Category Archives: General news

I LOVE TO SING by Daniela

After the beautiful Christmas performance of Il Volo in St. Peter’s Square, I followed with interest the various comments under the video published on YouTube by RAI.
Among the many compliments and some (but very few) comments of Italians who said that the boys are obnoxious and arrogant, I noticed a nice comment made by an Italian man Christian Panico, who I discovered to be an Italian singer with a tenor voice.
His comment went something like this:
“I don’t understand this aversion to Il Volo, they are good and I personally met Ignazio Boschetto, a nice guy, good and very helpful.”
I got very curious, it’s really rare here in Italy that other tenor voices compliment our guys, so I looked for other news on his Facebook page and here’s what I found.
Really many, many compliments Christian Panico, you have a beautiful voice . . . very beautiful your performance of Grande Amore!
This beautiful video is accompanied by these words from Christian: “The Italian bel canto in the world, the new generation that goes on and represents us. Three clean faces, three good guys, I like this thing! Well done, you deserve your success! Here is my little gift for you.”
Double honor to you Christian, who sincerely recognize the success and merit of these guys.
I read that you too have a story similar to theirs, you have a beautiful voice that deserves success, but you had to leave Italy to have it. You are known and successful in eastern Europe, but I admit that I, here in Italy, had never heard of you.
On Christian’s page, there is also a photo of the meeting with Ignazio.
And this is his comment on the photo!
“Curious about life! You are leaving for Iceland and who do you meet at the airport bar while we ask for a vegan croissant together? Ignazio Boschetto from Il Volo. Is he vegan too? He too is a tenor … He is also very nice and a very simple and humble person. He has all my respect for this, very helpful, we had a quick chat, they went to do a concert, I instead spent 12 days in Iceland, before resuming work on my recording project.”
Then I found this beautiful video.
Listen to the beautiful voice of Christian Panico in this beautiful “cover” of THE SOUND OF SILENCE, translated into Italian IL SUONO DEL SILENZIO.

And therefore, I decided to contact Christian Panico and asked him if he wanted to answer some of my questions.
He was extremely kind and immediately accepted.
So here’s his little interview:
1) I know you accidentally met Ignazio at the airport. Did you already know him or was it your first meeting?
Hello! I did not know him and I have to thank my mother who recognized him even though he had a mask … We were in the airport and it was the first time I met him.
2) Did you also meet Piero and Gianluca?
Unfortunately no. Ignazio was on his way to them but I don’t like being intrusive even though I admit I would have liked to have a chat with them.
3) You wrote that Ignazio was immediately nice and helpful. What do you think about the fact that these guys are often accused of being obnoxious and arrogant, thanks to what our journalists have always written?
I only met Ignazio and seemed to be talking to a friend, very helpful and nice, a really nice surprise. In short, Il Volo are now among the most famous Italian singers in the world and could certainly be “full of themselves.” (But Ilvolovers know they are not!)
The journalists? I don’t know what to tell you … In no uncertain terms, maybe those who speak badly do it because they don’t take money, like those who speak well of those who make music, which I wouldn’t dare call music, like Trap, and the like. There are also those who write well about that stuff, so anything is possible!
4) As a vocal coach, do you think Piero, Ignazio and Gianluca have had vocal study commitments during these years? What do you think of their vocal background?
I am sure that they have taken lessons over the years. There is a vocal growth that is not just their own thing. I would be surprised to be proved wrong, but anything can be … Even Bocelli himself confessed to me in one of our meetings that he had studied and continues to study even now.
I don’t want to hurt others, but I think Ignazio is the most vocally gifted. I think Piero studies a lot and there have been significant improvements and that Gianluca has a very beautiful timbre, a beautiful voice quality.

5) Have you heard about the next project dedicated to “Morricone”, what do you think?
No, I didn’t know anything about it. In my interpretations, too, I paid homage to the teacher with a piece that is very close to my heart (I was also moved while I was singing it). Morricone’s disappearance was a great loss.
6) Would you give vocal coach lessons to Il Volo or have you already given them? In case, how did you find yourself?
They will certainly have more qualified and talented teachers than me, even if I have taught professional tenors from Japan to Russia, a country where I have achieved some success as a singer. I would love to sing with them, but also among us, for to have some fun, who knows … Never say never!
7) You have a beautiful voice and undisputed vocal skills, as well as heart, you also have a strong technique due to study, which today is rarely found in most young singers, yet radio and TV spur relentlessly to follow these singers often out of breath, what do you think about this?
They are killing the music! That’s all … Probably, those who decide and move the gears of the music world and beyond, want us stupid! There are no other explanations. Being a singer is a profession and as such must be taken seriously, you must be prepared and do it by professionals and not improvised.
Instead, now there is the fashion to see success, people with no art or part, as if they wanted us to understand that to become famous (and not singers, which is very different) you don’t need to be a good singer or have studied. I do not think that in 30 years we will listen to the music these gentlemen produce, on the contrary I am sure that we will listen to the great hits of thirty years ago, which we still listen to today. You draw the conclusions.

