Category Archives: Gianluca

WHEN TALENT HAS NO BOUNDARIES by SUSAN

Let me say, Gianluca was the one who inspired me to write this article. Gianluca said, “I thought there were three hundred thousand boys singing like me, and instead that night I discovered that there are only two: Ignazio and Piero.” Of course, Gianluca was referring to the night they sang together for the first time on Ti Lascio Una Canzone.

What Gianluca realized in that moment was the uniqueness of the group. So, let’s begin where it all began….

It is the fourth episode of Ti Lascio Una Canzone and the boys are given the music for “O Sole Mio” but in three parts. They thought it was strange because until then they were singing alone or doing duets.

They walked out on the stage, sang “O Sole Mio” and it was like they had been performing together for years. Flawless!

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We often talk about Ti Lascio Una Canzone where the boys first came together but, we never talked about some of their performances or what was going on behind the scenes without them knowing it.

Let’s talk about some of the people they performed with on the show. Really great names in the Italian music industry. Massimo Ranieri, Fausto Leali, Al Bano, Adamo, Piero Mazzoccheti.

What did I witness during their performances? I saw great performers in awe of three teenagers who were singing their songs and they were amazed at the performances. It was written all over their faces. They could not believe what they were hearing.

What was going on behind the scenes? Well we certainly know that the idea to put the three together was the genius of Roberto Cenci the artistic director and director of the program. But there was so much more happening!

Alone in his apartment, Michele Torpedine was sitting on his sofa with the volume off on his TV. The show he was watching was Ti Lascio Una Canzone. He keeps looking at the screen and he suddenly thinks, Ignazio reminds him of Luciano Pavaroti, Gianluca seemed similar to Jose Carreras and Piero is similar to Placido Domingo. He still had not heard them sing. Out of curiosity, he raised the volume and Michele says, “Here I am aware of another element, that is even more important than the first. The three casually put together to sing a song of the program possess an incredible vocality for their age.”

At this point Michele’s head is spinning. He’s thinking these guys are good and again repeats it to himself, they’re good! He thinks, “What if I try to put them together seriously? A trio he tells himself. Here’s what I could do…. “

Michele says, “The next day I am a volcano. I want to talk to everyone: producers, managers, families.”

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After confronting Tony Renis, Michele called Roberto Cenci and he got the contact details of the three boys.

Michele says, “Another great story started, a new story at a time when it seemed to me that there was no future for me, for my profession: a breath of oxygen in my environment.”

After years of disappointment, loss of trust and gratitude, missing or denied, with Ignazio, Piero and Gianluca, Michele rediscovers the values of gratitude. Michele says, “the boys allowed me to really go back to my job.”

So where to begin? Michele says, “Let’s start with trust because they trust me first of all; the administration of an entire world tour, with important figures to move on which I could take what I want if I were dishonest. But they trusted me and so did their parents, to whom, moreover, I have committed myself to teaching everything, the mechanisms, the things that move, the figures, the relationships. All.”

As I mentioned, Michele called Tony Renis. The first time Tony Renis heard the guys sing he said “I could not believe that these three young kids could sing like men of 45 years old. Their voices were huge! I realized they had great potential.” Renis called his producer friend  Humberto Gatica and said “…if you are available, I would like to collaborate with you to produce these kids.” When Gatica heard them sing, he couldn’t believe their voices either, he thought it was a fake, “they can’t possibly be teenagers.” Renis said, “After this these kids started to fly, so we called them Il Volo.” Renis believed these kids would appeal to kids, mothers, fathers, everybody. He was right!

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They were the first Italian artists in history to sign a contract with a major American music label. Universal Music signed them immediately. Michele said, “it is important to give due recognition to the man who made all this possible, the great record manager Peter Lopez. Peter immediately sensed the enormous potential of our artistic project. To him we owe an incredible international contract signed simply trusting that the boys would have audiences all over the world.”

But what did they bring to the table to win over the kids, the parents, and the grandparents? They had an idea and it worked.

Their music was Operatic pop or Pop-Opera. What was this new movement? It’s singing Opera in a more modern style. While opera is very strict and regimented, Pop-Opera is more ethereal it has a lighter feeling and it moves freely. It takes away the hard edges of opera and replaces it with a more ethereal feel while still presenting the drama and the high notes of the opera.

This along with the classical Neapolitan songs became a big draw. Why did it work? One reason is three amazing voices! If the voice wasn’t there, the song wasn’t going to sell.

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When I’m writing these pieces, I do a lot of research and I watch a lot of videos. And this is what I found. I looked at videos of the promos the boys did, for their albums. They were 16 – 17 years old and I found many teenagers at these promos. I saw teenage girls and boys singing opera and Italian songs. They liked it because the music is easy and catchy and, they picked it up very easily. And I might add, the guys are very attractive and likeable. The young girls love them not because they are very handsome but because they can relate to them. They were 16 – 17 years old and they were telling these young kids we love this music and you can too. And they did and still do! Once the kids were sold the parents followed.

Who wouldn’t want their kids singing this music? In turn the parents found it just as pleasing. As to the grandmothers they were the ones who were fainting over these attractive young men.

But it wasn’t all as easy as that. There were some rough edges, some adjustments that needed to be made. The voices were certainly there but bringing it all together was another matter.

