Back in October 2020, the guys held a press conference with the Mayor of Rome and set the wheels in motion for a phenomenal project the Tribute to Ennio Morricone! As you know the event was supposed to take place in Piazza Pio XII in the shadow of St. Peter’s Basilica. Due to the pandemic the venue had to be changed and the one million people who might have attended the free concert, were disappointed but, as always, the guys came through and on June 5, 2021, they held the performance of a lifetime at the ancient Arena of Verona! Who will ever forget it!
So how did the year go by so fast? Let’s start at the beginning, the press conference!
This press conference was about a very ambitious project which included the genius of Il Volo and the music of Ennio Morricone. These four men have done extraordinary things in the music industry.
So, what did the guys have to say about this event?
Gianluca said:“The great maestro Morricone was a source of inspiration for us, we also got to know him and work with him, especially in the studio, when we were children of 14 and 15 years old and were recording our first album. It is a source of pride and, perhaps, I allow myself to say that he is the greatest composer of the twentieth century, so we know that this project, this tribute, requires a great responsibility.
We will work hard because this is also the way to bring our musical heritage around the world, but above all, our culture, because he has made millions of people dream all over the world with his soundtracks and of course our goal has always been to bring and be ambassadors of bel canto all over the world, but not with presumption, with great pride and with the desire to be able to make this music known even to the youngest.”
Piero said: “When we presented this project to other countries, North America, South America, Japan and many European countries, there was great enthusiasm on their part, because, as you well know, a couple of years ago we did a concert-event and the film was shown on American TV, and our goal is to convey Italian beauty with the music that surrounds us. In this event we are above all enthusiastic about the positive feedback from those who have collaborated, with Maestro Morricone, in recent years, such as the Sinfonietta Orchestra, which has always played with the Maestro, so we are talking to them. We are excited and delighted that there is this interest on their part.
Ignazio was asked “as your colleagues have already mentioned, in the past you have also had close relationships with the teacher.”
Ignazio said: Yes, they have already said everything but, I’ll put the icing on the cake… It was in 2011, when we had the luck, the pleasure and the honor of singing “E Piu Ti Penso” which is a song that was part of our first album. We sang in Piazza del Popolo, in Rome, and we have this beautiful memory… We were young and at our age we had the experience of sharing the stage with one of the greatest composers in history, with greater tranquility.
The Mayor of Rome, Virginia Raggi, welcomed the guys with these words:
“It is a special moment. Let me greet three guys who are internationally renowned, with extraordinary voices and who bring bel canto all over the world and allow traditions to be kept alive.
Today we present a great event that will take place on June 5th, 2021, a tribute to Ennio Morricone. It will be a free concert of the highest level, the beginning of a series of concerts, because we need fixed appointments that remind us of what we are able to do. This event is meant to be the beginning. It is a strong signal.
This is meant to be a tribute at a time when we need unity. Thanks to the guys and all those who are working on this great event.”
But it didn’t stop there, the guys let us know there was a great recording project in the works in conjunction with this event. Il Volo’s Tribute to Ennio Morricone.
And the guys had also let us know that as part of the event and the new album there would be a dedicated tour as soon as conditions allow it!
Bringing music back!
The guys worked endlessly to bring back the music industry. They started at the Seat Music Awards. It was the first time they were on stage since the beginning of the pandemic when they had to cancel their last three concerts and go home.
Let’s remember their message of hope that evening. Piero said: “Now, the world is getting ready to start again! Now the moment has arrived to raise the curtain! Now, we will turn on the music!”
This is the theme that reoccurred and, it will continue until music comes back to the arenas and stages around the world. The stages that are missing our guys and their wonderful concerts.
It says we may have to perform under these new world conditions, but we don’t have to change who we are or why we’re here. In the ancient Arena of Verona, they looked to the past while following the path to the future. From their first note the whole arena lit up. They were back! Music had returned to the Arena!
Since the guys left their homes after the quarantine, they have worked tirelessly to bring back the music industry. This was an enormous undertaking. The genius of these three young men has brought us to this place in history! It’s too bad that this great event never took place at Piazza Pio XII. Perhaps someday after the pandemic, the guys will think about another concert to take place at Piazza Pio XII with St. Peter’s Basilica as the backdrop for their event. A complete scenography will be created with this perfect background. It will certainly be an extraordinary event.
So, what happened next!
In a recent appearance on Verissimo, Sylvia Toffanin asked the guys about the quarantine and how it changed their lives. Their answers gave us a deep look into who they are, where they came from and their beautiful values. It showed us brothers who love each other and care for one another. It showed us a love that many real brothers don’t share! Let’s listen to a part of the interview….
Silvia: So, how are you guys doing? I see you are very well.
Piero: We are very well, we are very happy with this project, we have been stuck at home for almost two years, but our creativity has helped us a lot.
Silvia: It didn’t stop.
