Part II – Las Vegas Il Volo Concert review – Friday, March 25, 2016 – Pearl Theatre
From the front I want to say that I know that some of you worry if I say something constructive because I am a voice teacher and music director and that is my job. But please understand that I review the concert as if I were their voice coach and the conductor. That means being accurate and not gloss over problems. You that have been around for a while know that already.
I will go right to the Boy’ singing work. No one is perfect and even the most perfect singer may have a problem once in a while. As that voice teacher I mentioned I am automatically looking for a problem to fix. The same measurements I have used in the past: breath support; vowel shapes ( large and round shaped); head resonance, projection, tone quality, intonation (is he singing in tune); and on and on. I looked hard and I am telling you this was one of the most perfect examples of quality singing I have ever seen and heard. It has been a year since the last time I heard them in person and WOW ! What growth and increased professionalism as a singer – for each of them. Oh, sure, if I get really, really picky I can point out tiny problems for each guy at one or two places in the concert lasting for all of two notes. So trivial it is not worth mentioning. From a pure singing standpoint – I repeat myself – this is one of the best vocal performances by any singers any place that I have seen in probably 30 years. It is partly due to the fact that they still use a voice coach on a regular basis and they DO NOT TAKE their voices for granted. BRAVO!
Other issues: In every concert I have seen them do I have had complaints about the sound system or the lighting or the acoustics or the stage layout or the orchestra being out of tune. I get mad at things like that because the boys deserve the best in their organization. They do their work the highest standards and therefore everyone working with them need to do that same.
Orchestra: I feel this orchestra was the best, the most in tune, with the over-all best musicians they have had. It was also a very tight ensemble – very precise. Giampiero is the pianist / conductor and this guy is very , very good. It is hard to keep an ensemble together when conducting from the piano, but he had them in very tight rhythm.
I have to give credit to the Pearl Theatre. It may not have been the most beautiful place but it had good acoustics and the sound was very good and very well balanced. There were maybe two or three places where the bass sound was too loud for the singers in some soft place in a song, but I was very pleased with the sound. The Il Volo company brought a nice and very effective lighting program to go with the concert. This program was staged very nicely.
My last comment for this program: I was blown over by the incredible maturity that these guys showed off Friday night. Especially, Gianluca who in the past has sometimes looked very serious about his singing and perhaps a little “wooden” as he would navigate around the stage (after all this was was a very, very – I mean painfully shy boy as a kid). But now – WOW – we saw a mature performer that was in total command on the stage and navigated all over the place with confidence and real class!
This is one classy gentleman.
Piero and Ignazio have had this stage thing down quite well in previous shows and they were, again, their wonderful and charming selves. I swear one of these days when Ignazio does one of his “ballet” twirls he is going to fall off the stage badly. He already had an accident that sent him to the hospital on this tour – ugh! But that is part of his charm, too.
The music itself – solos first: Ignazio, the sometimes clown, once again blew us away with his INCREDIBLE rendition of the great and famous tenor solo from West Side Story – TONIGHT. Talk about a song that was almost intended for him; this is sure it. What a wonderful job of putting serious singing powers to perfect use. Of course, I missed that he was going to do the “fake-the-audience-out with a non-ending” . He is just great.
For Piero the aria from Pucini’s Tosca is so marvelous as is his “No Puede ser” Gianluca brought back a song from two years ago which I love called “E Aranjuez con tu amor” which also features a violin soloist. Our lady from Vegas that was first chair violin for the Vegas orchestra was brilliant and quite wonderful as she played musical Q & A (the violin taunts the baritone, Gianluca and he replies in kind. The best violinist he has worked with so far (including the next night in L.A.).
I have been waiting for almost a year to hear “live” Gianluca’s “Anema e Core” and he was the true “romantic baritone” of our age. There is no one on the scene. He mentioned some of his favorite singers and I find that Gianluca is better than those guys were in their prime. That is my belief.
This was first tour here to have the duets in and my favorite was “My Way” so powerful and even kind of sad. But it was done so well by Piero and Gianluca. Even more wonderful when you consider the health problems that Piero had in Denver just a few days ago.
All of the ensemble pieces were wonderful although I was sad that they did not do“Eternally” by Chaplin – (my family favorite and they were there finally Friday night.) That quest would turn out to be answered the next night.
I have reviewed a video of the entire program and once again I am going to say that this entire concert was one of the best ensemble concert, best solo concerts and best concerts with orchestra accom. To put it simply: the best program I have seen these guys do and the best that I have seen from any other professional performer in the business – period.