Let’s look back a moment at some of the people I just spoke about. Michele Torpedine, Roberto Cenci, Tony Renis, Humberto Gatica and Peter Lopez. These are the top of the top. Under normal circumstances these boys wouldn’t be able to get in the front door, no less to meet these people. What would you call it? I call it La forza del destino (The Force of Destiny). They certainly were in the right place at the right time. I often wonder how it is possible that these three boys, with three unique voices, all appear at the same time and in the same place in history. WOW! What a plan God had! It can be nothing less!

So, what happened next? So, let’s let the boys tell you….

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Piero said, On June 9 th, 2009, nine days after the end of Ti Lascio Una Canzone, my parents left for Rome. They were a bit mysterious about it. When I asked them what they were going to do in Rome, they only replied that they had to meet a person and, I tell the truth, I did not even insist on knowing who…. The next day they come home and then, yes, I wanted to know something more. “Dad, what have you done in Rome?”

“Nothing,” he answers, “we met a certain Torpedine.”

Yes, On June 9th, 2009 all the parents met with Michele to discuss the future of the boys.

Piero said, “After a month, my parents made another trip to Rome to meet the legendary Torpedine …. The day after, Mom and Dad came back to Naro with a check. It was the advance of the contract.”

Ignazio said, “Immediately after the end of the program my parents, like those of Piero and Gianluca received a call from the office of Bibi Ballandi.”

Who is Bibi Ballandi? …. He is the producer with a capital P. Some examples? The shows on Rai Uno de Fiorello and Celentano, Dancing with the Stars and also  Ti Lascio una Canzone.

From Ballandi’s office, they wanted the parents of the three boys to go to Rome to discuss their children’s future…. On their return from Rome, as usual, Mom and Dad sat down with me and my sister around the table to talk about what had happened in Rome. Michele Torpedine ….  was interested in us. What did I think? What could I think, one who in the last five years had done nothing but sing from morning to night? After several meetings we signed our first managerial contract.”

Gianluca said, “That is a period that I really cannot remember in general. I was just a child who dreamed. While the other guys who had participated in the Ti Lascio Una Canzone returned home … the three of us walked towards a professional artistic career.

…. I did not even know what the contracts were like, I did not care. Once I told my father something like this: ‘But why, to be a singer, it takes a contract?’ I only remember that at a certain point we went to lunch in Rome, at Rome Cavalieri with Tony Renis to talk about music and recording songs. The contract had already been signed. I was there with my father, Piero, Ignazio and their parents.

What I do remember is, we were three funny and awkward children: Ignazio fat, Piero roly-poly too, I was small and plump and with pimples. So, at the first meeting, I look at Torpedine and ask him: “But what came into your mind?”

 

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In 2009 they recorded their first album.

Ron Fair, chairman of Geffens Records had this to say about their debut album, “Their debut album went Platinum, in Italy, without a single release, solely based on their performances in three TV Shows. This has never happened before.”

Today, Michele sums it up like this. “These three guys have very clear ideas and I have never seen them impressed in front of audiences that many would shake their legs. I never heard a wrong attack, and if some inconsistency arose that made something happen professionally, they knew how to handle the problem at the origin. They are always extraordinary, their voices grow with them, they mature in body and soul. There is no other team or artistic team so complete.”

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Credit to owners of all photos.

Time Out: Gianluca, Tour Guide and Ambassador By Giovanna

Roseto TV interviewed Gianluca on June 2 outdoors at Cabana Park, with the beautiful Adriatic Sea in the background.  The segment, entitled “Gianluca Ginoble:  Il Lockdown, Le Passioni, L’Abruzzo, La Musica, Il Volo,” reached YouTube and Il Volo Italian’s Instagram page a week ago.  Gianluca was quite comfortable with the interviewer, Luca, an Abruzzo native he knows well, and was willing to open up about his non-professional life. 

If you listen to the link, you’ll notice that late in the interview, the two are sometimes talking right over each other.  As I listened, I realized that Luca wasn’t always asking questions.  He was pontificating, with pauses for answers, and as soon as Gianluca started speaking in the pauses, Luca would cheer him on, finishing Gianluca’s sentences, talking at the same time.  If you’re Italian or have been around Italians, you know that’s normal.  

I’m not sure exactly where in this post Jana or Pat will place the photos.  So, I will not refer to any photo being “above” or “below” my text.  You’ll just have to find it.  It’s more fun that way. 

Daniela, from the Flight Crew, agreed that Gianluca seems to be the most active in the media of the three Il Volo guys. 

Ignazio for a long time preferred not to post a lot of images, but rather, occasionally used Instagram as a form of musical air time.  You may have noticed he has recently been posting tantalizing clips and snippets of his vocals, accompanying himself on piano or guitar, or singing with other performers, or promoting his compadre Siciliano, Nico, whose work he produces.  Igna is an industrious, creative, high energy sort.

Piero protects his privacy and home life more than Gianluca does, but still frequently posts shots and videos of his workouts at home, in the gym, or outdoors in the sand.  I’ve even shown some of his past pictures to the trainers in my gym, who liked his workouts and sometimes even copied them.

