All posts by susandebartoli

The Reviews, the Comments and the Voices!

Let me say writing about the concert the last two weeks has really been exciting! But “Where do I go from here?” So many amazing things happened!  I keep going over it in my mind. I guess it’s time to move on but first I want you to listen to what the press had to say about the concert!
The Reviews!
Andrea Spinelli from Quotidiano.net.
The idea of opening the concert with “The Ecstasy of Gold” directed by Andrea Morricone, while evoking Clint’s ice eyes …. turned out to be the most powerful opening of the gates of the Arena and brought it back to the center of the music.
Faces a little tense! Tense nerves, “our legs tremble, it is the highest and most important moment of our career” but in the voice of Piero Barone, Ignazio Boschetto and Gianluca Ginoble resounded all the determination of the event. A bit like in the “thrill” of “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly,” but without steaming Colts. Many emotions, which the American PBS network will bring back at some time to the audience overseas, to pave the way for the World Tour kicking off on March 18th from Radio City Music Hall. By then, the album, “Il Volo – a Tribute to Ennio Morricone,” scheduled for autumn, will also be in stores.
Another review from Quotidiano.net
In the Concert event “Il Volo- Tributo a Ennio Morricone” at the Arena the three young tenors made the heart of Italy vibrate with their first live on Rai 1…. Immediately the first standing ovation with “Nessun Dorma” from Turandot, but many others followed in a crescendo of emotions.
In the lineup there were many famous songs by maestro Morricone, or arranged by him, but also many classic songs of Italian and international popular music, from “Volare” to “My Way” to “Se Telefondo” to arrive at the successes that made Il Volo known all over the world.
The three also performed alone, each with their own vocal skills and peculiarities, from Gianluca’s pop with “Your Song,” to Piero’s lyrical skills with “No Puede Ser,” to the vocal power of Ignazio with “Listen.” Il Volo wanted to dedicate the concert to all those who did not make it in this year of pandemic, in particular Vito the father of Ignazio who recently passed away. For the audience, a surprise a single unreleased by the trio “I colori dell’amore,” written by Maestro Andrea Morricone.
“These have been difficult months. For a long time, we wanted to do a live broadcast but, we did not feel ready,” said the three. “Tonight, we realized a dream! I say never give up to kids and always chase your dreams.”
So that is the final word on the concert! It’s hard to move on but we must! But you never know, I may come back to it later.

Left to right: Gianluca, Ignazio and Piero singing on the arena stage

The Comments!
I must say I received thousands of comments from the fan clubs around the world! The consensus was unanimous, “the most amazing event. The guys’ best concert ever!” I agree 100%!
Today, I want to respond to some comments, two, in particular, that come to me time and again.
Many of you have made comments or written to me and said I should write a book about the guys. I will but, not right now, I’m already writing a book and I can only work on one book at a time. But the idea of this brings me back to the guys’ book Un’avventura Straordinaria, La nostra storia(An Extraordinary Adventure, our story). A great book! I know you’re going to say it’s in Italian and you don’t understand it. Many people have asked me why I don’t translate the book. Simple, it’s not my book to translate. If it were, I would certainly translate it because it is a book everyone should read. It’s not just about their extraordinary voices it’s also about their extraordinary lives. Their beginnings! Their great values! Their amazing families who made great sacrifices for them. This is not just their story it is the story of their families who had to change their lifestyles in order that their children could go around the world and bring joy to millions of people! Extraordinary yes but, not just their adventure, it’s also their family’s adventure!
And what an adventure it was! From their performance at Ti Lascio una Canzone, where they shared the stage with some of the greatest names in the Italian music industry to that moment when they sang together for the first time “O Sole Mio” and changed their lives forever!
From the Italian shores to the American stage these young men have revolutionized the music industry! They reached into the past and brought forward music that was long gone. Italian Classics! True Neapolitan classics! Amazing Arias! They presented to the American people an old but new way of listening to great music! They captured the hearts of all generation. Teenagers, parents, grandparents!
They came to America and found themselves performing with some of the greatest entertainers in the world! Entertainers who were in awe of these three teenage boys. Just amazing!

A young Piero, Gianluca and Ignazio

As many of you know, I wrote excerpts from the book. I took the original book which consisted mostly of dialogues and short stories between the guys and changed it to a narrative so you could truly appreciate their stories. (If you go to my Facebook page, you can read many of these stories.)
In the story, I acted as the narrator leading you from one story to another, always allowing the guys to tell the story in their own words. After a while, the guys took over (as characters usually do in a story) and carried me along on their journey. A very exciting journey!
What did I find out about the guys in this book? 
I found out that Piero is an excellent storyteller. When he tells you a story, he includes every little detail so when the story is over you know everything there is to know about that story.
I found out that Ignazio is an excellent writer. (As is evident in his song writing!) He is the only one who wrote his story. Ignazio is very articulate. His words just flew off the pages. Because of this, his story was the easiest to edit.
As for Gianluca I was surprised to find out he was such a romantic. Everything that is important to him is a passion. He invests himself in what he loves and believes in: Family, Music, Country and Soccer!
I have read the book about 10 times. Going back and forth from Italian to English to be sure that the facts I had were correct. I have edited other books but this one was truly an exciting adventure for me because the characters meant something to me.
Let me give you some final thoughts I had about this book. This story truly was as the title suggested “an extraordinary adventure” about three young boys, child prodigies, who travelled the same path but started in different places: Naro, Bologna and Montepagano. I often think how it is possible that three amazing boys, with three extraordinary voices, that complement one another, wound up in the same place, at the same time, in history. My only answer is divine intervention. God had a plan and what a plan it was! He gave us three voices that would stay with us for a long time and certainly for me till the end of my days.