8) Il Volo had its first real successes abroad and then, consequently, managed to establish itself in Italy as well. You too have had a similar approach, you have been successful in Russia and in Eastern Europe and despite your skill you have often been hindered here in Italy. Why does Italy struggle so hard to recognize deserving people?
Il Volo had the opportunity to get off to a good start here in Italy with a television program that gave it visibility. I too was one of the singers of the great Paolo Limiti (a good songwriter and host of Italian music programs), whom I remember with great affection, a great professional.
I missed the period after the debut …… Il Volo had the TOP in Italy as management. I have not had the same luck, perhaps that is the missing piece for me in Italy. Italy is not a meritocratic country and honestly I have not understood how the music world works in Italy either. If I hadn’t been a good singer I wouldn’t have been successful in Russia or I wouldn’t have had 10,000,000 views with my Italian HALLELUJAH on Facebook. I am very sorry not to be able to break through here in Italy, in my country. I had to be born in another era.😑
9) What do you think of the current Italian music scene?
One word DRAMATIC!
Except for rare cases. The thing that leaves me speechless is to see that not even the Big of music, are no longer able to pull off real hits, as they did in the past.
We are experiencing the musical Middle Ages, as a historical period.
10) What do you think of talent shows?
Maybe I’m the cause of this situation ????
I think they are not meritocrats like those of other countries and I assure you that there are people who are very deserving talents. Indescribable talents … Back from Russia, I also tried to audition for some reality shows and you think that I didn’t even pass the first audition! I remember in particular one for XFactor and I want to tell you about it. I went from Rome to Milan to participate in the selection. They let me into one of the many small rooms and there was a 20 year old boy there, alone, without a microphone and he asked me to sing 60 seconds of a song, guess which one? “Grande Amore” by Il Volo.
After singing, he gives me many compliments and then tells me: “But they don’t take you anyway.”
Surprised, I asked him why and he replied: “Because we are looking for something different. Even today I don’t understand what this ‘different’ is.
This year I auditioned for ‘All Together Now’ and this time after four auditions, I arrived in the top 28 but in the end Ricci (program author), told me that I was good, nice but they were looking for “other” and he put me as a backup. Unfortunately for me it is fortunately for the competitors, no one retired. 😑
Mine is a very difficult job, but I love it, I love to sing, it is the truest expression of my soul. I am naked at that moment and I will never betray the music, which has given me so much. This is why I sing, if I am successful, I will be happy but only because more people can listen to me and because I will have the opportunity to do many beautiful things!
Greetings to all and ‘Hurray Il Volo’ , you are the Italian pride, keep it up!”

And since Christian Panico mentioned his Italian version of “HALLELUJAH” in his answers, I propose you listen to it, you will not regret it!

Grazie Mille Christian, it was nice to be able to interview you.
It was a real pleasure meeting you, you are a good artist as well as a good person, you have talent, you have technique, you deserve great success and we wish you so with all our heart.
Daniela 
For those wishing to get to know Christian Panico better, here are his links:
https://www.facebook.com/ChristianPanicoOfficial/
https://youtube.com/c/christianpanico

 

Credit to owners of all photos and videos.

BOIN ~ an Interstellar Journey by Susan

Ignazio and Fabio, what are you up to?  What have you told us so far?

Message: Follow this page to get into the New World.

That’s simple enough. All of you on Instagram, go to BOIN Collection and sign up to FOLLOW the journey.

 

Message: We didn’t think about growth so fast and that’s why we are late with the publication of the first post on the page!

Obviously, many of us were moving very fast to FOLLOW Ignazio and Fabio on BOIN.  That’s a great thing.

Message: BOIN is a community with the purpose of sharing a Magical and Artistic vision of BOIN’s World!

What is this Magical and Artistic vision? Will Ignazio and Fabio through song and painting lead us to a new world of sensations for our minds? Minds that are always open to new realities and experiences?

Message: Little by Little we will explain making you participate in (of) the Interstellar journey!

Obviously, they want us to participate in this Interstellar Journey! Can we board the same Spaceship and tag along on their Journey through the Universe?

Message: For every 1,000 Followers a Post and a Great Surprise upon achievement of 10K Followers!

Now we’re getting somewhere! For every 1,000 Followers, they will post the next clue on their Journey! The last I checked they were up to 2,661 Followers. We need to get to 10,000 Followers.

So, let’s get this show on the road. Ignazio and Fabio promised a Great Surprise at 10,000 Followers! So, let’s speed things along. I know I’m anxiously awaiting the Surprise!

Go to Instagram and FOLLOW BOIN Collection and see if we can speed this up a bit!

(Download the Instagram app for your phone or tablet –  or go to www.instagram.com to sign up for an account.)

Credit to owners of illustrations and video.

LERI CAVOUR by Susan

Ignazio’s friend Roberto Amadè

In a number of articles, I’ve mentioned the Amadè-Boschetto concert which was organized through the Cultural and Artistic Center “Ignazio Boschetto,” with the support of The Town Hall of Marsala. The Teatro Impero Archipelago hall has long applauded this initiative which brought together several artists from Marsala. This concert was held in February 2014.

