If you are a reader who has followed me for almost four years, you will recall that I said, “I am not a person who goes on fan pages. I’m always too busy to stop and read all that people have to say.” But suddenly in March 2020, I wasn’t busy. In fact, I was completely shut down. No business, nothing! That’s what led me to start reading the fan pages.
When I realized the fans were making themselves crazy over the guys going home to be with their families, I decided to write an article about their departure. I posted the article on Facebook and some of the administrators of the Il Volo fan groups started to message me. Can we post your article? Then they followed up with can you write another article. Well, I had nothing to do so I said yes!
So let me stop for a moment to tell you about two of those administrators. Katerina Tsaousi and Fofi Saratsioti Administrators of Piero Barone, Il sogno mio d’amore.
This is Katerina!
After reading my first story Katerina wrote to me and asked if she could post my story on her site because she said this was the perfect description of the guys and their music.
This is Fofi!
After posting the story Fofi thanked me and invited me to write more stories and post them on their site.
They have carried every one of my stories for almost four years.
Katerina and Fofi live in Greece, and I had the great pleasure of meeting them while I was in Athens for the concert.
These two ladies treated me like family. For three days wherever I went one or both of them was with me.
Maria, Me, Katerina and Elena
And it didn’t stop at that, their friend Maria was in charge of driving me everywhere. We spent a beautiful afternoon by the sea!
When I left Greece, I left behind my new family!
So those are two ladies who have been with me from the beginning!
The third lady who has been with me from day one is someone you all know, Daniela Perani.
At one point I received a message from Daniela who asked if she could post my article on Il Volo Flight Crew! I said yes, and almost four years later, as you know, I have my own column, Through the Fields of My Mind, which is published every Wednesday. And the rest is history!
Daniela besides being our translator at Flight Crew, also writes the reviews of the concerts. And they certainly are sparkling reviews!
After reading my first article, Daniela wrote:
Reading, here and there on the various sites and fan pages, I found this beautiful article written by Susan De Bartoli. Several fan pages have recognized the goodness of this beautiful article by publishing it. Since maybe not all of you who follow Flight Crew may have read it, I thought I’d post it here too, and I asked Susan for her confirmation to do so. Here’s what she wrote.
I’m not going to repost the whole article. I’m only posting the part that represents the Yesterday, in The Day After Yesterday.
Back then I wrote:
These three young men are extraordinary! They are remarkable, exceptional people. And, they have revolutionized the music industry.
Gianluca is known as the Velvet 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 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.
Let’s talk about Ignazio, who I call the bridge.
Ignazio is a lyrical tenor. He, like Gianluca, is exceptional because he can sing from the lowest to the highest note in the tenor range. And God knows he can, easily, hit the high C. Waiting for it and knowing it’s going to happen is so exciting!
A lyrical tenor has a warm graceful voice which is bright and strong but not heavy and it can be heard over an orchestra. Ignazio’s voice is smooth, clean and clear, with an acute extension. His voice has the ability to increase the baritone voice of Gianluca while softening the spinto tenor voice of Piero.
Ignazio has many faces. He is very whimsical in his songs as in “Libiamo ne’ lieti calici” from La Traviata. In the aria “Una Furtiva Lagrima” from L’elisir D’amore, Ignazio makes you feel the innocents of Nemorino’s love for Adina.
Ignazio’s voice is the one that brings it all together!
And finally, Piero.
Piero is a spinto (meaning pushed) tenor. A spinto tenor has the brightness and height of a lyric tenor, but with a heavier vocal weight enabling the voice to be “pushed” to dramatic climaxes with less strain than his lighter-voice counterparts. His voice is warm, graceful, bright, and can be heard over an orchestra.
Piero has a powerful voice that easily reaches the higher notes. Every note that comes out of his mouth reaches us with such intensity and remains with us for a long time. It’s the voice that reaches out to you and demands your attention.
Think of Piero singing “E Lucevan le Stele” from Tosca. Or singing the beautiful Spanish aria “No Puede Ser” from A Tabernera del Puerto. From the first note Piero pierces your soul! His passion comes through in his music. Arias are very dramatic and Piero brings all the drama of the aria into his performance. Always a showstopper!
Now let’s put the voices together. Gianluca starts most songs because he is a baritone, and most songs are written for baritones. As I mentioned he draws you into the song. Gianluca will sing (in most cases) to Ignazio and Ignazio to Piero. This is how the three voices become one.
