His Story, His Passion, His Way!

If any one of the three is different, it is Gianluca. What is it about Gianluca that makes him so different from Piero and Ignazio?  Let’s start with his childhood. While Piero and Ignazio were busy with their singing lessons and piano lessons, Gianluca was busy living out his passions! Gianluca has never had a singing lesson in his life. Unbelievable, right!
As to his music, it was always his passion. Yes, Gianluca has more than one passion, but it is this passion that got him to Ti Lascio una Canzone.
Gianluca was shy as a child. He would turn his face to the wall and sing, but this didn’t mean he didn’t enjoy singing, on the contrary, he loved it. In fact, he said “I sang because it made me happy!” And this happiness became his passion.
So, let’s examine his passion, his amazing voice
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’s 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.

So how did his voice become the phenomenal voice that it is today? Let’s look back to see what Gianluca had to say about this….
When I was about eight or nine years old, all those who knew me gave me the same advice: go sing in a choir. In Roseto there was the Piccolo Choir of Roses directed by the master Susy Paola Rizzo. The choir was nice because we studied the songs throughout the winter season, not the technique of singing, the songs. It was different, because we did not study the notes and how to do them, rather we studied instinctively, following what the teacher said and what our ear heard. Then, in the summer, we performed in the Municipality of Roseto. We sang in the squares during the local festivals, in the lidos, in the bathing establishments, around the whole of Abruzzo, all these tiny villages.
Obviously studying to sing instinctively was enough to get Gianluca to Ti Lascio una Canzone.  In fact, because of his instinctive singing in the Roseto Choir he was discovered and off to Rome he went!
On the stage at Ti Lascio una Canzone, we find Gianluca singing with some famous Italian entertainers.
When Gianluca sang “Il Mare Calmo della Sera” with world renowned tenor Gianluca Terranova, Terranova was surprised by Gianluca’s amazing voice.

And who can forget the duet with Riccardo Cocciante.

Gianluca stunned the audience with his beautiful “Ave Maria!”

Gianluca and Sara Pischedda topped it off with a duet of “Vivo per lei.” Beautiful young voices flowing together.

But where has this passion for singing led Gianluca. Ten years into his career Gianluca spoke to Luca Maggitti of the Roseto Star about the most amazing adventure of his life. He begins….
The happiness of having made my passion my job: not everyone has this great privilege in life. This fills my heart with joy and gives meaning to everything.
At home with his family for Christmas in 2020 Gianluca said…
I was thinking about it these days, sitting at the table with my family. During the Christmas holidays, I return to the memory of many beautiful moments, and I tell my family about them. And when I remember certain moments, it seems almost like a fairy tale. Sometimes I would like to pinch myself and ask myself: but did it all really happen?
Thinking about the first ten years, Gianluca says…
The basic awareness that everything has happened, ennobled by the slight naivety of those who find it difficult to believe in it, as long as I have this childish genuineness, I will have the strength to do better and better. 
And Gianluca talked about traveling around the world ten times and what he brought back from these visits.
The greatest emotion of all is the incredulity of seeing countries and peoples in the world so different from each other in everything – culture, traditions, food, religion, behaviors – but they are united by their passion for our musical genre. From the composed and attentive Japanese audience to the most passionate and wild South American, the common trait is our songs. This is really incredible, because I think it is also the strength of bel canto, which manages to unite people who seem to be very far away.
Every concert is special to me, because it is a blessing. I love to sing and in this long period of stop I sing every day, in my house. So, when I have the pleasure of doing it for the audience it’s always a wonderful moment for me. Wanting to build a podium, obviously we start from the one in New York, which received a very important recognition that surprised and honored us. Then, linking myself to the previous reflection, I would like to recall the beauty of two concerts held at opposite sides of the world: the one at the Bunkamura in Tokyo and the one at the Luna Park in Buenos Aires. In Japan the audience was extremely calm, silent, very attentive. In Argentina, on the other hand, there was a much warmer and more visceral atmosphere. The thing that unites these two concerts is the passion of those who came to listen to us and, therefore, the magic of seeing different people united by music.
The true Gianluca comes alive in the playfulness of his beautiful delivery of “La Danza.”

