Family, Country & Music by Susan

My plan this week was to talk about the opening of the World Tour. It turns out it’s that and so much more. Over the past week many things have happened that need to be mentioned here. All that’s important in the lives of these three young men, Family, Country & Music, are up front and present in my story today.
We know that the Holy Father, Pope Francis has great love and respect for these young men. He sees them as an example of how young people should live their lives. They have respect for their families and for life in general. Always putting family first. And always trying to please everyone!
So, I will start my story today with an event at the Vatican which the guys will, at the request of Pope Francis, participate in! The World Meeting of Families ~ The Festival of Families

Family

If there is one thing I can tell you for certain about these young men it is that they truly love His Holiness, Pope Francis. And I can tell you for certain that the Holy Father truly loves them. They have shared many wonderful moments together, but none greater than singing the Ave Maria Mater Misericordiae at World Youth Day in Panama in 2019.

This event is entitled “The Beauty of the Family.” The Press Office explained, “rather than giving speeches and theories on families, people will give voice to witness. The choice of presenters, artists and those who will speak is designed to promote their experience as Christian families. For this reason, the presentation is entrusted to Amadeus and his wife Giovanna Civitillo. As for the artistic presence, the young artists ‘Il Volo’ together with some of their relatives, will participate by recounting their own family experience and proposing some musical pieces.”
The Holy Father recognized that the families of Piero, Ignazio and Gianluca made many sacrifices so that these young men could go out into the world and present their beautiful Bel Canto.
In the beginning the boys were 15 and 16 years old and so it was necessary for a member of their family to travel with them. These families found themselves in a very difficult situation having to choose which parent would travel and which would stay home with the other children. These were very difficult times for them, and they made great sacrifices to do this. While they were with their sons, they left the other children behind. And when the boys were old enough to travel on their own another sacrifice had to be made; not seeing their sons for long periods of time.
The parents of Piero, Ignazio and Gianluca realized that the gift that each of these boys was given was a gift from God and through the presence of God in their lives they were able to deal with the situation and share their amazing sons with the world.
This truly is what this conference is about. Families sharing their love and supporting each other. The result of their story is these families gave to the world three truly amazing men who appreciate the value of family and put their families first above all else in life.

Congratulations to the families of Piero, Ignazio and Gianluca!  

Country

Piero, Ignazio and Gianluca had the honor of singing the Mameli, the National Anthem of Italy, on June 2nd Republic Day before Sergio Mattarella the President of the Republic of Italy.

Also, in the Grandstand was Pietro Grasso former President of the Senate. He was very pleased to see the guys again. You will recall Mr. Grasso was the man who sang every song along with the guys when they did their Christmas Concert for the Senate in December 2014.

Mr. Grasso left the Senate to become the Acting President of Italy when Giorgio Napolitano resigned as President. He was the president from January 4, 2015, to February 3, 2015 when Sergio Mattarella the present President was sworn in.
For these young men, singing the National Anthem was a very proud moment in their lives because they are proud to be Italian and they are proud to be Ambassadors representing their country through song around the world

Music

Anyone who knows Il Volo knows one of their signature songs is “Caruso.”

Lucio Dalla was the composer of “Caruso” (1986), a song dedicated to the last days of Italian opera tenor Enrico Caruso. The song, dedicated to the tenor became an Italian national anthem abroad. It was the identifying song for the world of Dalla’s entire career. Nine million copies were sold. It was reinterpreted by among others Luciano Pavarotti and Andrea Bocelli. And most recently and most importantly it was reinterpreted by our guys, Il Volo and it became one of those songs we look forward to hearing in their concerts.
A Concert tribute to Lucio Dalla was held at the Verona Arena on June 3rd with many stars singing Dalla songs, including  Il Volo. This thrilling event was prerecorded at the Arena di Verona on June 2nd and presented on Raiuno on June 3rd. The presenters of the evening were Carlo Conti and Fiorella Mannoia.
The Concert in tribute to Lucio Dalla at the Verona Arena was a great party in the name of the music of one of the most loved songwriters of all time.

The World Tour Begins

Go out into the world and share the voice God gave you!

