Flight Crew Welcomes a Special Guest Artist Today: Alfio!

Sunday, July 23, I had the pleasure of attending my first Alfio concert. For alfio 1those of you not familiar with Alfio, he is Italian, but is from Australia, and currently lives in New York. He has also had concerts for PBS, like Il Volo. He plays the piano, as well as sings and has this truly amazing tenor voice, reminiscent of a cross between Gianluca, Piero, and Josh Groban, while throwing in a little Elvis, although still having a sound of his own! Last night’s concert was a tribute to Sinatra, Bocelli, and Elvis.

The concert started shortly after 6pm and lasted until about 8pm, with no break. He had with him a small band, consisting of a trumpeter, two guitar players, a “one-man” drummer with some electronic effects, and a keyboard player (no piano).

He fooled us a bit walking on stage – “Here’s Alfio….” And we are looking, waiting, and watching this shadow walk across the back of the stage from one side to the next and then he suddenly appears before us – we kind of thought he got lost for a second!

The theatre, a small locale in Canton, MI, called the Village Theatre, was a cozy venue, seating a max number of 400 persons. We had lovely 2nd row seats to the right of the stage, thanks to Donna, who told us about the concert, and we sat right next to the Rugiero family, of Antonio’s, who were one of the many sponsors of this event. They also hosted the afterglow/meet & greet, but I will get to that later!

On with the show….Alfio came out nicely dressed in a black suit, with white shirt, black tie, and black patent and leather shoes. A very classy look. He opened the show with the song we are so used to hearing at the end of the Il Volo concerts of O Sole Mio! He started out, almost a capella, with the classic Italian words to the Neapolitan song, with just a light accompaniment from the keyboards. He then burst into the “Elvis” version of It’s Now or Never. After that he sang Il Mundo and then Granada – both in English! I never knew there were English words to the songs. It was kind of nice to know what the songs meant for a change. 😊 So, for the first several songs, we felt like we were at a mini Il Volo concert. Except for the English of course! His voice was impeccable and strong with a very slight edge to it. He chatted a bit with the audience between songs and asked where people were from – “anyone from New York, etc.” A couple walked in late and he teased them a bit, asking them why they were late and telling them the songs they had missed, which were about five at that point. Reminded me a bit of when Piero did that at the Fox Detroit concert a few years ago and many were late because of the traffic and parking. But they sat down and were soon enjoying themselves. I believe they drove all the way from Virginia! Wow!

Everything he sang was incredible. When he sang Il Mundo, he actually played the keyboards while he was singing. He did that with Hallelujah, as well.  I really wish I could have snagged the playlist, but he snatched everything up before he left the stage! Guess he just wanted to be tidy! Maybe if I ask him real nice, he’ll send me the list of songs he sang. I actually thought about writing each one down as he sang it, but didn’t want to dig in my bag for pen and paper. So, if you’ll bear with me a bit, I will name off as many as I can remember! Those above, of course, then there were, in no particular order, My Way, Caruso, Suspicious Minds (awesome), an impromptu Cryin’ by Roy Orbison, an original song by him called I love you like a song (I think?), Unchained Melody, one of Bocelli’s solos, which I cannot remember, Surrender (part Italian and then the “Elvis” version – Ignazio and Piero could give him a few pointers on that one, if you catch my drift? 😊), New York, New York, and several others I cannot remember right now. He also sang that really fun song that Piero and Ignazio had fun singing at the Bambar in Taormina a few months ago, that several persons were able to video and I think the “Fabulous 3” were there in person – the one that goes “Oh ma-ma….” He had the whole audience clapping through the song. It was full energy and spunk and lots of fun. There was one song that he sang that this one lady kept begging him to sing on his FaceBook page. Apparently, all of her begging worked, and she was also in the audience. He pointed her out and knew her name! The song was one that Ignazio sang very early in his career as a solo, it was Il Mare Camo Della Sera. OMG!! That lady was so right!   It was so incredibly perfect (and I think my favorite of the evening!). So sorry, Ignazio… Of course, Alfio’s voice has a few decades on yours when you sang it…. But trust me, it was truly amazing!