This was a wonderful collaboration between Ignazio Boschetto and Roberto Amadè to help young people in their careers. In February 2014, Katya Pantaleo, a young singer from Marsala, won the Premio della Critica at Sanremo with the song “Come in Paradiso” music, lyrics and arrangement by Ignazio.
Many of you have asked me who Roberto Amadè is and how this collaboration came about with Ignazio?

Roberto Amadè is an Italian singer and songwriter. He was born in Vercelli, Italy on April 3, 1982. He is the son of Claudio Chapel bassist in the Orchestra of the Teatro alla Scala of Milan since 1979. Like Ignazio, Roberto plays multiple instruments. He graduated from the Albertina Academy of Fine Arts of Turin. One of his works entitled “Abbado” (dedicated to the conductor Claudio Abbado) is on exhibition at the Teatro alla Scala Foundation.

Roberto was very fascinated by music for cinema and in 2008 he composed the soundtrack for the film “La terra nelanque” (The Land in the Blood).
In December 2010, Roberto was the winner of Arena Sanremo with the song “Come Poggia,” (Like Rain) and thus was admitted to the 2011 Sanremo Festival where he won third place in the “Young” category. The song “Come Poggia” is arranged by Roberto Amadè together with Celso Valli. (We know the name Celso Valli, he was also one of  the producers of Il Volo.)

With his participation in 2011 Sanremo Festival, his debut album “Tutti gli incanti della vita” (All the Charms of Life) was re-released on February 16, 2011, with the new title “Come Poggia,” by Universal Music Group and Roberto, at the time, came under contract with Michele Torpedine. And so, the friendship with Ignazio begins.

Two amazing entertainers and one smart manager!

But Roberto’s talent doesn’t stop there!  I would like to turn your attention to a special project that Roberto has been working on. It’s called Leri Cavour. As I mentioned, Roberto was born in Vercelli and he has been married for nine years to Marianna Fusilli, who was also born in Vercelli. They have three children, Amelie Grace, Isabel and Xavier.

This is what Roberto wrote about the founding of the Leri Cavour Foundation. “Thanks to my father, I discovered my love for Music and Art and I have always pursued both disciplines with passion and dedication.
So, after graduating in painting at the Albertina Academy of Fine Arts of Turin, I met Michele Torpedine and signed a contract with Universal Music Group.
In 2011, I participated in the 61st Sanremo Festival qualifying third in the young proposals category. In 2014, I did a live in-theater with Ignazio Boschetto of the opera trio “Il Volo” with whom a great friendship was born and is still alive today.”

The Abandoned Village of Leri Cavour

“On November 1st, 2018, during a visit to the Borgo di Leri with my wife, Marianna, our lives changed. We were enchanted by a wonder of history that was left incredibly alone like a diamond in the desert. We understand that Leri’s rebirth can be concrete and we can see for a few seconds, in front of our eyes, the project already completed. Thus, we began a journey made of research, sharing and discoveries that animate our daily life, deeply convinced that the history of all of us Italians must be preserved and not lost.” 
Roberto and his wife Marianna along with Luciano Vigani took on the project of restoring Leri Cavour. The great love for the history of Leri and the deep conviction in its rebirth pushes Luciano to be strongly present in every activity of protection and recovery of the Borgo.

The area that is now known as Leri Cavour has long been an example of agricultural growth. Having been the site of a religious order as far back as the 15th century, the land was used to grow grain and other crops as the farmers’ processes evolved. The rural production thrived until the land was acquired by Napoleon who then sold it off to help pay a debt, which is how it found its way into the hands of the Marquis Michele Benso di Cavour. The property changed hands many times and by the late 1960s, Leri Cavour was abandoned.
On November 1st, 2020 Roberto said, “Today is an important day, to celebrate, despite everything and despite the serious moment we are living in the world. Today marks exactly two years…. Two years full of dreams, projects, friendships. It was November 1st, 2018 and in that very moment Marianna and I decided to dedicate our lives to Leri Cavour. For a short moment, before our eyes, everything was clear, precise; there was no hesitation about what we should have done. I remember it was windy. We looked at Cavour’s house, we looked at each other…. it was there, in that precise moment, that it all started.

The first flame was born that day two years ago, it’s true, but that same fire today is inside many people, men and women who became friends, who became a big family for us. It’s an incredible emotion to see them every day in the village so full of passion. I still cannot express how proud I am of them. Do you know what drives us apart from the initial flame? PERSEVERANCE! The only attitude so strong that we can always carry on, even when at first, we were crazy, even when we found the abusive campers who started the fire or the French who wanted to run us off the road or when we found the Gypsies in the church or the nutrient hunter…. perseverance leads us to keep taking care of Leri every day, find a broken window and fix it…. find it broken and keep fixing it because if it’s true that Leri is an ambitious and immense project, so should our vision and our feelings. Because in the end Perseverance is an act of love, a love the World will always need!”
We thank Ignazio for introducing us to this amazing man.