Serious looks close up from Piero, Gianluca and Ignazio

Another comment that caused a lot of back and forth, between the fans, within the column this week was something that I have dealt with in my stories but, it seems some of you have not read, are new to the group and don’t known about or just need some explanation for.
The question was “Why does Gianluca start every song?” He doesn’t, but in essence he does start most songs. One woman thought Gianluca sings first because he won Ti Lascio una Canzone. They all won Ti Lascio una Canzone! In order to say one won over another, they would have to have the same voices. Well, we know there are three different voices ~ a baritone, a tenor and a spinto tenor. Yes, they did come in first, second and third but, they all won because the end result was the biggest prize of all ~ becoming Il Volo.
Now for why Gianluca sings first, I need to go back to my story from April 6, 2020 “To Talk About Our Guys – IL Volo” which was the first article Flight Crew published by me.  I have written about this on numerous occasions but, it needs to be said again especially for those new to the group. (You can read this full story “To Talk About Our Guys – IL Volo” on www.ilvoloflightcrw.com)
Like most of you, I spend a good deal of my day listening to these three amazing guys sing and, at one point, I said maybe I should do a review of what’s been going on in their lives for the last 10 years.
Let me start by saying these three young men are extraordinary! They are remarkable, exceptional, persons. And, they have revolutionized the music industry. Let’s take a look at each one.
The Voices
Gianluca is known as the Velvet Voice! I don’t who coined the phrase but, that is right on. Let’s use our senses to understand what that means. Take a piece of velvet and hold it in your hand. Now take your other hand and gently pass your hand across the velvet. What do you feel? You feel a smooth even surface that is crisp with no breaks in it. The sensation is so good that you automatically go back and do it again. And every time it’s the same. It’s pleasing!
Now take Gianluca’s voice, let the notes pass into your ears, what do you hear? A crisp, smooth, even voice with no breaks in it. The note barely passes into your ear and, you are going back for the next note. It’s always pleasing!

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 a song but, when he 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. He 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 that 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.

In the aria Una Furtiva Lagrimafrom L’elisir D’amore, Ignazio grabs you and draws you into the song. He makes you feel the innocence of Nemorino’s love for Adina. In his dedication to Pino Daniele, you hear an interpretation that is emotional and a delivery that is so amazing that you get the sense that Daniele wrote his songs for Ignazio.

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 him singing the beautiful aria, “E lucevan le stelle” from Puccini’s, Tosca. 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. Select one of their songs. Now close your eyes and listen to them sing. What can you say about this song? You can say, that is Gianluca or Ignazio or Piero singing. In the progression of the song, you hear the voices blend to form a symphony for your ears. Their voices are very distinct.
I use the word symphony for their voices because they are like a symphony orchestra. They blend. So, think about an orchestra. You have violins, flutes, cellos, piano, any number of instruments. But what makes it an orchestra in particular a symphony orchestra? It’s how it all comes together. If you just had violins or flutes or any one instrument regardless of how many there are, they wouldn’t work alone. They need to come together for the orchestra to perform the symphony.
They are a symphony because their voices blend together just as the instruments in an orchestra blend together to form a symphony!
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.
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.” He wasn’t saying that they suddenly found out they had different voices, he was saying we are three voices and one soul but we need to show you those voices individually.
Add to this what Ignazio had to say about recording a song, “….a take is the recording of the single phrase that each of us sings when we record a song. We continue to redo it until we get the best version.”
So, in fact, those takes are specifically for each voice ~ Baritone, Tenor, Spinto Tenor.
And so, we come full circle with the voices, how they are put together and how they are recorded.
We leave you with thoughts of the Reviews, the Comments, the AMAZING Voices!
In closing, I would like to wish Piero a very Happy Birthday!
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.

Phenomenal!

Get used to it, I’m going to use the word phenomenal a lot in this article.
Let me say, I can write at least five pages just on the opening of the concert. If I wrote what I felt, saw, experienced in this concert, I would have to write a book!
Let’s set the scene!
The first note and we immediately know it’s “The Ecstasy of Gold.” The whistle of the wind!
The setting is gold! Then white! Then gold! Look at the gold flecks that come in and out! The orchestra vibrates! Each note intensifies our senses. We’re drawn to the back of the stage. To a tunnel where we know our guys will appear! The focus is always rear center stage! The lights change to intense red and now we are looking at the stage from the back of the arena. We are coming forward. The shadow of Il Volo turns into a force that is coming towards us! The theme of the concert is set!