Most groups sing and you hear just a song but with Il Volo you are surrounded by voices. And the individuality of their voices entices you and it stays with you. “Musica che Resta”. (Music that Remains) Think of what Piero says when he introduces one of the solos, “After we were together a while, we realized we had three different voices.”
Piero wasn’t saying that they suddenly found out they had different voices he was saying we are Tres Voces un Alma (three voices and one soul) and, we need to show you those voices individually.
And that’s where we find them today!
I wrote back then, to fulfill their dream they had to leave their family, friends and home and go to another country. And they had to share this journey with two people who they really knew nothing about except that they had the same dream as they did.
At first they were with family but then they were alone. They learned to survive without the people they loved. They learned to lean on one another. That dependence turned into a friendship and that friendship into a brotherhood. It enabled them to trust enough to collaborate and perfect something truly amazing. Something that revolutionized the music industry.
Let me go further by showing you a collaboration by these three amazing, very, very talented, young men that is so unreal that it boggles your mind. This is a collaboration of love. Stop and listen to this performance of “Por Una Cabeza”.
Look at how they smile at one another during the performance. A smile that says yes that’s it! Their faces are ablaze! Their expressions let one another know that it works. And, finally, when it’s over, they are so excited they can hardly contain themselves. Look at their smiles, their faces are lit up in joy and their embrace says it all! They are brothers who love one another!
At the end of my first story, Daniela commented….
Susan, I really have to thank you for your nice words, you hit the mark in the description of Gianluca, Ignazio and Piero.
Thanks also for allowing the publication.
We will be happy to have your other posts if you wish.
A hug from the whole Flight Crew family.
Well, obviously, I continued to write for Flight Crew!
After those first articles, people started asking me about the guy’s lives. Having never met the guys all I really knew was what I read, in their book, Un’avventura Straordinaria, La nostra Storia. Since the book was in Italian my stories gave everyone who couldn’t read Italian an opportunity to hear their story. Ironically, most people had the book, but they just couldn’t read it!
The months passed in isolation, and I continued to write my Il Volo stories. But there was a lot of restlessness on my part. At one point it seemed my world was about to collapse. I worried about what would happen with my business and where my life was headed. My concerns began to take over and I found myself becoming depressed. And that’s when something amazing happened.
I was writing an Il Volo story and I heard a ping on my iPad and looked to see what it was. It was a message on Facebook. It seemed someone wanted me to hear this song. The song was Il Mare Calmo della Sera and Ignazio was singing the song. So, I stopped to listen and I also watched very closely as he sang. There he was 13 years old, the sweetest most adorable thing you ever want to see. He closed his eyes and began to sing. And I’m smiling because I’m thinking about what I just read in their book….
After several lessons, Lilliana asked Ignazio (perhaps 12 years old at this time) to take part in a competition. He wasn’t completely convinced that he wanted to get on a stage. He said, Until that moment I had only thought about singing, but I had never seriously thought that all that singing one day could bring me into the spotlight.
In short, he was afraid. He feared that he would make mistakes. That he would forget the words. The whole idea of the stage frightened him. But with Lilliana’s urging he decided to do it. He said, “I was about to get on the stage. My legs were trembling, the butterflies in my stomach were no longer butterflies but crazy swallows.
In this video, Ignazio’s head is down! He never looks up until the middle of the song when he opens his eyes and smiles, those amazing dimples are so obvious, his whole face lights up and then he shuts his eyes and finishes his song.
I sat back in my chair and said this is a sign. If Ignazio at 13 could get over his fear, not of singing but of forgetting the words, then I could certainly get over my fear of what will happen when this pandemic is over. I needed to calm down. What was Ignazio singing Il Mare Calmo della Sera – The Calm Evening Sea. So, I put the song on my iPhone, iPad and computer and every night after that I listened to the song before going to bed. After this whenever I wrote I always had Ignazio right at my side. His voice had a calming effect on me.
As I continued to write my stories I began to understand the guys better, and I began to notice how kind and compassionate Ignazio was. He is a man who puts everyone before himself. Who always stands last and makes everyone more important than himself. Very selfless!
In the beginning of 2021 I was asked to write a book about Padre Pio. What did I know about writing a book. Nothing! So, what do I do. I said OKAY I’ll give it a try.
By now, every time I wrote I had Ignazio’s beautiful voice to calm me and his beautiful life to inspire me. He truly is my inspiration. I wrote two books with him at my side. The first book sold over 9,000 copies in the first edition and the new book will be out in the Spring of 2024.