I was pretty mesmerized at times, even with the proverbial chills and goosebumps (it was a bit chilly in there though 🙂 ) and a few tears of emotion on certain songs.

Even though he is a bit older than our three, I’m not sure which, but either Gianluca had his mannerisms, or vice versa. It was kind of cute watching him sing and “seeing” Gianluca as he sang, as they used many of the same gestures.

When chatting with the audience, he mentioned social media – Instagram and Facebook and invited us to “like” and “follow” him. Haven’t gotten to Facebook yet, but I did click to follow him on Instagram last night. Early this morning, he was following me back!! He was on his way back to New York this morning. I have to say I was a bit tickled!! He is certainly prompt!

I think I mentioned he also writes his own songs and he sang one of them for us. It was a slow, romantic song and quite beautiful. He was saying how he sings “other people’s songs” because that is what the audience wants to hear. Until you are well-known or have a lot of play on the radio, that is probably one of the few ways you will gain fans and a quick following, kind of like Il Volo. He asked us if we liked his song, and of course we said yes. Then he asked if we would like to hear his original songs one day, all of his, in a concert, and of course we clapped loudly!

Alfio, just a word or two on “cover” songs, if I may speak metaphorically a bit…. Covers can be good. They are familiar and cozy, and give comfort and solace when you are feeling sad and lonely. They wrap you up in their familiarity and hug you tight, as you share their melodious warmth with the one you love. So, of course, no artist wants to sing cover songs the rest of their lives (I promise never to ask you to sing Danny Boy…); they want to sing their own music and want to be known for their own music. Even right now, we are clamoring for the guys to write music of their own, like Ignazio did a few years ago. Even if you are singing someone else’s “hit” or “song,” you should think of it as an honor, as well as a challenge. Some songs are such major hits for people that others don’t even dare to try to imitate or try to make it their own. How many people do you know dare to sing a Streisand hit? So, if you do that and do it well, it will become your own. 😊

All-in-all, I don’t believe he got as many standing ovations as he deserved. We all stood after “Oh ma-ma” and after the last song, which was My Way, but that was it. His fans were pretty laid back compared to Il Volo.

On to the afterglow! When we got out of the theatre, we were lucky. The thunderstorm had just passed and the skies were blue and sunny again, but with puddles everywhere! We made our way back to Antonio’s and into the meet & greet room. We were greeted with a glass of prosecco and I quickly spotted a table for seven. We claimed our table, as there were not many, and waited for the others. Donna and Sharon arrived shortly and got in line for the food.

Antonio’s had a beautiful spread of an antipasto salad, consisting of roasted red peppers, artichoke hearts, and tomatoes, on a bed of romaine, with Italian seasonings/dressing on it. After that, we were greeted with broccolini, calamari, pesto pasta, chicken marsala, meatballs and gnocchi with Mama Rita’s special sauce – which by the way, Alfio raved about! There was also a beautiful tray of fruit, their famous bread, and a tray full of mini cannoli. On the side were bottles and bottles of red and white wine. Along with the glorious food was some live music and serenading. When we walked in they were playing El Reloj! Another Il Volo song! Oddly, a good portion of the songs that were sung were Spanish. Of course, they were beautiful, and many were sung by Il Volo, but I thought there would be more Italian…later on we did hear Volare and Il Mundo.

About a half hour or so later, Alfio arrived. He was sweet and charming and very down to earth. He went table to table (I think that was how our “Fan Faire” was supposed to be orchestrated?), chatted, took selfies with everyone, and signed the CDs that were in our gift bags. Both Mama Rita and Tony were on hand, along with the rest of the Rugiero’s, to mingle with the crowd. It was quite the beautiful event and everyone had a lovely time and we were so glad we went. Thank you so much to Donna, our lovely Il Volo pal, for suggesting we attend this.

I hope you enjoyed your evening (or morning) with Alfio as much as we did. I know it’s not Il Volo, but I hope you can find just a small place in your heart to appreciate Alfio. Maybe a right or left ventricle, or just even a tiny capillary, because he is certainly worth it. After last night, he definitely carved out a small place in my heart!