We wish Roberto, Marianna and Luciano much success in this wonderful project.
This is one of many projects that are going on in Italy today. Many feel as Roberto does that Italy’s history must be preserved!
To learn more about the Leri Cavour project visit their website:

Leri Cavour Project – Click Here

Be sure to visit the Gallery to see all the beautiful buildings they will be restoring.
If you don’t have a translator on your computer, you can go on Google Translate and translate all the Italian stories into English.

Credit to owners of all photos and videos.

IL VOLO NEWS! Ginoble Brothers – a whole lotta sugar & a little bit of salt! by Giovanna

I know many of you have already seen an article or video of Star Rosetano’s interview with Gianluca on December 30, 2020. God bless all of the Facebookers and fan pages who are so prompt to get this stuff posted as soon as it happens.  I’m not that diligent, or timely, but I thought I’d do a fresh translation with a little color commentary.

First, though, an important message.  Gianluca and Ernie Ginoble posted last week that they both tested positive for COVID-19.  Baruch HaShem (that’s Hebrew for “Thank God”), neither is seriously ill.  They are both isolated in Gian’s house to protect their parents and their Nonno Ernesto.   Given how close the Ginoble family is, isolation is probably hard on the boys.  We don’t yet have information on whether Ignazio and Piero were exposed or even recently tested.  Here’s what Gian had to say:

“My brother and I have tested positive forCOVID-19.  Actually, we are at home isolated from the rest of the family and are doing well. Despite the care and precaution we’ve adopted, we did not escape this virus.  So, I seriously recommend that everyone pay maximum attention, wear a mask, respect the rules and social distancing.  Only by working together will we be able to overcome this dark period in our history.”

On a positive note, we now know that Digital Journal (that’ the internet news “supercenter”) selected Il Volo’s Radio City Music Hall concert last February as the worldwide best concert in 2020.  Gian, who has a close relationship with the local and regional media people in Abruzzo, was interviewed by Luca Maggitti right after this news reached them.

Before I translate Gian’s December interview, I thought I would enlighten our readers about the unpredictability of using automatic computer translations.  I very much appreciate everyone who posts or translates on any of the Il Volo fan pages, even when they use computer translation software.   But let me give you an example of what happens when you trust these crazy tools too much.  We can even have a little Italian lesson while we’re at it. 

Last year, I saw an automatic translation of an interview question to Ignazio, where he was asked what he does when he gets home from a tour.    He described how he appreciates ordinary things like doing the laundry, and “portare in giro il cane”.  That’s the Italian idiom for “walking the dog.”   But that got translated by a computer, literally and humorously, as “carrying the dog around.”   I don’t think Ignazio meant to say he was carrying his dog around town in his arms.  Then again, knowing how fond he is of his Arturo, maybe Igna wanted to carry him! 

Translation: “While I was shut in the house for a week and a half, it was he who kept me company.  Arturo!” (Also note that there’s a graphic of Arturo on the living room wall).

Besides, when Arturo was a new pup, he had a little problem responding to the leash, so maybe Igna had to carry him sometimes!

Then again, maybe it’s because Ignazio is a Sicilian (even if he does live in Bologna)?  The last time I spent part of the summer in Sicily, my landlord also “carried” one of his dogs around.  When I saw him going up and down the second-floor stairs with his dog in his arms, I yelled over the muro di pietra (stone wall) of my terazza to ask what he was doing, and he responded, “Cosa pensi che sto facendo?  Sto portando in giro il cane.”  “What do you think I’m doing?  I’m walking the dog.”  Between gasps and laughing, all I could say was, “Beh, stai davvero camminando, e quello è davvero un cane. “Well, you really are walking, and that really is a dog.”

It turns out one of my landlord’s little twin dogs (who look just like Roberta Morise’s little doggie on the beach here with Igna) was totally blind.  His other little one had no teeth (as my landlord says “proprio como il suo padrone” “just like his owner”).  I couldn’t pass up a joke, and blurted out, “Con loro due hai quasi un cane intero.” “Between the two of them you almost have one whole dog.”

We were both Sicilians, so we could tease each other and get away with it.  Va tutto bene tra paesani (It’s all OK among us paesanos).  Besides, my landlord was an Il Volo fan, so we could forgive each other nearly anything. 

Speaking of Sicilians, have you ever noticed what Piero does when Ignazio says he’s from Bologna?  I saw an Italian TV interview about a year ago, which was pretty typical.  When Igna says he’s Bolognese, Piero does the exaggerated eye roll and Sicilian hand gestures, and smarts off: “Mostra dal tuo accento quanto sei bolognese.” “Yeah, it shows from your accent how Bolognese you are.”  Igna normally speaks formal northern Italian, but with a Sicilian accent, and switches seamlessly and at will into heavy Sicilian dialect.  You can hear him on stage or on TV, saying things like “cu” (“who”) and “iddu” “(he”) “che beddu” (“how cute he is” – this can be very ironic) and “schiacciando i cabazizzi” (I’m not translating that one). 
The TV show I saw was the same one, by the way, where Gianluca wouldn’t tell the name of his current sweetheart, then ran off the stage with the interviewer after telling her she looks just like her.    The other two (you know who) had a field day with that. 
Piero lapses into Sicilian, too, when it’s convenient.  Our Daniela has at least once caught Piero calling Igna, “cumpa” (Sicilian for neighbor or buddy).  That was the time this past summer when, early one morning, Piero pulled a prank on video, convincing Igna he had to get up to go do a non-existent interview.   When Igna figured out that he “veniva preso in giro” was “being taken for a ride” he exercised the top row of his keyboard really well ($#@%&#*!!)

