TO TALK ABOUT OUR GUYS: IL VOLO by Susan

Reading, here and there on the various sites and fan pages, I found this beautiful article written by Susan De Bartoli. Several fan pages have recognized the goodness of this beautiful article by publishing it. Since maybe not all of you who follow Flight Crew may have read it, I thought I’d post it here too, and I asked Susan for her confirmation to do so. Here’s what she wrote.

Rejoice by reading: Daniela

Our Guys 01

Over the last few days, I’ve been thinking about how our lives have changed in just two weeks. It’s surreal! I try to distract myself but it’s difficult to get away from it all. So, I decided to focus on something else. I can usually get lost in my writing. You know before I started my business in 1990, I worked in the motion picture industry. I used to critique films. It was a good job but, I decided I wanted to do more with my life so, I quit my job and I spent two years writing. The best years of my life. So, where am I going with all of this?

Like most of you, right now, I spend a good deal of my day listening to those three amazing guys sing and I said maybe I should do a review of what’s been going on in their lives for the last 10 years. I think, over the last few days, I must have watched hundreds of video clips including interviews and some full concerts and now I’m ready to talk about our guys.

Let me start off by saying these three young men are extraordinary! They are remarkable, exceptional, persons. And, they have revolutionized the music industry. Let’s take a look at each one.

Our Guys 02

Gianluca is known as the Velvet Voice! I don’t who coined the phrase but, that is right on. Let’s use our senses to understand what that means. Take a piece of velvet and hold it in your hand. Now take your other hand and, gently pass your hand across the velvet. What do you feel? You feel a smooth even surface that is crisp with no breaks in it. The sensation is so good that you automatically go back and do it again. And every time it’s the same. It’s pleasing!

Now take Gianluca’s voice, let the notes pass into your ears, what do you hear? A crisp, smooth, even voice with no breaks in it. The note barely passes into your ear and you are going back for the next note. It’s always pleasing!

Gianluca is a lyrical baritone. He is exceptional because he can sing from the lowest to the highest note in the baritone range. Most baritones are limited in range. Gianluca’s voice is huge. He has a very rich chest resonance which creates a feeling of depth and drama in his voice.

A baritone voice is very romantic, very pleasing to listen to and is always inviting. Most songs are written for baritones. Gianluca starts, almost, every song. Why? In order for a song to be received well you must draw your audience into it. Gianluca’s voice draws you in in a romantic way and you hang on to every note. He can mesmerize you with songs like “Mi Mancherai” where he reaches into the depth of your being. His interpretation of “Surrender” is electrifying. But, when Gianluca sings, “She’s Always a Woman”, he takes your breath away. The highs, the lows, the emotion, the expression. His voice expands like nothing I ever heard before. He has total command of the song. You walk away with your senses lifted to another level.

Our Guys 03

Let’s talk about Ignazio, who I call him the bridge. He is a lyrical tenor. He, like Gianluca, is exceptional because he can sing from the lowest to the highest note in the tenor range. And, God knows he can, easily, hit the high C. Waiting for it and knowing it’s going to happen is so exciting! He brings so much to the production and I’ll talk more about that later!

A lyrical tenor has a warm graceful voice which is bright and strong but not heavy and it can be heard over an orchestra. Ignazio’s voice is smooth, clean and clear, with an acute extension. His voice has the ability to increase the baritone voice of Gianluca while softening the spinto tenor voice of Piero. Ignazio has many faces. He is very whimsical in his songs as in “Libiamo ne’ lieti calici”  from La Traviata.

In the aria “Una Furtiva Lagrima” from L’elisir D’amore, Ignazio makes you feel the innocents of Nemorino’s love for Adina. In his dedication to Pino Daniele you hear an interpretation that is emotional and a delivery that is so amazing that you get the sense that Daniele wrote his songs for Ignazio.