Piero: I must say that time has been our best friend, because we gave our best, we had more time to try to take care of every aspect of this project.
Silvia: And, also to spend a little time with your families, to live a little that second adolescence that you did not live, because you left home when you were little, right Gianluca.
Gianluca: Yes, then we tried not to live this period passively and to stimulate our creativity. We have been with our families more. Sometimes you also need to have a spirit of adaptation and accept reality when there is no alternative, so it was a very difficult time for everyone. I remember that you of Verissimo, you had the brilliant idea of producing “Imagine” by John Lennon in a video, with many singers playing and singing from home, and certainly this allowed us to be in close contact with the public and we wanted to thank you for it.
Silvia: Let’s go back, because you left for the United States before Covid, to celebrate your 10 years of career and you did a tour in the United States, a beautiful tour, where Placido Domingo also came, Gloria Estefan, in short, great artists. Ignazio, how did you experience that embrace of the American crowd?
Ignazio: Many ask us: But you have no fear, fear of the public, you know, the emotion, it’s all adrenaline, it’s really inexplicable and really, as I said before, we miss it, we love it so much and we can’t wait till next year because it finally starts again.
Silvia: But you were there then at a certain point, it happens that in Italy, Gianluca, then arrives Covid and you were in contact with your families, but in the United States everything was pretty quiet.
Gianluca: Yes, we interrupted the festivities somehow, because in the United States we were there until the first week of March and we returned on the 13th, we canceled the concerts in Las Vegas and San Francisco and we escaped on the last plane, we were more than 30 people traveling, with our crew, the musicians, and therefore we risked staying there for another 2-3 weeks, because then, when we returned we were in full lockdown for a week (in Italy).
Silvia: But what was it like to return home and experience that family dimension, after you have spent your life and adolescence around in concerts. How was it to go home with your mother, with the loved ones, to do nothing.
Ignazio: Above all, do nothing.
Silvia: Even that, do nothing, boredom.
Piero: It was a kind of “in search of lost time”, this immersion in memories, clearly the birthplace, the family, everyone. It’s nice to relive and remember where we come from, because maybe everyday life sometimes makes us forget this.
And that was the strength perhaps, to feel that inner balance that only your loved ones give you, the people close to you, and from there, we gave life to a new project, and the distance …, because we talked only by telephone with video calls, they could not stay in contact …
Ignazio: It was nice …
Silvia: Was it nice? What did you like?
Ignazio: To hear them by phone I say, we are always together ….
Silvia: … the fact that you didn’t see them for a while
Piero: I can say that the distance has strengthened our friendship.
Gianluca: We have had a really abnormal lifestyle for 12 years. You know it all started when we were children, so (in Covid time) we tried to be optimistic about it, without feeling sorry for ourselves, because this certainly doesn’t help, and we took all the positive things that unfortunately brought us this tragedy that it touched us all. It was a period that also helped us to discover ourselves a little.
Silvia: And your grandfather? How are you?
Gianluca: Well, I must say that I have a wonderful relationship with him, and he is the only grandfather I have, which is my grandfather Ernesto, whom I greet, naturally. He is very proud of me, one of the indelible memories that I will always carry with me, in 2012, when we were on tour with Barbra Streisand, grandfather came to New York and saw me sing with Barbra Streisand, so he was there.
Ignazio: A Broccolin (Italian dialect for Brooklyn)
Gianluca: Exactly, and this is therefore important, a message to be sent also to young people who often neglect their loved ones, because when you are young, you think you have all the time available, but time runs inexorably, so if at a youthful age you have this awareness, it allows us to live the moments more intensely, especially with the family, where everything started from there, and it is the people who will never betray you.
Silvia: And you know this well, Ignazio, that you have a lot of personal satisfaction, but despite your very young age, you have had to face the loss of your beloved father.
Ignazio: Absolutely. Look, I also talked to other people who have lost a parent early, or even late, because in the end, you can be any age, it can pass as long as you want, but it is always early, you are never ready to accept a loss. But I must say that the fact that we have traveled a lot, the fact that we were on the other side of the world, and I knew that my father was always somewhere, even today that he is not there, it seems to me that he is always somewhere, therefore, it is as if I have not lost him. Because I think that I have not lost my father, my father is always with me here, I like to think like this and that’s okay.
Silvia: He was very proud of you, I guess.
Ignazio: Absolutely, very proud. But he was the kind of person who couldn’t express emotions, so he was very proud but, he was always ….
Gianluca: But with a look he made us understand everything.
Ignazio: Yes, yes, he yes. Look it was my father, but it was as if he was the father of all three, as their parents are as if they were my parents, because in any case we have been sharing everything for many years.
Piero: When we first met. we were 14, so to leave Italy, we had to be accompanied by our parents, we were minors, so for 5-6 years and then even at the age of 18, they continued to travel with us, so we know his father very well, we know what he is talking about because we have lived a lot of time with them.