On to the Gianluca interview.

Here’s a link to Luca Maggitti’s Facebook post of a short live interview with Gianluca on December 29, which was an intro or “teaser” for an article that followed in print the next day.  The interview clip appears near the top of Luca’s Facebook page.  I translate it below.

https://www.facebook.com/lucamaggitti/posts/10225325771437530

Luca: Roseto degli Abruzzo, two days until the end of this unbelievable year 2020.  We greet our friend Gianluca Ginoble of Il Volo.  Gianluca, with the pier of Montepagano, the Pier of Roseto, at your back.
Gian:  The most relaxing, peaceful place in our little town.
Luca:  We had a little chat, thanks to you making yourself available, to re-evaluate, three days after the splendid concert that blew away everyone who heard it at Saint Peter’s Square at Christmas, and four days after your concert at Radio City Music Hall was named the best concert of 2020.  We are seeing you here for a quick visit preceding the written interview which we’ll publish tomorrow.  So, at year end, with Gianluca.  We ‘re having a little chat with Gianluca on these 10 years he has lived so intensely.  For our friends, what are your thoughts to lead off this chat we’ve had?
Gian:  To start off, I send greetings to all who are watching us.  Apart from the last few things we’ve done, I’m very pleased with the success of this Christmas concert we did, especially because it permitted us a moment of thoughtfulness, a smile, given this totally strange year that unfortunately struck all of us.  So, I want to say it has been a real “mouthful” for us to return to singing at a place as magical as that (St. Peter’s Square).   So, it was like a gift for us, who wanted to return this gift to all Italians and all the people who follow us.  About those 10 years, as I told you, this is the thousandth interview we’ve done, but you are my favorite reporter.
Luca:  You’re too kind.
Gian:  I’ve already told you many, many things about how my life has changed, without regrets and in unexpected ways.  I have gone from a child prodigy to the guy, the man, I am today.  In just two months, I’ll be 26 years old.

Luca: So, with this meeting I wanted specifically . . .   (Gian interrupts to say “Hi, good evening” to some passersby who recognize him) . . . to capture the effect of your greeting and your smile and Montepagano, and the pier on the sea; to offer best wishes for a good year.  Because never before, as much as this year, have we had such a need to wish that the next year (2021) would be better than this unbelievable year.  Thank you, Gianluca.  Delighted to have you. 
Gian:  I send a virtual hug and a greeting to everyone, hoping that 2021 will be truly better than this past year which unfortunately, as I said, has hit us not only at the working level but also at the emotional level.  Because it has been a really heavy thing to endure a whole year that made us more vulnerable, and also forced us to be more motivated.  So, a hug to everyone, and let’s hope that we will soon resume doing concerts.  Because the moment that we return to doing concerts, it will mean that things have returned to normal.  So, see you soon.  Ciao.

Next, here’s a link to the Roseto.com article, which I’ve also translated below.

https://www.roseto.com/scheda_news.php?id=18632&fbclid=IwAR1iz0J8tgOvZAJXC8xHVbTJJvlW2YKUyxFzyYr_UQOYB1OYfqp1QnNYG1s

 

GIANLUCA GINOBLE: 10 ANNI DI CARRIERA, 10 TOUR MONDIALI

Gianluca Ginoble: A 10-Year Career and 10 World Tours

Interview with the Rosetana star, who talks about past concerts and the desire to return to performing in front of audiences around the world. 

Roseto degli Abruzzi, Wednesday, 30 December 2020 – 11:30 am

 

Gianluca Ginoble – 10 years of career and 10 world tours with Il Volo.  What does this mean for a young man, 25 years old, who as a boy left the ancient village of Montepagano?
“The happiness of having turned my passion into my job.  Not everyone has this great privilege in life. This fills my heart with joy and makes sense of everything.”

Looking at certain photos it seems like seeing you in a movie, given the importance of the characters and the exceptional nature of the audiences.
“I was thinking about it recently, sitting at the table with my family. During the Christmas holidays, I often return in my memory to many beautiful moments and retell them (to the family).  And when I remember certain moments, it feels almost like a fairy tale.  Sometimes I’d like to pinch myself and ask myself, “But did it all really happen?”

So, you think back to these first 10 years, what is the greatest feeling?
“The awareness that everything really happened, enhanced by the slight naiveté of someone who’s still struggling to believe it.  As long as I keep this youthful honesty, I will have the strength to do better and better.