L’Intervista (On to the Interview)

Luca explains it’s June 3, 2020 and he’s with Gianluca Ginoble, a Rosetano from their beloved Montepagano, an internationally known artist with Il Volo.  He welcomes Gian and asks him:  How have you spent the quarantine period for the COVID19 Coronavirus emergency?

Gian: Despite all the negativity of the situation, I have tried to find positive things.  For example, I have re-discovered passions that I haven’t exactly abandoned, but, well . . .   For one thing, I have started playing the piano. I became passionate about books and literature, about being with my family, things that you well know get set aside when we are away eight months per year on tour.   You could say that this quarantine hasn’t really been completely negative, because I have been close to my family and have rediscovered passions that I didn’t even know I had.

Luca: That’s an interesting reflection because I think that the issue of rediscovering one’s roots and one’s family, and having personal time, is an important message.  

He then asked Gianluca how he passes his days, in the so-called Phase 2, where there’s some freedom to go out (still respecting social distance) with masks no longer constantly required.  He asks what Gianluca’s up to, now that he’s is free to take get out and do some things.

Gian: Because of the COVID we’ve had to cancel our series of concerts through October.  So, for this time I’ll still be at home.  We of course have some filmed interviews and televised get-togethers, as we’ve done during the quarantine.  But I’ve been relaxing. I’ve started playing tennis.  I’m enjoying the seashore at Roseto d’Abruzzi.  I don’t go to other places, even if you can go outside the region from today on.  So, I’m staying here.  Yesterday we were at Rocca Calascio.  Every week my family has a regular date to go hiking in the mountains.

Luca: That’s also a wonderful lead in, because I remember that for several years you’ve been an official ambassador both of Abruzzo, and of Roseto d’Abruzzo, your great love.  Yesterday, I saw the photos of you at Rocca Calascio, where they filmed “Ladyhawke,”so this in itself is a great way to inspire future tourism. 

Back to the Intervista

Gian: Look, Luca, with you, apart from the relationship of respect and friendship we have, going beyond this interview, I’ll tell you as a friend.  You have to have the ability, how can I say it, to set and achieve goals, even when you’re as young as I am.  But at the same time, I’m trying to maintain my roots, and my connection to that normal guy I used to be, who wanted to live a normal life.  It’s like I’m a on a train track and every now and then I can jump from one rail to the other.  It’s really great to be able to live life like this.  I can always return here, stay home, and enjoy my family and my hometown.

Luca: Those who know you also know that one of your trademarks, one of the things that makes you very much loved, is that you have remained humble. The world of concerts, as you already said, is on hold.  How much do you miss that world, given that on an international level, for 10 years Il Volo made world tours, virtually continually for the entire 10 years since you started?  How much do you miss that life, since it has been such a fundamental part of you?

 

Gian:  I miss all the people, our fans.   I miss tour life.  And above all, I miss singing. When I’m on a bicycle I’m singing. When I’m in the shower, I’m singing.  When I’m in bed, I’m singing.  When I work out, I’m singing.  When I’m on the beach I’m singing.  Because that’s my life.  It’s my relief valve.  It’s the way . . . it’s something, that truly makes me feel good.  Fortunately, this passion is one of those things that you can do anywhere, even while you’re eating! 

Luca: During this break, as we noted, you’re thinking about your roots, and things you put aside.  What makes you keep giving your best? Despite the fact that you’re only 25 years old for one thing, and have already won San Remo on the first attempt; you’ve won the Latin awards.  You’re Il Volo everywhere.  In Tokyo you’re Il Volo; in NY you’re Il Volo; In Texas you’re Il Volo.  What do you do to always have that grit that for 10 years has kept you at the world-class level?  I can imagine that even with this planetwide success, when you sit down, or try to sit down, what is it that keeps you from really sitting down?  [That’s an Italian expression for laying back, taking it easy or giving up].

Gian:  Truly, you need to have the awareness, the slight fear, that it could all end.  You really don’t recognize the value of certain things unless there’s some risk you could lose them – not just in the work environment, but in relationships with people.  Truly, life has granted me so many things, the emotions and the experiences, at such an early age.  When I was still so immature, at 14 years old, I already started to travel, to be familiar with marvelous places and sights, to meet people, to sing in front of the president of the Republic, and in front of the Pope, for example.  Because it all started at such a young age, I didn’t have to make any great sacrifices to achieve success.  Really, the success and the emotional experiences came over me like a tsunami.  Surely, the part [of me] I need to cultivate is to restore that little boy who dreamed of becoming someone but knew it would take perseverance, who knew that at times the effort was going to be more important than talent itself.

Luca: As they say in Russia, talent is like a basket of diamonds in the rough. Without hard work they don’t become diamonds.  You spoke earlier about Pope Francis, about [Sergio] Mattarella President of the Republic, and I could add, Bill Clinton, Barbra Streisand, Quincy Jones, who helped create the phenomenon of Michael Jackson.  You don’t have to mention Quincy Jones to anyone who loves music. There would be too many anecdotes to recount from what I’ve heard about, but the most relevant since we are in Abruzzo, if you want to tell us about it, is when you had the assignment to traipse Woody Allen all over Montepulciano d’Abruzzo. 

Gian: [Laughing] I would have wanted to speak in different dialects.  Every now and again I get to speak in other languages:  Chinese, American, it’s lots of fun.  But that time though, we chose not to, because we were at dinner with other people.  Next time, though, I’ll do that.  [Note: Can you imagine Gianluca and Woody Allen swapping languages and mimicking accents together?  I’d be in pain from laughing.] 

