File this under, “better late than never”, but here is my story of the Detroit concert. Everyone has described the season so well that my description will be pretty much the same…from breathtaking to heart-wrenching but here goes…
Instead of going to Florida this season to stay with Leelee and on to other spots sunnier than Ohio in winter, Leelee came to me for a fun week and to drive the 5 hours to Detroit and back. We checked in to our room, went downstairs and lo and behold!! Guess who was staying at the same hotel? What a surprise! The Il Volo team! Sitting in the lobby was Alessandra (what a doll), Elenora (another doll), our three young singers and a few more members of the team. While we really do love running into them we really don’t want to be a nuisance. We said a brief hello to each one of them. They were very receptive. Gianluca immediately jumped up and grabbed both of my hands. He’s such a sweetie. I asked him if at the meet and greet he would sign a photo his Nonno gave to me when I was in Montepagano. He said he would. Just basic hello’s all around and we left.
On our way to our room after dinner we once again saw the team. They were trying to exit the lobby. Their exit was hindered by an overly enthusiastic fan. Noticing their escape attempt, we exchanged nods and smiles with them from across the hall.
The next day, the day of the concert, we had dinner with Rose Marie Paliobeis and Rosemarie.
This is a lovely empty box.
It wasn’t always a lovely empty box. It was once a lovely box filled with delicious homemade Baklava. Thank you, Rose Marie. I can’t remember what happened to the Baklava.
While I’m in the thanking mode Thank You Jana, my adopted daughter, for booking us the most wonderful seats in the theater (and the sweet little gift).
Before, during and after the concert I was privileged to speak with a bunch of really neat people besides Rose Marie and Rosemarie, Betty Young (bubba), Sandi Eyman, Loretta, Lisa Joy, Gary Instok, Ginny, Chris Gapski, Bradley, Sharon, Stephen, and Katrina Angelus. I know there were others, but I’m pretty proud I remembered as many as I just did.
If you purchased a meet and greet these were your gifts:
An Il Volo Tote bag, I.V. mints, An I.V. deck of cards, a soft furry black carrying bag and of course, our VIP id.
March 16, 2017 will be a date I’ll remember. It was the day I switched from tolerating opera to loving it! There I was, front row left. If I was any closer I would have sat on Gianluca’s foot. (Yay, Jana!) Those Boys were smokin’ hot! In both voice and appearance. But…you know that. You either saw and heard it for yourself or read it many times right here.
You think you’ll remember just how good they are, but no matter how many concerts you attend, you’ll always be surprised and blown away once again. To say that I was moved by their performance would be a great understatement!
You all know, of course, that I am the very wrong person to write this. The wrong one to tell you how absolutely wonderful they were. So please take what I write with a grain of salt. I am under some kind of magic spell. I may not know the truth. There is no objectivity in me. Logic tells me they cannot be what I think them to be. No one can possibly be what I think THEM to be. Not only because most of my bucket list desires begin with words like Il Volo, Gianluca, Ignazio or Piero, but because my dreams aren’t even as good as seeing them live and in concert! Weeping was in order. I made it dry-eyed all the way to “Caruso”.
The Meet & Greet…
I had the opportunity to speak with Barbara before it was my turn to approach the guys. She said they indeed received our fruit and flowers and thanked us very much.
This time I practiced. This time I will tell Ignazio about pizza with his sister, how lovely his home town is and that I spent some time with a friend of his. If I remember, I will also tell him about staying in the same hotel he stays in when he goes to Naro. He was the first one I came to. I said, “hi”. Couldn’t think of one other thing to say. Couldn’t think of any words at all. If I could only have remembered my name I would have at least introduced myself. Damn! I just stood there staring. He has to think I am mildly retarded. Maybe I am. What’s wrong with me? What am I… a crazed teenager? Am I going to start screaming and tearing at my hair during the next concert? So, once again, for about the 20th time, Ignazio met me for the first time and shook my hand. *Sigh* I moved on to Gianluca. Gian’s greeting almost made me feel less stupid and a little less like I wanted to just be part of the scenery. I said, “Hello Gianluca, I’m Mar…” He interrupted me with a big smile and said, “I know who you are.” Yay! We talked for a minute then he signed that photo his Nonno gave me.
I was still speaking with Gianluca when my friend Piero gave me a shoulder massage. While I was pulling up my sleeves in abject bliss, (looking quite smug I see), the photographer thought it was a good time to take my photo. The massage curled my toes and my perfectly straight hair. Here’s proof. 😉
After that I only spoke with Piero for a few moments and was shooed off by security.
Yeah, meet and greet is expensive. If the next one costs a thousand dollars I will pay it with a smile on my face. Because next time I’m speaking to Ignazio! Yes I am!