This was not the story I had planned for this week, but the events of this last week presented itself as the story that was needed.
And what a story it was….
Finally, Eurovision came back to Italy and the guys were invited to perform at the Eurovision 2022 semifinals. The excitement mounted. The guys were ready to go. They were presenting their new English version of “Grande Amore” ~ “You are My Everything,” for the first time!
On the morning of rehearsals, the guys showed up at the theater and presented themselves for COVID tests! Piero ~ Negative! Ignazio ~ Negative! Gianluca ~ Positive!!! How can it be. Just the day before he was negative. A big disappointment. Gianluca had to return to Montepagano and go into isolation.
So that’s how the event started for the guys but for us, it was just like any other day. The guys were going to Eurovision, after seven years, and we were so excited for them.
Of course, Gianluca never missing an opportunity to post a photo, let us know he had arrived in Torino.
The morning of rehearsals, we waited to see the three arrive on stage but, the clock was ticking, and no guys. `
Then the news started to break. One of the trio tested positive!
The chatter begins!
Which one. No one was saying. People start to speculate. Of course, they put Gianluca at the bottom of the list because he already had COVID. If not Gianluca then it had be one of the tenors. But which one?
Then word came out that two would perform. So, the chatter starts again, and we all speculate. There were so many stories out there it was hard to keep up with it!
Finally, we receive word that there will be a press conference. The minute Ignazio and Piero walked up to the mike we knew the answer.
Things really started to move after that. So many interviews. So many questions! We can’t talk about all the interviews, so I chose one that I thought was really good….
Radio 102.5 interviewed Piero and Ignazio in Torino and Ginaluca in Montepagano. This interview was informative and sometimes very funny. It is very long but I will give you just a piece of the interview. (If you would like to read the whole interview, please go to www.ilvoloflightcrw.com and read Daniela’s story ESC 2022 An Important Evening)
Man: They are connected with us, in this moment Ignazio and Pietro (he gets the name wrong) of Il Volo, good morning.
Woman: Good morning, Ignazio, good morning, Piero.
Ignazio: We are Peter and Paul. (Ignazio tries to point out that the man got Piero’s name wrong. He called him Pietro)
Woman: Piero and Ignazio, Piero and Ignazio, good morning.
Man: Ok, are you okay?
Ignazio: We are in an unpublished version.
Man: You have become a duo, but be careful, because from Argentina (meaning from afar) he is connected with us: Gianluca Ginoble. (Gianluca is actually in Montepagano)
Gianluca: Argentina: mucho gusto!
Man: Mucho gusto: Carramba what a surprise. (They are referring to a very successful program “Carramba what a surprise” that united people over great distances)
Woman: First question, how are you Gianluca? I see you in great shape.
Gianluca: And less badly, if this is Covid, welcome to Covid.
Woman: (she and the man begin a sentence together) We can say, excuse a moment, (she turns to her man colleague), we can say one thing: what bad luck Gianluca!
Gianluca: Okay, but look, apart from that I’m sorry to see this situation. Yesterday I went away suddenly, now I’m at home, here in Abruzzo. Having to leave the Eurovision stage and leave the boys….
Woman: No, oh well ….
Gianluca: We didn’t miss the train, the passage (on TV) is the most important thing, but not being able to live this life experience, this strong emotion, in front of 200 million people, is really frustrating. It will strengthen me I must tell you.
Woman: Yes, it will certainly strengthen you, the period is what it is, I have to tell you, but you will be there in some way.
Ignazio: But not on stage …
Man: You stay wider.
Ignazio: We are wider.
Gianluca: They will be IL VO–…
Man: Actually, there are 6 letters, (IL VOLO) so 2 + 2 + 2 minus 2 the account returns. But it is an opportunity, let’s say in bad luck as Federica said before….
Woman: Let’s say things as they are!
Man: ….to experience augmented reality, correct?
Man: What did you invent, Ignazio? (Meaning how did you resolve the problem)
Ignazio: Later I’ll tell you what we came up with. But also, the good fortune of doing Eurovision sitting from the living room, is not for everyone!
Woman: Got it!
Man: Gianluca’s luck you mean?
Gianluca (interrupts): It also happened in 2012, remember?
Ignazio (interrupts): May I?
Woman: Go, go, let’s put order
Ignazio: Thanks to the technology of 2022 we were able to make a video which will be behind us. I must say thanks to our production who did a great job and also all of Eurovision’s production.
Woman: Listen, can you tell me how things unfolded yesterday? Have you taken the control ordinance test?
Gianluca: I took the test before leaving, the day before yesterday, and it was negative.
I take the flight from Rome, I arrive in Torino, I land, and we do the test as soon as we arrive at the sports hall and unfortunately, they tell me that, I was POSITIVE.
I had to leave, immediately and go home.
Man: But you look well, you are fine, apart from slightly tired eyes which I believe is more from anger than from Covid ….
Gianluca: Oh yes.
Man: Pietro (he’s still using the wrong name), we didn’t hear you.
Piero: I listened.
Ignazio: Why do you call him Pietro, understood? He is Piero.
