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!
28 thoughts on “Sometime’s Sugar; Sometime’s Salt ~ FROM THE OUTSIDE, but what the heck do I know? ~ by Kitty”
Very nicely done Kitty. Nothing more to add. Thank for reiterating what I would have said myself. We love these amazing young men as if they were our own. We wish nothing but the very best for them. Eurovision is coming up soon and I can only imagine the preparations for the event. They are professionals and whatever happens back stage, we will see only the perfect outcome. Thank you again for your hard work which one can see, was done with love.
Kitty – Beautiful sentiments – My thoughts were expressed by you. We are like-minded fans of Il Volo. You could write the history of Il Volo because you express yourself so eloquently. Bravo!
Wonderful. Kitty!!! You did not miss any aspect of behind the scenes activity. Your loving & humorous presentation makes this a joy to read! Best line, What do you mean, you can’t sit down??! Thank you so much!!! WE ARE LOVE!!!
Wow!Wow!Wow! What a wonderful, heartfelt tribute to these wonderful young men. Thank you so much, Kitty.
Thank you for this Kitty. Couldn’t have said it better! I have imagined all of those moments. My dream for them has become a reality! We will certainly continue to “dream together” for a long, long time!
Thank you Kitty for saying aloud what I have been thinking about. Bravo!
Kitty, this was beautifully written and you expressed every thought I have ever had about what these three young men go through to put smiles on our faces every time we see them or hear their music… For young men just barely in their twenty’s now, they have given up their personal lives to their music and they not only do it for the love they have of their music, but the do it for us… Your tribute shows them it is not in vain… We care, we worry, we love them …
After all THEY ARE LOVE… Thank you Kitty,
Kitty, thank you so much. I enjoyed your article. It was beautifully written and reminded us to appreciate the work that is behind the scenes for IL Volo’s success.
Kitty you captured what goes into the performance so well, have you done stuff on stage yourself? To me it sounds as if you have. I know I truly understood what you said about watching your audience which is a tricky thing but is really key for good entertainers. Its also tricky because there is a SEA of faces out there and that in itself is overwhelming. The guys are so smooth, whomever taught them did wonderfully but I suspect they also have a natural touch to whatever they do. God did not give them these heavenly voices without adding a great package ( BRAIN and body) to go with it. I am excited to know we have years to watch them grow into ever more seasoned and awesome performers .
Kitty, Nothing could have been said better. I often wonder what happens behind the scene. It must be grueling. They always pull it off well. You gave me a good laugh. Thanks for that. Joanie g
Phueee you brought out every aspect of what happens at every concert & preparation which we don’t even think abut. I remember at one concert a few years ago they were just starting out I think it was the second concert I saw. They stopped after one song & said that they were going to have a brief intermission & everyone should go get a coffee because they had to go to the bathroom. I was so surprised to hear them tell the audience that. But your could tell that was not protocol. They ran off stage & after a few minutes the conc- cert contiued. I don’t know what anyone else thought but my son & I thought it was funny.
Kitty I can see this was written with lots of love & beautifully put together. We don’t think of the nervousness & the rumblings in their stomach they feel before coming on stage & wondering if they have forgotten something. And then looking at the audience & wondering how they are going to be accepted. How scarry that is for them & they are so professional we never see what is bothering them.
That makes me jump up & down waving a banner at the next concert to let them know we love them.
Congratulations & thank you Kitty I look forward to your writings.
Loretta, your story of the sudden bathroom break reminds me I read somewhere Ignazio mentioned how things were before they went on stage in Sanremo to sing Grande Amore for the first time. One of them ( I bet its Piero) turned to him and asked him if he had anything for a stomach issue! I wish I remembered where I heard/read that. In any case, I bet all three had butterflies in the stomach that night, but you would never know seeing how they carry on stage.
Dear Kitty great article I do worry about they guys sometimes how much they travel how often they do concerts but I also know what awesome families they have at home that are there for them no matter what. I love Il Volo like all of you and know they will adjust to whatever comes their way because they are three of the most wonderful young men anywhere.