Left to right: Gianluca, Ignazio and Piero singing on the red arena stage

Listen to the intensity of their voices! What force! Watch their motions. Look at Gianluca! Watch his body react to the music! The fist that comes at you saying this is the punch, just the beginning.  Listen to how Ignazio rides the note that guides us into the story! Now we’re sailing on the wind! Piero intensifies the moment with his powerful voice that says the journey has begun! Follow us!
The scenery is in motion again. In the background, the movie comes into view and blends with the voices! Everything on the stage comes to life! We’re now inside the film. Even the guys are taken by the movement around them. They look around and they are feeling the moment! Andrea Morricone steps up the music and we step back and look, in amazement at what is before us!
What exactly is before us? A work of art! A Titian painting. In Venice there is a very magnificent painting by Titian called the Assumption. It is a painting in motion! Believe me, when I tell you what you are looking at on that stage is a Titian painting. Titian was known for his movement in painting! Titian was 24 years old when he painted the Assumption. Our guys are in their mid-twenties and they have painted the scene before you. If you don’t know the renaissance artist Titian, google him! You’ll understand what is going on here!
Now let me explain what is before you. Movement. Lots of movement.
Take a look at the stage! You the audience are the spectators! You’re being drawn to the stage. You watch the guys’ approach and, you are in awe of their presence. You feel the intensity of the music, you and the guys are pulled into the movie. The music is all around you!  Their voices are a force in your head. You look up in amazement! You are a part of the scenery! You are a part of the orchestra! You are a part of the movie! You are a part of ~ Il Volo!  You have arrived and you are ready to follow the guys no matter where this journey leads you! It’s only the beginning! Fasten your seat belts. Phenomenal! 
View of the stage lit in blue from the back of the arena
In each set the scenery and the music all come together to form a symphony of color!
Now let’s listen to some very romantic songs!  Even songs not geared towards romance are romantic when they are sung by our guys. Notes flowing through the air. Very ethereal, very light, very eerie, very romantic! Just so beautiful!  Phenomenal! 
“Your Love” is a very beautiful love song. This is a song we are emotionally attached to. It will always be a part of our lives. If you saw the guys’ performance at Sanremo 2021, you know what I mean! In Sanremo the guys, especially Ignazio, were in shock. They were experiencing something they never experienced before. The loss of one of their own! Yet, they delivered this song with such dignity and emotion that it will always be a special moment in our lives.  We will long remember it. In this tribute they reminded us of Sanremo but in a bittersweet way. It is an emotional feeling that is a mixture of happiness for where we are and sadness for where we came from. This will become a signature song. The guys will come back to it and we will expect them to.
The song we will always love!
“Se Telefonando!” Both Laura Chiatti and Ignazio said: ”From three notes one of the most beautiful songs of our century was born.” And I couldn’t agree with them more. What a magnificent song! Just Phenomenal!

Left to right: Gianluca, Ignazio and Piero smiling on the arena stage

The three notes are from the sound of a police car siren and when they are played, they are immediately recognized. This seems to be a signature with Ennio Morricone. Think of “The Ecstasy of Gold” and “Cinema Paradiso!” These are songs that are recognized with one or two notes of the song. The guys put such love and emotion into “Se Telefonando.”  I think they fell in love with it! I know I did. This will be the song that I take away from this concert that will always lead me back to the concert and the history that was made that night. The song is about love being born fast and being lost before it has a chance to begin.
And how do the fans feel about this song? Everyone, everywhere on Instagram and Facebook posted this song and commented about the beauty of it.
Now let’s talk about “Cinema Paradiso.”
Again, from the first note, we recognize this song! It takes us back to a time, just after World War II, when cinema was beginning to make its impact in Italy! How the guys present this song, accompanied by the strings of a romantic guitar is why this song pierces our hearts and impacts us in this amazing way.
They present love in a different light.  This song tells of a first love for Totò. His love for a local Sicilian girl. But it also speaks of his love for film. Totò takes over Alfredo’s job as projectionist. Alfredo knows how much Totò loves film and he convinces him to leave his small town and follow his dream to become a filmmaker. 

Left to right: Gianluca, Totò Cascio, Piero and Ignazio speaking on stage

This song sings of two loves. A romantic first love and a love of film. It is a very romantic love song! Listen to some of the words, they could just as easily apply to love of a woman as to love of film.
“If you were in my soul one day
you would know what I feel in me
that I’m enamored
over those instants together with you
and what I feel is
solely love!”

Left to right: Gianluca, Ignazio and Piero singing on the arena stage

Beautiful song, delivered, in a Phenomenal way!
And then there was “I Colori dell’amore” a beautiful unreleased piece. A special gift from the Morricone family.
Piero said: “To  the whole orchestra and to the organization, really fantastic!  Thank you very much, thank you very much teacher! The teacher wrote the song for us. We present it to you this evening and we hope you like it ~ “I Colori dell’amore.”
These are just a few words from the song.
You will come back
next to me
You will undress
inside me
And you will relive
the time of a reality
with me
They are the colors of love
of passion and freedom
in hand a flower and then
two moments of us
pictures from a movie
ageless moments
The guys bring light and beauty to this song. Very romantic voices singing a very romantic song! Very sensitive! Very Phenomenal!
Let’s move on!
As you know the guys make decisions about where and how a song is presented. Their decision to do “Here’s to You,” in the audience had a lot of significance. We are used to having the guys in and out of the audience, interacting with the fans but, this was not possible at this concert.  But the guys made sure the audience would feel their presence, so they chose a very sincere, very personal song to share their time with the fans.

IL VOLO standing on floor level singing in front of the audience

To explain this, let me start by presenting the meaning of the song. From Marco Gallini’s explanation and from my story last week you know Sacco and Vanzietti were executed for a crime that many believed they did not commit. But what you don’t know is why they were accused of this crime. To understand this, we have to go back to America at the turn of the 20th century. Each group of immigrants that came to America experienced prejudice by the former immigrants. Therefore, the Irish were prejudiced against the Italians and the Germans against Irish before them and so on back to the beginning of immigration.
After a few hours deliberation, the jury convicted Sacco and Vanzetti of first-degree murder.  Anti-Italianism, anti-immigrant, and anti-Anarchist bias were suspected as having heavily influenced the verdict.
Back to the guys and where all this fits into their story.
By performing this song in the audience, the guys were first and foremost toasting Nicola and Bart but more so, they were three links which represented the people who stood in defense of Nicola and Bart. They told them they would not be forgotten and the crowd, the audience, stood with them.
Now the irony of it all!
This song was composed by an Italian composer for an American movie and, it was written in the English language.
The song was sung, in English, by three phenomenal Italian men who came to America and immediately became a success. The American people embraced them and called them their own. We feel they are a part of us and a part of our culture. You have to see the irony in this!
Now let’s turn to the showstoppers! The solos!
First up, Gianluca!