The new World Tour is about the old and the new and the two years in-between. It’s the best picture of what the guys have been doing these last two years when they were separated from us.
The big thing, they worked on new songs. Thus ~ Il Volo Sings Morricone!
They came on Instagram and Facebook and sang for us! One memorable moment from those songs is included in this concert.
They expanded their own horizons! Read what I have to say about Piero.
And they chose a set list that is very different from the past. All very beautiful songs. Something for everyone’s taste. Different…
The Ecstasy of Gold ~ Nessun Dorma ~ Un Amore Cosi Grande ~ Se Telefonando ~ Se ~ Your Love ~ Your Song ~ All By Myself ~ La Donna è Mobile ~ No Puede Ser ~ E Lucevan le Stelle ~ Hallelujah ~ My Way ~ Here’s to You ~ Delilah ~ Can’t help Falling in Love ~ Musica che Resta ~ L’amore si Muove ~ Nel Blu Dipinto di Blu ~ O Sole Mio/ Surrender ~ Granada ~ Libiamo Ne’ Lieti Calici ~ Caruso ~ Io Che Non Vivo Senza Te ~ Il Mondo ~ Grande Amore
There is so much to say about the production, but I will save that for another day. Instead, I will talk about the songs and the guys!

A good place to start is with the duets….

The duets in this concert were phenomenal! I will start with the duet between Ignazio and Gianluca. It is their prayer for those who were not as lucky as we were.
It’s very appropriate that Gianluca and Ignazio chose to present a prayer in this concert. Recognizing all that was, all that is and all that still remains, it is in the end, an expression of hope.  The song Ignazio and Gianluca chose was the song Ignazio sang to us during COVID. You will recall each of the guys sang a prayer for us. Piero sang the “Ave Maria,” Ignazio sang “Hallelujah,” and Gianluca sang “You Raise Me up.” I remember this was at the high point in the pandemic and we were all very sad and very sensitive and they calmed our fears with their beautiful voices. We were all touched by this, and I wrote a column for each guy and his song.
This is what Ignazio had to say about the song they chose….
When we had to decide what to sing … We sang many songs together but this year we wanted something very special. So, one day I called Gianluca, and I said, ‘Why don’t we sing a prayer?’ We are living through a period of … I say it in Gianluca’s way… Bad time… We all have been through a very bad time and … We decided to sing a very significant song, it was in the pandemic, and it still is today. Let’s pretend it is a prayer, a prayer for everything that is happening and that has happened in the past months and unfortunately continues to happen. Let’s think about Covid…. now in Ukraine and Russia….  So, we want to address this prayer to those who are not making it, to those who are suffering, to those who are not as fortunate as us…

Their rendition of Hallelujah was very touching and very expressive. Ignazio articulates very well, and he has such beautiful diction, his words just flow on the air.  Ignazio’s beautiful voice expresses the beauty of this song which leads us to a supreme experience. It brought me to tears. A truly beautiful delivery by both our tenor and baritone.
Next, I want to talk about the duet between Piero and Ignazio ~ “La Donna è Mobile.”

How did Piero feel about this duet…? Piero said when Ignazio proposed they do this duet, he replied that he was crazy, but then they tried to do it by themselves and they had fun, so they called the management and proposed singing this duet from Rigoletto.

This is a song everyone knows. For me, in this concert, it brought back memories of Ignazio’s childhood. You will recall in their book, Un’avventura Straordinaria, Ignazio said….
I always liked to sing, to be ‘in the middle’ of the music. And more and more passionately I began to understand how to use Nina’s famous pianola. I learned how to start the musical bases and flipping through them I discovered La Donna è Mobile.’
In short, I began to like it so much that I sang with that base, inventing words. Now the exact words that I invented, I do not remember, but for sure my song was about Luciano Pavarotti. Why? Because as a child I always saw him on television and he always had a huge handkerchief in his hand, so I invented a text with Pavarotti and his handkerchief.
And so, I sang on the air of ‘La Donna è Mobile’ not knowing what was on the horizon and what we would have to deal with in those years.
Was Ignazio thinking of his childhood, his first performance when they chose this song?
Beyond my memories of Ignazio’s childhood, I have to say their presentation was absolutely phenomenal! The tenor and the spinto tenor showed their true colors! They could have been singing on the stage of the MET! True opera singers in their delivery and expression! Absolutely phenomenal! Yes, Ignazio you do sing opera!
While I’m talking about Piero, I want to give you some of my thoughts about our spinto tenor.  Piero’s voice which always was amazing, always was powerful, and his presentation which always produced phenomenal climaxes in the concerts, has now become such a vibrant sound in our ears! His voice has expanded so much in the last two years. Over this period, Piero has had the opportunity to spend unlimited time on his opera lessons. This is something that is not possible in his normal schedule. The intense opera lessons of the last two years have paid off with Piero standing at the door of the MET! The intensity of his voice sends shivers up and down my spine! A truly amazing voice that has become even more powerful than it was! Phenomenal! Bravo Piero!
My Way is the one song of the duets that has been presented before. And now as then it is amazing! Gianluca’s love of Frank Sinatra is something that brings joy to him and grace to their concerts. I know that Gianluca aspires to be like Sinatra, but I have to honestly say, if Sinatra was alive, he would aspire to be like Gianluca. Sinatra was and still is greatly loved and admired by his fans but Sinatra although a baritone like Gianluca could never achieve what Gianluca has achieved. Yes, he had great fame and was admired worldwide but he didn’t have the range that Gianluca has. Sinatra could not sing the full range of a baritone like Gianluca does. Gianluca, you have it all wrapped up.