Luca:  Yes, I saw you with the nice soldiers in the Galleria in Houston [apparently joking in English].

Gian:  I did get to explain to him [Woody Allen] some things about Montepulciano.  I asked him ‘Do you like wine?  In my native region, Abruzzo, we have the best wine in the whole world, Montepulciano d’Abruzzo.”  He told me “Montepulciano, I love it, I know it.”  [Note: I know every Italian thinks the best wine in the world comes from his own specific region of Italy, but Gianluca was telling the truth about Abbruzzo’s fine specialty red – the Montepulciano d’Abruzzo.  It competes with the Barolo from the Piedemonte and the Brunello di Montalcino as one of the top reds in all of Italy and the world.]

Luca: That was more valuable than a thousand ad campaigns.  Like when Lebron James shared some of his favorite wines several months ago on Instagram and generated a hundred thousand “likes” for a local winemaker in Abruzzo.  How lucky that winemaker was.  [Note: Basketball star LeBron James is a wine afficionado and fills his Instagram page with pictures of bottles from his cellar.]

Luca: You’ve talked much about how important your hometown is to you, but I know you also like the ancient village of Montepagano.  I’ve seen you walking around now and then taking photos.  I know you live in a marvelous place where you can even enjoy the view of the sea from above.  I know you’ve never wanted to lose connection with your roots, and this, I imagine, gives you strength.  But if you had to describe this to someone who doesn’t know you, what would you want to say?

Gian:  Every young person, every child, needs to grow up with the knowledge that their roots are the most important thing:  like their family, their dialect.  We need to raise children this way, and young people my age, especially those who already have children, need to teach real values, including their own dialect. I’m ashamed that I even see people who are actually embarrassed to speak their own dialect, as if it were a bad thing, instead of a fine thing.  Even if you only speak it to make jokes or when you get angry.  Without it [understanding your own dialect], you make no sense.  So, I am really proud to be Paganese, Rosetano, and Abruzzesse. “Abruzzo Forte e Gentile” [“Abruzzo strong and kind” is the local byword].  Every time I go to Belvedere [another historic spot inland from Pescara, Abruzzo], it’s emotional for me.  When I’m on tour, I show pictures of Montepagano and Roseto to everyone.  Because, look, [he turns around to show the seashore behind him] this is maybe one of the most beautiful places on the entire Adriatic coast.  You have to be really proud. 

Luca joked a little bit about local dialect and that when you teach the hidden meaning of some expressions, to a Milanese or to an American, how wonderful it is when you see them explode into a smile.  He also added that there are some things, expressed between locals with one word of dialect, that would otherwise take an Italian five minutes to hatch (explain).

Luca; What projects do you have?  We know your passion for tennis, know you are practicing the piano, and like to draw.  Talk to me though about your desire to act.  [Gianluca responds about music right here, and about acting further on].

Gian: My musical tastes vary.  I rarely listen to opera, because I like great musicians, guitarists like John Mayer, and great singers.  I’m glad you asked, because I want people to know that I like the full 360-degree range of musical styles.  And you know that I have a passion for all genres of music, including the type our group sings in concert, but in the future, who knows.  Il Volo is the main priority, but I adore artists like Michael Bublé, Frank Sinatra.  I even like Led Zeppelin, a fact that unfortunately was mis-represented by journalists who sometimes write anything to get “clicks” and “likes” in the media.  I like them all: Dire Straits, Pink Floyd, I like this music.  Another thing that really moves me is the music of Georgio Gaber, of Fabrizio De André.  Dad passed on to me a passion for these singers. 

Luca:  Your father has very refined taste even in songwriters.  This is a Gianluca that has never come out, so it’s right to emphasize this, and I’m happy you brought it up with us, because you’ve often been misunderstood before.  So, you love music in the fullest sense. 

Gian:  On Facebook I published a list of the songs I like best with text, like the French song interpreted by Franco Battiato, a song about old lovers that melts you, it’s so heartbreaking in parts.   So, there are so many projects.  I’d would like very much to act, I’d like very much to be an actor, maybe to go to Rome to study; I don’t know.  There are so many projects, and for this year that we are inactive, I’m focusing mostly on improving myself.

Luca:  Days off are constructive time.

Gian: Then, with Il Volo there are so many projects.  We have a very beautiful musical project we’re working on, but for now I can’t tell you too much about it.  In the future, we’ll see.

Luca:  Of course.  But I’m happy to assure the many fans of Il Volo that, as soon as the situation allows it, you’ll return stronger than ever.   So, you’re working on this project; and it’s something important.  It’s also important that you miss your fans and, as you’ve said, you’ll be back with them as soon as you can.

Luca:  One last thing.  What is your idea of happiness?  What is happiness for this 25-year old who has remained humble?  Define happiness for Gianluca Ginoble. 

Gian:  That question was certainly profound enough.

Luca:  The tough one came last.

Gian:  Happiness for me is to live my passions, “mano a mano” all my life.  To have a wonderful family, to have friends you can talk to about things, to let your problems out.  Even when there are problems, knowing that there’s someone you can vent your problems to, who listens and understands.  For me that’s happiness, knowing that I don’t feel alone.  It’s also the feeling [I get] when I’m on the stage and sing for thousands of people.  For me that’s also happiness.