Gianluca remarks: It’s hard to be alone after twelve years together on stage. I guess like all of us in times of difficulty, in moments of happiness, I take refuge in music. This is something I’ve done since I was little. I had headphones, I walked, I also went to the park to listen to music. Even at school I was distracted. In short it was my biggest distraction. Let’s say the music I feel this evening is a celebration of a great genius of music Maestro Ennio Morricone.  But I want to talk about other geniuses who changed my life. Artist like Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra but also the great Elton John. Tonight, I will sing for you one of the most beautiful songs written in fifty-one years and I want to dedicate it to my mother.”
Elton Johns’ lyrics to “Your Song” express the romantic thoughts of an innocent person. Gianluca brings the song to another dimension. He is very romantic and everything he sings turns into a love song. His warm beautiful voice expresses the thoughts behind Elton Johns’ words. Here are just a few words to the song.
And you can tell everybody this is your song
It may be quite simple, but now that it’s done
I hope you don’t mind, I hope you don’t mind
That I put down in words
How wonderful life is while you’re in the world
These beautiful words certainly express his feelings for his mother, Eleonora, who has been at his side throughout his career.
His beautiful rendition of this song would make Elton John praise his performance. Gianluca got a well-deserved standing ovation! Just phenomenal!
Next up Piero!

Piero said: “I always had a great desire to be accompanied by a great musician, a great flautist. I’ve always watched his videos while playing alongside Maestro Pavarotti, Sting and many other artists. This evening, he did me the great honor of accepting my invitation. The Master Andrea Grimmenelli.”
What can I say about Piero singing “No Puede Ser?” It’s my favorite aria that he sings. He takes my breath away. No one, and I have heard many tenors sing “No Puede Ser,” no one sings it like Piero.
These are just a few words of the aria, in English. They really express the meaning of the song. Piero makes you feel his love for this woman.
It cannot be so! This woman is good.
She cannot be a wicked woman!
In her look, like a strange light,
I’ve seen that this woman is unhappy.
She cannot be a cheap siren
who poisoned every moment of my life.
It cannot be so! Because I’ve seen her pray,
because I’ve seen her love,
because I’ve seen her cry!
Always a showstopper, always a highlight, a splendid moment in the concert. Please never stop singing it. A Phenomenal performance!
And last but, not least Ignazio!

Ignazio said: “I want to say that tonight is extremely exciting and, we all know in this year that we have experienced shortcomings. Especially shortcomings!
Many had great losses but many who had great satisfaction economically modify this concert. To all the people who have not made it through the whole year, our thoughts go up there to them.
I feel a little alone, but I will not be alone. I have a big but small surprise that is great because it is a crazy talent.  It is really a great talent. Gentlemen and ladies, ladies and gentlemen my comparative accompaniment in this my performance – Julian.”   
Ignazio sings Beyonce’s beautiful song “Listen.” It’s a song that expresses how many people are feeling. These are just a few words to the song.
Listen. I am alone at a crossroads
I’m not at home in my own home
And I’ve tried and tried
To say what’s on my mind
You should have known, oh
Now I’m done believin’ you
You don’t know what I’m feelin’
I’m more than what
You’ve made of me
I followed the voice you gave to me
But now I’ve gotta find my own!
Yes, it’s time to find our own voices. Ignazio knocks it out of the box with this song. His voice goes to unreal heights.  Not only does he express how we are all feeling but he gives us a beautiful version of the song that fills our souls with emotion. And, little Julian adds to the moment with his Phenomenal saxophone accompaniment. As I said before, guys, Julian is all of you at 8 years old. Now you know how people felt when they experienced your voices at such a young age!
Ignazio we always Listen to you and, we wish we could feel what you feel in your heart! You and Julian made a Phenomenal team!
What an ending!
And so, we come to the end of the concert and Piero’s closing words!
“I need to say an important thing. This concert was dedicated to Vito who we really miss and is watching us from up there.”
The dedication of “Conradiana” to Vito, Ignazio’s dad is very touching, very emotional and it certainly touched the heart of Ignazio and his brothers Piero and Gianluca, and I know it also touched our hearts. Their eyes said more than words. And the beautiful exchange when Ignazio looked into the audience at his mother, Caterina and his sister, Nina. His eyes said it all!

Left to right: Gianluca, Ignazio and Piero embracomg on the arena stage

These are some of the words to this beautiful song.
Beyond the horizon
a sea of oblivion
You wander among the waves
you get lost in the scroll
Heart of darkness
life is gone away
Rock the ocean with
a sad joy.
Spaces beyond the sea
search for a way
Clear open sails
among clouds of mist
Heart of darkness
life is gone away
Rock the ocean with
a sad joy.
A very touching ending to a spectacular concert! Just Phenomenal!

Left to right: Gianluca, Ignazio and Piero singing on the arena stage

I usually end here but, this week I can’t. As I said in the beginning, I could write a book about this concert! The feeling I got when I watched this concert, was indescribable! Thank you, guys for these magic moments!  
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.

Here’s to You!

