If I must tell the truth, this is my least favorite holiday! To me it’s a sad day because we remember all those who we lost over the years and we think of them in a different way than we do on other days. We think that they left us too soon and this year too quickly! I, like many of you out there, suffered many losses this year and I saw many people I love suffer!
Halfway through the year, I was speaking with my aunt, who turned 100 this year! I said, “Aunt Christina, you’ve been around a long time. What do you think about what’s going on?” She replied, “Susan, I remember grandpa saying every 20 years we have to have a war to clear out the old and start fresh again. This is our war!” I guess she is right. This war we are fighting is different, it is a war with an invisible enemy that haunts each of us every day!
What made this year different? The one thing that was really different was we were all in this together. You woke up every morning and turned on the news and no matter where you lived New York, Italy, Germany, Russia, Australia, the news was the same – Wash Your Hands! Wear a Mask! Social Distance!
As to the guys, they certainly did a great job of reminding us to do these things! And when they weren’t talking about this, they were working to help people in Italy and around the world. They took us along on all their journeys in support of these people. We joined them for Altismo Live! In support of Latin American farmworkers. We enjoyed circling Italy through project Italians 4 Life with the wonderful song Ma Il Cielo è Sempre Più Blu (But the Sky is Getting Bluer and Bluer). And, of course, O Sole Mio for UNICEF!
So, we’ve come to the end of the year that was, and now we have to take time to reflect on what we are leaving behind! Yes, there were lots of bad things that happened but there were also some good things. Having a hard time figuring out what they were? Let’s take a look at some of the good things that the guys did! They came to us live every day! So, let’s start there.
LIVE FROM IGNAZIO’S HOME STUDIO
The announcement that came from Ignazio on May 16th kept us sitting on the edge of our seats waiting to see what this project would be. We knew it would include the Il Volo musicians but what was this big surprise. Ignazio gave us a hint!
Ignazio said: With this video, I would like to thank many people. First of all, the doctors who during this time made their lives available to others. Here it is, altruism. I think it’s one of the most important things in the world.
For me, this is one of the most important songs,this song makes us understand that we are all part of this world and everyone has a piece of the universe. And so, I decided to propose “Almeno tu nell’ Universo” . (At Least You in the Universe)
What we got was a production straight from Ignazio’s soul! The drama of the black and white video along with the most intimate, passionate rendition of “Almeno tu nell’ Universo” we ever heard left us speechless. His amazing voice brought us to a universe where there is no limit, and we could float along on his magnificent notes, reaching unbelievable heights! It brought us all to tears.
Ignazio along with Giampiero Grani on piano, Alessandro Quarta on violin, Bruno Farinelli drums, Pierluigi Mingotti on bass and Gino De Vita and Andrea Morelli on guitar, set in split screen, gave the performance of a lifetime. The arrangement and video mix were so perfect it seemed hard to believe Ignazio did it all from his home. Genius at work!
LIVE FROM PIERO’S TERRACE
We could hear the silence of this small beautiful town and the only sound in the background was the chirping of the birds. Then suddenly, Piero began to sing “Nessun Dorma” and his voice rang out over Naro inviting his neighbors to come out on their terraces to listen to him and applaud his magnificent voice. And how did Piero react, the same way he does in concert, with that beautiful smile he greeted his neighbors and thanked them for their applause. And then, he gave us a birds’ eye view of Naro from his terrace explaining about all the baroque buildings and structures in the town including the history of it all. Jovanotti was just as thrilled and impressed as we were. Piero showed us around his terrace pointing out his cactus and taking time to tell us about his antique coffee mill. What a treat to share this special time with him!
And what about his beautiful “AVE MARIA” that warmed our hearts.
And then there were the:
LIVE PERFORMANCES FROM GIANLUCA’S HOUSE
Gianluca really perfected his piano playing in quarantine! We listened to him sing while looking out over his beautiful garden which looks down to the Adriatic Sea and the beautiful beach of Roseto degli Abruzzi. Picture postcard perfect, it was amazing and we were all wishing we could be there with him! And he spent lots of time walking on the beach with Luna and playing out in the yard with her.
