Just like all of you, I love watching all the videos, seeing all the wonderful pictures, and reading the comments; but at the same time, I can’t keep myself from thinking about what they actually must go through behind the scenes. What is all fun and entertainment for us, has to be unbelievably demanding work, and repetition for them; along with the fun, of course. It’s easy for us to not take notice of the efforts put in, while we simply reap the benefits. So maybe, for just a moment, we can do them the honor of pausing, and peek into their everyday world; the big things, small things, and maybe even a few things that can get just a tad annoying, that may, and do, transpire within the building of a career, and the ongoing goal of making what is now their dream, become their reality. I think it would be appropriate if we begin, right were it all began, with an…………………….
If it were not for their families acknowledging the unmistakable potential in their sons, and their exposing them to childhood musical opportunities early on in an attempt to further judge the depth of their interest and capabilities, we may not, today, be blessed by the beauty of the gifts that each have been given. We thank them for the sacrifices they have made to make their sons dreams come true. Il Volo’s music brings so much joy to people all over the world, and perhaps, has even inspired a renewed sense of self worth within those who feel it has been lost. We have read so many comments that express just such experiences. The guys, we’ve noticed, seem never to miss an opportunity to express openly, their love and appreciation for their family’s support, encouragement, and above all, their continual expressions of pride; not only in what they have chosen to pursue, but how they have chosen to pursue it.
* Some of these things may seem petty, but all play a part towards the goal.*
#1 CARE OF THEIR VOICES
Yes, they do have amazing voices, but those voices must not be forced, overused, or be exposed to damaging environmental influences. Awareness is always needed; but in addition, it takes a disciplined routine of warm up vocal exercises daily, to train and strengthen so as not to stress. Can’t help but wonder what the people in the next room in the hotel might be thinking. Is that some kind of new wake up call?
#2 THE TRAVEL
Oh my gosh! I get exhausted just trying to keep up. Do you wonder if they have ever run into themselves in their comings and goings? How do they deal with serious jet lag, lack of sleep, unfamiliar places, food, and customs; not to mention different languages? The hotels, restaurants, cars, trains, planes, and on and on; and by the way, just how many ways can you say, WHERE IS THE RESTROOM? Heaven forbid they say it wrong! I, would hesitate even saying HELLO, uhhh….. HI! These two aspects have to be the hardest, by far. Me, I don’t even want to think about it, “where’s the Dramamine and my translation book?“
Well, my opinion? If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Their looks stand alone as perfect! There is however, all those pesky haircuts called for, to maintain or change a preference in the style; but they could always leave it natural, hint hint! C’mon Il Volo ladies, doesn’t that seem like something we might have some experience with? Oh, never mind! In addition, there’s probably someone telling them what to wear for every interview(video), every photo shoot, every guest appearance, and certainly every concert. I know they’ve heard,__ No no! You can’t wear that here! Protocol, Protocol! Or maybe,__ humm, should it be Brioni, or Armani, casual, or__ no no, elegant. Definitely elegant! Maybe that’s a good thing,… or not! Oh yes, and then there’s always the shoes! Love those shiny ones! No! you can’t wear tennies with a Tux! And what about all those trips for fittings? …. They must fit like a glove, don’t you know!….. WHAT DO YOU MEAN YOU CAN’T SIT DOWN!!
#4 THE MUSIC
The learning of new music, or the arrangement of such, is a constant, of course, and will always be. Whether personally, or professionally, it is who they are. They are perfectionists in their art, and we are grateful. Who is singing what, will it be classic or pop, and maybe, what do we want to project here, are all questions not uncommon in a recording studio, ……………..and some time later someone may look at the clock and say, “hey.,……, guess what! We forgot about lunch,…. again!“. That’s when we know just how much they truly love what they are doing, because we all know how much they love their Italian food. They have caused us to love it too. Not surprisingly, Piero has said, “music is everything, it’s like food or oxygen…..“, and I would say, it couldn’t be more obvious. Agreed?
#5 THE PERFORMANCE
All the decisions above have been made, and they arrive at the venue for pre-concert rehearsals and setup. Hours later, everything has been hooked up, turned up, or down as the case may be, and the orchestra begins to connect musically with the guys in what can be a very frustrating and lengthy session.