After touring the world 10 times in 10 years, do you have a kind of “super-list” of the most beautiful emotions you experienced? “The greatest emotion of all is the unbelievable sight of countries and peoples in the world so different from each other in everything – culture, traditions, food, religion, behaviors – but united by their passion for our musical genre.  From the composed and attentive Japanese audiences to the most passionate and unleashed South American ones, the common thread is our songs. This is really incredible, because I think it is also the strength of bel canto, which manages to unite people who appear to be extremely different”.

At Christmas you achieved a huge television success with the concert on Rai 1. A few days earlier, the Digital Journal, the world’s information network, had selected as the best concert of the year 2020 your concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York, held on February 6.  If you had to recall, (what were) three special concerts for you in these 10 years?
“Every concert is special to me, because it’s a blessing.  I love singing, and in this long period of downtime, I sing every day, at home.  So, when I have the pleasure of doing it for the public it’s always a wonderful time for me.  But if you want to rank them, of course we start from that concert in New York, which received a very important recognition that surprised and honored us.  Then, after that memory, I would like to recall the beauty of two concerts held at opposite ends of the world: the one at Bunkamura in Tokyo and the one at Luna Park in Buenos Aires. In Japan the audience was extremely calm, quiet, very attentive.  In Argentina there was a much “hotter” and more visceral atmosphere. The thing that links these two concerts is the passion of those who came to listen to us and, therefore, the magic of seeing very different (types of) people united by music.”

 

For many months, the Covid-19 pandemic has paralyzed the world, as far as cultural and musical activities. How are you getting through this period?
“With the affection of my family and in the serenity of Montepagano.  We must wait for the pandemic to pass and for conditions to be safe for everyone.  This is the only way can we return to concerts and being happy again, united by the music that for me is the oxygen of my life”.

Thinking about when you’re on tour, what are the things you now miss most?
“Humanly speaking, the habit of travelling and the pleasure of always adapting to the new circumstances, the tears of joy of the public, the facets and sensations that the work I do – which is the most beautiful in the world – gives me.  Professionally speaking, it’s my reflections on how I did and how the concert was, after each performance.”

Do you really do performance analysis after each concert?
“Yes, it is very important out of respect for those who come to listen to us and for my continual improvement. One thing that strikes me is the ability I have developed, in recent years, to perceive the reactions of the audience to our concerts and, specifically, to my performance.  I think I have the right empathy to feel people’s emotions when I sing.”

And your empathy, I think born of artistic sensitivity, what does it tell you?
“It tells me whether the public liked something or not, whether I could have done it better.  I am extremely self-critical and this allows me to understand if everything went well, or when and where I could do better. And, with a little presumption, I’ll tell you that I’m rarely wrong.  So, when I tell myself after a concert that I could have done this or that thing better, I work hard to do it better at the next show.  And on a 50-date world tour, continuous improvement is possible and necessary.”

By looking at yourself in such a self-critical and analytical way, in these 10 years you must also have learned some lessons or acquired values. Which are the most important?
“While acquiring self-awareness, learning to manage your own emotions and feelings, avoiding any authoritarianism.  Then the strength to believe in ourselves to transmit trust to the people around you and who share this wonderful and demanding journey with you.  Because there is always a need for security, and we who are the leaders of a project must be an example, certainly remaining humble but aware of our value, specifically to protect the beauty of what we’ve built and to protect all those who are part of our home.” (Author’s note:  Besides meaning Italy, “home” refers to the many who depend upon Il Volo for their livelihood.  These three young men have a strong sense of responsibility for their entire team and staff).

You speak like someone older than your 25 years, a sign that 10 years around the world has made you grow older than your age…

 “I think it is the result of a path of growth, of books read and people who enrich you with their thoughts and their examples.  I think there’s always a reason for success.  And if success – excuse the pun – continues to happen (Author’s note:  In Italian, “succcesso” means “success”, but also means “happened”), there is a reason. So, because for so many people you are a point of reference, while remaining a human being and therefore vulnerable, you have to do everything to be a positive example, a charismatic leader who transmits security and serenity. Of course, this is a journey and I have learned it over the years.  At first, I was shyer and more reserved, but then the world tours and experiences tempered me, I think positively.”

From your personal archive, you have selected 19 photos to share with us of concerts held in New York, Verona, Rio de Janeiro, Budapest, Buenos Aires and Montreal.  What’s your wish for the year to come?
“My desire is to be able to return to re-live those wonderful moments.  My hope is that this will happen as soon as possible, because it would mean a world healed and restored.  To quote the great Lucio Dalla: “I’m getting ready.”  

Happy New Year.
“Best wishes for a better year for all, with all my heart.”

Interview by Luca Maggitti

Our prayers and thoughts go out to the Ginobles for all their health.  Flight Crew will post again if we hear any more on all our guys.  

Credit to owners of all photos.

