I know many of you have already seen an article or video of Star Rosetano’s interview with Gianluca on December 30, 2020. God bless all of the Facebookers and fan pages who are so prompt to get this stuff posted as soon as it happens. I’m not that diligent, or timely, but I thought I’d do a fresh translation with a little color commentary.
First, though, an important message. Gianluca and Ernie Ginoble posted last week that they both tested positive for COVID-19. Baruch HaShem (that’s Hebrew for “Thank God”), neither is seriously ill. They are both isolated in Gian’s house to protect their parents and their Nonno Ernesto. Given how close the Ginoble family is, isolation is probably hard on the boys. We don’t yet have information on whether Ignazio and Piero were exposed or even recently tested. Here’s what Gian had to say:
“My brother and I have tested positive forCOVID-19. Actually, we are at home isolated from the rest of the family and are doing well. Despite the care and precaution we’ve adopted, we did not escape this virus. So, I seriously recommend that everyone pay maximum attention, wear a mask, respect the rules and social distancing. Only by working together will we be able to overcome this dark period in our history.”
On a positive note, we now know that Digital Journal (that’ the internet news “supercenter”) selected Il Volo’s Radio City Music Hall concert last February as the worldwide best concert in 2020. Gian, who has a close relationship with the local and regional media people in Abruzzo, was interviewed by Luca Maggitti right after this news reached them.
Before I translate Gian’s December interview, I thought I would enlighten our readers about the unpredictability of using automatic computer translations. I very much appreciate everyone who posts or translates on any of the Il Volo fan pages, even when they use computer translation software. But let me give you an example of what happens when you trust these crazy tools too much. We can even have a little Italian lesson while we’re at it.
Last year, I saw an automatic translation of an interview question to Ignazio, where he was asked what he does when he gets home from a tour. He described how he appreciates ordinary things like doing the laundry, and “portare in giro il cane”. That’s the Italian idiom for “walking the dog.” But that got translated by a computer, literally and humorously, as “carrying the dog around.” I don’t think Ignazio meant to say he was carrying his dog around town in his arms. Then again, knowing how fond he is of his Arturo, maybe Igna wanted to carry him!
Translation: “While I was shut in the house for a week and a half, it was he who kept me company. Arturo!” (Also note that there’s a graphic of Arturo on the living room wall).
Besides, when Arturo was a new pup, he had a little problem responding to the leash, so maybe Igna had to carry him sometimes!
Then again, maybe it’s because Ignazio is a Sicilian (even if he does live in Bologna)? The last time I spent part of the summer in Sicily, my landlord also “carried” one of his dogs around. When I saw him going up and down the second-floor stairs with his dog in his arms, I yelled over the muro di pietra (stone wall) of my terazza to ask what he was doing, and he responded, “Cosa pensi che sto facendo? Sto portando in giro il cane.” “What do you think I’m doing? I’m walking the dog.” Between gasps and laughing, all I could say was, “Beh, stai davvero camminando, e quello è davvero un cane. “Well, you really are walking, and that really is a dog.”
It turns out one of my landlord’s little twin dogs (who look just like Roberta Morise’s little doggie on the beach here with Igna) was totally blind. His other little one had no teeth (as my landlord says “proprio como il suo padrone” “just like his owner”). I couldn’t pass up a joke, and blurted out, “Con loro due hai quasi un cane intero.” “Between the two of them you almost have one whole dog.”
We were both Sicilians, so we could tease each other and get away with it. Va tutto bene tra paesani (It’s all OK among us paesanos). Besides, my landlord was an Il Volo fan, so we could forgive each other nearly anything.
Speaking of Sicilians, have you ever noticed what Piero does when Ignazio says he’s from Bologna? I saw an Italian TV interview about a year ago, which was pretty typical. When Igna says he’s Bolognese, Piero does the exaggerated eye roll and Sicilian hand gestures, and smarts off: “Mostra dal tuo accento quanto sei bolognese.” “Yeah, it shows from your accent how Bolognese you are.” Igna normally speaks formal northern Italian, but with a Sicilian accent, and switches seamlessly and at will into heavy Sicilian dialect. You can hear him on stage or on TV, saying things like “cu” (“who”) and “iddu” “(he”) “che beddu” (“how cute he is” – this can be very ironic) and “schiacciando i cabazizzi” (I’m not translating that one).
The TV show I saw was the same one, by the way, where Gianluca wouldn’t tell the name of his current sweetheart, then ran off the stage with the interviewer after telling her she looks just like her. The other two (you know who) had a field day with that.
