Mary – “What a surreal day! First, at the signing table, when I got to Ignazio. I put
my two fingers to my mouth and kissed and touched his dimple and said, ‘That’s for
Marie'” I love this job!