FABIO INGRASSIA…IN BLACK AND WHITE BETWEEN COLORS by Susan

My choice for Best Photo of 2020 is the picture of Ignazio and Fabio embracing at Fabio and Maria’s Baby Reveal Party! Take that picture, put it in a dictionary under the word “friendship” and no other explanation is necessary!

My story today is about the man behind the picture, Fabio Ingrassia! His life, his art, his music and his friendship with Ignazio and Il Volo.
Fabio Ingrassia was born on June 6, 1989 in Marsala, Sicily.  He is a contemporary artist. He attended the Mazara del Vallo Institute of Art and the Fine Arts Academy of Palermo. He continued his studies at the Academy of Fine Arts in Palermo but without finishing his studies, thus embarking on a path full of obstacles and difficulty, at least in the eyes of the artist, but certainly not in the eyes of the public!
From an early age Fabio showed a love for art and colors. He is always looking for new stimuli and new artistic expressions. He says, “Art is the desire to live, to communicate, to discover and to admire… I live art in the shadows, in black and white between colors.”

The Il Volo fans know Fabio as a long-time friend of Ignazio and Il Volo but what they do not know is Fabio is a world-renowned artist. His works can be found in North America, South America, Japan, Russia, Mexico, Germany, Belgium and of course Italy.
Fabio’s journey took him from the small city of Marsala to the stages of America where he truly lived the American dream.  He joined Il Volo on the Grande Amore World Tour with three performances in Florida.
In March 2019, in Miami, Fabio created one of the most important, music recording studio works “Latin Harmony” –  a mural representing the singers who recorded in the studio of Emilio and Gloria Estefan.

Trivia: Did you know Fabio was in the “Noche Sin Dia” video with the guys? See if you can find him!
Fabio says, “Italy is my first source of inspiration. I love the Renaissance and I am lucky enough to be able to admire these masterpieces whenever I would like.”  He says these masters are a source of inspiration for him however, among all the sources of inspiration, music is the one that most excites him.
Fabio has a strong admiration for Il Volo. One of the paintings that is a major part of his collection is “The Power of the Genius” where he represents Il Volo, “Three Voices One Soul.”

On September 16, 2018 together with the comedian Roberto Lipari, Fabio performed in front of 200,000 people on the occasion of the Pope’s visit to Palermo.
On August 19, 2020 Fabio and Alessandro Quarta performed at the Noto Music Festival. Fabio said, “We ‘created’ together a concert on stage, a carnal relationship with his violin, between sensuality, nostalgia and – sometimes – sadness.”
Fabio works in so many different art forms it would take not just a story but a book to write about all of it. From his sand paintings in which he is not just painting a picture but telling a story to his tattoo art.
The work of art that most of you have seen and which I truly admire is the painting he did for Domenico Dolce for 62nd birthday. It was magnificent. The painting is Fabio’s interpretation of the Moment of Creation for Domenico Dolce! In the tradition of the renaissance, he included himself and Maria in it.

He presented the painting on Instagram and asked the question, “What do you see in this painting?” Most people answered that they saw Fabio. But what he was referring to was Caravaggio’s technique of chiaroscuro. The use of light and dark to give bold effects to the painting.
Not only did he use this technique but, he incorporated baroque pieces into the painting, like the detail on the chair that Domenico is sitting on. Most artists consider these old techniques and don’t use them in their painting anymore. He has taken Contemporary art and incorporated these old elements and created a new art form.
Now I want to talk about his relationship with Ignazio and Il Volo.
Fabio and Nina Boschetto were classmates at art school and this is how he met Ignazio. He was a regular at the pizzeria.

In an interview, Fabio said, “I had the chance to see Ignazio’s passion growing, year after year. I remember the moment in which it became clear to me that success would be his path, and that it couldn’t be otherwise. When Ignazio, enthusiastically, showed me the video of the musical Streetlight, to which he took part in, it was like a hurricane. He managed to draw everyone into his passion for music. One day you could find him studying singing techniques, another one playing the piano, and yet another one playing drums. As a friend and as a Marsala citizen I am very proud of his artistic path and of his successes.”
Let me tell you how I see their friendship. I see not just as a friendship but two brilliant minds that think alike. I think of Ignazio as not just a singer but as a whole production and I think of Fabio as not just an artist but as art itself.

What do I mean by this? Ignazio and Fabio are constantly creating. Constantly going to the next dimension. There is nothing Ignazio can’t do musically and there is nothing that Fabio can’t do artistically!
Before I move on to the part of the story, I know you are all waiting for, I would like to mention the incident when Ignazio broke his arm in Tampa.
The stage was narrow and Ignazio picked up a child and took him in his arms to take him to the center of the stage where Piero, Gianluca and the other two children were.
There were electrical cables on the ground and Ignazio tried to avoid them, but he tripped and fell holding the child. To protect the child, Ignazio twisted his body, so that his left arm hit the ground taking the full brunt of the fall while raising the child above his head to protect him.
Ignazio got up right away still holding the child in his arms and finished the song. At the next song it was clear that Ignazio had a broken shoulder but he managed to finish the concert. He left before the meet and greet. Barbara Vitali immediately took him to the hospital. In the next concert he had a sling on his arm and it remained on for two concerts. The most important thing was he needed to rest.
At that time, Fabio was in Miami and he immediately left to be with his friend. Ignazio’s spirits were low and Fabio kept him company and supported him until he was able to appear at his next performance.  That’s a friend!