Do you feel that? The excitement in the air! It’s been going on since last week but, it intensified on the morning of June 5th with Ignazio’s message. “Finally, June 5th! You don’t know how long we waited for this day! How many days to think, to study, to develop ideas! How many days to hope it would come! Today is an important day for the entire music industry. We start singing in front of an audience!”
You can hear the excitement in his voice! His words sent chills up and down my spine. His words say it’s over! We made it! Live is back!
Let’s go to the stage!
Did you notice the interesting scenery? So different from what we are used to in an Il Volo concert. Spectacular scenery! And the videos that go along with each song. Such precision! Just amazing! Everything so well thought out. Down to the last detail!

The guys kept the set list a secret. They wanted to surprise all of us. Piero said, “As for the set list we like to keep it a secret. We will try to satisfy every need of our audience by always keeping the master at the center.” And that they did!
Remembering Morricone’s music and having our guys sing it is by far one of the most incredible things that can happen for us. An event that will never be repeated by anyone! Spectacular!
Piero went on to say, “The Concert will anticipate the album that will be released later.” We anxiously await the release!
While they were dealing with the pandemic, they were being very productive. Gianluca said, “We dealt with the pandemic productively, we tried not to give upYoung people must not give up the strength to believe in their dreams and pursue their goals.” He also went on to thank the Morricone family for allowing them to sing an unreleased song, written by Andrea Morricone, “I Colori dell’amore.” A very beautiful song!
Piero was excited to say that: “This is the first time we have performed live TV.” Well guys you did an amazing job!”
We really appreciate the tribute to Ennio Morricone because as Ignazio reminded us “it is the only (concert) date scheduled in 2021.”
I must say, the Morricone project kept them very busy.  They had to select and study songs from the master’s repertoire. That was no easy task.

Left to right: Gianluca, Piero and Ignazio on stage talking and waving

So how do you go about selecting the songs and fitting them to your voice. It’s very difficult! Let me remind you about something Ignazio said about recording a song. Ignazio explains, “….a take is the recording of the single phrase that each of us sings when we record a song. We continue to redo it until we get the best version.”
Can you imagine going through all of Morricone’s songs and deciding which ones to choose? Remember a song that may be good for a baritone may not be good for a tenor. So, what do you do? You redo the arrangements to fit your voice. How? You take the song apart and then decide which part is able to accommodate a tenor or baritone. Not an easy task! Think about some of the concerts where the guys have sung a song as a group (the three) and then decided it should be a duet. Why? Because it is more suitable to two voices perhaps baritone and tenor or tenor and spinto tenor. You need to see how it fits your voice and how it relates. In the end it’s all about the delivery. Once you’ve taken the song apart, you must put it back together again. Shall I say it again, not an easy task! It takes months to rearrange this many songs and believe me these guys worked very hard for long hours and long periods of time, many, many months, to get these songs where they needed to be. Great songs, arranged to great voices!
Left to right: Gianluca, Ignazio and Piero in tuxedos singing on stage
Let me give you an example of what I’m talking about. These are the words to the song “Se Telefonando.” It is a song that was performed by a famous Italian singer, Mina. It was released in May 1966. I want you to listen to Mina sing the song and then listen to Il Volo sing it. You will note that the words did not change. Just the arrangement changed to fit the voices of our guys.

Lo stupore della notte
Spalancata sul mar
Ci sorprese che eravamo sconosciuti
Io e te.
Poi nel buio le tue mani
D’improvviso sulle mie,
È cresciuto troppo in fretta
Questo nostro amor.
Se telefonando
Io potessi dirti addio
Ti chiamerei.
Se io rivedendoti
Fossi certa che non soffri
Ti rivedrei.
Se guardandoti negli occhi
Sapessi dirti basta
Ti guarderei.
Ma non so spiegarti
Che il nostro amore appena nato
È già finito.
Se telefonando
Io volessi dirti addio
Ti chiamerei.
Se io rivedendoti
Fossi certa che non soffri
Ti rivedrei.
Se guardandoti negli occhi
Sapessi dirti basta
Ti guarderei.
Ma non so spiegarti
Che il nostro amore appena nato
È già finito
So now you can understand what I mean by taking a song and arranging it to fit another voice. Without changing the words look at how the song has changed. The delivery is spectacular! Just magnificent!
The studio work is done. The songs are in the bag and everything in place. It’s time for the guys to restart the live concerts! In essence, symbolically, restart the entire sector.

Left to right: Gianluca, Ignazio and Piero standing on the front, circular part of the stage

As to Rai 1, Claudio Fasulo explained, “For our flagship network it is an honor to host this date. Rai 1 wants to remember Morricone who has done so much for our culture through the many arts. I wanted three young people to do it that I admire so much. They were born into a talent, but they also teach us that talent is sometimes meritocratic.”
“Il Volo has the artistic and behavioral characteristics of Rai 1. It is no coincidence that in our schedules of great music, the trio is always present. Dedicating an evening to Ennio Morricone was a duty for us.”
Gianluca says: “For us it is a great journey, a wonderful adventure. A year after his death we want to remember the master in the best way. We were born as child prodigies and after 12 years of career we can say that this project makes us proud and makes us feel more mature”.
Piero says, “At last, we sing. It’s been a tough year and there’s a desire to get on stage and bring all the workers in the show with us. I want to point out that it will not be the orchestra that will accompany us, but we will sing together.” Alluding to the long-awaited return to live, Ignazio said, “Let’s go back to singing in one of the largest outdoor theaters in the world, finally safe. The ancient sayings are always the truest, hope is the last to die.”
In an interview given to the magazine Mio, Piero, allowed himself to go to a painful confession about the very hard period from which we come and, which now seems, fortunately, to give us a moment of respite. “Finally, we sing, after a year and a half we could not take it anymore! Ours is a dream job. We are incurable dreamers. Every wish is finally coming to fruition. On June 5th we will give a message of hope, there is a great desire to get on that stage.”
And that is exactly what they did!
So, let’s turn to the master!