Luca:  So, with this beautiful reflection on happiness, which I really appreciate, I thank you Gianluca Ginoble of Il Volo.  Thanks, Gianluca, and obviously, I wish you a great and successful life with the many things we talked about, and with your many projects. 

Gian:  For doing this interview, Luca, you’re number one.  I said it to you and I’m saying it even looking into the camera.

Luca:  Thank you.  You’re too good.  Thank you also for your friendship.

Grazie – Giovanna (Jo Ann)

GIANLUCA: THE VOICE by Daniela

We all know that Maura Pucci loves Il Volo and also that she has a special affection for Gianluca.

Three years ago, she wrote on the occasion of Gianluca’s birthday, a beautiful letter that I am now translating for all of you with pleasure.

I must give you a premise, when Maura wrote this, she was a little worried, because she read everywhere that Gianluca was praised, but the beautiful words were almost always about, his appearance , and for Maura, this fact seemed really very reductive, because “her” Gianluca , he also had something better to offer.

Enjoy the reading!!

I fell in love with him in 2009, when I was disconcerted, but enchanted, by his voice from the deep register, an adult voice that came from a boy, from the face of an angel.

The years have passed and his voice, gradually, has taken on all the nuances that age, still immature, does not allow.

Today I am able to talk about its versatility, because he has many voices, different, but all recognizable.

We can start from his surprising FILO DI VOCE, (wire of voice) with which he concludes the first verse of “Notte Stellata”,  SOFT and SUBTLE, like a sigh, as well as all the whispered parts of the same song and many others, to reach its opposite, that is the DRAMATIC and THEATRICAL voice of baritone in “Aranjuez”.

Moving on from the voice CARESSING and LIGHT, with which he faces the beginning of many songs, from the SOFT and SENSUAL voice of the true crooner, from the AGGRESSIVE voice of “Delilah”, to the POWERFUL but LIGHT voice of “La Danza”, which becomes POWERFUL and TRIUMPHAL in his “Vincerò” of Nessun Dorma, to culminate in the DEEP and SOLEMN voice of the Christmas songs and / or religious, to which he gives a touch of sacredness.

There is also the one, used off the stage, full of RHYTHM and SWING, for particular interpretations, accompanied by him by the snapping of the fingers ……

So many voices for a chameleon singer, as it has been defined:

“Gianluca has a PERFECT VOCALITY, his voice is an INSTRUMENT.”

These are not my words, but of an American expert, a vocal coach, Gianluca does not sing, he INTERPRETS.

Because he sings with all of himself, with his eyes, with his facial expression, with his hand movements, even with his body posture. Look at it well in “Bridge Over Troubled Water”. 

When he sings a song, he does not perform part of his work, but “brings out” the passion for music that he has in himself, to transfer it to those who listen him: he is fulfilling a mission.

……. because he “feels” the music, to the maximum degree.

I saw him with a entranced expression, listening with closed eyes, the splendid voice of Piero, who sang beside him, “O Holy Night” ……. are things that move me and are not forgotten.

How is the artist Gianluca on stage?

He brings to the stage all the behavioral and character characteristics that distinguish him in his private life.

Always in search of perfection, he is PROFESSIONAL to the maximum degree; GENTLEMANLY attitudes, CHEERFUL and SMILING, sometimes even LIVELY, but never too EXUBERANT. WITTY, but with measure; RESERVED, but no longer shy as in the past; ROMANTIC, TENDER, helpful, full of affection for fans, just as he is towards family members, friends, children, the disabled.

I want to add a quality, which with the presence on stage, perhaps not involved, is also sincerely MODEST and not “arrogant” as many insinuate.

Some time ago, he said something that struck me, and now I try to summarize:
“I still find it hard to realize that I, who have had idols since I was a child and still have them today, may in turn have become an idol for many people.”

This is “my” Gianluca, as I see him, and, according to my personal tastes, I have found in him all the qualities that make him a son, a brother, an ideal nephew. ❤️

In fact, I consider him a virtual “grandchild” ……….😘

Nonna Maura with Gianluca

We are at the conclusion and until now, I never said, that he is also beautiful? Yes, because I wonder how much it costs for a show artist to be BEAUTIFUL too? 

It depends. Being beautiful counts a lot for a movie star, how many beautiful actors have been successful without being able to act!

But a singer is asked …… a beautiful voice, that he knows how to use and that enchants those who listen to him.

Like Gianluca’s voice, a healthy bearer of strong and contagious emotions.

If then, the lucky singer is also pleasant in appearance, that is just a plus that does not hurt. 😁😁

Maura

I fully agree with what Maura wrote, it’s true, Gianluca’s beauty is evident and immediately striking, but when he plays a song, his skill in modulating his splendid voice and in interpreting the song is evident.

What to say about this splendid “MI MANCHERAI”, how much transport, how much emotion.

I only knew Il Volo after the victory of Sanremo 2015, so the idea I had of Gianluca was that he started the songs because he had the lowest tones.

I was at the NOTTE MAGICA concert in Florence and I was able to attend the great skill of Il Volo, but the one of the three that surprised me the most was Gianluca, I never imagined how much power he could have in his voice.