Gianluca talks about music being the oxygen of his life….
In the affection of my family and in the serenity of Montepagano, I have to wait for the pandemic to pass and for there to be security conditions for everyone. Only in this way will we be able to return to the concert and be happy again, united by the music that for me is the oxygen of my life.
This oxygen is evident in Gianluca’s beautiful interpretation of “Bridge over Troubled Water”

After each concert, Gianluca reflects on how it went….
Humanly speaking, the habit of traveling and the pleasure of always adapting to 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, my reflections on how it went and how the concert was, after each performance.
Yes, it is very important out of respect for those who come to listen to us and to always improve ourselves. One thing that strikes me is the ability I have developed, over the years, to perceive the reactions of the public to our concerts and, specifically, to my performance. I think I have the right empathy to feel people’s emotions when I sing.
Gianluca has a certain sensitivity to the audience, and he reflects on this each time….
My sensitivity tells me if the audience liked something or not, if I could do 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 bit of presumption, I dare to tell you that I am rarely wrong. So, when after a concert I tell myself that I could have done this or that thing better, I take action to do it better on the next date. And in a world tour of 50 dates, continuous improvement is possible and necessary.
At the Latin Billboard Awards in 2013, the guys sang “El Triste.” This is when you really meet Il Volo. Truly three voices become one! A Symphony of Love

Meanwhile, having acquired self-awareness, learning to manage one’s emotions and empathy, avoiding any authoritarianism. Then the strength to believe in yourself to convey trust to the people around you and who share this wonderful and challenging 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, just to protect the beauty of what has been built and protect all those who are part of our home. 

At Radio City Music Hall, the guys bring the fans to their feet with every song! 

Gianluca explains how over the last ten years he has grown by more than his 25 years of age.
I believe it is the result of a path of growth, of the books I read and of the people who enrich you with their reflections and their examples. I think there is always a reason for success. And if success – excuse the pun – keeps happening, there’s a reason. So, since for many people you are a point of reference, while remaining a human being and therefore vulnerable, you must do everything to be a positive example, a charismatic leader who transmits security and serenity. Of course, this is a path and I have learned it over the years. At the beginning I was much shyer and more reserved, but then the world tours and experiences tempered me, now, I think positively.
And of course, like Piero and Ignazio, Gianluca awaits the day when they will return to the concerts….

The desire is to be able to return to live those wonderful moments, the hope is that this will happen as soon as possible, because it would mean a world healed and divided. Quoting the great Lucio Dalla: ‘I am preparing.’
The collaboration between brothers is extraordinary and in “Por una Cabeca,” Gianluca shines, and they share a very special moment.

Gianluca’s passion has taken him around the world ten times and on the world tours, Gianluca brings along his other passion. His passion for his country! He is the perfect Ambassador for Abruzzo! When he speaks about Abruzzo and about Italy, in general, on his tours he brings his fans a passion that is very close to his heart! Like music and country, Gianluca has a passion for family and soccer. Combine the four passions and you have His Story, His Passion! His Way!
Join me next week as I go back Through the Fields of My Mind and open the door to a new adventure!
If you would like to share a story with me, please email:  susan.flightcrew@yahoo.com
To read more Il Volo stories visit us at www.ilvoloflightcrw.com

40 thoughts on “His Story, His Passion, His Way!”

  1. Susan, thank you for doing such a good job on this, the one I was looking forward to.
    Maybe the Flight Crew has already written about this but I’d like to know about the responsibilities of Michele Torpendine. Was he the one who arranged those valuable early appearances for our boys (they were boys at the time?
    Managing three kids must have been much more of a challenge than Zucchero or Bocelli.

  2. Thank you so much, Susan, for another amazing post.
    In the beginning, the first voice I was amazed by was Piero’s and he still brings a lump to my throat. Not long after, however, I realized how soft and deep Gianluca’s voice is; he draws us into the song. I can’t believe he never had a singing lesson; he most definitely has a very special natural talent. Even when he was young he was (and still is) mature, serene and respectful. And when he smiles…! Do you know how he became so fluent in English?
    Can’t close off without mentioning what a stunning woman his girlfriend is. She also appears to be very refined – a “classy” lady. I think they make a great pair. Love and luck always to both of them and thanks, again, for such an enjoyable read.

