Three Very Different Boys by Susan

In the last few weeks, we talked about the early years. Where the guys grew up, their school and musical education and now we’re at the part of the story that you all know so well. But I want to look at it in a different way this time. After writing about the guys for three years, I pretty much know who they are, where they came from, where they went to and where they’re going to. But to truly understand these men, we have to look at who they were when they stepped on the stage of Ti Lascio Una Canzone.
No, I’m not a mind reader but if you write about a person for such a long period of time, you have to get into their minds, you have to see things that other people don’t see reading the story, as opposed to writing the story. This is what I observed over the last three years. This is how I bring it all together. 
Ti Lascio Una Canzone April 2009
We know that from day one, the golden boy was Gianluca. When he auditioned, they had never heard a voice like his before and everyone was in total awe of him. So, from the very beginning Gianluca was sassy and he brought that sassiness with him to the stage: that attitude that I’m here, this is where they want me, this is what they get. And he wasn’t wrong it was what they wanted.
Ignazio, on the evening of the first show is suddenly quiet, he is pondering what’s going to be and how am I going to do this. At such a young age his mind is already looking at how things should work and what was needed to prepare for the performance. He understands, even at such a young age that it’s more than just the song. You need to be a presence! And he certainly is a presence.  
Piero was going to do what he did right along with the competitions. His idea was, I got it, I’m going out there and I’m going to beat them all because that’s what he always did in competition so to him this competition was no different than the others.
There was a certain confidence among them because they all enjoyed what they were doing but there was also a certain lack of confidence because of their young age. It was the things they had in common that made them special! They all had phenomenal voices, all three were fighters, and they all went out there to win.  
The big draw card was Ignazio because he had that stage presence, and of the three he wasn’t afraid to take chances. But what was this sudden quietness? This is something that Ignazio does when he’s thinking. His mind is always working! He’s always preparing! Even at 14 he had it all together.  Maybe he wasn’t as polished as he is today, but he certainly had it all together. He’s very personable and that has always been his key
Gianluca was a little laid-back a little less confident in that sense. Gianluca was too young to even to know what it was all about.
They were very different from one another!  Yes, they were Three Very Different Boys, but who they were and what they were, got them to where they are and so that’s where the story begins. 
We begin with three boys who had a dream and got to the stage to show what they were about, and this is how it all came together. 
For Ignazio it’s always been ~ it doesn’t matter whether you win or lose, it’s how you play the game.  For sure, Piero and Ignazio both understand how to play the game. Piero didn’t have Ignazio’s attitude about competition, but he understood and what he presented in his competition proved it. Gianluca never understood about competition, at least not in music, soccer yes, but not music!
Gianluca was too young and inexperienced in the game of competition, and even though he won, he didn’t know how to play the game, and this created a problem going forward not a big problem but one that would have to be resolved before the future could be sealed. As with all teenage boys they had their arguments, their disagreements, but when reality hit, Gianluca understood, he wasn’t the ONE they were the THREE ~ Il Volo.

Let’s think a moment about Gianluca being sassy. Who could blame him! Here you are 13 years old, and you get the opportunity of a lifetime. You go into a studio to audition with no expectations. Nothing “just for the fun of it” as your father said, and you have some of the biggest producers fainting over you. Going out of their way trying to figure out how they can best produce you. They feel you are the one. To them you are the winner even before the performance begins.
When Gianluca finally stepped on the stage at Ti Lascio Una Canzone, he did have the edge. Not because of what he expected but because of what was anticipated by the producers. Of course, the producers would have a reality check before the competition was over. People anticipated so much more for Gianluca than he anticipated for himself! The good thing was that this gave Gianluca a lot of confidence!
The producers were behind him 100% but they weren’t making the final decision the people were.
Everyone was enthralled by Gianlucas voice.  They even went so far as to bring Bocelli on the show to compliment him! That was because Gianluca tried so hard to be like Bocelli. He had his style; his music and he was studying him for a long time and at times he certainly sounded like him.  Yes, Gianluca, you were a little boy, but you were sassy, and you had every right to be.  But you also were really shy!
Let’s listen to two of Gianlucas videos from the show….

Ignazio, we know you weren’t shy. You had a great presence on that stage, but in the sweetest possible way. You worked very hard, and you brought to that stage your beautiful personality.
I looked at the videos of some of the singers Ignazio was duetting with. He was singing their songs and they were in total awe of him! They were looking at him in total amazement! He wasn’t trying to be like them, he was presenting their songs in a very new and different way, and they loved it! I think in the category of duets, Ignazio, you have to be the winner! I watched singers like Al Bano, Massimo Ranieri and Fausto Leali just stare at Ignazio in total amazement because they couldn’t believe that such a magnificent voice was coming out of the mouth of such a young boy! His presentation was phenomenal. I always call Ignazio Mr. Personality but even back then, he understood that his presence on stage was as important as his voice! And everyone he sang with saw the ease in which he presented their songs. Ignazio, you truly understood that in order to prove yourself as the best, you had to bring more than your voice and you did! True professionalism at a very young age! That’s something that is still with you today! Your personality, your whole production, your amazing voice is what makes you a very special part of Il Volo.
It’s amazing Ignazio that you had all that and you were only 14 years old!
Let’s stop a minute and listen to some of Ignazio’s duets! Let’s start Ignazio singing with Fausto Leali to one of my favorite songs “A Chi”.…

