A MAGIC NIGHT AT THE VERONA ARENA
On the 19th and 20th of May, the pop-lyric trio Il Volo held two concerts, both sold out, at the Verona Arena, as part of their world tour “Notte Magica: Tribute to the Three Tenors”.
The Verona Arena, a temple of opera for excellence, offered an ideal setting for Il Volo’s concert “Notte Magica: Tribute to the Three Tenors”, an event where the magnificence of the location, the charm of the music and the extraordinary voices of the three performers blended in a perfect combination, stirring enthrallment and marvel.
Since afternoon, it seemed that every element wanted to help create an ideal atmosphere, starting with the abundant rainfall during the day, which abruptly ceased, against every forecast, shortly before the concert began, giving a starry mantle to the public who had traveled from all over Italy and the world to acclaim the three young artists.
Anyone walking around without knowing which show was going to be on stage, might have thought it was an international gathering. Groups of people of different ages and nationalities talked to each other in a jumble of English, Italian, French, German, Spanish, Portuguese, and even Japanese
What was above all so striking was the diversity of the audience; entire families with young children and elderly parents, young and not so young couples, adults in evening dresses and festive teenagers showing off t-shirts and bandanas with “Il Volo” written on them.
The newly arrived looked around eagerly, searching a familiar face met at a previous concert or on social network; some American fans proudly showed bunches of concert tickets, stating that they had followed their idols, first in the United States, and now in Italy.
Looking at the mixed multitude who crowded the Arena stalls area and terraces, whose only unifying element is the common passion for Il Volo, it is only natural to wonder what these artists have that is so special. How many singers are able to move fans from one continent to another? Nowadays, virtually no-one.
The orchestra goes first on stage and intones the notes of Verdi’s “The Power of Destiny”, almost as if to emphasize the mysterious power of fate that has brought three teenagers with prodigious vocal talent to meet in the same television program, with the same unusual passion for classical music, overturning their lives, those of their families and the thousands of people who would otherwise never have met each other or be there in that moment.
Finally in they come, Gianluca, Piero and Ignazio, welcomed by the roar of the crowd. To see them on that stage, so young, fresh and relaxed, it seems impossible that they are the stars of that magical evening. The feeling that pervades those who attend their live concert for the first time is to finally understand the mystery of those voices that have bewitched millions of people around the world.
Gianluca sings “Nessun Dorma” and it’s as if a spell is cast on the Arena. His deep, warm, velvety voice seems to creep into the folds of the soul, wrapping each of those present in a poignant embrace. The giant screen projects his intense, almost painful expression; Prince Calaf seems to have emerged from Puccini’s opera to seduce the beautiful Turandot. Ignazio takes over, whose vigorous and clear tones are reminiscent of the flow of a rushing river, evoking the figure of the bold knight who wins the princess thanks to his boldness and his passion. Then it’s Piero’s turn and the millennial stones of the Arena seem to flinch and vibrate under the power and intensity of his voice; you can imagine the princess Turandot who surrenders to the strength and security that emanates.. . Three different interpretations of the same aria, up to the climactic moment in which the three voices join in sublime harmony, each remaining distinct yet, at the same time merging with each other to create a perfect chemistry The audience who had listened in sacred silence erupts into a loud and heartfelt choral ovation, the first of a long series.
For more than two hours, the songs continue uninterrupted, with three voices, duets, solos, with no faltering in the performances of the three young artists, simply impeccable in interpretations, tones, and vocals. The expressions of the spectators denote a bewildered admiration mixed with disbelief, as if they were really watching a magical show and couldn’t find a rational explanation for what they were witnessing. The question that seems to float in the air is: “is this really possible”?
Gianluca’s voice reveals surprising qualities, possessing a sweet and caressing tone but at the same time, profound and sensual, that can suddenly explode with unexpected strength reaching tenor notes without ever losing its sweetness. His passionate performances leave the audience almost overwhelmed, unable to contain the intense emotion he is able to arouse and, when in the finale of “Aranjuez” he maintains the last note and increases its volume and intensity without taking a breath, the stunned spectators hold their breath too and then explode into an endless and liberating applause.
Ignazio has the ability to transform himself, in a fraction of a second, from a funny joker into a masterful interpreter of very demanding pieces where he and the music become one. His surprising vocal extension, its versatility, its ability to reach high-level notes while at the same time maintaining a clear and light weave of pop singer, make his performances incomparable.
When he sings, the audience seems to be caught by a temporary estrangement, as if the music and his voice fills up every corner of the mind and leaves no room for anything other than emotions.
As for Piero, his extraordinarily full-bodied and mighty voice seems to come out of his mouth as breath comes out of other common mortals’, without any apparent effort. Sometimes, watching him on the screen, he surprises you as he is following what is happening in the audience, smiling or nodding to those who he recognizes in the crowd, while continuing to sing without skipping a beat or missing a note. In his solo songs, his virtuosity reaches its highest expressiveness. His passionate interpretations of “No Puede Ser” and “E lucevan le stelle” make chills run down your spine, the screen enlarging the sparkle of emotion shining in his eyes and reflecting in those of the spectators in an ideal bond, and when his mighty and boisterous “E muoio disperato!” (I die in desperation) resounds in the Arena, it seems that even the walls are aggrieved with emotion and sadness.
The concert ends with the triumphant final of a “Grande Amore” sung with the audience and the Arena lights up with thousands of lights that seem to compete with the stars in heaven. Finally, the audience moves reluctantly to the exit, while the echoes of the concert still seem to linger in the air, as if wanting to hold on, a little longer, to the charm of that night where the ineffable beauty of a timeless music combined with that of three extraordinary voices have been able to recreate the magic once again.
Translation by Susan J. Ambrosini and published on All About Il Volo on June 10, 2017.