IL VOLO standing on stage in front of a photo of Ennio Morricone

You can ask anyone if they know who Ennio Morricone is, many people will say no. But, if you ask them if they know the theme song from “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.” They’ll say of course I know it. Everyone knows Morricone’s music! They may not know his name but, they certainly know his music.
So where did our guys begin the concert? They began with the most famous of Morricone’s songs from The Good, the Bad and the Ugly – “The Ecstasy of Gold.” Smart! This song set the mood for the concert. What they did with this song and, the other songs, is amazing!
Let’s talk about some of the music. Let’s start by asking the question, “What made Morricone’s music different? Why was it so popular? Why was he the most sought after composer in the last 40 years? The answer is his arrangements and his style. Unlike anyone else in his time Morricone composed and wrote songs that reflected nature and reflected everyday life! In his music we hear the wind and the rain, the howls and the silence!  Again, I will go back to songs like “Se Telefonando,” where we hear three notes in this song that represent the siren of a police car. He wrote about reality. How he heard it, is how he wrote. He didn’t describe the event he used the event! When you write a theme song or compose a score for a film, it has to draw you in. It has to tell the story before you witness it.
Now I’m going to step out of the concert for a moment but stick with Morricone because I need to pay a compliment to Ignazio.

Ignazio in tuxedo singing

As you recall, the first time we heard the song “Makari” which Ignazio composed and wrote, was during Sanremo 2021. When I heard the song, I felt like there was something very familiar about it. Last night after I wrote about three quarters of this article, I was tired so I went to bed. And, as it often happens with me, I wake up in the middle of the night and think about something I want to say in my story. This is what came to me. I finally figured out what was so familiar about “Makari.” Ignazio wrote in the style of Morricone. Think about it. What is Ignazio doing for us in this theme song? He is painting a picture for us! Remember I said, it has to draw you in. It has to tell the story before you witness it.
Ignazio’s song invites us to take a better look at this other land in the south (Sicily). It speaks of  “a land of sages and a land of fools, made from devils and saints.”  It invites you to live a new reality through his eyes. This is exactly what Morricone does in his songs.
In a Morricone song you hear life! In Ignazio’s song you hear the sounds of Sicily. It is the “silence” of the land that screams for you to open your eyes and look around at the wonder of the landscape, of Makari, and the traditions of the land that go deep into your soul?
There is something very mysterious in the song, Makari. Very much like Morricone’s “The Ecstasy of Gold” from The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.
Ignazio’s song sings about approaching Makari and, the colors of the island come to life. The houses, the people, it’s all there. It comes to life before you approach the shore! It’s written very much like a Morricone song. And that’s what I was feeling when I heard the song!
Ignazio, I said you are a great composer and, some day you will compose a great opera. This is the proof. You learned from the master! Imitation is the greatest compliment you can give anyone. You are your own master but, we have to begin somewhere and where you began was at the front door! Amazing!
Now, let’s get back to the concert!
I’m not going to write in any detail about the songs. There are a few other articles which will be written for Flight Crew this week which will discuss the songs individually. I am merely going to name the new songs and where necessary, give you some details on how they came about.
“Your Love” from Once Upon a Time in the West, is a song we all are familiar with. It is the song that the guys sang at Sanremo 2021. As Il Volo fans, this song will be with us forever. There are tender moments attached to it.  It is an absolutely magnificent song. No one else could sing it like our guys. I know it touches my heart not just because of the circumstances but because of the emotion and passion the guys have when they sing this song. It will always be a signature song for them and for us!
Piero in tuxedo singing
So, what did they need in this production, a good pop song, set to music by Morricone, “Se Telefonando.” As I already mentioned, “Se Telefonando” is a song that was performed by a famous Italian singer, Mina. The music was composed, orchestrated and conducted by Ennio Morricone to Italian lyrics by Ghigo De Chiara and Maurizio Costanzo. The song was written for an episode of the Aria condizionata a Sunday morning television program. The main theme of the song was composed around just three notes, taken from the siren of a police car in Marseilles.
At this point, the guys did their solos. Where do I begin to talk about the solos?
As I said, I am not writing about the individual songs, but I will say that each of the guys’ solos were phenomenal. Gianluca’s “Your Song,” Ignazio’s “Listen” and Piero’s “No Puede Ser” were exceptional experiences in a sea of amazing voices.

Gianluca speaking to the audience

What I will comment on is little Julian. Many critics praised him and so do I! See guys, this is how you were at 8 years old. Blowing everyone’s mind. Ignazio, if you didn’t already sign him, you need to do it before he gets away!

