Ever since they mentioned to me over three years ago (almost in passing) that they were going to start work on a “big” project about the famous Three Tenors, I have been very eager to see this concert on this tour. The boys of Il Volo started their singing life learning quality singing techniques with voice lessons. This included learning some arias from operas which is sort of a basic foundation of repertoire. They learned this very well. Then they took this technique and applied it to a wide variety of different styles of music – mostly Italian romantic songs, American love songs and some Broadway – all under the loose title “pop” music or as they called it: “operatic pop.”
Now with this project, they are returning to their cultural roots with some solid opera arias – some real gems! That takes work and lot of work with their vocal coach. The end result was a wonderful concert called Notte Magica given in the city square in the center of Florence last summer. I have already reviewed that program on this site and I must say that I was so proud of the guys.
That was on TV and now I get to see that program LIVE on stage in a brand new theater here in Las Vegas. Hooray ! Finally !
The program order was basically the same as Florence however a couple of songs were dropped from that program and a couple of songs were added that were not originally on that program. First of all a song that I did not pay enough attention to when it first came out but now it affected me very strongly: Ave Maria, Mater Misericordiae written for the boys of Il Volo by Giorgio Pintus and Romano Musumarra. I tell you, that it is one thing to hear a song on a stereo system in the car and it is drastically different to have the boys singing it “live” just 8 feet away from me (I was in the front row). What an incredible song. The boys said that they hope to one day sing this song for Pope Francis. I hope so. They deserve that honor and also, the Pope deserves to be blessed by their singing. The other song added to the program was “Grande Amore” , their signature song from the San Remo Festival in 2015. Great to have it back again.
Il Volo in concert at the Park Theater – Monte Carlo Hotel in Las Vegas
Saturday, March 25, 2017 – 8:00pm to 10:34pm
Overture – La Forza del Destino Sinfonia by Giuseppi Verdi Orch.
Nessun Dorma – from Turandot by Giacomo Puccini
Granada – Agustin Lara
Mattinata – romance by Ruggero Leoncavallo
Una Furtiva Lagrima – from L’elisir d’amore by Gaetano Donizetti – Ignazio
La Danza – Gioachino Rossini – Gianluca
E Lucevan le Stelle – from Tosca by Puccini – Piero
Torna a Surriento – Giambattista de Curtis
Intermezzo – Manon Lescaut by Puccini – orch.
Core ‘Ngrato – Cardillo
O paese d’o sole – Annibala Bovia – Piero and Ignazio
Maria – from West Side Story by Leonard Bernstein – Gianluca and Ignazio
My Way – Paul Anka – Gianluca and Piero
Tonight – from West Side Story by Leonard Bernstein – Ignazio
Intermezzo – Cavalleria Rusticana by Pietro Mascagni – orch.
Cielito Lindo – Quirino Mendoza y Cortez
En Aranjuez Con Tu Amor – Josquin Rodrigo – Gianluca
No Puede Ser – Pablo Sorozabal – Piero
Ave Maria, Mater Misericordiae– by Giorgio Pintus & Romano Musumarra
O Sole Mio – Eduardo de Capua and Giovanni Capurro
Libiamo – from La Traviata by Giuseppe Verdi
Nessun Dorma – with extra ending
The concert was presented in a new theater called the Park Theater which is part of the Monte Carlo Hotel-Casino complex on the strip in Las Vegas. It opened in December and everything is the latest, state-of-the-art equipment and a huge stage with great sound system. A tech man told me at the end of the concert that they were filled with 4132 people (the upper balcony was not open).
This high quality music requires an ensemble of good size. Two years ago they used 26 musicians. Last year they used 38 and this year (hold your hat) they had 55 in the orchestra. Or to put it the way Piero said it: “55 plus one” because one of the cello players was pregnant !!! Cool . That is a huge orchestra. Sitting as close as I was I noticed many players who are also in the Las Vegas Philharmonic. That is the kind of quality that our boys deserve. Minor point: it was the first time they have used harp in their programs. Very, very nice. This really was an excellent quality ensemble.