    1. Judith, I love your description of Gianluca because that’s how I feel.
      When they first came to California they took English lessons. The reason he speaks better English than the other two is because he is a perfectionist. He and Igna have both said so. But the other two have made amazing progress over the years.

      1. Thanks, Gail, for the explanation re: Gianluca’s English. Yes, he must be a perfectionist; I don’t hear the slightest hint of an accent when he speaks/sings.

      2. Hee hee Roz. Are you English? I’m one generation removed.
        He could learn British English but the US is where the money is.

      3. Exactly my lovely. 😉 Go where the brass is, though I do wish they would come to the UK, preferably Sheffield Arena or Leeds Arena. Both are humungous venues, they must be to satisfy Andre Rieu. 😉


      4. I was watching an interview sometime last year, can’t remember where it was from of course. He asked for a question to be repeated, Ignazio and Piero repeated it for him in Italian saying that being a perfectionist Gianluca wanted his answer to be accurate, or words to that effect. 😉


  3. Thank you so much for sharing this about Gianluca. I have to agree with all that you say of him. And yes when he sings Mi Mancherai I am always so very emotional.

  4. Gianluca is humbly magnificent—truly
    the heart ❤️ of Il Volo,
    Ignazio is the tremendous soul of Il Volo, and
    Piero is the mindful, calm energy of Il Volo!!!

    Grazi x 3.
    Chicago Love

  5. Thanks Susan. Gianluca is a special, sensitive young man. I would love to have him as a grandson.

  6. Once again Susan, a fascinating insight into Gianluca. I always did wonder why he opened most of the songs, and now I know. It all makes perfect sense. I’m glad to hear he has overcome his shyness too. Once again, thank you, I look forward to reading Pieros soon 🙂xx

    1. Me too Kate, Piero is definitely my favourite. At least he is now, I wasn’t so sure when I first heard Il Volo, but now, well his voice just has something that nobody else has, or had for that matter.


  7. Thank you for putting all this information together for us. I am passing it on to friends and bringing a number of new followers to Radio City. I still sit here crying whenever I hear them sing when they were young. They all just blow me away.

    I can’t seem to get enough information about the guys. Some family members think that I have gone over the edge, but seems like just the beginning.

    Have safe days.

    1. If you’ve gone over the edge, Joyce, there are an awful lot of mostly women who have gone over before you, so you’ll have a soft landing!

  8. This is for Roz. Please forgive me if I offended you. What you said about American accents struck me as funny but maybe you didn’t mean it that way.

    1. No offence taken love. He does come up with a few words that do sound American though. New being one of them. On the other hand I have heard him mention his mum, rather than his mom. 🙂

      Funny how the English language can get its wotsits in a twist. 😉 Many English words are of Latin or Germanic origin, but for those of us ‘up t’north, there is also the Norse, Irish and Scottish influences to be taken into account.

      Then we have all the ‘made up’ words, most leave the rest of the UK totally baffled, never mind the rest of the English speaking world. A friend of mine in Australia sent me a book of Aussie slang, I had sent her a Yorkshire dialect one in exchange. We now have my bit of Yorkshire and her bit of Tasmania totally confuzzled! Yup, another made up word. 😉

      I dare say it is the same for many languages, I haven’t got around to the various forms of Italian yet!

      1. This isn’t the place to discuss it but what you are saying fascinates me.
        Now back to IL Volo.

  9. Thank you so much for posting this wonderful story of Gianluca. He is a wonderful young man and it is nice to know more about him. I am looking forward to your story on Piero. Unfortunately, I did not see the story on Ignacio but I am going to research it. They all have their special qualities and together they make an awesome sound. I am so excited that I will be able to see them in person in Boston

  10. Thanks Susan for a great bio on Gianluca. He is such a lucky young man. He has a voice that adapts to so many types of music. Whether it be pop,rock or classical opera. It surely takes a specialized gifted talent. I am so sure that with his voice he would and could sing tenor without a problem. Gianluca is very comfortable in his surroundings. I expect to hear and see him singing using a tenor voice without any problem. Thank you again, your friend Irma ❤

  11. I really enjoy your info on each of the members of IL VOLO. I particularly got what you wrote about Gianluca starting so many songs with his beautiful Baritone; it draws you in! I received a ticket to see them sing in CT. In March for a Christmas gift, so I am ecstatic and hope their tour will indeed take place. They all have brought me back to music and the beauty of Bel Canto.