And now it’s time to talk about Verona! I know both of you and I wonder how Fabio does his magic in Concert. Fabio’s aim has always been to combine musical art with pictorial art… He says, “The combination of pictorial art and that of music is one of the ways to reach the viewer on a deeper emotional level.”
On September 24, 2019, Fabio performed at the Verona Arena during Il Volo’s concert. While the guys sang “Smile,” Fabio painted Charlie Chaplin.
This is when you meet the real Fabio! So, let’s listen to Fabio in his own words . . . .
“I was painting in my studio. Pongo and Peggy my dogs as usual were watching me from the glass door, ready for dinner. I was very nervous. I still had some panic attacks and the more I tried not to think about it the more I thought about it.
It was 7:00 pm and Ignazio called me and asked me to be a guest of Il Volo at the concert in Verona. I can’t express my happiness but in the best of my expression I said WOW!

From that moment on I immediately concentrated on the realization of my performance. What to do, on what support, easel, color.
After choosing the song and the character to present with Il Volo, I had to try and try again until I got the time and the result I wanted. I had to create a story, not a simple painting . . . a story that had a beginning and an end . . . The song was ‘Smile’ and I had to represent Charlie Chaplin. I liked the idea so much! I had read everything about Chaplin because one evening at dinner Valentino Picone made me fall in love with him by telling me of his importance in the world of cinema.
After days and sleepless nights, I found what I liked . . . I would start with the horizontal canvas by painting a Chaplin from behind in a countryside landscape, then I would turn the canvas, spin it and continue the painting until the face was blown up.
Time was short for such a large and complex canvas. I asked for more time but there was not much that could be done.

I tried the painting only once, in my parents’ living room. The proof was beautiful but, I was out with the time, I could not fit it within the four minutes I had available.
I did mental training on distances, movements and dimensions to maintain and I tried closing my eyes trying to simulate the realization of the painting, making it several times would have been too expensive.
I get the canvas, the easel and the suitcases in the car and Maria and I leave for Verona.
The next day I immediately went to the arena to set everything up and do a test, but the arena is outdoors so we couldn’t try the lights. I was worried, for my way of working I have to have everything 100% and that uncertainty gave me anxiety.
The evening comes, we are in the dressing rooms, Piero, Ignazio and Gianluca were rehearsing and I was getting paranoid about the lighting issue, I wanted to give 100% and not having control over that, it made me question myself. Ignazio calmed me by telling me that we should have fun and do nothing else. The concert begins, it’s freezing cold but, I go up on stage in short sleeves, the adrenaline rushing, I looked at the full Arena and for two  hours I had goosebumps. Really incredible  . . .  indescribable . . . then my moment arrives ”Smile” begins. They place a light on me on the right of the stage and the magic begins. I forget about the 14,000 people behind me. My mental exercise was now real . . . the brush slips on canvas creating shapes, but the light is too strong and reflects my eyes, so I close them trying not to lose control and I create Charlie’s hat with my eyes closed. Three minutes are few but, in that context, they become even less, the canvas turns and my race against time becomes more and more fierce.

When the song ends and I turn the painting, the crowd is euphoric, Ignazio makes a speech that leaves me speechless, I hug the guys and leave the stage. I immediately run to the dressing room and lock myself in. I’m always very demanding with myself. I can’t enjoy the moment because I would like to do more, but then I check the phone and I had thousands of notifications, photos, videos, I see myself again and I understood that my message had reached everyone.
So, I ran through the backstage corridors of the arena and went to look at what I had done, look where I did it and for a few seconds I was satisfied. I took the brush and defined it with details.
Behind the scenes it was a competition to see who wanted to take the painting but, in the end, together with Ignazio, we decided I would take it home because it represented how two friends can share a dream together, having fun and thrilling the public.”

This brings me back to where my story began, The Baby Reveal Party!
If a picture is worth a thousand words, this would be the picture. The look on Ignazio’s face, the smile, the absolute joy he is feeling for his friends. I said this picture should be the picture of the year because it tells me that their relationship goes beyond a friendship. These two men have shared some very important moments together! On stage and off!  They have both become Super Stars since their first meeting at the pizzeria and to me, they are more than friends, they are brothers!

But on January 5 Fabio cheered us up with this good news:
“With great joy and emotion we announce the birth of
💙 NOAH INGRASSIA💙
3,650 kg (8 lbs.) of pure love 😍
Thanks to all.” 🙏🏻💙
Congratulations Fabio and Maria on the birth of your beautiful baby boy, Noah! God bless your beautiful family!

Note: To read more about Fabio, to see his, magnificent, artwork, videos and prints, visit his website at www.fabioingrassia.com
Credit to owners of all photos and videos.