The guys have landed safely in Miami! They are “here” for a little while, even if we are not lucky enough to run into them, like the fans in Miami….
I had planned to wait for the new Il Volo album to review but I have been getting a number of emails and phone calls about the album that have inspired me to comment ahead of time. I will still do a review of the album later. Since all of the people that have written and many of you on this Flight Crew site that I have met at concerts or at the Il Volo Fan Faire conventions are friends I had the urge to share some ideas about your concerns for this coming album.
FORMAL VOICE TRAINING
First of all the basics: Gianluca, Piero, and Ignazio come from backgrounds that are founded in well-trained, formal voice work – private voice lessons. If you look at some of the concert or album reviews that I have written on this site (see Flight Crew archives) over the past 6 years you will see what factors are involved in the mechanics of good singing. It is not easy!
Our guys have that kind of formal work in spades! You may remember the tour they did with Barbra Streisand and how they had their vocal coach and she had her own. She started working with that coach 6 months prior to tour and had the coach drop in once in a while during the tour. This keeps the singing honest, true and high quality. For the Notte Magica concert in Florence that DVD had a “behind the scenes” video that showed the guys working with a vocal coach. As Barbra would probably say: you never stop needing a vocal coach if you want to do things right.
This kind of training will give them the prowess to handle any kind of music they choose to perform – including the Cuban-influenced Latin music that they are learning with Emilio Estefan.
CHOICE OF REPERTOIRE
From the beginning of their career the guys have chosen great music to sing and it has often been in different languages from different cultures: Italian (of course) , English, Spanish, French, and German. Some times they have gone back and redone parts of an album to sing a translated portion in Spanish that they had previously done in Italian or English. So a whole album in Spanish is nothing new. They have done it before and we loved it. Regardless, the songs they have chosen have been excellent and a person does not have to understand the meaning of the text to get the musical message from that song. Passion wins through in the end and these guys have great passion by the boat- load to add to those beautiful vocal instruments.
So now we have the guys working with renown producer, Emilio Estefan – husband of great singer, Gloria Estefan to produce this album. To get a little hint look at Gloria and her music history. She is a well trained singer and she has done not only Cuban – influenced albums but also, mainstream jazz, Broadway and Latin pop songs. She is superb in her wide variety. Recently, she released an album called “ The Standards” which features songs the guys have also done like Charlie Chaplin’s “ Smile” and she has a number of Frank Sinatra and Henry Mancini songs that are American standards on that album. Go to Youtube and look up Gloria and Smile. Give a listen. She is very good. I am telling you this because Gloria gives a hint about the kind of background not only she has but also Emilio. So I would say that the guys are in good hands. From what I have heard they are doing a song with Gloria. Great ! I hope they do other things with her. Some of the “guest” singers they have worked with in the past left much to be desired (compared to the guys) . Well they can’t all be a Barbra or a Gloria.
The guys have indicated that they want to explore different musical cultures. They have for the past number of years, done an excellent job of exploring their own Italian heritage and the classical background they share. Now, while they are still young, they want to branch out. This is a good thing. It does not mean that they have stopped loving the music they have done up to now. It does not mean that they are leaving those of us in mainstream USA behind. It just means they want to try new things and they want to take us along with them on the journey. Hopefully, tried and true fans will want to venture out with them on that journey.
Nothing can erase the great albums, PBS specials, and the concerts that they have done so far. Those events will always be part of their heritage and our memory. Will this new album be equally successful ? From what I hear they are doing a number of songs that are original – never done before – unpublished. That is gutsy and brave.
If you want to get a hint about the new album listen to some of Gloria’s Cuban/Latin pop albums. Of all the Latin American countries Cuba has had a very strong influence on North and South American music. This goes back long before the Castro government came in. Even in Hollywood you can see from the movies in the 1930s and 1940s that the influence is strong. Go to Youtube and look up Gloria and “ Conga “ have some fun.
IL VOLO RETURNS TO SANREMO – 2018.
I had a chance yesterday to watch a video of the recent Sanremo event. Il Volo was not in competition this time but, rather, guests to add some sparkle to the show. They sang three songs – one from the Notte Magica album and tour – one from earlier album and tour and a song that was not in the earlier albums. It was great to see them back there again. I will save this review for another time.
Thank you, Myron!!
A note from Jana…
And to all of you out there that are saying “that is not my kind of music – pshaw!” and shame on you! Remember that old “Life” cereal commercial? “Mikey won’t eat it, he hates everything!…” as they say… Then cut to “hey look, he’s eating it!” Well, to all of you “Mikeys (and Michaelas)” out there – just TRY it, you might LIKE it! I am not a personal fan of rap, or hip-hop, but if the guys are singing it, then I’ll listen to it. Remember, like Myron said, they’ve been singing this same type of music now for nearly 10 years! When was the last time you had a job, the same job, for 10 years? It gets boring after a while, right? Didn’t you want to branch out? Do something different? Change it up just a bit? That’s all the guys are doing! They have a long career ahead of them and they will probably try just about anything and everything in the next 20 plus years. Some of us may be under ground or on a shelf by then, but they will still be going strong! 🙂 Does anyone remember how many people said “I don’t like opera” when Notte Magica came out? I’m sure there were plenty! These guys are chameleons! But leopards, too! They may change their colors up once in a while, but a leopard can’t change its spots and we can’t change the incredible voices these guys have. Speaking of the animal world, they are also like zebras, where no two zebras have the same pattern of stripes – our guys are as unique and individual as they come, even amongst themselves! Remember, you are never too old to learn or appreciate something new! – jmv