We all watched intently as each concert was performed live on May 1st and 3rd. So many people were Live Streaming. It didn’t take long before the entire concert was on YouTube.
Mediasetinfinity, Canale 5 in Italy
Then we waited for the concerts on Mediasetinfinity. Of course, there were many people streaming which was good because most people don’t have Italian cable.
Many of you immediately noticed a difference from the live concert to the televised program. People were saying but it was raining and now it’s not. That’s because when it was edited, the two concerts came together and then were split into two programs. They did a great job of editing. They gave us two absolutely amazing programs. Two nights of sheer pleasure! Double the Pleasure!
Let’s move on to the venue ~ the Arena di Verona.
The introduction of the first concert makes us aware of where we are in this vast world. We are small among the treasures of the world that span time and eternity! It’s always amazing to see the Arena di Verona from above. It gives you a sense of time immortal.
The Verona Arena is a Roman amphitheater built in 30 AD. It is one of the best-preserved ancient structures of its kind. In ancient times, the arena’s capacity was nearly 30,000 people. Concerts and operas demand a lot of stage space so for performances today the space has decreased. The maximum capacity today is approximately 22,000.
The voices that rise from this amazing Arena resound throughout the city and pass well into our lives by the videos and programs produced within its walls.
There has never been a moment that the guys were on this stage that we didn’t feel the enormity of their voices. This Arena was meant to be a place where performers like Il Volo could show us their amazing worth, their amazing voices.
There is a gradual crescendo as their voices rise from the stage to the walls of antiquity and encircle the Arena spinning high into the night sky; forever captured in time and space!
Il Volo forever!
On to the Stage
The stage is totally awesome. It’s like watching two concerts. There is so much going on behind the guys that I think they even stop to look once in a while. Lights have become a big part of their production.
The motions in the background produces unbelievably beautiful scenery. It is constantly changing. Using backgrounds that are in motion elevates the experience by creating movement towards and away from the entertainer. It is the means by which the audience is drawn into the production. It adds dimension and life to the presentation.
Of course, the audience also participates in this background production when they join in with the lights of their cell phones. Think of how impressive it is to see a sea of lights before you while singing. A treat for the guys!
When Marcello Rota walks on the stage the production is ready.
Marcello Rota is an Italian conductor. Some of the famous Orchestras he has conducted are the Asti Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra della Svizzera Italiana, the Orchestra Sinfonica Siciliana, the orchestra of the Munich Staatsoper, the Berlin Philharmonic, the National Symphony Orchestra and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the Moscow Philharmonic, the Buenos Aires Philharmonic, the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and the Sydney Symphony Orchestra.
Besides Il Volo, he has collaborated with Andrea Bocelli on his numerous world tours.
On September 27, 1997, on the occasion of the 23rd National Eucharistic Congress, Rota participated in the mega-concert at the Caab in Bologna, with Bocelli and several other artists including Bob Dylan. They performed in the presence of Pope John Paul II.
His lyric repertoire includes over 40 titles, notably by Rossini, Bellini, Donizetti, Verdi and Puccini.
Now that’s a repertoire that our guys know well!
The TV Concerts
In both concerts, the guys opened with Granada. The perfect song to open with. Granada adds to the majesty of this amazing arena because it is a song that spans time. It always pleases and the way our guys sing it is amazing. Above all, it was the perfect place to present their new version of this amazing song. They reintroduced us to their three amazing and, so we found out, very different voices. Classical, Soul and Pop!
After singing Grande Amore, the guys introduced their first guests.
The Pooh is an Italian band that came together in 1966 in Bologna. When Il Volo started out, they were the first group to invite them to sing in concert. They are very close friends, and our guys love them and appreciate all of their encouragement over the years. The guys sang a medley of Pooh songs. Tanta Voglia di Lei, Pensiero, Chi Fermerà La Musica, and Uomini Soli.
After the performance, Pooh gave this advice to the guys:
We have never followed trends, don’t do this either and you will always be personal.
My advice instead is this, there are three of you, alone you represent 30%, instead together you represent 3000%, this is the strength of the group, remember this.