Our Guys 04

And finally, Piero. Piero is a spinto (meaning pushed) tenor. A spinto tenor has the brightness and height of a lyric tenor, but with a heavier vocal weight enabling the voice to be “pushed” to dramatic climaxes with less strain than his lighter-voice counterparts. His voice is warm, graceful, bright, and can be heard over an orchestra. Piero has a powerful voice that easily reaches the higher notes. Every note that comes out of his mouth reaches us with such intensity and remains with us for a long time. It’s the voice that reaches out to you and demands your attention. Think of him singing “E Lucevan le Stele” from Tosca. Or singing the beautiful Spanish aria “No Puede Ser”  from A Tabernera del Puerto. From the first note Piero pierces your soul! His passion comes through in his music. Arias are very dramatic and, Piero brings all the drama of the aria into his performance. Always a showstopper!

Our Guys 05

Now let’s put the voices together. Gianluca starts most songs because he is a baritone and most songs are written for baritones. As I mentioned he draws you into the song. Gianluca will sing (in most cases) to Ignazio and Ignazio to Piero. This is how the three voices become one. Select one of their songs. Now close your eyes and listen to them sing. What can you say about this song? You can say, that is Gianluca or Ignazio or Piero singing. In the progression of the song you hear the voices blend to form a symphony for your ears. Their voices are very distinct.

The first time Tony Renis heard the guys sing he said “I could not believe that these three young kids could sing like men of 45 years old. Their voices were huge! I realized they had great potential.” Renis called his producer friend Humberto Gatica and said “…if you are available, I would like to collaborate with you to produce these kids.” When Gatica heard them sing, he couldn’t believe their voices, he thought it was a fake, “they can’t possibly be teenagers.” Renis said, “After this these kids started to fly, so we called them Il Volo.” Renis believed these kids would appeal to kids, mothers, fathers, everybody. He was right! They were the first Italian artists in history to sign a contract with a major American music label. Universal Music signed them immediately.

Our Guys 06

Most groups sing and you hear just a song but with Il Volo you are surrounded by voices. And, the individuality of their voices entices you and it stays with you. “Musica che Resta”. (Music that Remains)  Think of what Piero says when he introduces one of the solos, “After we were together a while, we realized we had three different voices.” He wasn’t saying that they suddenly found out they had different voices he was saying we are three voices and one song and, we need to show you those voices individually.

Let’s look at how they described one another when they first started out. I think Ignazio said Gianluca was the serious one, and Piero was the Intelligent one and Gianluca and Piero said Ignazio was the funny one. So, let’s take a look at that.

Gianluca, in most cases, is the spokesman for the group. I’m not sure if this is by chance or choice. He seems to always take the lead when they are in interviews. And, he is constantly monitoring the conversation. A good example is the video that was going around recently. It’s the one with the story about the shrimps. The boys were appearing on a Spanish show and Piero was telling the story about Gianluca and Ignazio’s food fight, when they were teenagers and he mistakenly used the Spanish word cama (bed) instead of the Spanish word cara (face) which turns the story from them throwing shrimps into one another’s face into throwing shrimps at each other in bed. Gianluca picked up on this and immediately corrected the mistake while Ignazio and Piero got hysterical laughing.

Piero is the intelligent one perhaps because he thinks everything through. In interviews he thinks before he speaks, and his answers are always intelligent. He’s very serious and you can tell he thought out the answer before he spoke. And I’m sure that’s what makes his performance so great!

Our Guys 07

And, Ignazio, the funny one. And that he is! But, is it really about the joke? Or is it more about the production. Let’s turn to the production.

The stage is simple. One sign that says it all – Il Volo. There’s the orchestra. Guitars, drum, piano, violins and whatever other instruments are needed for the performance. I want you to stop and think about the performance. We know these guys have three amazing voices but, what if they got on the stage and for two hours, they did nothing but sing. I don’t think it would work. A performance needs the ability to move on. There’s no change of scenery and no intermission so how do you move the performance along? Ignazio!!! The joking he brings into the performance provides the levity to relive the seriousness of the performance. He brings a certain ease and suspense to the performance. The audience is always wondering, what will he do next. But is it always about joking? I want you to think about what I’m saying. Ignazio is constantly moving around the stage. He’s dancing and keeping the rhythm. He’s swinging the microphone around and constantly nodding towards the orchestra, Gianluca and Piero. Is that the lead up to a joke? I don’t think so. Let me tell you what you are looking at. Ignazio is following every note that is sung or played on that stage. His mind is in motion. He is sensitive and passionate with the music. He has the ability to see the music as it is happening. He knows where every instrument should come in and out. That’s why you notice little things like him smiling, nodding, pointing towards the musicians, Gianluca or Piero. He also grabs the baton from the conductor, sometimes to joke but more often to conduct. Think about him conducting the Asti Symphony Orchestra while Marcello Rota sang his tenor part. He wasn’t joking, he was conducting. And, that’s why everyone was watching him in amazement. And when it was over, they were speechless. Look at Michele Torpedine go across the stage to embrace him. He is in awe of this young man. Ignazio is music! You call him funny I call him brilliant! I am going to make a prediction here! Remember you heard it here first. Ignazio will compose a great opera and will probably also write the libretto for it.