Let’s turn to the solos….

Before he begins his solo, Ignazio tells us about his solo….
We meet again year after year, and I wonder what I am doing this year because what I tried to do in recent years was too ambitious. I sing what some men have never sung but at least if I make a fool of myself this year it is over a very famous person, a great artist who I hope sooner or later to have the honor of singing with. This is taken from the album of Celine Dion. ~ ‘All By Myself’

 Before beginning his song, “Can’t Help Falling in Love with You” Gianluca spoke about his choice of this solo and why he chose it….
Tonight, I will sing a song that was part of my adolescence of my musical inspiration. I grew up with many singers starting from Andrea Bocelli, definitely a great one! All the Great Americans Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin and the greatest of all Elvis Presley. I have been singing this song for years I have also grown a little with her because tonight I want to dedicate it to a person who is here (pointing to Elenora Venturini Storaro in the audience) and I will sing it for her.

Before beginning his solo, No puede ser, Piero said….
I am accompanied by a great musician. I always watched his videos and tonight I invited him to accompany me ~ Maestro Andrea Grinelli
A beautiful interpretation Piero! This aria is about a man’s love for a woman who everyone says is wicked but he doesn’t believe it. Piero’s expression shows his trust for the woman he loves and that he believes that she is good! Magnificent!

So where do we go from here?

Before they sang, Ignazio takes a moment to thank the fans….
I have to thank the fans, not only for their great affection, but also because coming to these concerts doesn’t just mean spending money on tickets, but for many people, also spending on travel and hotel expenses ….  and therefore, we thank you for always being with us and we dedicate to you: ‘Un Amore Cosi Grande’

After the song Piero says some beautiful words as to why he gets excited when he sings this song. It’s about being Sicilian and who he is….
Piero: To pursue his dream as a director, Toto leaves his homeland. He is forced to leave his homeland. Every time I leave for a tour, fortunately I am a privileged guy, when we leave our homes, our cities, we leave them for good things, for what we are doing tonight, but there is always that….
Ignazio:  Melancholy ….
Gianluca: That basic nostalgia ….
Piero: That incurable nostalgia and therefore I cried a lot, (watching that movie) because I see myself in that child. When I sing this song, those who know me well, see me quite moved by it.

And we end with a song you are all familiar with in Italian and English….

This is just a small part of the concert. I couldn’t fit all 27 songs into this article but over the next few weeks and as we continue the concerts, I will include all of them.
The importance of today’s story was to show you that the guys love what they do but they don’t forget who they are and where they came from. For them it’s about Family, Country & Music not always in that order. It’s called stepping up to the plate and that is something they do well!
Join me next week as I go back Through the Fields of My  Mind and open the door to a new adventure!

Daniela, Ale and Stefi at the Concert! Wish I was with them.
Today I want to thank three ladies who help me with photos and translations: Daniela, Ale and Stefi. I also want to thank my proof readers. Thanks for catching the errors! Pat in English and Daniela in Italian
If you would like to share a story with me, please email:  susan.flightcrew@yahoo.com
sit us at www.ilvoloflightcrw.com
Credits to the owners of photos and videos.

20 thoughts on “Family, Country & Music by Susan”

  1. Thank you Susan. Every time I read your stories I am deeply touched. Your love for Il Volo shines, I think all of us have a favorite out of those three amazing young men, and I am so happy that we have the same favorite. Sending you loving virtual hugs. <3

    1. Thank you Susan for such a lovely article. I do feel that Piero has such a magnificent voice, so good that he should be thinking more on the lines of opera than on pop. His voice has certainly matured over the last two years of lockdown. I know the 15 to 20 somethings would probably disagree, but the world of opera is where he should be.