Julian Iorio playing saxophone with Ignazio singing next to him

Riccardo Cocciante the guest of Il Volo sang “Quando finisce un amore,” an Ennio Morricone song which he first recorded in his Riccardo SOUL 1974 album.
We go back to the theme song of “Nuovo Cinema Paradiso” from the film of the same name. At the end of the song there is a small exchange between our guys and Salvatore Cascio, the child, now adult, of Nuovo Cinema Paradiso.
Raphael Gualazzi on the piano and Nina Zilli, together with Il Volo perform the beautiful theme song from the film of the same name, “Metti, una Sera a Cena.”
Raphael Gualazzi on the piano and Nina Zilli perform with IL VOLO
Next came “Here’s to You”, the theme from Sacco and Vanzetti. This was preceded by a reading of the story of the two unfortunate Italian immigrants, read by Giallini. For those of you who don’t know the story of Sacco and Vanzetti here is a brief summary:
Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti were Italian immigrants, anarchists, who were controversially convicted of murdering a guard and a paymaster during the April 15, 1920, armed robbery of the Slater and Morrill Shoe Company in Braintree, Massachusetts.
A series of appeals followed, funded largely by the private Sacco and Vanzetti Defense Committee.  As details of the trial and the men’s suspected innocence became known, Sacco and Vanzetti became the center of one of the largest causes célèbres in modern history.
Responding to a massive influx of telegrams urging their pardon, Massachusetts governor Alvan T. Fuller appointed a three-man commission to investigate the case. After weeks of secret deliberation, the commission upheld the verdict. Sacco and Vanzetti were executed in the electric chair just after midnight on August 23, 1927.

Left to right: Gianluca, Piero and Ignazio talking between songs

And so, we come to the end of the concert and the dedication of “Conradiana” to Vito Boschetto, Ignazio’s dad. “Conradiana” is a beautiful song written by Andrea Bocelli and Ennio Morricone. Very touching, very emotional and it certainly touched the heart of Ignazio and his brothers Piero and Gianluca, and I know it also touched our hearts.
We were so busy waiting for this Tribute that it seems we have missed an important event. Italy won Eurovision. What does that mean for us? It means next year Italy will host Eurovision. Rai, I don’t want to tell you how to do your job but, I think I know three very handsome, very talented young men who would absolutely be the best possible hosts for the program. Are You listening? Great events should have great people hosting them.
In closing today let me say that the guys showed us their talent and their love in this concert. And they really dedicated it to us. When they were singing their song, to Sacco and Vanzetti, they were saying to us, their fans, “Here’s to You.”
But what I really need to say is “Here’s to You” for a phenomenal, unforgettable, Concert!
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
Left to right: Gianluca, Ignazio and Piero standing together on the Arena stage

 

Credit to owners of all photos and videos.

To Feel You Close Once More!

We made it through the first weekend of summer and arrived at Memorial Day! I make it a point of never going anywhere on this weekend but, this year, I decided I needed a break. I’ve been working on the book for two months and now it’s coming to an end so, I decided to run away!
Why I chose to go to the Jersey shore is beyond me. I have never been there on Memorial Day but, my friends were there so, I said, why not! If you live on the east coast of the United States, you know the weekend was rained out. It’s Sunday night and the rain is finally stopping.

Susan De Bartoli sitting on a bench near the beach

So, what did I do all weekend? I watched Il Volo interviews and concerts on YouTube. Always fun! This weekend gave me a lot of time to reminisce over guys last 12 years. As we’re preparing for the big event on Saturday, a “Tribute to Ennio Morricone,” I thought about where the guys came from and where they are heading.

Left to right: A smiling Gianluca, Piero and Ignazio

My mind wondered off to 2018. That moment when the guys were crossing over, making some very interesting moves and beginning to come into their own They were very successful and, they were very comfortable in their performances. All was so right! The albums keep coming! The success keeps coming, the tours in North and South America keep selling out and the boys have grown into fine attractive young men. And now they’re ready for a new experience. The music evolves and they are ready to crossover.
In 2018 they released one of the most exciting Latin albums to come out in years. I would go so far as to say Amame is the most exciting Latin album that was ever produced. It’s opera, it’s rock, it’s classical, it’s pop and it never stops giving. The rhythm in songs like “Noche Sin Dia” is amazing. You have to move with the music. You can’t sit still.

Cover of the IL VOLO AMAME CD

I love this album. With this album, the guys spread their wings! It is a departure from their usual style. They have shown their skill with Spanish music and with this album, they leave you wishing for more.
A song like “Maldito Amor” is a phenomenal experience for your ears. The delivery is smooth. It pulls away from the traditional Latin music and it delivers a sound that is very intense. Different! Very Different! The sound is pure and clean and, their voices are spot on! It’s one of those songs that stays with you forever.

Gloria Estefan and the guys really nailed it with Ay Ay Ay Amor! It screams for your attention! And it certainly keeps it!

Left to right: Ignazio with Emilio and Gloria Estefan, Gianluca and Piero

If you like modern Latin music and Il Volo, then you will like this album.  When I thought about this album, I thought about how I would write about it. All I can say is these three amazing guys absolutely floored me. They are multitalented. They can sing every genre. To be able to take opera, rock, classical, pop and Latin and create an album like this is amazing. The beat is so intense and, they are spot on. I think they knocked it out of the box with “Noche Sin Dia.” With Latin music you don’t just sing it, you feel it, and if you don’t feel it, you don’t cut it. This album cuts it! Good move!
As if that wasn’t enough, they follow up with Musica! This is the album that proved that great can get greater. This album is representative of where these young men are now. It’s beautiful, it’s sensitive, it’s romantic. It’s about love. It’s about them being ready for love. It comes from deep within them. All the sweetness and humility of these guys is in this album. It moves your senses. What I am saying is they have evolved and, their voices have evolved.