  12. Thank you, Susan, for this heartwarming background story of Gianluca. Interesting and astonishing that he never had any singing lessons.
    God blessed him with this voice and his beauty. I’m glad he could make his passion to his profession. He’s such an incredible young man, humble, wise and lovable. His gorgeous smile melts my heart….. <3.
    Thank you again, Susan.
    Love from Germany

  13. After a busy day running errands, i finally got to read your column and watch the many videos of Gianluca. Thank you very much for this, Susan. I’ve always marvelled at his wonderful voice and am surprised to learn he has never had lessons! This only makes his talent even more superb. May he always keep his humble attitude towards his performing, which has endeared him to us so much. My favorite song of his is still Mi Mancheria, which never fails to give me goose bumps!

    1. My favourite too Dolores, though I do like Always a Woman as well. I think Mi Mancherai is helped in no small way by the gentleman who plays the violin. Had to find out what Mi Mancherai means, ‘cos I’m nosy. I’ll miss you, or even I will miss you. 😉

  14. Thank you for showcasing Gianluca’s story. I love all three of them, but Gianluca is my favorite. From the first time I saw him on their first PBS concert, I fell in love with his beautiful voice. I love when he sings American songs–his command of the English language is perfect. He is such a classy young man and very intelligent.

  15. Thank you for this wonderful post on Gianluca. He is truly an artist and yes, a perfectionist. I spoke with him after one of their last concerts in 2020 and told him how impressed I was with his English and lack of an accent. He was very softspoken and humble. He is amazing!!!

  16. What a great post on Gianluca! I had noticed how he started most of their songs but never gave it a thought as to why. Now I understand and agree too. Like some of the other girls I also noticed how good his English is as compared to the other two. I love that Piero gave them both credit for studying so had to learn English while he didn’t at first.
    He still seems a bit shy now and then. They all have wonderful voices, different personalities, and have captured the hearts of so many people young and old! Again I praise you for your translation for us non speaking Italians that are dying to know what they said!

  17. Susan, this is another extraordinary story about another of Il Volo’s extraordinary young men! I’m amazed at your talent and how totally you blend the elements of life, talent, personality and dreams for each of our boys. It seems effortless and seamless as I read each one. I can’t wait to read your next story, where so much about Piero will be revealed! I have followed Ignazio, Gianluca and Piero for so long that I always wonder if I’ll learn something new… but I always do! Thanks for it all!
    To our friends who wonder how Gianluca speaks such flawless American English, I suggest that he studied the music of Frank Sinatra and his Rat Pack friends, watched their movies and videos … the US is a huge country with many “accents” from the various regions but the bit of accent that I hear from Gian sounds like Frank! Gianluca is forever a student! ❤️

    1. Judy, Gianluca seems to be imitating Frank Sinatra. But Sinatra didn’t always sound like that. He grew up in New Jersey and took elocution lessons to lose his accent.

  18. Thank you so much for the background of our handsome Gianluca. It seems quite difficult to find information on their backgrounds but you have done a wonderful job on giving us insight into Gianluca and Ignazio. I’ve learned much I had not known but gives us a different perspective on each one of them. I had not paid attention that he starts off most songs but will now. He certainly does speak English very well and it is a hard language to learn. The fact of his young shyness and never having a singing lesson is certainly not reflected in the way he conducts himself now and his beautiful voice. I look forward to your story on Piero and thank you again for this beautiful story on Gianluca ❤️😘

  19. Susan, thank you very much for this great post on Gianluca and for including his comments and reflections. He is such a wonderful performer that makes every song he sings special with his spellbinding voice and deep emotions.
    His Spanish is flawless too, either singing spanish or latinamerican songs.

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