Also, the staging instructions are walked through,…. and you hear, “you stand there, you, here! No no, you stay here, and you,… move over there! Oh, and make sure you keep rotating so everyone can see you. Now, all of you, go up there. Okay, now move.” “Where are you going, your spotlight will be here!” “Oh no! Ignazio, quick, move into Piero’s spotlight, grrrrrr………..and don’t forget to SMILE! Remember when this actually happened ladies; and yes, we All smiled! Too funny, and memorable!
SORRY, I HAVE TO PAUSE HERE AND SAY, “WHEW! Is anyone else feeling the pressure, or is it just me? ——————— OKAY!!
It’s now 8:00 pm, and the guys are waiting for the orchestra to begin. On cue, they each, in turn, enter the stage at their appropriate line of the opening song, and all is well; except, there is one more thing that needs to be done, as with any performer. They need to begin to read their audience. The audience responses are, perhaps, the most influential element to a successful performance. I’m guessing, of course, but I would bet that while singing the remainder of their song, they glance around to faces, watching expressions, and body language; and there is a sort of silent communication that occurs between them, and their listeners. That gives them an early indication of how to flavor their performance. Do they want a fun and lighthearted show, or does it seem that they would prefer a more straightforward presentation of inspiring vocal content only? What the performer(s) will sense in those crucial moments, can sometimes set the tone for what will unfold later. The audience responses, or lack there of, can quickly redirect the flow of any event, from what was initially planned, to one that might require adjusting. So, being observant, and having the knack of spontaneity is what holds the key to a successful show. Are these guys able to pull off spontaneous? You’re kidding, right? Absolutely yes, and delightfully so! The music begins once again,……. and now there are three; on their own, feeling confident, audience responding, smiles on faces; but wait people, hold on, cause “Surrender” is on it’s way! YES! This has just been my way of shining a little bit of light, mixed with maybe a bit of humor, on some things we know that exist, but usually don’t bring to the forefront, as we express our love, amazement, and even our concerns, for three extremely impressive young men. The commitment, devotion, and honest dedication to the music itself, coupled with a genuine desire to share something of such beauty with others, seems to me to be of the utmost importance to them, within in their journey. Obtaining stardom is exciting, but from what I see, and feel, that is not the be all, end all. There is more to the dream. Personally, I see nothing but great things happening for them in their future; so while we watch, let’s just continue to savor the sweetness of the present!
Speaking of the present, the results of Sanremo were just what we expected, right? Needless to say, we could not be more proud of them, but then we always are, and always will be. As I watched all that was going on leading up to their presentation, I was impressed by their apparent lack of nervousness about being there, and competing. Instead, they seemed to be happy, and having a great time meeting everyone. When asked, they simply said that they were looking forward to learning, and just being able to enjoy the experience. What? You’ve got to be kidding, (I thought to myself). I’d be freaking out! Winning would be wonderful, they said, but they really would be okay regardless. As they stood waiting for the results to be announced, I really don’t think they expected to win. It was their opponent that visibly showed concern. Of course, their surprised reaction was priceless. It was in that moment that I realized that there was nothing regarding their preparedness that needed to be rehearsed; they knew their song, they were comfortable with it, and they delivered it with the same passion and intensity that they always have, (maybe just a tad more). Why should this be any different.
My point is, that it is their willing attitude concerning all the seemingly unimportant little things, that they accept, and have adopted as the norm; and there is no need for any last minute panic, because Il Volo is, who Il Volo is. Their music comes from a place inside of them; their heart, and yes, their very soul. They love what they do, and it shows; and that’s what they present, both on stage and in their life. It’s also why we respect and adore them. People keep saying that this win will bring about a drastic change in their lives. Yes, it will, and it has, that’s certainly understandable; but I have no doubt that they will adapt, as will we. Success, unfortunately, does not come without some degree of change; be it big, or the seemingly unimportant, and all have a purpose. They listen to, trust, and respect those around them, who are there to advise and guide. Has their dream now become their new reality, or will this new reality one day become their ultimate dream? Either way guys, we’ll dream together. Count on it. It will be our pleasure!