Piero lapses into Sicilian, too, when it’s convenient. Our Daniela has at least once caught Piero calling Igna, “cumpa” (Sicilian for neighbor or buddy). That was the time this past summer when, early one morning, Piero pulled a prank on video, convincing Igna he had to get up to go do a non-existent interview. When Igna figured out that he “veniva preso in giro” was “being taken for a ride” he exercised the top row of his keyboard really well ($#@%&#*!!)
On to the Gianluca interview.
Here’s a link to Luca Maggitti’s Facebook post of a short live interview with Gianluca on December 29, which was an intro or “teaser” for an article that followed in print the next day. The interview clip appears near the top of Luca’s Facebook page. I translate it below.
Luca: Roseto degli Abruzzo, two days until the end of this unbelievable year 2020. We greet our friend Gianluca Ginoble of Il Volo. Gianluca, with the pier of Montepagano, the Pier of Roseto, at your back.
Gian: The most relaxing, peaceful place in our little town.
Luca: We had a little chat, thanks to you making yourself available, to re-evaluate, three days after the splendid concert that blew away everyone who heard it at Saint Peter’s Square at Christmas, and four days after your concert at Radio City Music Hall was named the best concert of 2020. We are seeing you here for a quick visit preceding the written interview which we’ll publish tomorrow. So, at year end, with Gianluca. We ‘re having a little chat with Gianluca on these 10 years he has lived so intensely. For our friends, what are your thoughts to lead off this chat we’ve had?
Gian: To start off, I send greetings to all who are watching us. Apart from the last few things we’ve done, I’m very pleased with the success of this Christmas concert we did, especially because it permitted us a moment of thoughtfulness, a smile, given this totally strange year that unfortunately struck all of us. So, I want to say it has been a real “mouthful” for us to return to singing at a place as magical as that (St. Peter’s Square). So, it was like a gift for us, who wanted to return this gift to all Italians and all the people who follow us. About those 10 years, as I told you, this is the thousandth interview we’ve done, but you are my favorite reporter.
Luca: You’re too kind.
Gian: I’ve already told you many, many things about how my life has changed, without regrets and in unexpected ways. I have gone from a child prodigy to the guy, the man, I am today. In just two months, I’ll be 26 years old.
Luca: So, with this meeting I wanted specifically . . . (Gian interrupts to say “Hi, good evening” to some passersby who recognize him) . . . to capture the effect of your greeting and your smile and Montepagano, and the pier on the sea; to offer best wishes for a good year. Because never before, as much as this year, have we had such a need to wish that the next year (2021) would be better than this unbelievable year. Thank you, Gianluca. Delighted to have you.
Gian: I send a virtual hug and a greeting to everyone, hoping that 2021 will be truly better than this past year which unfortunately, as I said, has hit us not only at the working level but also at the emotional level. Because it has been a really heavy thing to endure a whole year that made us more vulnerable, and also forced us to be more motivated. So, a hug to everyone, and let’s hope that we will soon resume doing concerts. Because the moment that we return to doing concerts, it will mean that things have returned to normal. So, see you soon. Ciao.
Next, here’s a link to the Roseto.com article, which I’ve also translated below.
GIANLUCA GINOBLE: 10 ANNI DI CARRIERA, 10 TOUR MONDIALI
Gianluca Ginoble: A 10-Year Career and 10 World Tours
Interview with the Rosetana star, who talks about past concerts and the desire to return to performing in front of audiences around the world.
Roseto degli Abruzzi, Wednesday, 30 December 2020 – 11:30 am
Gianluca Ginoble – 10 years of career and 10 world tours with Il Volo. What does this mean for a young man, 25 years old, who as a boy left the ancient village of Montepagano?
“The happiness of having turned my passion into my job. Not everyone has this great privilege in life. This fills my heart with joy and makes sense of everything.”
Looking at certain photos it seems like seeing you in a movie, given the importance of the characters and the exceptional nature of the audiences.
“I was thinking about it recently, sitting at the table with my family. During the Christmas holidays, I often return in my memory to many beautiful moments and retell them (to the family). And when I remember certain moments, it feels almost like a fairy tale. Sometimes I’d like to pinch myself and ask myself, “But did it all really happen?”
So, you think back to these first 10 years, what is the greatest feeling?
“The awareness that everything really happened, enhanced by the slight naiveté of someone who’s still struggling to believe it. As long as I keep this youthful honesty, I will have the strength to do better and better.