Our Guys 08

Let’s go to the beginning. When these three young men started out, they were 15 and 16 years old. Think of being 15 or 16 years old and you have a dream, and someone tells you that that dream, needs to be shared. To fulfill that dream you have to leave your family, your friends, your home, you have to go to another country and you have to share this journey with two people who you really know nothing about except that they had the same dream you did. You have to trust that the decision that was made by you and your family, was the right decision. If not, it’s back to square one! You’re going to be lonely and you have to learn to survive without the people you love. So, you learn to lean on one another. That dependence turns into a friendship and that friendship into a brotherhood. It enabled them to trust enough to collaborate and perfect something truly amazing. Something that revolutionized the music industry. Let me go further by showing you a collaboration by these three amazing, very, very talented, young men that is so unreal that it boggles your mind. This is a collaboration of love. Stop and listen to this performance of “Por Una Cabeza”.

Look at how they smile at one another during the performance. A smile that says yes that’s it! Their faces are ablaze! Their expressions let one another know that it works. And, finally, when it’s over, they are so excited they can hardly contain themselves. Look at their smiles, their faces are lit up in joy and their embrace says it all! They are brothers who love one another! So, in the beginning I said they were three voices and one song. I can now say they are three voices and one Love! We Are Love!  ❤️❤️❤️

Susan De Bartoli

 

Our Guys 09

Susan, I really have to thank you for your nice words, you hit the mark in the description of Gianluca, Ignazio and Piero.

Thanks also for allowing the publication.
We will be happy to have your other posts if you wish.

A hug from the whole Flight Crew family.

Our Guys 10

 

Credit to owners of all photos and video.

63 thoughts on “TO TALK ABOUT OUR GUYS: IL VOLO by Susan”

  1. Susan, your story is amazing! Your descriptions of the guys and analysis of them and their music is spot on. It was a joy to read and to help to post here. Please write more when you feel inspired. We would love to hear more from you! GRAZIE MILLE! 😊❤️

    1. Thank you for your kind words! It’s very easy to write when you are writing such beautiful people! Three amazing young men!

  2. I did read this article and like it a lot. I have followed Il Volo since the first PBS show and enjoy hearing all about them.Thanks for posting it here for me to read again.

    1. PBS has done so much to promote Il Volo as well as other singers! Good programing!They introduced us to Il Volo

  3. What a wonderful and insightful look at IL Volo! Thank You seems inadequate! but THANK YOU!!!!!!

  4. That was beautiful and right on. I sang when I was young and I was enchanted and delighted to hear them sing. They are everything you said and more.They are loving caring young men. They have a beautiful future ahead of them. Their talent is more than words can say.

  5. Susan, a great dissection and summation of the many musical talents of a three headed phenomenon known as IL Volo. They thrill thousands with spectacular talent and love for those they perform for. I really enjoyed your assessment. Thank you.

  6. To: Susan de Bartoli,

    Thank you for your wonderful, kind words about ILl Volo.

    Even if I tried I could not match your assessment of Gianluca’s, Ignazio’s and Piero’s voices. The way you described their voices and how they match up so brilliantly makes them the phenomenon they are– IL Volo — three special men whose vocals from ten years ago to present have only gotten stronger and the tones more vibrant. They will be famous and go down in history as great pop-opera stars, who are loved by every generation.

    I have written so many compliments about them on this site because they brighten my life. .

    I shall pray for everyone during this difficult time; we will get through it together, with God’s blessings.