Congratulations Gianluca !!  Honor of merit !!

Daniela

Credit to owners of all photos and videos.

Roses from a Rosetone – May 11, 2020 by Giovanna…

Le porte stanno iniziando ad aprirsi, grazie a Dio. (The doors are beginning to open, thank God).

My Flight Crew colleague, Daniela, explained very succinctly today that in Italy, “…finalmente abbiamo ricominciato ad uscire, ma con cautela.”  “We have finally started to come out again, but with great caution.” 

Italy’s viral protection measures are quite different than ours in the US.  For example, gg 2during the 10-week stay at home period all over Italy, no visits of any type and no outdoor exercise were allowed.  Restaurant takeout service was forbidden all over the country.  Now that Italy is in Phase 2, takeout service, some visiting, and some outdoor exercise is allowed, but social gatherings are still forbidden, and masks, gloves and social distancing are still mandatory and will remain mandatory for later phases as well.  Italian Phase 2 regulations allow visits to “congiunti” (an old term for certain relatives, up to your spouse’s cousins and your cousins’ children).  Taken together, these regulations explain why we sometimes see Instagram photos of Ignazio out hiking around alone with Nina, or Gianluca on the beach with doggie Luna but no people, or playing tennis under a mask.

In the spirit of the new Phase 2 conditions, Gianluca was invited to participate in honoring the staff of Abruzzo’s Ospedale di San Liberatore di Apri. Abruzzo in general, and this hospital in specific, have seen a remarkable reduction to the numbers of COVID emergency cases and a high recovery rate, due to their efforts.  The hospital staff to be honored included representatives from all levels who have been serving through the crisis, from nurses to emergency room staff to cleaning crew (one of the most high-risk hospital jobs during infection emergencies).

This ceremony shows how much the Il Volo boys have accomplished so young.  San Liberatore is the same hospital where La Signora Eleanora Ginoble gave birth to her first son, Gianluca, in 1995.  Some of the people Gianluca came there to honor could probably remember when he was born there, not long ago.

San Liberatore, by the way, is the nickname of Saint Eleutherius, one of Abruzzo’s favorite saints and martyrs, from the second century.  He’s venerated among Albanian, Greek, and Roman Catholics and Abruzzese Italians.  There’s a famous basilica built and named in his honor that is also nearby in Abruzzo, called San Liberatore a Maiella.

Abruzzo seems to produce men who achieve great fame very early.  By one tradition, Eleutherius/San Liberatore became a bishop when he was only 20 years old.  We Sicilians insist he was bishop of Messina, Sicily so we can lay claim to him, too.  We can’t lay claim to the other Abruzzesi heroes (like Dean Martin and Gianluca Ginoble, to name a few); but we Sicilians have enough notables of our own.  (OK, that was for the fans of Piero and Ignazio).

On to the Television Clip.

Everyone has their own style and preferences – apparently even in medical protective equipment.  I once heard Gianluca as a teenager being asked in an interview about his taste in colors.  His reply? “I like it black and white.” That probably explains his house interior decor, his white car, and a lot of his clothes.  So of course, when he appears in public with a re-usable personal mask for this event, it’s black.  Somehow you could tell who was under the mask, even if he wasn’t surrounded by TV cameras and crew shouting his name.  It must be the hair. 

In the clip I saw, the interviewers didn’t identify themselves before starting their cameras rolling, so I will refer to them as “Interviewer 1 or 2.” 

Interviewer 1, after asking Gian how is father is:  We were just saying that in some cases, stars don’t get behind this kind of thing, but that isn’t the case [with you].

Gianluca: You know that I am really proud of being Abruzzese, but more importantly, we should all be proud of the work that some of these superheroes are doing – doctors, nurses, medical staff who are saving lives.  When there was an opportunity to honor them, I couldn’t miss it.  I’m really happy to be here.

Interviewer 1:  So a rose for each of these “signore in gamba” (a lovely Italian idiom for “great ladies and gentlemen,” referring to the health workers who are to be honored shortly.)

Gian:  A thousand roses, but at the moment I don’t have any on hand, so spiritual roses, in a manner of speaking.  This makes me feel I’m a little more of a “Rosetano,” too.  (People from Roseto d’Abruzzo, like Gianluca’s family, call each other “Rosetanos”).

Interviewer 1:  So, you’re also waiting for all this to end?

Gian:  We’re going through a difficult period.  We’re anxious, waiting for the end of this tough time.  For the moment, I want to act really responsibly. The message I want to send to people my age, and those even younger, is that they also should act responsibly, to grasp the seriousness of this situation, above all for the safety of our loved ones.  This small break in the isolation doesn’t mean it’s over.  We need to remain cautious for ourselves, but more importantly for the health of our elders.  I very rarely see my Grandfather, Ernesto, the love of my life, but unfortunately at this time we have to continue to be careful, especially for the health of our loved ones.

Interviewer 2: Gianluca, is it true that you were born in this same hospital?

Gian: I was born in this hospital the 11th of February 1995.

Interviewer 2: This hospital has waged such a great battle against this virus.

Gian: Something for Abruzzo to be proud of. 

Interviewer 2: A very emotional moment, true.

Gian: [These are] powerful and compassionate people.  We Abruzzesi are strong.  I’m really proud of these heroes who are continually saving lives.