I believe that the Pooh’s real success was a little talent and a lot of passion, the same talent and the same passion that I see in your eyes and in your career, and this is a good sign for you.
Beautiful advice from beautiful people. They certainly know Il Volo!
Next we meet the beautiful Frederica Panicucci who will be the presenter of the concert.
Federica explains that during the evening Il Volo will show unpublished moments with solos and duets they never performed before. It will be their way of showing their different personalities.
Yes Federica is right, that night was different because we’ve heard these voices before but not in the way we heard them that night. The guys introduced us to their personal feelings about their music.
A great example of this is in Ignazio’s words before both concerts:
In the first concert Ignazio said, “I’ve always loved great female voices….”
And in the second concert he said, “I will try to take a trip to the most beautiful female songs in the world tonight.
When Ignazio said this, he brought me back to his childhood. If you recall in Ignazio’s story he talks about meeting Lilliana Adreanò, his singing teacher, for the first time. She asked Ignazio what kinds of songs he likes to sing and Ignazio replies, “You know, Liliana, I like to sing Giorgia’s songs.” Lilliana said: “Strange for a kid to sing this kind of song.”
So, it seems Ignazio still enjoys singing these (female) songs. And why wouldn’t he? He is the only one of the three that can sing that kind of song because they are songs that require a strong voice that is very clear, crisp and very lyrical and a lot of passion must be put into each song! I think I just described Ignazio’s voice! Let me add and, “very soulful!”
We meet the real Gianluca in his rock mode and he introduces us to his feelings for Elvis, Sinatra, Dylan and the Beatles.
Piero brings us his perfect operatic voice. Whimsical and joyful. He has a great love and sincerity for this music. Opera is in his soul. He opens up that soul to us in these concerts with arias we have never heard before.
Amid a thousand points of light that sparkled like stars in the night sky, our guys were the brightest stars on the stage. They showed not just their love for one another’s music but their love and appreciation for the music of the other performers.
During their solos, the other two guys sit on the side stage and listen. In these moments, we see the admiration these men have for one another. Truly amazing!
This was a nice way of presenting each of them.
I remember Piero saying, in his story, that when he did a solo he couldn’t wait for it to end when Ignazio and Gianluca would return. He has to love this new arrangement.
These concerts were different. They show a beautiful evolution from where the guys were to where they are now. Their new direction! Their future!
This new arrangement is thrilling because there is a lot of feeling in the music. The songs they have sung from the beginning have always had feeling but in a different way.
Here we feel each man’s thoughts, ideas and mindset. In the soul of each man there is a longing to bring you their music unlike you’ve ever heard it before. It is the movement within their souls when they sing. They were restless to release these feelings and make you feel what they feel. They bring a feeling of sheer bliss to each note in each song. Think about expressing your feelings for someone you love. Put that to music and you have each guy’s mindset.
Of course, they have not departed from their Bel Canto.
What is a concert without Nessun Dorma.
Or, Surrender and O Sole Mio
Now let’s listen to some of the beautiful solos that we have never heard before.
Let’s start with Piero singing Viva il Vino Spumeggiante (Long Live the Sparkling Wine) the beautiful aria from Cavalleria Rusticana. This is one of my favorite operas and every time Piero sings one of the arias, he brings joy to my heart. His voice is so ready for La Scala.
Gianluca choses Bob Dylans song Knockin’ on Heavens Door to express a feeling of loss and grief. It is a very poignant song, and we can feel Gianluca’s heart in it. A very beautiful delivery!
Ignazio sings a Loredana Bertè medley. From the pop of Sei Bellissimo (You are Beautiful) to the very reggae of È Luna Bussò (The Moon Knocked) Ignazio is singing out his soul.
Reggae is a music style that was strongly influenced by American jazz and rhythm and blues. Like Loredana, Ignazio was inspired by jazz and rhythm and blues. Both Loredana and Ignazio were fans of Pino Daniele. In fact, Loredana sang with Pino Daniele. No wonder this was a choice for Ignazio. Loredana is the sister of Mia Martina who Ignazio dedicates Almeno tu Nell’universo to. This is truly the soul of Ignazio!
