Personally Speaking ~ Una Magica Notte Per Mi ~ Mary Bohling

Yes, it was a magical night for me, in spite of the disappointments as Jana has written.  Magical just by virtue of even being there, which was a miracle in itself.  When we first got the letter announcing the event, my granddaughter, Kate, said that she would like to take me as my present  for my birthday and Christmas.


So we planned our strategy for hitting the computer button at just the right time to get the tickets.  She, being the most techno-savy and quick with the finger, was designated to do the job.  The tickets were to go on sale at 10 o’clock.  I called her in the morning to remind her to be ready.  Then at five minutes to nine, our time, it suddenly hit me that ten in Detroit was nine here.  I quickly called her at work to tell her to get on it NOW, but she was in a meeting, and couldn’t be disturbed.  She was able to call me back ten minutes later and got through right away and get our tickets-just in time.  Jana was right, they were sold out in twenty minutes.  So getting them was in itself a small miracle….thanks to the guardian angel that whispered in my ear “time difference” at the very last minute.
The dinner at Antonio’s was great–seeing old friends, Chris, Jana, and Ginny, and meeting new ones, Sharon, Donna, Emelia and more.  But on to the main event at the PBS studio.  First, the diningroom--tables beautifully set with several bottles of wine included.  My daughter, granddaughter, and Allene were in our party and others at our table that I got acquainted with, including Jo Longstreth and Kerri Buchanan.
 Our  table went first to the Meet and Greet.  As Jana said, it was even more rushed than usual.  We requested that I have a picture alone with the guys and then a three generation one.  He, (the photographer) said that it wouldn’t be possible, so we opted for the group.  As we were disassembling from that, someone, I wish I knew who, said, “let the birthday girl have her own picture.”  They had already been told that it was my birthday.  So back I went for that…..just the first of many kindnesses shown to me on that magic night.
After the Meet  and Greet  it was back to the dining room for coffee and dessert and she raffle.  Michelle, the PBS hostess of the event, told everyone that it was my birthday, and all sang Happy Birthday, and there was a cupcake with candles.  Kerri Buchcanan, a new friend, won the raffle prize, a huge poster of the guys mounted on a thick backing and autographed that night.  Everyone was so impressed with it.  Kerri brought it back to the table where we oohed and aahed over it, and the next thing I knew she was standing next to me and saying that she wanted to give it to me for my birthday!!  I absolutely couldn’t believe it–who could give that prize away?  It was just the most generous gesture ever.  Another great kindness that I was blessed to be shown on that magical night.
Going into the studio for the filming, a woman in a wheelchair and Allene and I, who had our walkers, were put at the head of the line, which meant that we had front row seats and an excellent view of the guys, who were sitting at a high table.  Piero was sitting at the end of the table closest to us, and throughout the evening he would look over our way and smile and say something.  I think he was trying to compensate for the fact that they weren’t coming down during breaks to mingle with the people as they did the year before.  It was a grueling taping with many retakes, and must have been hard for the guys considering how exhausted they were.
When the time was up, they filed out of the room, going right by the front row seating.  When I saw Piero coming toward me I threw all caution to the winds, jumped up and grabbed him, saying “I need another hug” and threw my arms around him, and yes, I admit it, planted a kiss right on his delicious neck.  Friends, before you censure me for being so aggressive let me say in my own defense–after all I’m 87 and it was my birthday--I couldn’t help myself take advantage of the situation.  He gave me a real hug, too--not  just an arm slung across the shoulder, and then he looked me right in the eyes and said, “Happy birthday.”  What a guy!  Amazing, isn’t it, what that can mean to an old gal?  (another major act of kindness on this magical night)
I have to mention Gianluca’s display of his ever sweet and caring nature as shown when the guys were filing out.  When he came to the woman sitting next to me,  she took his hand and started telling him something that seemed important to her.  It was a long story and she was speaking in Italian.  She held on tightly to him, and although the security guy was telling her in no uncertain terms that Gian had to move on, she didn’t stop.  Darling GG never took his eyes off of her face–he kept smiling sweetly and ignoring security.  He was going to let her have her say.  When she let him go and he moved over to me he smiled and touched my arm and then kept moving… then security was about ready to pick him up and move him bodily.
So that was the end of the PBS event and the next day I had to decide what to do about the poster.  It was too big to take on the plane, so I opted for sending it by UPS.  The cost was $75, but I didn’t think twice…..worth every penny.  The boys arrived yesterday, and they are smiling at me now from across the living room.  So it was a “magical night” for me, filled with many blessings.  Just wish all of you Flight Crew friends could have been there, too.
Added note:  I think we have to commend and thank the Detroit Public Broadcasting system for what they have done for the boys by producing the DVD’s over the past few years.  They have brought Il Volo to the attention of the American public.  And I thank them also for putting on the studio event allowing some fans the opportunity to be a party to the unveiling of the new DVD and have a close encounter with the boys.