Ciao, Alfio! Grazie mille!

Jana

p.s. I uploaded our photo below to Instagram this morning and Alfio gave it a like! 😊

I found a small clip on YouTube of some of the highlights from his PBS special last year…

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Personally Speaking~Do You Remember When…

 

Gina sent in this amazing video from Piero from yesteryear!   Not only does the song caress the heart, but it shows such creativity on his part.  I remember when this came out.  We were all just blown away.

Gina, this got me thinking that many of our readers may not have been following the guys back then, so I am including some other priceless videos from the archives.  I remember spending hours on Youtube looking for any and all videos of theirs back in the day.  As much as I love seeing all of their new songs, I also love taking a step back to relive some very special moments in time.

This next video is before Il Volo sang, Maria, as a group.  Gianluca sang Maria as a solo and  he owned that song!   Before the song, Ignazio and Piero are bantering back and forth with how to pronounce the word, “world.”

 

 

And here we have their precious little friend, Mia.  Ignazio’s mother became friends with this family through a social media site, and you will see why.  The video her mother made of her singing and reacting to watching Il Volo on TV is priceless.  The genuine love and affection they show for this little girl is captivating.  The song is divine.

The next song, This Time, is an all time favorite as well.

 

More fun on the stage in Westbury, PA, before Ignazio sings Memory.  He has always been known for instigating the impromptu  comedy sketches with Gianluca being the straight guy, back then.  Gianluca has come full circle with his comfort level on stage.  But, there were times where he would look at them acting up, walk away shaking his head in humorous disbelief.   

 

I love  remembering how Ignazio had trouble standing still when songs were being sung.  The music pulses through him like blood through your veins.  He has good moves all the way!

 

 

 

 

I wonder if any of the people sitting in that room listening to them that day have continued to follow their stunning careers?  I sure hope so.  

 

And the rest…is history…

 

 

Thank you, Gina, for the great idea to look back at yesterday.

Credit to all owners of videos.

 

~Jane~

 

 

 

~~Ignazio Boschetto Into Words~~

Our dear Daniela found another article on Torino Aspetta Il Volo E Poi, written and translated by Laura,  about another favorite subject of ours, Ignazio!  I have left the story  in it’s original form for your enjoyment and added the photos.

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When Ignazio sings I can feel the blood flowing warmer through my veins.

His voice makes vibrate the strings of my heart.

I can still remember the very first time I listened to Grande Amore on the stereo in my car,  as I was going to work.
I will never forget the sweet,  deep print he left.
It was like a tattoo on the skin that cannot actually or totally be erased or removed.
I realized that Ignazio is exactly as I had pictured him to be.
This guy,  you can meet him 1, 10 or 20 times and he will just give you a feeling that will embrace you and never leave you.
It’s almost impossible not to perceive his emotions when he performs and how he knows to give them to the audience.
You can feel how much commitment is in his heart and  soul.  He concentrates  when he’s on stage and off stage too.
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I traveled also abroad to see Il Volo.
I love when he says that one must respect all the artists and any musical taste,  whatever it is or it might be…
That makes him sound both a tender mature young man.
Ignazio is a priceless guy and nevertheless a huge tenor.
Many compare him to Luciano Pavarotti, the Maestro.
I agree about this,  because Ignazio inherited the sun he spread when he  lived and sang.
When I heard first the song Il Mondo,  performed by Il Volo,  through a video watched online of  April 2014,  they were guests of a concert by Toto Cotugno at Crocus City Hall in Moscow.  I noticed that light that shined in Ignazio’s  eyes and that he was actually listening to his mates carefully and emotionally involved,  waiting for his time to contribute to that three men performance.
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Ignazio is a gorgeous guy with a spectacular nature.
He is so incredible how he never does truly put you down.
 
Nobody, I guess,  is perfect but one thing I’m pretty sure about,  Ignazio,  Gianluca and Piero are pure and genuine people.
 