    Buona Pasqua!

    With love, Elisa Marie

  7. Thank you, Susan, for putting into words how we feel about Il Volo and explaining exactly who and what these young men are. You described their voices and personalities perfectly. BRAVo!!

  8. Susan, you have an understanding of music and the talent to help everyone see why what we hear is magical, becoming indelible in our hearts. I kept thinking, Yes! She’s right! You put into words why Piero, Ignazio and Gianluca are not just good singers. They change lives. God put them together and 11 years later you wrote the definitive piece that illuminates their power. They are each so much more than their voices. Thank you! ❤️

  9. Oh, I loved this, Susan, and many thanks to Daniela as well for thinking of posting it! And the video was terrific–I heard that song at our first tango show in Buenos Aires. I wish they would record it. Wonderful observations about all three guys, but I especially loved your analysis of Ignazio’s various talents, which I’ve been watching like a hawk! I’m sending this to my sisters and brothers, who think I’m a bit obsessed, and hopefully they’ll more easily understand why!

    1. Good for you Judi! You keep listening and they’ll keep giving! I think they will be recording a new album after all the craziness ends!

  10. True words.
    What heartfelt pleasure to hear these talented gentlemen, and enjoy their very warm and sincere chemistry. All 3 shine bright individually, and together are extraordinary! Grazie.

  11. I read your article before and thought what an excellent article and thoroughly enjoyed reading it It was everything the guys are Thank you

  12. Susan it’s as if you read my mind. I was fortunate to see Il Volo in Dallas, Tx. at The Winspear Opera House, this year in February with my son. From the moment The famous Chandelier rose to the top of the cieling, the lights went off, the curtains open; there standing were “Il Volo” present in real life, I was in awe and at the first note my eyes started tearing, running down my cheeks from pure joy. They were amazing no intermission non stop singing, laughing joking interacting with the audience. It went by so fast. My son could not say enough about how great the show was, he surprised me as his favorite band as a teenager has been “Kiss” he tells me he’s eccletic and Il Volo are awesome!! I knew that I have been following them for 16 months. Thank-you again Susan.

    1. Thank you Franny! They do give an amazing performance! Tell your son they like all kinds of music and I wouldn’t be surprised if they liked Kiss!

  13. Thank you Franny! They do give an amazing performance! Tell your son they like all kinds of music and I wouldn’t be surprised if they liked Kiss!

  14. An excellent writer and story teller. Susan tells it straight out and you can cry or laugh at her words. I really enjoyed this story, I see the same traits she sees. Like I’ve said I could not pick one over the other because they all have a gift to give and when they sing together you are spellbound. I’m sure they have a love of music and they keep it going by being their individual self, and then all together. Susan has a way with words and you read it and smile and wonder how she knows what you have thought! Thank you Susan, thank you Daniela for sharing this. As you know, I’m crazy in love with “my guys” somethin about my guys! IL Volo is known throughout the world and as long as I’m standing and walking I will make every attempt to see their concerts. Again, Susan De Bartoli knows how to hold an audience just like Piero holds a note. Many thanks to you both.

  15. Susan you are a wonderful writer with such good insight into their styles and personalities. Loved reading this and agree completely about each one. I am thinking about printing this out and putting it with my other Il Volo stuff so I can refer to it off and on. Thanks for a great post.

  16. Oh wow, Susan, you did an awesome job of analyzing our wonderful IL VOLO ! I think you did a great analysis of each one of them. Plus the ida of Ignazio someday being a conductor was an eye-opener for me! I mean I can’t say I haven’t wondered what they will be in their later years bur now that you mention iit….yeah I can see Ignazio doing this 100%
    Anyway thanks for such a thoughtful article!

  17. BRAVO ! Wonderful article ! I love it when someone “gets” these three amazing guys ! Thank you for your wonderful critique!

  18. Nicely organized and presented article. I recognized much of the references. Yes, Il Volo members are unusual, outstanding from others. I refer to them as Angels sent from Heaven to help us through our days. Yet, they can be down to earth guys of their age as demonstrated in the photos taken at the Walmart in Canada. I live in the town which is the hometown of the Walmart Corp, and know folks in the Technology Department who got a big surprise at seeing them on the security cameras. “Boys can be Boys” Thanks for such a sensitive, informative article.