Ignazio with Fiorella Mannoia accompanied by Danilo Rea on piano sing the very sophiscated pop song Una Ragione di Più (One more reason)
Gianluca and Irama sing the very beautiful La Cura (the Cure) which was written by Italian songwriter Battiato. He wrote the song for his lady when he discovered she had a serious illness. Gianluca and Irama sing this song from depths of their hearts.
Piero and Aida Garifullina sing Libiamo ne, i lieti calici from La Traviata. This is an absolutely delightful and whimsical delivery. Notice how comfortable Piero is on stage with this amazing soprano! The voices blend beautifully!
It’s time for a great comedian, Giorgio Panariello.
Giorgio tells us the plot of the film Nuovo Cinema Paradiso by Giuseppe Tornatore.
This is followed by the guys singing Se.
After they sing, Panariello returns to have some fun with the guys!
Panariello tries to convince the boys that being three is not good and proposes himself as the fourth element for Il Volo.
He challenges the guys to sing Nessun Dorma with him to see if he wins the role of the fourth Il Volo. He repeats VINCERÒ and in the highest moment, he doesn’t sing he says, “I will win….a draw is enough for me”.
Of course, Ignazio get hysterical!
The guys and Panariello sing an Italian song Il Pullover and now we can truly witness four amazing entertainers who can sing and joke together.
I am a longtime fan of Panariello and I am happy he was included in this concert!
When Panariello leaves, he says “But we are friends……(it’s true they are)….don’t call me anymore in your concerts!”
Panariello is a very funny man with a very dry sense of humor that makes you laugh out loud!
Over the last few years, the guys have been singing Hallelujah. Before they begin the song, Ignazio explains how the guys feel about this song.
Ignazio:Now is a very emotional moment for us, we have decided to sing this next song to reach all the people who have suffered in these years, to all the people who continue to suffer, and to all those people who unfortunately today, we, they watch from up there. Let’s hope that our song, our thoughts, can reach them up there.
There are no words! One magical moment and people respond by lighting up their hearts through the lights on their cell phones.
This song goes deep and touches everyone’s heart. No need to change voices here, you can feel the guy’s voices in this song.
Let’s go back to some duets!
The guys mix it up with Antonello Venditti. They sing Che Fantastica Storia è La Vita (What a Fantastic Story Life is). They can sing anything with anybody!
Back to two amazing songs L’Amore si move and Musica Che Resta. These are two songs that I love and they never sing in New York. Are you listening guys?
Federica returns to the stage for her next round of questions. She immediately asks Gianluca what gift Piero would like to receive on his birthday. Gianluca replies, “a nice tennis racket,” of course, Ignazio jokingly says that he would have given him “a watering can for the flower on his jacket!”
Next, Federica asks Ignazio what superpower Gianluca would like to have and Ignazio replies “the power to lengthen his legs.”
She then asks Piero to tell some funny story of Ignazio and Piero replies, “In Vienna Ignazio greeted the public saying….‘Good evening Berlin.’ ”
Federica compliments the boys on the tour they just finished and a video of beautiful images starts. Federica asks what is the best memory.
Gianluca:Seeing people’s faces is oxygen for us and a privilege. We are young and we are living the life we have always wanted to live, and it is amazing how this music overcomes the barrier of language, and reaches all ages, and we are proud to be able to give these emotions to all of you.
At this point they do a tribute to Italian singer-songwriter: Sergio Endrigo.
This is just a part of the tribute. You can see the complete tribute in the full video of the concert below.
A few solos before I close.
Piero singing Voglio Vivere Così reminds me of Sunday mornings at my grandparents’ house. After church my grandparent would put on all their favorite operas and we would listen to them while we had breakfast. My grandparents loved opera and Neapolitan Songs! They would have loved Il Volo!
Magnificent! I feel Pavaroti in Piero’s voice!