THE BOYS’ SINGING
The program order is listed below. The first thing that I always note for each live concert is that I am hearing the well-trained, well-seasoned singing of three gentlemen of 35 to 40 years of age. That kind of control. That kind of musical security. That kind of resonance and tone quality. EXCEPT FOR ONE THING they are only 22 & 23 ! ! !
I know that I make this kind of comment each time and it is true each time. Incredible quality singing from “ kids” (Ignazio will pop me in the nose for that one – Ha ). When you think that the human voice is the last organ of the body to mature – usually around 35 years of age – these guys are incredible ! My choice for outstanding work:
For the whole group – Ave Maria – a great piece of music sung to perfection and it sent chills up and down my back.
Piero – No Puede Ser – he knows this song inside out but tonight it was fresh with new vitality and excitement. He always delivers.
Ignazio – Una Furtiva Lagrima – this is a very subtle and demanding song – very easy to screw it up and over sing. He was splendid.
Gianluca – tie between La Danza and Aranjuez but for this show the edge went to Aranjuez because Gianluca had a first class violinist for the counter part (this song is kind of a duet) and Gianluca was in ABSOLUTE CONTROL. That is art of incredible beauty.
The “hidden secret” that I don’t think many people in the audience knew or paid attention to was what some singers sometimes call “Vegas Throat.” I spoke with Ignazio after the concert and he was having quite a time with the dry climate condition that makes it more challenging to sing well. He could not seem to drink enough water. Just as the boys walked on stage at the beginning I could see that this was starting to happen to all three of them. It makes you feel that you are not sure that you can hold out tones for long periods of time for fear it will crack or sound like static. They had water on the stage and the theater was pumping humidity onto the stage for them but it still was a challenge. They had come from Minneapolis (humidity center) to L.A. which is desert and then drove across the Mohave desert to Vegas (an even drier city). It doesn’t happen that often but once in a while. I have heard Celine Dion, Barbra Streisand and Michael Buble have problems in a concert with this.
Now here is my point: each of these young men showed incredible will power for the entire two and half hours of that concert. They kept solid, well-supported tone going under firm control. They never allowed the tone to crack or break once. They each presented us with wonderful, pure and very musical singing throughout. So the “secret” is that they were challenged with potential problems BUT the audience never heard anything but quality, professional singing. I had a hint of it in the concert but when I talked with them later last night after the concert, then they let me know what a challenge it was. BRAVO! BRAVO! Very few singers can do that.
End result? This was one of the best concerts I have ever attended played by a superb 55- piece symphony orchestra and featuring the three best male singers in the business today.
A SOCIAL NOTE
After the concert we hung out watching the Meet and Greet line go by and when that came to an end Jeannette and I finally had a chance to take some time and visit with Gianluca, Ignazio, Piero and with Barbara. They were in a happy mood and relieved that the concert went as well as it did. We talked a little about the next Il Volo Fan Faire which will happen when the next American tour happens. However, we do not have a date yet because they will be occupied with a major new recording project next year so
Remember they still have a lot of touring to do yet in other areas around the world after they finish this American tour.
We found they are getting to know us better and better each year so conversation gets going a lot easier than it used to years ago. Now they pick up where we left off last March. They ask us questions. It gives us a warm feeling (after all they meet thousands of people on each tour). Relations with Barbara are starting to feel like that of an old friend. (maybe I should say “friend we have known for a long time” rather than “OLD” ). Each of them was eager with hugs, kisses and wonderful conversation. If it were not for being about 1:00am we could have gone on much longer. Indeed, security was closing up that part of the building so we had to leave.
One final note: we figured since there was no full-sized Fan Faire this year we would just do dinner and invite a few people to join us just before the concert. Well, that went different than expected. We started out thinking about a dozen, but we ended up with nearly 50 people in that little Italian restaurant right next to the doors of the theater.
It was a big family gathering. What a family – the extended Il Volo family.
Thank you, Myron! Great review!
Stay tuned for more reviews from our Flight Crew. Coming soon!
~~ Leelee ~~