Great Review of the Il Volo Concert in D.C. by the DC Metro Theater Arts

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Review: Il Volo at The Kennedy Center

I’ve always known that the mix of pop music and classical singing is one of the most popular music styles in Italy. What I didn’t know until last night’s Il Volo concert was that it is “Fan Girl” (Fan Woman, Fan Grown Man…) levels of popular. Numerous standing ovations, countless screaming fans, and more than one mid-show selfie told me I was not in Kansas any more; and the energy, excitement, and passion of Italy was clearly brought to Washington, DC for one wildly entertaining night.


Making their Kennedy Center debut, the Italian pop opera trio might have been nervous, but you never would have been able to tell. They packed their 90-minute performance with breath taking technique and a school boy excitement that kept both the Italian and English speakers in the audience laughing. Starting with an impressive lightshow, the orchestra rock band fusion put the party into full motion with the album titled single “Grande Amore,” but the applause changed into deafening cheers as one by one, Piero Barone, Ignazio Boschetto, and Gianluca Ginoble appeared.

Immediately they launched into a rapid-fire set of popular Italian hits, including the Dean Martin staple “Nel Blu Di Pinto Di Blu (Volare).” Toe tapping from the start, you couldn’t help but dance in your seat. Breaking into duets and solos, they rotated through “Memory” from Cats, “Il Canto,” and “Beautiful That Way” taking the audience through a full range of emotions. A range also represented in the personalities of each member. Ignazio was the goofy, fun loving type who reminded me of a mixture of Ben Platt (Benji from Pitch Perfect) and the now all too grown-up Matthew Lewis, while Gianluca was all about playing the cool Italian, constantly winking and waving at the many adoring ladies in the audience.

But it was Piero, the pop opera Justin Timberlake of the group, who couldn’t help but stand out from his fellow singer. His interpretation of Puccini aria “E lucevan le stelle” was simply stunning and on more than one occasion his Plácido Domingo-like tambour caused the hairs on the back of my neck to stand on end.

Clearly close friends with each other and the members of their band, the trio threaded a delightfully and purposefully accented banter through out the show. Their hat tip bit to The Godfather’s Sicilian accents went off the rails when Ignazio ended up with too much bread in his mouth to be able to deliver a few famous Marlon Brando lines, causing Piero to nearly collapse to the floor in laughter.

Sometimes electing to sit along the front of the stage, they sang of love arm-in-arm in “Eternally” or “Unchained Melody” (during which several couples in the audiences put their arms around one another and swayed to the beat); and at other times they stretched the corners of the stage into the audience such as with the high energy “Delilah.”

And I certainly have never seen anything more Italian than their triumphant faces after the end of particularly long and/or high ending notes than when an audience member handed each a bouquet of a dozen red roses. Grazie, bella. But it was Piero and Gianluca’s tribute to Frank Sinatra (Gianluca’s idol) and Luciano Pavarotti (Piero’s idol) in the duet of “My Way” that really stole the show for me. Their sincere, nearly matching version of the classic duet showed just how much music has meant and continues to mean of this wonderfully talented trio.


By the end of the night, I had no doubt they would find much success as they continue along this 35-city tour of the U.S. and it seems now only inevitable that I’ll be checking out their album,Grande Amore, whenever I’m in need of a big, fun, schmaltzy, Italian pick-me-up.

Running Time: 90 minutes, with no intermission.

Il Volo played for one night only on February 19, 2016 at The Kennedy Center – 2700 F St NW, Washington, DC. For future performances and information: call (800) 444-1324, or check out the Kennedy Center’s calendar of events.

19 thoughts on “Great Review of the Il Volo Concert in D.C. by the DC Metro Theater Arts”

  1. Absolutely stunning review!! Thanks so much for posting this Jeanette and Marie. I simply can’t wait for March 25th!! I just wish every newspaper in every town they perform in would put an article like this on the FRONT PAGE!!