But the most exciting of all was listening to Gianluca’s very romantic voice which touches every one of our senses. He sang so many beautiful songs for us while playing his piano with Luna at his feet. It gave us a warm and happy feeling which left us feeling very secure!
And then the summer began and, the quarantine was over and, the guys came together after being separated for months. And what did they do? They took us on another journey. First, we watched them take on a new appearance with their Dolce & Gabbana wardrobe. Their mini-Concert for Dolce & Gabbana’s women’s line of clothing and the presentation of the men’s line of clothing at the Campus Parade in Milan. It was wonderful to see them back together and listen to them live.
Then they went to Monte Carlo for their first concert in five months followed by their appearance at the Taormina Film Festival where these three gorgeous guys appeared, dressed like three Princes, in their Dolce & Gabbana Tuxedo’s. They were so handsome they took our breaths away. And their performance at the festival representing the film “Devotion,” the story of Dolce and Gabbana, was amazing. Just seeing them back at the Greek Theater in Taormina made us feel everything will be okay from now on. After all, this is their theater, the heart of who they are.
And if that wasn’t enough, we got to spend a Special Day with the guys in Polizzi Generosa celebrating the opening of “Devotion” and Domenico Dolce’s 62nd Birthday! What an extravaganza! The parade, the costumes, the musicians and dancers. What can I say it was just a fantastic day and it was All Live for us to see on Instagram and Facebook.
As they stepped back on the stage at the Verona Arena, for the reopening of the music industry with their presentation at the Seat Music Awards, we remembered their last performance there in 2019. Spectacular then, spectacular now!
Then came the announcement that they would pay tribute to Ennio Morricone with a Concert in Piazza Pio XII next June 5th!
Il Volo with Roma’s mayor.
Which brings another thought to mind! Do we ever take the time to consider what goes into their performance? We see them on stage and we are in awe of them but, what it takes to get them there is amazing and a lot of hard work. In January they will start preparing for their June 5th Concert. It doesn’t start and end with the concerts. There’s lots of preparation and rehearsals. Everything has to be just perfect because, after all, these three young men are perfectionists!
And then there was their final performance for 2020, their mini-Concert at Piazza Pio XII on Christmas Day. And here the guys sent us their final greeting for the year!
Gianluca: On this special day when we all feel close from afar, we wanted to find a way to wish you all happy holidays.
Ignazio: And we did so in the way that best suits us, through music from this gorgeous square where we feel like we are enveloped in a welcoming embrace.
Piero:We hope this holiday season may bring a smile to your homes and warm your hearts. On this “Oh holy night” we wish to dedicate every single note and every single word to you all.”
Yes, there was so much that was bad about this year but, I just wanted to show you that there were some good things that happened too.
As we approached 2020, I thought with a number like 2020, this will be a year of vision. What was my vision for the year? I thought it would be my best year in ten years. I had so much business and the future looked so bright but, we all know how that turned out. But I never could have imagined, when it all began, that I would spend my whole year doing what I love best, writing! Thirty years ago, I walked away from a career critiquing films. Who could imagine that I would turn back the clock and start writing again! And above all writing 40 stories about our three amazing guys, Piero, Ignazio and Gianluca!
The guys spent the year inspiring us, kept us company and certainly took the time to tell us what they were doing and what we needed to do to stay safe. In a recent interview they were asked what they missed most this year. They replied traveling. It is their life after all. And we are very much a part of that life. Hopefully we can all get back to it soon.
Finally, how do I sum up this year? Every morning when I get up, I sing. What do I sing? “Smile!” Is it because of the guys? Well, I certainly love when the guys sing “Smile,” but no, I’ve been singing this song since I was a child because I believe no matter what happened yesterday, today has the possibility to be better, so, “Smile, just Smile.”
When my dear friend Valeria Bosch writes, she manages to amaze us with her words, because she interprets exactly the feelings and emotions of all of us Il Volo fans.
I just wanted to add photos and give even more importance to these beautiful words and in particular, to make sure that Flight Crew friends who don’t have Facebook could read it.