Interviewer 2: What do you want to say to these health workers of our hospital who have labored with courage, with a sense of duty, to confront this Coronavirus to bring it to an end?

Gian: A gigantic thank you, because without them the situation would really have been much more dangerous.  They’re already dear to each person and family whose lives they have already saved, and they’re still at it.

(At this point, a technician attaches a collar mike to Gianluca, while the second interviewer introduces the ceremony to come.)

Interviewer 2: Right now, we are in front of the hospital of Apri, San Liberatore di Apri.  As we were discussing, there are representatives here from the medical staff: doctors, nurses, other medical workers, and others who run the business of a hospital.  The hospital is re-opening in a sense, after the COVID emergency, offering services for the many other more common illnesses and medical needs we’re familiar with.  This means that the viral emergency is starting to come to an end, and we of course are really pleased.  This is a lovely moment to linger over, along with the world-famous young artist and lyric singer, Gianluca Ginoble, who has accepted an invitation and came here to give honor and thanks to all the personnel who have labored with great courage and determination during these weeks and months of serious emergency.  It will be Gianluca, who will thank each of them.  He’s being interviewed at this moment by my colleagues from RAI and other stations.  We are recognizing together this moment that marks the end, we hope, of the emergency and the hospital’s return to less stressful and more normal hospital routine.  There are also medical experts present who have followed all the stages of this emergency and are here just to celebrate this moment.  We are proud of Gianluca Ginoble who recalled for us that he was born in this hospital and remains very attached, a son of this land, and he himself is proud of this community who courageously faced down this very difficult and tough challenge.

Gian (to another interviewer in the near background):  This is one truly positive thing that has come out of this quarantine – living with your family in ways we’ve never done before.

The basket of eight roses for the ceremony is brought to him and he and the film crew exchange instructions for how to do the presentation safely.  He gives out the roses while thanking them and making jokes about air hugs (“un abbracio al volo”) and the interviewer jokes about air kisses.  Some of the representatives receiving a rose tell him they will be sharing the rose with their teammates and co-workers inside.  Then they assemble to take “qualche bella riprese” (some nice shots), which are done with proper social distancing of course (see the pictures).

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Ripensamenti (Afterthoughts)

It almost broke my heart to watch what an Italian group photo looks like now – no hugging or Italian-style draping all over each other, no cheek-to-cheek selfies.  You can see a small line of people two meters apart, all covered in masks, standing with gloved or ungloved hands at their sides or their arms crossed.  This is definitely NOT how Il Volo, or any Italians, normally behave.  And with those masks, how can you even tell if they are smiling?  Rabbi Aiello of Calabria, Italy, way south of Abruzzo, said this week that now we all have to learn and remember to smile with our eyes.  She demonstrated behind a really cool red, white and green Italian flag mask. (I want one).

On the other hand, it’s warming to note how close the Abruzzese locals in the film clip are to one another (obviously not physically).  None of the TV crew needed to introduce themselves to Gianluca, since they all knew each other.  At least one of the hospital staff, and one of the TV crew, wanted Gianluca to send their greetings to his dad, Ercole (“Salute a Papa”). 

I’m personally fond of Mr. Ginoble, Sr., myself.  I really like his funny postings contemplating random things like the speed of light being faster the speed of sound.  (That explains why some people seem intelligent when you first see them, until they eventually open their mouth and you hear what stupidity comes out…)   But I was really touched by one of the most poignant images Mr. Ginoble posted: a cartoon of DC and Marvel superheroes all bowing to the real superheroes, front line medical workers in masks and scrubs walking down a hospital hallway (see the picture below). 

Anche questo deve passare. This too, shall pass.  We all share in extreme gratefulness for all the front-line health worker heroes in Europe and at home, who are staying on the job at risk of their own lives, to protect ours.  Una grazie gigante.  An enormous thank you!

 

Poscritto (Post Script): As we were preparing this article, Gianluca’s dad, Ercole posted a Facebook clip of Gianluca’s appeal for support for the Italian Red Cross of Roseto’s efforts against COVID-19.  The Ginobles are Rosetone to the core, and as a whole family are very involved in Roseto, the Abruzzo region, and its needs.  The Red Cross focus in Roseto is to provide protective gear to workers and the needy, and to teach them how to use the equipment properly.  Other Red Cross branches in Italy and the US are making a push to collect blood from recovered COVID patients for blood antibodies to aid in treatment. (My elderly friend recently survived COVID, even with her pulmonary hypertension, thanks to one of these blood antibody treatments, and a whole lot of prayer.)  That is such great news, Jo Ann! Jana…

I’ve translated Gianluca’s appeal below.  The ad shows where to support the Italian Red Cross through the local Red Cross Committee of Roseto.   You can also go to www.redcross.org in the US.

From Gianluca: https://www.facebook.com/CRI.Roseto/videos/258308015537040/

“Hello to everyone.  I invite you at this time of great difficulty to support the Italian Red Cross Committee of Roseto.  The funds are being used to provide personnel protective equipment for all the volunteers engaged in the fight against the Coronavirus, who in addition to helping our community are now helping the people most affected by the virus.  I just wanted to let you know how much we all need your support.  Thank you.”