    1. It was just that…”Stunning”.

      I don’t understand why they’re not on every front page.

      Also, sorry this post is late today. It was Kelly’s fault. As soon as I figure out just how it was her fault and not mine I’ll let you know!

  2. Thanks for this column and for helping me try to sell my extra ticket for Chicago Theater, which I did thru Ticketmaster. Sadly, neither I nor my friend Dorothy are able to attend. I’ll be home repairing a retaining wall and listening/watching Il Volo online and on YouTube as always. So please, keep up the excellent work sharing Il Volo concerts and news so I can get my daily uplifts. I totally appreciate the dedication of you who keep us informed and happier.

    1. Thank you Lois.

      We will all do our best to make you and Dorothy think you may have seen them yourselves. Maria and Madeline will give you a good dose of Il Volo later this week!

  3. Thanks for such a wonderful review. I’m already excited, reading this review just upped my level a few notches. Especially the comments on Piero standing out. In my eyes and ears he always does. And just 6 mores days. We are doing our 27th anniversary gift to each other attending he concert on the 27th. How great is that?
    I don’t understand why there has’t been any advertising. I read Detroit’s main newspaper almost every day, never saw an ad for Il Volo. Are their promoters letting them down?

    1. I have no answer to your question.

      27 years on the 27th? Some things are meant to be. That means you’ll have at least another 27 years AND you’ll be seeing our Young Lads then too!

      Happy Anniversary in advance, Barbara!

      1. Thank you Marie. Hmm, another 27 yrs we will be in our 90s. But that’s OK, IL VOLO is young, they will still be performing.

    2. I have heard from some inside source that they are not happy with this season’s promoter and are going to change company. We have not had much publicity here either. I find it amazing that the theater here of 2500 seats is almost sold out (about 97 seats left) . That has to do with devotion of Il Volo Fans. It will be full house when they get here.

      1. Myron, I hope what you heard is correct! Someone needs to help them towards that Grammy!

        Honestly, I am shocked by the turnout. Can you imagine if there had been even a little publicity?

        Our Boys are like a disease. You touch (hear, see) them once and your infected for life. With a little help they could become an epidemic. That’ll get ’em a Grammy!

      2. I’m glad to hear that. I’m so surprised at the lack of publicity, especially since they first became well known at Detroit Opera House and PBS is always so good at promoting their concerts.

  4. About the program order changes: This Washington DC concert had a few changes including songs that were added. As I talked about in a previous post, Each concert might be different even only one song.

  5. Well, Schmaltzy means Effusively or insincerely emotional. This woman must have been at the wrong concert! I don’t think our guy’s have an insincere
    bone in their bodies.
    I can hear Marie growling from here

    1. NOTICE–the woman did not say THEY were schmaltzy. She said when SHE needs a schmaltzy Italian pick-me-up she will listen to them. So it is all in her head!

  6. I agree with Marie about the use of “schmaltzy” being used in a good way. And as for promotion… there was not even one poster in or around Atlantic City promoting Il Volo; not even in the casino itself, especiallly near the Event Center where the concert was held! In Washington, DC, the only poster I saw was right in front of the Kennedy Center. However, the M&Gs were not rushed and the parents were in the room where the M&G was held in DC, and the band had wandered out into the hall area where the line was formed so some of us had the opportunity to talk with them.

    I hope everyone enjoys the concerts as well as I have. I’ll be attending 2 more – Nashville and then…………. Las Vegas!!!!

  7. I have seen two PBS TV commercials for the March 20 concert. I hope
    people was tuned in to PBS for those. Both of the ones I saw was in
    the evening. I might say I don’t keep PBS on all the time. Thank you
    Jeannette for your review. Less than four weeks now and whoopie
    they will be here March 20.

  8. I appreciated the review and also was surprised to see the word schmaltzy, but clearly the reviewer is entirely enamored of Our Guys, so maybe there just wasn’t a word big enough to capture the emotion, the fun, the harmony, the heart…


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