Over of the IL VOLO MUSICA CD

By 2018, they had grown into their voices. Their voices are mature and have expanded in such an amazing way. There’s an intriguing balance in their voices. To experience this amazing evolution in voice and song you need go no further than “Be My Love.” Gianluca’s voice vibrates and expands to realms I’ve never heard before. Ignazio makes your heart stop as you journey along his notes which lead to absolute ecstasy. Piero fills all your sense and brings you to such passion and heights that you have to stop and breathe. This is Musica che resta!

This was definitely the album fans were waiting for. Their talent and skills brought an amazing balance of melody, harmony and rhythm to the music. It’s all the joy of bel canto along with the passion and intrigue that they bring to the music!  Musica is an enjoyable mix of old familiar songs and new exciting songs that offer something for everyone.
With this outstanding album, the guys come at you full force, on top of their game with a selection of love songs that go straight to the heart. “Be My Love” and “People” are just beautiful and “Meravigliosa Creatura” (Wonderful Creature) is an absolute treasure.
Click the photo below to hear Meravigliosa Creatura.

We have watched these three very talented young men evolve and the difference in ten years is the polish they bring to the performance. Their voices have evolved, and their vocal technique has expanded, they have become more intense in their delivery and more romantic. They are truly amazing!
Hands down they are the best Classical Pop singers on earth. They can sing anything. Their whole world is music and it’s obvious in their music. Their voices form a symphony that changes lives.
In 2019, they recorded The Best of Ten Years!  The songs they chose are beautifully rendered. Their voices are a gift from God that they share with us. The three voices blend beautifully! Their choice of songs is quite eclectic and shows off the range and the beauty of their voices. Individually they are wonderful, put them together, they are magic!
The Best of Ten Years is a compilation of songs released over the ten years they have been together. It is the Best of Il Volo’s repertoire, from “O Sole Mio” to “Grande Amore.”

Gold CD for the IL VOLO Best of 10 Years CD

Just this past week Sony attested that “The Best of Ten Years” has attained a Gold CD! As Daniela said in her recent article, “It is a nice milestone, as real sales are now extremely difficult, and the awards are now counted on the streamed listeners and not just on the actual sales made.” Congratulations guys a phenomenal CD! You deserve the acclaim! You did it again!
Reliving the past Twelve years was exciting!
So, here we are in 2021, at the end of a pandemic and, bringing back the live concerts. Who better than Il Volo to start it up again!
We had the pleasure of hearing “Your Love” at Sanremo 2021 and we anxiously await the event of the year, a “Tribute to Ennio Morricone” and the new album by the same name. We know Morricone’s music and, we can’t wait to hear what the guys have done with it.
On Sunday, the rehearsals started and, they continue throughout the week. The guys took a short break today to sing the “Mameli Anthem” for Italian Republic Day.

Left to right: Gianluca, Ignazio and Piero standing in the Arena tunnel

In a few days the magic will begin! They will step out on the stage of the ancient Arena of Verona and steal our hearts all over again! And we will remember how it is ~To Feel You Close Once More!
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.

REPUBLIC DAY IN ITALY

How do Piero, Ignazio and Gianluca identify as Italians?
Today is a National Holiday in Italy. It is Republic Day. It commemorates the birth of the Republic of Italy with the constitutional referendum of 1946, when the Italian population was called to decide what form of government (monarchy or republic) to give to the country after World War II and the fall of fascism. After 85 years of monarchy, Italy decided on the abolition of the monarchy, ruled by the House of Savoy, and established the Republic.

Italian flag

Italians are the only people in the world who do not identify with their country. They identify with their region and their people. In America we are all immigrants. We all came from someplace else. If you ask a German where his family is from, he’ll say Germany, same with France, Spain etc. but if you asked me where my family is from, I would answer, my mothers’ family is from Abruzzo, my fathers’ father is from Calabria with roots in Marsala and fathers mother is born in New York and her family was from Campania. We never say we are from Italy. We associate with who our parents are and the region of Italy they came from.

Map of Italy and Regions

Think about the guys. Now we know they are Italian, born in Italy but Gianluca says I’m Abruzzese, Piero says I’m Sicilian and Ignazio, is the interesting one that proves my point. He says he’s Sicilian but, he was born in Bologna in Emilia Romagna. Why Sicilian, because his parents are Sicilian born in Sicily. Which begs the question, what will Ignazio’s children be?
So, 150 years after the unification of Italy, nothing has changed.
They are who their people are!

Green, white and red Italian heart graphic

Today, live from the Arena di Verona, for the feast of the Italian Republic, Il Volo will perform the “Canto degli Italiani” (national anthem).

Left to right: Gianluca, Ignazio and Piero standing in the Arena tunnel

The hymn was written by Goffredo Mameli, poet and patriot of the 1800s.

Goffredo Mameli who wrote the Italian national anthem

And here it is the beautiful interpretation performed by Ignazio, Piero and Gianluca, certainly proud to sing ancient words of unchanged charm.
Click on photo below to hear IL VOLO sing the Italian national anthem.

Aerial view of Verona Arean

At the beginning of the video the boys say some thoughts.
Gianluca reads the first article of the Italian Constitution.
GIANLUCA = Italy is a Democratic Republic founded on work, sovereignty belongs to the people who exercise it in the forms and within the limits of the Constitution.
IGNAZIO = We want to honor this anniversary by singing the anthem of Italy, which is a Risorgimento song.
PIERO = And it is a resurgence, what we wish for Italy and for all Italians.

Left to right: Gianluca, Ignazio and Piero singing in the Arena tunnel

Left to right: Gianluca, Ignazio and Piero standing in the Arena tunnel

 

Credit to owners of all photos and videos.