Thanks Valeria for your beautiful work.❤
Happy reading to all: Daniela😘
Il Volo by St. Peter, Rome, Christmas 2020.
We were anxiously waiting for the postcard promised by Rai Uno,with wishes from Il Volo for this disarming Christmas 2020.And it arrived on time, very short (just 10 minutes), but, perhaps also thanks to this brevity, with the seal of perfection: perfect for the purpose for which it was designed, perfect for the setting, unique in the world, perfect for the voices of the three young performers who seem to improve, as if it were a precious vintage wine, every time that you have the privilege of hearing them.
At the beginning, the skillful zoom of the operator introduces us to the magic of a city immersed in darkness, from which suddenly a huge luminous area emerges, in which one of the most famous places in the world is immediately recognized, symbol of the eternal city, an icon of catholicity itself, the Basilica of St. Peter, which with its unmistakable dome and Bernini’s colonnade, seems to welcome all humanity in a warm embrace.
A play of spaces, shapes, lights and colors that in itself causes a state of emotion, a commotion that is heightened when on an improvised stage, in the square in front (Piazza Papa Pio XII), appear the singers of Il Volo, who in succession interpret three of the most famous Christmas songs:“Adeste fideles” in Latin, “O Holy Night”in English, “Astro del ciel” in Italian. As always, they are beautiful and elegant, but today there is something more, perhaps the suggestion of the songs sung, all dedicated to the arrival on earth of Jesus the Redeemer, draws in them a more absorbed expression, more concentrated than usual.
Gian has on his face a kind of tenderness, of affection, which he transmits in whoever looks at him and listens; Ignazioa deep emotion that puts his lips on a smile and a deep joy in his eyes; Piero is serious, concentrated, he also leaks both emotion and affection. And the magic circle of perfection closes when they begin to sing: in all three pieces, they sing now individually, now by concerting their voices, in a game of exchange of parts that is calibrated, studied in the smallest passages.
We are enchanted by Gian’s voice which, although it has always been the most velvety, the most swing of the group, has reached an even greater depth, with a softness and sinuosity that both amaze and enchant.
Piero clearly shows the continuous and tireless study to which he dedicated himself in this last period, his voice is more and more ductile, more elastic and more powerful at the same time: he supports the low notes (final of “Astro del ciel”) with the same ease with which he reaches the highest tones (astonishing the acute in the ending of “O Holy Night”).
And Ignazio sings for his part in the passages to the high notes, when the song must vibrate even more and must penetrate deeply into the soul of the listener. His voice has also matured, his high notes are powerful, his passages perfect, always marked, as he usually does, by the movement of his beautiful hands, which in effect become yet another instrument of the orchestra.
“Beauty will save the world,” wrote F. Dostoevskij, a lucky phrase that was then used with multiple meanings by various writers, philosophers and theologians. But the great Russian novelist was referring to the beauty of faith, which alone can save man and his destiny. And the beauty of faith is expressed above all through art, painting, sculpture, music (J. Ratzinger).
I reflected on this, looking enchanted at the “postcard” sent from St. Peter’s . . . the work of art, fruit of the highest genius of man, with those arms outstretched to contain humanity, the light that sprang suddenly from the dark city, an almost allegory of the dark moment we are experiencing, at the bottom of which, however, there will be a return to light; the purity and at the same time the high mastery of three angelic voices, raised to celebrate the Savior’s arrival, made me feel almost in front of a small miracle, a miracle of beauty and harmony.
A show that, when compared with the current deterioration of the Italian musical offer, makes us understand why, every time these guys appear, so many people stop to admire them. To get excited, to dream, to hope.
Many thanks for the video.
Thanks to the excellent screen shot work of Il Volo Sicilia!
It is Christmas day 2020 and the magnificent voices of Il Volo rise in Piazza PIO XII, in front of the splendor of the Vatican and St. Peter’s Square.
Let’s enjoy this beautiful Christmas show.
What can I say . . . Epiphany is far away but three princes have arrived in Rome.
A riot of voices and elegance, Piero, Gianluca and Ignazio sang three great Christmas classics with ardor and skill.