      I await with more than a passing interest in how Ignazio will adapt his composing talents. I see a very bright future in that direction for him.

      Roz

  2. When you said that Sinatra didn’t have the range that Gianluca has I was reminded of the fact that Sinatra had a hemorrhage in his throat in 1951.
    His voice was actually better before that. Part of the reason it happened was because he had such a rough schedule.
    At the beginning Il Volo management made a mistake by overscheduling our singers. They seem be smarter and more careful now.
    The fact that they sang 27 songs without a break proves to me what good shape they are in. They are taking care of themselves. I hope this means that they will be with us for a very long time.

  3. thank you so much Susan & Daniela for your articles & videos these last two days ! I can’t wait for my concert in Detroit this September
    I just hope it sells out ! their last concert at the Fox in February 2020 was not & I was upset about that ! These guys deserve all concerts to be sold out ! I believe the rest of their concerts were before they had to leave early due to pandemic. thank you all again for your wonderful work you do for us fans & the boys ! ❤️

  4. Thank you once again for a beautiful article about our boys spectacular concerts and recent appearances. It is true Sinatra’s voice was incredible before 1951 when he was forced to be more of a stylist. Than he had been before. I love these three but Gianluca will always be my favorite. Each voice touches me but his velvet tones remind me a bit of another famous singer Mel Torme (the velvet fog). Gian’s voice soothes me like no one else’s. I was so happy to see him in love and happy with his Eleanora, it was a very special night! I can’t wait for the concert in Connecticut in September!💞💞💞

    1. Yes, Carol, Gianluca reminded me of Mel Torme, too. What glorious voices they both had and have. Gian is able to sing any song, whether it be in his baritone range or higher. What a magnificent singer and I hope more fans realize this fact. There seem to be more kudos for Igna and Piero when reading the comments.

      1. Ah well you know me Dolores, Piero’s number one fan, well in Barnsley anywhoo! 😉 There have only ever been two baritones for me, sadly neither are no longer with us, though there is now another I am getting quite fond of, so Gian has to take second place to him. Ignazio takes the top spot for making me laugh! 😉

        Roz

  5. Thank you Susan, I really touched with your stories.
    You did a wonderful job, and I really appreciate 👍💐

  6. Thanks again Susan, I always read what you write and how you interpret it. It is greatly appreciated by me and RIA of New York

  7. Thank you Susan for another article. I can’t wait to see this concert in Sept. in NJ at the Borgota Atlantic City NJ. Which was the very first venue il Volo performed at in the US. This is where my Sunt and uncle first saw them when they were starting out and how I learned all about them. I have been in love with them ever since. Ignazio is my fav. But they are all three so great❤️🇮🇹🥇🎶🎶🎶🎶

  8. thank you so much susan fir your accurate and loving writings to who i always look forward to

  9. Thanks, Susan for your review. The music just gets better as their voices mature. It is especially noticeable with Piero’s powerful voice. I love that they include those beautiful arias to add variety. That really sets them apart! Three magnificent voices.

  10. In the duet that Gianluca and Ignazio sang, I had a hard time hearing the words Ignazio was singing. I had no problem hearing Gianluca, he certainly has captured the English language.

  11. Wow, thank you, Susan. You always have such great insight with our guys, their voices and the music. I agree, Gianluca’s voice is better. All of their voices are so amazing! They work so well together! Looking forward to this concert. I also look forward to seeing Piero at the Met one day.

    1. PIERO HAS BEEN STUDYING OPERA FOR THE PAST TWO YEARS AND ALREADY HAS PERFORMED IN 2 OF THEM.

  12. You always leave me wanting more. I love reading what you write. I thank all of you for the hard work that is put into telling us about what transpires between them, it make it so much more enjoyable. I am taking lessons in Italian but I don’t know how long it will take for me to understand what is being said. So until then ,Thank you.

    1. I’ve been learning Italian since January Maureen. Some I can just about follow, but hopeless when they talk fast, which appears to be an Italian trait. I was trying to understand an interview with Evans Tonon last night, gave us as it was at breakneck speed. That is where following songs can be useful, they are usually somewhat slower than the spoken word.

      We will get there in the end gal, a case of patience and perseverance, of and lots of!!! 😉

      Roz

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