Piero you brought your classical education with you and it’s evident from the minute you opened your mouth.  There’s so much strength in your voice. You were very different from Ignazio or Gianluca. The strength in your voice amazed the people around you and your knowledge of music of how your voice worked made you stand out because of the musical education you had, which was your base and that’s what made you different from the other two.  
The advantage Piero had was he always wanted to be a singer. Piero was the one whose heart was always with the song and because of this he was very serious about his music. This seriousness made the difference. The potential for Piero to be an opera singer was already there. Piero had everything he needed to someday be an opera star.  His musical education was the best of the three and so the judges were looking at a teenager who had the opera voice of a 30-year-old and was well on his way in his professional career. Most opera singers aren’t ready for the stage until around 30 years old and that’s when they establish themselves. But here is Piero at 16 years old already presenting that voice. Totally amazing!

This is what the judges were working with. Three totally phenomenal voices. The others in the competition took a back seat to these three amazing boys!
When the producers had all three on stage, they began to see how the voices complemented one another and that’s when the wheels started turning!

They all performed exceptionally well right up to the end. When they won first, second and third, Piero and Ignazio showed great respect for Gianluca who won first prize. They may have been disappointed, but you would never know it to look at their faces. Their reaction to Gianluca winning was beautiful! Look at the video….

These were the Three Very Different Boys who stepped on the stage at Ti Lascio Una Canzone, gave it their all and walked off super stars. 

On 9 June 2009, nine days after the end of Ti Lascio Una Canzone, all the parents left for Rome. They all met with Michele Torpedine at Bibi Ballandi’s office to decide the future of the three boys. After several meetings, they all agreed, and they signed the first managerial contract for the boys. And all the rest is history!
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
Credit to owners of all photos and videos.

22 thoughts on “Three Very Different Boys by Susan”

  1. Susan, Thank you so much for putting all the work into what you share with us.
    I can’t wait for the story of what happened in California.

  2. Tout ce que vous dites sur Ignazio je l’ai ressenti en voyant ses premières prestations à l’émission de télé , l’admiration dans les yeux et les réactions des chanteurs qui ont interprété avec lui leurs succès. Actuellement je suis très admirative devant lui qui fait trssortir tant par la voix que la gestuelle tout ce qu’il ressent en chantant.En regardant des vidéos récentes je ressens également quand il chante en solo une grande admiration de la part des musiciens

  3. I’m speechless. I’ve just watched everything twice and cannot believe what a gift the guys were from the start. I had not seen all of these videos before so it is a rare treat. Thank you so much for putting this together for all of us. I know everyone is grateful for your hard work. We would know so little without your efforts. Thank you so much for giving us this history lesson of how greatness starts.

  4. I look forward to your weekly postings so much, Susan. This one of the Very Different Boys gives us the groundwork of our treasured Il Volo and I thank you for bringing it to us. Hugs, Dol

  5. I have a comment to make on the video of Gianluca winning in 2009 — someone MUST rework it, as was done with the 1970 video of Jose Jose winning, or it will be lost forever, and that would be such a waste! Dol

  6. A question for you, Susan. Was the man who presented Gianluca with his prize in 2009 the same one who sang with them on stage at Verona, singing Morricone songs??? From unknowns to headliners!!! Dol.

  7. Wow, Susan. Amazing voices at such a young age, and they were all there at the same time! It was meant to be. A Divine appointment. Thank you so much, Susan, for all your amazing work. Some of these videos I’ve never seen before. They were so young and so adorable. They worked so hard and they always had those amazing voices! They are so smart, so mature and so talented. Really great guys. They are so good to their fans. Susan, you write really well. Great videos too.

  8. Thank you, thank you again Susan! You bring the guys right into our homes so we can appreciate who they are, how they started and how wonderful they have become and how important to all of us! Talented, genuine, so talented, caring, and so handsome from adorable young boys to grown amazing men! I appreciate all you do more than I can say!
    PS: I’m enjoying journeying through Advent with Padra Pio and you beautiful book. God Bless you and your family, Carol❤️🙏🏻🥹

  9. Thank you, Susan! I love reading your stories – it’s wonderful to know another language, isn’t it? And we benefit from your knowledge of Italian. I love the sequence of your stories and all the details about each of the boys, and of course, the videos ! It’s like a serial, an episode each week. Thank you, again.

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