~~Mary Bohling~~


Photo credits to:

Kerri Buchanan

Anne Thode

Kate Dudley


22 thoughts on “Personally Speaking ~ Una Magica Notte Per Mi ~ Mary Bohling”

  1. Thanks! Mary!!! You had a wonderful time!!! Love your beautiful photo of our precious young men!!! We do owe a lot to Detroit PBS! They have promoted Il Volo beautifully.

  2. Mary, I love your story and I especially LOVE the photo at the end of Piero looking at you wishing you a Happy Birthday. Such warmth and kindness in his face! Such a genuine person! That moment must have left a permanent imprint in your heart!

  3. Mary I am so glad you were able to be there with our boys. I too am 87 and would walk there if I could. We have an Italian pizza place here in Upland and the owner comes from Marsala. He has pictures of the guys all over the place. He has their music playing all the time. I wish I could find a big poster for him to put up. Joanie G

  4. Oh Mary what a night you had so happy for you I bet you felt like you were flying. So great you got your hug from Piero wow he is so amazing and so are you. Thanks for the great story.

  5. Mary was truly a magical night for you . Thank you for sharing with us your evening.
    For the gift I told you that was very kind but remember that she is a ILVOLOVER , we are too good .
    I repeat that you are a beautiful woman and you’ve been very good to get a hug from Piero , I also like that you were in a nice position to be able to see well Piero , so while he was answering annoying questions you could look at him , see his face and enjoy its beautiful expressions .
    I’m very happy for you.
    A hug

    1. Thank you, Daniela, I did so enjoy having the opportunity to gaze at him to my heart’s content for two whole hours, and to have it followed by a sweet hug was the frosting on the cake.

  6. Tonight the guys are in Modena for the tribute to Pavarotti .
    I send you a picture today in the streets of Modena and during practice .
    I hope to do just to let you see .

    I do not know if you can ‘ serve is streaming here anyway for direct radio.
    The boys in an interview said that they will sing Granada and Libiamo de’ lieti calici in a duet with soprano .…
    The concert starts at 9:00 pm , now here are the 8:30 pm .

    1. Concert was really very beautiful, touching at the end when they all sang Caruso. Boys were stunning in all songs which they sang, it was nice tribute to great maestro.

  7. Mary – wow, what a truly magical and special evening it was for you! I’m so glad you got hugs and gave Piero a kiss! Wonder if they miss their grandmas, they certainly have a lot of adopted ones! Such a special birthday celebration. As much as we think the guards/security are being mean, I think they all have hearts in there somewhere! They are all probably softies underneath all that brawn! Glad you were able to ship the guys home in one piece – what a joy it must be to wake up to them every morning and see them close to lifesize! What possibly could birthday 88 hold? 🙂 Til next time….

  8. Mary belated Happy Birthday and so happy you had a great time.
    I thought there for a while maybe I am getting “cured” but today wiped that thought our. I got home from Volunteering, told my visiting son and grandson goodby and grabbed a sandwich and sat down in from of my TV. Went on interned and found RA! Radio 2 and from 2:00 PM Central time till 5:00 PM i listened to the Pavorotti
    Concert. IL VOLO and many other artist participated. The boys sang 6 times but in three separate segments. I was so proud of them because they sounded so great.
    In between their performances I sat and listened to my new ” buddies’ the announcers at the Radio Station. I do believe I might have understood 10 words.
    Loved the experience. The boys got the most applause.

  9. What a lovely birthday Mary and best wishes for many, many more. How wonderful to have big hug from Piero!

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