Il Volo also performed in the on-line special “Fatto in Casa” (Made at Home) for Dolce & Gabbana’s fundraiser to support virology research.  B&B are funding Humanitas University’s work to understand the immune response to SARS-COV-2 and to accelerate a vaccine.  You can support them at www.dolcegabbana.forfunding.it

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What a beautiful post written by JoAnn!  I believe the US can really take some lessons from Italy.  And they have said, “Who is that masked man?”  For we know the answer!  It is Gianluca!  🙂   Jana…

GIANLUCA and FRANCESCO RENGA by Daniela

And here’s another good call, this time between Gianluca and Francesco Renga, which I translate for you.

Gianluca starts immediately with a joyful phrase: “How beautiful we are !!” and Renga replies laughing, “Hi Gianluca, how are you.”

After the first greetings, Renga says he is making a red wine aperitif.

Gianluca explains that Il Volo returned from California on March 13 and have canceled the last concerts. They took the last Alitalia flight and the whole crew, about 20 people, fortunately they are all well.

Renga asks Gianluca if he is at his home and Gian confirms that he is in Montepagano and shows a view of the panorama from his home (very nice indeed).

Even Renga shows the view from his house and this is very nice too, in fact both claim that they are really lucky. (I remind everyone that Renga is from Brescia, my city. What you see above the hill in front of Renga is Brescia Castle, this means that to have this view, Renga lives on Monte Maddalena, a small mountain, from which dominates all of Brescia from above.)

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At this point they talk about future concerts and Renga asks Gian if he has heard that they will be able to return to concerts in a year.

Gianluca states, and says that he also heard Ferdi (Ferdinando Salzano, organizer of the concerts of many artists : F&P group).

Gianluca agrees that it will be very hard to resume for their singers, because restaurants or large companies, all have been affected, but in the field of music it is more difficult, (he is speaking for concerts) especially for fans, who are waiting impatiently, the dates of the concerts, to see them live.

Gian says fans will have to wait a long time and Renga replies that the solution could change if a vaccine is found, but certainly a year goes by. Gian confirms that he has read that it will easily return to normal life in March.

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In this photo, the wedding of Salzano, where many singers were invited. In the smaller photo is Gianluca with Renga.

Renga asks Gian with whom he is at home and he replies that he is with his brother Ernesto.

Gian remembers that a couple of days ago their 2015 concert was broadcast by RAI1, where they sang L’IMMENSITÀ (together Il Volo and Renga), and he also remembers that it is thanks to his brother Ernesto, (admirer of Renga) that IL VOLO sang L’AMORE SI MUOVE.

In fact, Gian remembers a fact that was also explained during the 2015 concert, that Il Volo was looking for a good song to make a new single and Ernesto told them to listen to the song IN MOME DEL PADRE (In the Name of the Father) that Renga had written for the birth of his son. Il Volo liked the song very much, so Gian called Renga and asked him to vary the words and make a version for them.

Renga found the right words and was born, L’AMORE SI MUOVE, and he says it is so beautiful that it is better than the original.

Gian instead says that the original is beautiful and also has an emotional value.

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Renga goes on to say that he sees Gianluca is in excellent shape and Gian replies that he has a small room used as a gym and does training. Renga says that he also has a small gym at home, but it is one thing to have it, another is to use it! 😁.

He admits to being very lazy. Both agree that if you have a goal, like a Sanremo festival, you have been training for a few months before to be fit, otherwise it is easier to lie on the sofa.

At this point Gian tells Renga that he wants to pay him a tribute.

Gian says he grew up with Renga’s music, and Renga claims that this makes him feel much younger thank you ….😁😁 (of course it’s the reverse.)

Gian sits on the piano and plays a part of one of the favorite songs written by Renga  (he is really a good songwriter):

DIMMI SE TU CI SARAI (Tell Me if You Will Be There).

Like a photograph
With uncertain outlines
And this life
My
I find it in a drawer
And then every day
Inside your eyes
If you want
talk to me
of how luck waits
And hold me
in your arms for a while longer
Tell me you’ll be there
When the weather is on us
It will have by now, imprinted
Signs you don’t want
Tell me you’ll be there
When melancholy
He will dress the memories
Of my life


Renga sends him a kiss, says it‘s fantastic, and that made him goosebumps and thanks Gian so much.

Affectionate greetings between both.

Renga says that Gianluca is an incredible person.

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Gianluca I must say that you improve more and more on the piano.

Of Renga I can only say positive things, he is a beautiful person, an excellent songwriter, his songs always have very sweet words.

He admires Il Volo and the boys reciprocate him with affection.

Hopefully there will be more Renga songs written for them.

Daniela

PS = For those who want to try singing the song with Gianluca, I also publish the verses in Italian.

 

DIMMI CHE TU CI SARAI

Come una fotografia
Dai contorni incerti
E questa vita
La mia
La trovo in un cassetto
E poi ogni giorno
Dentro gli occhi tuoi
Se vuoi
Parlami
di come la fortuna aspetta
E tienimi
tra le tue braccia ancora per un po’
Dimmi che tu ci sarai
Quando il tempo su di noi
Avrà ormai lasciato
Segni che non vuoi
Dimmi che tu ci sarai
Quando la malinconia
Vestirà i ricordi
Della vita mia

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Credit to owners of all photos and video.