Silvia: And how was being next to him (Ignazio) on such a sad occasion, you who are a family, Piero on that occasion, as brothers, how did you feel too?
Piero: Ignazio proved to be a MAN, extremely strong, because three days after the loss of Vito, we were guests at the Sanremo festival and, we all expected him not to come. He arrived with a smile and, we were blown away by his way of dealing with this moment, unprecedented to us. You taught us so much Ignazio and in this I have to thank you, he is a strong man and, we love him so much.
Ignazio: I love you too.
Piero: It’s the truth……I always tell you!
Gianluca: Me too, I’m here too.
Ignazio: Sure! (he and Gian take hands)
Ignazio: There was not a single moment that I thought not to do it (refers to Sanremo), because in any case parents do anything for their children, sometimes it is not so, but we were lucky that our parents gave us everything and so I thought that, for all the sacrifices that he (Vito) and my mother have made to get me to where I am today, I thought he would never let me (not to do Sanremo), and so I did it for him too.
So, it seems the quarantine made the guys become closer. It made them feel a new feeling. Since they came together 12 years ago, they were never separated except for short periods of time between tours and commitments. They finally understood what it meant to pick up a phone and talk to one another. Something we take for granted they never had the opportunity to do. They spent precious time with their families, something they haven’t done since they were teenagers. This above all was very important to Ignazio because he got to spend precious time with his dad. And look at how proud the guys were of Ignazio and the way he made such an extraordinary decision to go to Sanremo because he knew his father would want him to be there. It was his way of thanking his parents for all the sacrifices they made for him. He certainly is a very strong man and a good example for all of us but especially for young people. These truly are exceptional young men.
And finally, they had the freedom of mind and body to explore new projects. And to devote major time to the project at hand, the Morricone project.
So, let’s get back to the present day!
Let me start by saying I read a fantastic article in La Voce di New York by Lisa Bernardini about Michele Torpedine. If you get a chance read it. Michele is such an interesting man. In the article they made many references to Michele’s autobiography “Ricominico Dai Tre” (I start again from the Three) which tells a true and since story about this man. If you can read Italian, I recommend you read this book. It is fantastic! I read it in two days. What Michele reveals is after 40 years in the business, he finally found what he was looking for all his life. A certain truth a fresh and sincere look at the industry which he had come to believe was very cruel and an ungrateful lot, but, as he reveals, every now and then, someone comes along and turns your whole world upside down and you realize you have finally found truth and sincerity. That someone was in fact three someone’s, Il Volo. Here are a few questions Michele was asked about the guys…
Lisa: Today the whole world loves Il Volo.
Michele: How can you not love them? They are pleasant for families, young people, the elderly… for everyone. They are physically beautiful, then they know how to dance, play and move perfectly on stage. With them the show is engaging. These three guys currently represent the best of “Made in Italy” the good one, “clean” in mold.
Lisa: Yet some critics accuse them of being a mere commercial operation studied at the table. What do you answer?
Michele: Initially, when they were boys, you could actually think of a “disposable” operation. What happened in their case was, as they grew up, they became really good. Today they are real artists of international caliber. You can’t find such a group anywhere else in the world.
Lisa: Where will Piero, Ignazio and Gianluca arrive, in your opinion?
Michele: If you think they’re only 25 years old and have contracts all over the world, I always tell them that the best is yet to come.
And how right you are Michele! That certainly sums up where our guys are today.
The Morricone project has become more than just a project it has become a new reality for the guys. It brought them to a new place in their careers. It’s like they are on the fast track and can’t slow down. Every day brings another event another addition to the project. It’s like 2009 all over again except this time the guys are in the driver’s seat.Their careers are exploding! This project has opened so many doors! With the release of the new album, “Il Volo Sings Morricone” and the World Tour, “Il Volo Sings Morricone and more,” at their doorstep it seems they will certainly be busy for the next two years but, where else is this leading them? I would like to think they will be spending more time in America. This direction certainly seems to be the one they are going in. Perhaps a Grammy or an Academy Award? These are the doors that I see opening for them. The American people truly love Il Volo and, they would love to see them more on American TV shows. But I can also envision them doing some of their own productions! Because of their collaboration over the last 12 years, the guys have come to a point where they can write and compose together in a way that other performers can’t. The Morricone project proved that! Their Bel canto is unique to them but, they have proven they can take the work of a genius like Morricone and put their mark, their genius on it to present a new feeling in music. Almost looking back while looking forward. This is the genius of Il Volo.
The future for our guys is very bright. They are standing “On the Threshold of Success” for the second time in their lives. It seems almost impossible to conceive but, they have a phenomenal career and they are starting a whole new career one which will present a whole new way of looking at music!
Join me next week as I go back Through the Fields of My Mind and open the door to a new adventure!