So well done. I’m resting up now for Eurovision. I was tired after SanRemo, I cannot imagine how tired they were. It did my heart good to see them have fun in Abu Dhabi. So looking forward to their next US tour. It may be selfish, but I’m such an Il Volo lover. I’m so glad Italy finally discovered their native sons. Peace and safety in all their endeavors.
Does anyone remember the story Piero told about carrying his phone onstage instead of his mike because he and Ignazio were goofing around back stage? I would have loved to seen the look on his face when that happened. I’ve not seen them in concert yet but hope to do so some day. They will be polished professionals by then so the cute mistakes may have disappeared.
I’m glad you mentioned the guys needing to take care of their voices which to me is paramount to their success. Does anyone know if they have a vocal coach who travels with them?
Kitty, I enjoyed your article from beginning to the very end. How well you expressed what our Guys go thru before a concert. Sometimes we (I) forget the hard work that has gone on before a concert. So thank you so much.
Kitty, that was fantastic. They do work hard to keep us entertained and I do appreciate them. Thanks for the good words.
First of all, thanks to all of you for your lovely comments. They warm my heart more than you know. I am just so grateful to the board for this opportunity to share with you thewell deserved admiration I have for Gianluca, Piero, and Ignazio. Not only for who they are, but for what they give.
DORY: I don’t know for sure, but something I read lately led me to believe that one of them was with them at that time. Of course, one was with them on Porta a Porta last week, and played piano for them on a couple of songs.
PIRATE: Any experiences I’ve had , have been on the smallest of scales. My mother had a very lovely voice, and sang in many church choirs. She sang solos, and when I started Jr High school, occasionally we would sing duets together, but she was the one with the real voice. Beyond that, I always took chorus in school, and sang in choirs at my church. Several times, many years ago, I was able to participate in the choirs recording, and subsequent releasing of those ventures. That was fun, and I learned a lot, but that was the extent of it. Music was definitely a presence in my younger life.
Wonderfully put. I think about the same things you mentioned and in awe in how they do all that they have to go through. Much love to them and the sacrifices they have had to deal with these last couple of years. Bless them and all that support them in their endeavors. <3
Kitty, you are the cat’s meow!! Such a wonderful article and a real tribute to “our guys”!! Thanks, Dot!!
Kitty – yes, so true, we often don’t think of all the time and effort that goes into preparing something that people give of themselves – whether it be a beautiful concert, cooking a delicious meal, or making a craft. I make jewelry and you try to put a price on something and then people question the price, which is usually pretty reasonable and they have no idea how long it took to design something, how many times you took it apart and redid it, so it came out just right! I’m sure the guys go over and over songs, so they come out just right for us! They make it seem so effortless, just like any professional – they make it look easy and you know it’s not! Let’s hope we are never unappreciative and take them for granted!
Very nice, Kitty! I enjoyed every part of it.
Kitty, what can I say! this is so beautifully thought out and written you have me moved just like the boys do when they sing. this is a masterpiece. you took the time to go behind the scenes and show us what they have to go through to bring that beautiful end product to us, and I guess that is why we worry about them so much. it’s all part of the job, but sometimes I wish I could take their place and give them a little break. it hurts to see them carrying on and keeping smiling when you know they are ready to drop and probably have to get up in the wee hours of the next morning to fly out to somewhere. as Ignazio says,”I hate the alarm clock”. I hope everyone on the other sites will read this. one more thing” Kitty, could I ask you to send this to me?
Lookin’ good, Kitty! Thank you! Look forward to spending more time with this soon. Great thought of appreciation for all that goes on behind the scenes.
Love and gratitude,
Kitty this is a very thoughtful and brilliantly executed post. There are thousands of hours of hard work and dedication put in behind every successful professional performer. And we, their fans, reap the rewards of this hard work. Thank you for reminding us of this. We sometimes forget how much effort goes into making dreams come true. Especially when our guys make it look so easy !!!!
Wow, you shared this beautifully, Kitty!
Remembering Barbara Vitali’s October 13, 2013 tweet “Dreams brew fresh daily”!
That’s one cup we all partake of with our beloved IL VOLO!
~ Jeanine, Compassion’s Doorway
Kitty, what a nice article ! thank you for all the effort. A wonderful and thoughtful picture of the construction of a show, of a performance, etc. The details seem endless. Beautiful. Thank you.