  19. I had not read this article before. What a wonderful statement of these young men who have captured our hearts.Thank you! Stay well everyone!

  20. UNDER THE ACTUAL CONDITIONS OF BEING IN QUARANTINE I TRAVEL AND WONDER FORTH AND BACK AMONG ALL THAT STUFF PUBLISHED ABOUT IL VOLO, AS A GROUP, AND EACH ONE OF THE “RAGAZZI”. AS A CRAZY RETIRED VOLOVER, I’D LIKE TO BELIEVE THAT I KNOW EVERYTHING EVER PUBLISHED ABOUT THEM ! THERE IS A QUESTION BOTHERING ME FOR A WHILE NOW : WHAT HAPPENED WITH THEIR VOICES IN THE PUBERTY PERIOD , I SAW THEM SINGING AT EARLY AGES AND THEN WITHOUT SPARING THEIR VOICES DURING THE CHANGE. IS THERE ANY INFORMATION ABOUT IT ?
    LOOK WHAT I FOUND FROM GOOGLE :
    In the early traditions of the boychoir, you were sidelined when your voice started to change. In Europe, this is still the case in some boychoirs,” said Christopher Eanes, DMA, Artistic Director for the Cincinnati Boychoir. “We feel it’s important to keep these boys singing all the way through.”
    HUGS FOR ALL THE VOLOVERS.
    JUDITH FROM ISRAEL

    1. I actually addressed this issue of their voices in my last post Il Volo -The Music. I explained how their voices didn’t change but expanded and matured. What Il Volo fan page are you on? Let me know and I will reposed the article to it so you can read it

    2. I too have wondered about their going thru puberty yet their voices never cracked! What a phenomenon they are. And how lucky we are to be able to hear them and share in their lives. 💕💕💕

      1. Most male singers go through a change of voice. There are certain things that need to be done at that time to protect the voice especially an opera singer. Mostly they need to stop singing for a while. Each person is different.

  21. Thank you for this beautiful words so very true I love all three off him but my favorite is Ignazio a great fan off Il Volo from Belgium. Musica vera che resta 💙🎶❤️🎶🧡🇮🇹🇮🇹🇧🇪🇧🇪

  22. I wish I had a way with words, Susan, so I could really tell you how very much I loved your article. I have loved “my guys” since I first heard their concert from the Detroit Special in 2009 I think it was. And I must admit Il Volo CDs have kept my spirits up during this very trying and unusual time. I will be eagerly looking forward to their next USA concert tour. In the meantime, Piero, Ignazio, and Gianluca your voices make my heart soar! Stay safe everyone! Love, Allene from Minnesota

  23. Susan;
    Thank you for your accurately analyzing, expression article that I could not express well by myself, such as what I felt somehow and what I thought this might be.
    The haze in me was cleared.
    Grazie!!
    Yukio

  24. Thank you,Susan for your beautiful tribute. Like you, I spend my days listening to those unique voices. Gianluca, Piero and Ignazio are magnificent. It’s not enough to just listen to their CDs. One must watch them sing and perform; the way they interact with each other and with the audience.
    I especially loved watching their friendship grow. They’ve become brothers in the truest sense. They are special young men. They are LOVE. GOD BLESS THEM and KEEP THEM WELL.💓

  25. Susan;
    I’d like to refer this article in the Facebook site, “Il Volo Japan Site”.
    May i have your permission?
    Yukio

  26. Susan, I have no other words to add to what you have already wrote! They are a great gift from God! They sing with angels and they make us all so happy! Just feel the love that comes from their voices and their words!! I can say truthfully they are what got me through the death of my high school seeetheart and husband of 39 years!! All we need now is for them to sing the song “smile” altogether for all of us fans so they can see how much we live and miss them! Thank you so much Susan for the beautiful things you said about each of them. Annmarie D’Ambrosio

    1. Dear Annmarie, sorry I just saw this! There are so many people like you who tell me that these wonderful young man have saved their lives through their music. Sorry that you lost your sweet heart at such a young age. I sing smile every morning when I get up! It makes me feel good!

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