It’s ironic that a person who I barely knew was able to get me through not just a pandemic but two books one of which one was a best seller and hopefully the second one will be too!
Ignazio continues to inspire me every day. No matter what happens in the world he has his hand out to help others. He truly is an amazing man and undoubtedly a phenomenal tenor. Perhaps the greatest tenor in the world today!
As most of you know, today is Ignazio’s birthday so I would like to say….
Happy Birthday Ignazio! I wish you a year full of Joy and Happiness! And I wish that all your dreams for the future come true! Always be happy!
Now that all the worries are gone, my business is back, and I no longer fear what will happen next, I have moved on in the world, and hopefully I/we will continue to move forward!
I will continue to write my stories each week and soon I will begin to retell the guy’s story from the beginning when they were children. I try to do this every so often because with each new round of concerts, they get new fans! But quite honestly, even the old fans enjoy rereading the stories.
And for as long as there is life in me I will continue to write about these three amazing men.
So, where are we today ~ The Day After Yesterday……
Over the last year I have seen a new Il Volo. Each man’s voice is totally phenomenal! Each voice is at its peak. Each man is living his moment!
As I wrote in my last story, their decision to sing individually was a decision that will bring them to a new realization in their lives and their careers.
Experiencing this new concept is amazing. When you attend a concert it’s like attending three concerts. You meet each man individually. You feel his love for music, music which is his alone and not shared by anyone else. It’s a new beginning. For us it’s experiencing each guy on his own turf. Each man gives a free hand to the next while complimenting and encouraging each other. But certainly, they don’t need any encouragement because they are just reaching down into their souls and presenting what was in there all along. The real Piero, Ignazio and Gianluca.
Piero lays out his operatic voice in an amazing way. He was always amazing but now he can reach higher notes and go deep into his soul and bring out all the drama of every aria. The songs he’s sung before are much more vibrant than they were. His voice is more fluid. He’s more at ease and more confident in his delivery! We always knew it was there, but he had to find his direction..
When he walks on the stage now, he is no longer Piero the spinto tenor. He is Piero stepping on a stage of an opera house and delivering the most beautiful arias you will ever hear. And he presents them as an opera singer. He delivers his opera and then sings his Neapolitan songs. Yes Piero you have arrived at the door of the opera house, and we will wait for you to walk out on that stage and show us who you are! I will be there for the event!
Ignazio always had soul but he recently began to share it in a most unique way. For so long Ignazio held back expressing who he was but now he has opened a new door. The delivery of female songs allows him to use the voice that was hidden for so long. Ignazio was made for the higher notes! His voice complements and delivers them in a unique way. The minute he opens up, he sends thrills throughout our bodies. His voice reaches our inner being and leaves a mark for all eternity. He is the endless voice. The one that stays with you and reawakens your senses long after leaving the concert hall. He is the voice that brings it all together.
Did you ever notice how Piero and Gianluca look at Ignazio when he sings? Or how Giampiero Grani looks at him when he sings. It is a look of total admiration. He brings every song home! He truly is the voice that extends Gianluca and lessens Piero. The bridge that brings it all together. Not to mention the fact that he is the entire production. His energy moves the guys and the stage. He electrifies you! No man has ever captured the whole concept of the stage like Ignazio. He doesn’t move around the production; the production moves around him. The biggest asset in Il Volo!
And then there is Gianluca! Where did this new Gianluca come from? For years I would scream at the screen, Gianluca move! Get with it! Gianluca has a phenomenal voice but with that voice you need to have movement. Finally, he’s found the moves. I think his love for Elvis and his new delivery of Elvis has given him what he was missing all these years. He has finally taken the phenomenal voice and given it meaning. Gianluca any baritone would die for your voice! You are one of a kind. Very unique! There has never been another baritone like you. And now you are finally giving it your all. The true sensation of delivering Elvis! Your interpretation of Elvis in itself is truly unique! You bring us his songs in a new and amazing way. You give us what even Elvis couldn’t give us, a voice that gives his songs meaning! Elvis would be in awe of you!
So, we find ourselves on The Day After Yesterday wondering where do the guys go from here? They will continue to present themselves in this new light but for now they are Il Volo, and they will continue to be Il Volo for as long as possible.
This new concept has given them a chance to give us everything that is new while preserving everything that is old! The concerts that we love so dearly will go on and we will enjoy their new interpretation of concerts. This is such a great opportunity for both us and them. We keep what makes us happy while allowing them to have what makes them happy! A win, win as I see it!
For your listening pleasure San Jose Concert 2020.
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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