Superb performance that warms our hearts so much in this difficult year.
Here are their words:
GIAN = Good evening, on this very special day, in which, even if we are close, we are forced to stay away, we wanted to find a way to wish you a Merry Christmas.
IGNA = We did it in the way that best represents us, with music, in this extraordinary square, where it seems to be surrounded by two welcoming arms.
PIERO = The hope is that Christmas with its magic can bring a smile to your homes and warm your hearts. For our part, we will dedicate to you, every note and every word, of this Holy night.
GIAN = Merry Christmas.
IGNA = Happy New Year
PIERO = Good Life, from Il Volo and RAI 1.
But now I want to reveal something about the background of this beautiful event.
The video, directed by RAI, was recorded in the late evening of December 19th.
The square has already been prepared since the evening of the 18th.
On the 19th at 8 pm, Piero Ignazio and Gianluca arrived. First they underwent the rehearsals and then the final recording which was broadcast by RAI 1, the Italian national channel.
It was really very cold and to do the recording we saw, the guys were in the cold from 8pm until midnight. The cold was bitter and you can tell from the photos of the rehearsal.
The event was attended too by a good photographer, Giorgio Algherini, who took magnificent photos documenting the event. His photos have been around the world, but it is worth thinking about seeing them again!
(Click on each photo below to view a larger version.)
And this short video of the rehearsal.
When I saw these photos, I immediately went to the Facebook page of the photographer Algherini and I immediately noticed his nice comment :
“Nothing to add, only esteem for these guys.”
At this point I wanted to know something more, I contacted him and asked him if he had already had the opportunity to personally know Il Volo, and here is what he replied:
“I was very impressed by the guys, very simple but very professional, I had already seen them at a Clerici program, fantastic, unfortunately I have never attended one of their concerts but I promise that I will go to the next one.”
So I complimented him on his photos and told him they would go around the world.
Perhaps he did not know the potential of Volofamily, in fact after a few days he published this thanks:
“A very special thank you as 2021 will be very special for all of you groups and private fans of IL VOLO that had shared my photos and the small clip around the world, even today a share has arrived from Japan that I thank even more, I knew that the three boys were famous, but not so in world-wide!
A hug, thanks again.”
Well, Giorgio Algherini, congratulations on your work and we look forward to seeing you at a concert and you will further realize the skill of Il Volo and the affection they enjoy from all over the world.
Naturally, the Italian newspapers also talked about the event and Piero, Ignazio and Gianluca, each from their Facebook pages, have posted this message:
On the evening of December 25th on Rai1official, we will sing in Piazza Pio XII, three wonderful Christmas classics.
An idea born because the Christmas we will experience this year will inevitably be different and we wanted to find a way to wish everyone happy holidays.
The splendid square that will be the setting for our exhibition will make the atmosphere even more suggestive and enchanted and we can’t wait to share it with you!
Here are a few more moments of the rehearsals registered by Giorgio Griego.
and then again …
It was a really good moment, too bad it’s already over. After a long time, we enjoyed hearing their beautiful voices, especially at such a meaningful moment.
But how long will we still have to wait before we can still rejoice together during their beautiful concerts?
Piero Ignazio and Gianluca wanted to greet us with a comforting message, here it is.
GIAN= Hello friends from Verona.
IGNA = We should have seen each other in 2020, but we are ready to bring you a lot more music in 2021.
PIERO= See you soon: Happy Holidays.
Thanks to Il Volo for this beautiful Christmas gift.
As I have already said, three princes have arrived in Rome and have given us the gold of their voices.
And thanks also for the nice final message you gave us, I’ll be there at the Arena and with me many Volo-friends !!
See you soon ❤❤❤
“The day will come when in the inside pocket of a jacket, inside the inside pocket of a bag or in the glove compartment of the car we will find, forgotten, a crumpled old mask.
Looking at her we will rub it in our hands how to make sure that I really lived that long nightmare.
As we close our hands, crumple those distant memories, we will breathe deeply free to emphasize ourselves how beautiful life is.”❤️