I talked about Ignazio’s tribute to Mia Martina. Now I present it because we all need that moment when Ignazio brings down the house. Oh, excuse me he does that in every solo! God bless his amazing voice!
Gianluca presents a Beatles medley. Gianluca is becoming very comfortable in this new direction! His fondness for 50’s, 60’s and 70’s music seems to be his niche as he is moving forward!
Orietta Berti is a pop and folk singer whose popularity began is the 1960’s. She is revered in the entertainment industry as is evident when she steps on the stage and Ignazio bows and praises her. In 2021 Fedez, Achille Lauro and Orietta Berti published a hit song Mille. In a duet with Ignazio Orietta sings Quando L’amore Diventa Poesia.
I can think of no better way to end these concerts than with an icon in the music industry. The guys were honored to sing with Orietta.
So how do I end this story? I’m finished but it is not over. Two new collaborations came out of these concerts. The guys will sing in concert with Pooh and it seems they are anxious to have Aida Garifullina back in concert. Aida wrote in her story today, “Thank you! There is more to come.” I’m sure with the success of these two concerts there will be more concerts like these in the future!
And where did we leave the guys? With their new Classical, Soul and Pop sounds we will follow them to the ends of the earth in any direction they choose. We always knew that they were phenomenal individuals. We knew they had heart, and we always knew they gave their all but now we know that they can Double the Pleasure of their performances with their individually and personal feelings and lead us to Double the Pleasure in every concert!
As always, I use Daniela’s translations because they are the best. Daniela has posted the first translation of the concerts and the translation of the second concert program will be posted soon.
Thank you to Alessandra for compiling the Playlist for me! After the playlist you will find the second concert program.
First concert playlist…. – Granada – Grande Amore – Medley of Pooh’s songs: Tanta voglia di lei, Pensiero, Chi fermerà la musica, Uomini soli – Almeno tu nell’universo (Ignazio) – Suspicious Minds (Gianluca) – Viva il vino spumeggiante aria da Cavalleria Rusticana (Piero) – Nessun dorma – Meravigliosa creatura (Piero e Gianna Nannini) – Surrender/O’ sole mio – When the party’s over (Ignazio e Francesca Michielin) – Io che non vivo – Shallow (Gianluca e Annalisa) – My way -La cura (Gianluca e Irama) – Ovunque sarai (Il Volo e Irama) – Libiamo ne, i lieti calici da La Traviata (Piero e Aida Garifullina) – Se telefonando – E lucevan le stelle da Tosca (Piero) – Se – Hallelujia – Voglio vivere così (Piero) – My heart will go on (Ignazio) – Girotondo intorno al mondo – What a wonderful world (Gianluca) – Piove – Knocking on heaven’s door (Gianluca) – Les pecheurs de perles (Piero e Gianfranco Montresor) – My immortal (Ignazio) – Here’s to you
Second concert playlist….
– Granada – Il mondo – Medley of Venditti’s songs: Alta marea (with Gianluca), Amici mai (with Ignazio), Ricordati di me (with Piero), Che fantastica storia è la vita (all together) – Sei bellissima/E la luna bussò (Ignazio) – Crazy little thing called love (Gianluca) – La mia canzone al vento (Piero) – Una ragione di più (Ignazio with Fiorella Mannoia and Danilo Rea at the piano) – Un amore così grande – Geordie (Gianluca with Madame) – A chi mi dice – Can’t help falling in love with you (Gianuca) – Miserere (Piero with Mario Biondi) – You make me feel like natural woman (Ignazio with Mario Biondi) – Ancora – L’amore si muove/Musica che resta – Addio alla madre da Cavalleria Rusticana (Piero) – Nel blù dipinto di blù – E poi (Ignazio) – Angel (Gianluca with Aida Garifullina) – Una poesia anche per te (Ignazio) – Quando l’amore diventa poesia (Ignazio with Orietta Berti -No puede ser (Piero) – Medley of Beatles’ songs: The long and winding road/Yesterday/Hey Jude – I will always love you (Ignazio) – Caruso
Now for your listening pleasure The Second Program of the Concert…
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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