After touring the world 10 times in 10 years, do you have a kind of “super-list” of the most beautiful emotions you experienced? “The greatest emotion of all is the unbelievable sight of countries and peoples in the world so different from each other in everything – culture, traditions, food, religion, behaviors – but united by their passion for our musical genre. From the composed and attentive Japanese audiences to the most passionate and unleashed South American ones, the common thread is our songs. This is really incredible, because I think it is also the strength of bel canto, which manages to unite people who appear to be extremely different”.
At Christmas you achieved a huge television success with the concert on Rai 1. A few days earlier, the Digital Journal, the world’s information network, had selected as the best concert of the year 2020 your concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York, held on February 6. If you had to recall, (what were) three special concerts for you in these 10 years?
“Every concert is special to me, because it’s a blessing. I love singing, and in this long period of downtime, I sing every day, at home. So, when I have the pleasure of doing it for the public it’s always a wonderful time for me. But if you want to rank them, of course we start from that concert in New York, which received a very important recognition that surprised and honored us. Then, after that memory, I would like to recall the beauty of two concerts held at opposite ends of the world: the one at Bunkamura in Tokyo and the one at Luna Park in Buenos Aires. In Japan the audience was extremely calm, quiet, very attentive. In Argentina there was a much “hotter” and more visceral atmosphere. The thing that links these two concerts is the passion of those who came to listen to us and, therefore, the magic of seeing very different (types of) people united by music.”
For many months, the Covid-19 pandemic has paralyzed the world, as far as cultural and musical activities. How are you getting through this period?
“With the affection of my family and in the serenity of Montepagano. We must wait for the pandemic to pass and for conditions to be safe for everyone. This is the only way can we return to concerts and being happy again, united by the music that for me is the oxygen of my life”.
Thinking about when you’re on tour, what are the things you now miss most?
“Humanly speaking, the habit of travelling and the pleasure of always adapting to the new circumstances, the tears of joy of the public, the facets and sensations that the work I do – which is the most beautiful in the world – gives me. Professionally speaking, it’s my reflections on how I did and how the concert was, after each performance.”
Do you really do performance analysis after each concert?
“Yes, it is very important out of respect for those who come to listen to us and for my continual improvement. One thing that strikes me is the ability I have developed, in recent years, to perceive the reactions of the audience to our concerts and, specifically, to my performance. I think I have the right empathy to feel people’s emotions when I sing.”
And your empathy, I think born of artistic sensitivity, what does it tell you?
“It tells me whether the public liked something or not, whether I could have done it better. I am extremely self-critical and this allows me to understand if everything went well, or when and where I could do better. And, with a little presumption, I’ll tell you that I’m rarely wrong. So, when I tell myself after a concert that I could have done this or that thing better, I work hard to do it better at the next show. And on a 50-date world tour, continuous improvement is possible and necessary.”
By looking at yourself in such a self-critical and analytical way, in these 10 years you must also have learned some lessons or acquired values. Which are the most important?
“While acquiring self-awareness, learning to manage your own emotions and feelings, avoiding any authoritarianism. Then the strength to believe in ourselves to transmit trust to the people around you and who share this wonderful and demanding journey with you. Because there is always a need for security, and we who are the leaders of a project must be an example, certainly remaining humble but aware of our value, specifically to protect the beauty of what we’ve built and to protect all those who are part of our home.” (Author’s note: Besides meaning Italy, “home” refers to the many who depend upon Il Volo for their livelihood. These three young men have a strong sense of responsibility for their entire team and staff).
You speak like someone older than your 25 years, a sign that 10 years around the world has made you grow older than your age…
“I think it is the result of a path of growth, of books read and people who enrich you with their thoughts and their examples. I think there’s always a reason for success. And if success – excuse the pun – continues to happen (Author’s note: In Italian, “succcesso” means “success”, but also means “happened”), there is a reason. So, because for so many people you are a point of reference, while remaining a human being and therefore vulnerable, you have to do everything to be a positive example, a charismatic leader who transmits security and serenity. Of course, this is a journey and I have learned it over the years. At first, I was shyer and more reserved, but then the world tours and experiences tempered me, I think positively.”
From your personal archive, you have selected 19 photos to share with us of concerts held in New York, Verona, Rio de Janeiro, Budapest, Buenos Aires and Montreal. What’s your wish for the year to come?
“My desire is to be able to return to re-live those wonderful moments. My hope is that this will happen as soon as possible, because it would mean a world healed and restored. To quote the great Lucio Dalla: “I’m getting ready.”
Happy New Year.
“Best wishes for a better year for all, with all my heart.”
Interview by Luca Maggitti
Our prayers and thoughts go out to the Ginobles for all their health. Flight Crew will post again if we hear any more on all our guys.
Credit to owners of all photos.