(Just a little aside here. As you know, Ignazio does not handle it well when someone says your name wrong or changes it. You will remember in an old interview, the interviewer kept calling them Il Bolo. Finally Ignazio lashed out at him with a few choice words saying the name is IL VOLO, IL VOLO not Il Bolo)
Man: Oh, sorry, yes Piero sorry, but is it Piero as a first name or is it Pietro?
Piero: I am Piero by baptism.
Man: So, I was really wrong (he finally got it) sorry!
Piero: I was interested in these moments, I’m happy to show how deep our relationship is.
When the (positive) news arrived, the common thought of all three of us was: ‘Guys, it doesn’t matter what is happening, the important thing is to bring this home, bring this event home.’ It could have happened to anyone of us. We are in a rather delicate period and therefore, in this situation, yes ok, as Ignazio says technology in 2022, but there a common goal, that is to carry forward our name, IL VOLO, and bring home such an important passage, music, is such an important message, we couldn’t have done it without the technology.
Yes, the technicians did a great job, but the priority is our relationship, our common goal, which is our strength.
Woman: Exactly, this is very true and in any case it is news and tonight everyone will be waiting to see what you have invented and in the end you always have to look at the glass half full, see the positive side of things, as far as situations are concerned, clearly not like this in the specific, which in the end, as you can see, is resolved, but like the one that the world has experienced in these two years.
Listen, you will bring the new (English) version of Grande Amore.
Piero: Yes, we contacted our friend Enrico Melozzi, you know we are always used to hearing the classic version of Grande Amore, it’s not easy to make another version, you know it’s really difficult to do a good job ….
They play a clip of “You Are My Everything.”
Man: Standing ovation for Il Volo!
Woman: Guys what a bomb! (A bomb is a good thing in Italian)
Man: Strong, strong. Strong this version.
Woman: Really beautiful!
Gianluca: And then from a charge, especially singing it on the Eurovision stage, we can’t wait to perform, and we will give our best to try to surprise and excite people.
Piero: This joke is beautiful Gianluca!
Man: Yes, this joke is beautiful! Fantastic. Anyway, you will be there, and it will be exciting to listen to you again tonight.
Gianluca goes digital!
And, so, the announcement is made that Gianluca would join them digitally! That makes sense because during COVID, the guys performed for us from their separate homes. It was great.
According to the executive producer Rai Claudio Fasulo, and Ignazio’s explanation in the interview, they found a solution to their problem by setting up a digital link which allowed Gianluca to sing in a sort of half virtual performance. There but not quite there!
The stage needed to be set up to allow for Gianluca’s digital performance, but it also needed to allow space for Piero and Ignazio to move around.
So, what was on the stage? Columns, Fountains & Fireworks! The background consisted of the sun which sometimes was stationary and sometimes rotating. This rotating sun and the celestine columns were used to center Piero and Ignazio. Gianluca was on the edge of the sun just behind the columns.
Because the video of Gianluca needed a lot of space, the stage was tight, and Piero and Ignazio could not move around the way they normally do, but everyone was so interested in the song going back and forth between Gianluca on video and Piero and Ignazio on stage that no one noticed they weren’t moving around the way they normally do.
How did it all come off?
It seems to me every performance for the guys now is a spectacular event! Remember how they came on stage in Verona in a spectacular display of colored light! In Verona it was red and gold, and now it was blue and white! This seems to be the draw and the secret.
Their performance began with a spectacular show of lights, fireworks and fountains all alive! The stage was alive in blue lights and white fireworks! And the fountains danced below the main stage.
In the middle of the spectacular firework display and dancing fountains, Piero and Ignazio arrive on stage.
Ignazio greets Torino….
Projected on the wall behind the columns and sun is Gianluca and he begins to sing….
The new arrangement of “Grande Amore” by the maestro Enrico Melozzi, captures a new feeling in the English version “You Are My Everything”. Melozzi replaced the violins with the electric guitars revolutionizing the arrangement and giving new life to a song that marked the career of Il Volo. The guys left behind the bel canto and presented a new unexpected energy. The guys turned “rock.”
The song speaks for itself. “You Are My Everything” captures the feeling of Grande Amore while presenting a new and truly amazing song. The words are very deep and capture the essence of a “great love.” The “rock” piece gives new light to an old Classic made popular by Il Volo. Like everything they do it is spectacular!
I have to say one journalist said it best, “The power of the three voices would have been enough to make the moment.” I think he was complementing the guys while not appreciating the whole effect.
I agree to some degree because their voices are spectacular, but we appreciate all the added effects. The effects were spectacular but, in the end, given their magnificent voices, the effects were not needed. That is to their great credit! Their voices are all that is needed!
The reason for the spectacular show….
Within the confines of Eurovision, this presentation makes us understand what Eurovision all is about. Power, stage, lights, wardrobe and cameras. And this song fit in perfectly!
The performance of Il Volo, on a stage amid Columns, Fountains and Fireworks, brought back visions of Eurovision 2015 and what is now their great classic “Grande Amore.” The fans at home and abroad identify the Italian music of Il Volo with ‘bel canto’ and now they have a new and more modern version of “Grande Amore” in “You Are My Everything” which crosses over and presents the “more rock” style of Il Volo.
And what better way to end the show than Ignazio giving a shout out to Gianluca….
An absolutely fantastic performance!
Join me next week as I go back Through the Fields of My Mind and open the door to a new adventure!
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