Il Volo are clever men and they love what they do and it shows in how each one of them appreciate their fans.
Ignazio often behaves like a little funny crazy boy on stage and that’s how he disguises: his being shy and his tiny fears.
He rarely speaks in interviews: but when he talks, you can see how true he is and his eyes say it all.
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His eyes,  the stories hard to be written down.
They make an echoing sound.
His eyes you won’t forget.
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He is all the emotions in the world,  the charm,  the laugh.
He has no facades…
Ignazio is Life and he makes you realize that are the simple things that make it more beautiful.
He’s imperfect perfection: this guy belongs the most precious smile!
It just shines and you can see the whole world inside!

He is energy!

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He loves pets.
He cares for those who stick close to his heart.
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If I think back at Il Volo in their last summer, A tribute The three Tenors night in Florence I can only thank God I got that ticket and if I had a magic wand I would like again and again their Notte magica,  their emotions that are perfectly painted in great shots,  but having felt that musical and human event is something that would be insane to try to explain.
I just cannot.
It’s not easy to describe a person you actually don’t know, but one thing to take for granted:  meeting Ignazio is a blessing,  something I wish to everybody,  you may be fans,  Ilvolovers or not.
Laura
 
 Published with permission from
TorinoAspettaIlVoloePoi
 
Credit to all owners of photos.
~~Jane~~

“Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness…” July 4, 1776! (2017)

 

First, let’s wish Signora Eleonora Barone, a very happy birthday!!  🙂

Now, a short lesson in American history…

IN CONGRESS, JULY 4, 1776
The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

(from US History.org)


Congress debated and revised the wording of the Declaration, finally approving it two days later on July 4. A day earlier, John Adams had written to his wife Abigail:

The second day of July, 1776, will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.[7]

(from Wikipedia) 

Ok, I admit, American history was probably my most hated and boring of classes I ever had to take in high school.  It was not helped by Sr. Angela Marie, a well-meaning, 4 ft,, soft-spoken, 80 year-old, little Felician nun.  I barely passed with a grade of C.  I can’t say I remember much of that entire year of American history, except I was so glad when it was over!  I don’t ever recall having to read the declaration of independence, but I do remember Whitney invented the first steamboat, or was that Robert Fulton?  (yes, I think Whitney did the cotton gin!) Ah, I probably slept through most of it.
However, as we grow older, we learn to appreciate the things we often hated most, like rules, and how important some of those things were; like understanding American history!  (did you know that in an interview many years ago, Ignazio said he loved history – so smart at such a young age!)   I can’t say I recall ever having heard the first paragraph of the declaration of independence, although as a class field trip in 1976, we went to see the movie 1776!  It was our 200 year birthday of independence for the United States.  I recall getting these HUGE chocolate candy bars, wrapped in red, white, and blue and I think Betsy Ross was on there somewhere.  I also remember thinking the chocolate was not that great, not even Hershey grade.  Ok I was about 11 – I was discerning, even back then…
Ah, “the pursuit of happiness…”  Yes, I must tie this into the guys….  This declaration of independence gave us our freedom to be happy.  And to follow our guys, is our greatest freedom, joy, and happiness!  We know the guys love America and America loves the guys – at least our little part of it!

So, on this one special day of the year for the United States, let’s all join, from every nation, country, and continent, and stand tall, proud, and brave, and united together, in pursuing our happiness and greatest passion – Il Volo!

Wishing everyone a safe, and happy, Fourth of July!  Wherever you may be.  Last year, Lorna and I were in Verona at their “last” concert from the Grande Amore tour.  Talk about fireworks!  Best 4th of July I ever had!!  🙂

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Since everyone seemed to love it on the last post, I thought I’d post it again!  Here they are, our beloved Il Volo, singing our cherished national anthem, the Star-Spangled Banner!  From 2013, at Dodger Stadium! (did you know the star-spangled banner refers to the American flag?)


 

I hope you enjoyed this as much as I did!  🙂

Jana

Notte Magica ~ Vienna, Austria 6-28-2017

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Beautiful, romantic Vienna.  A perfect setting for another night of Notte Magica!

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View from Gianluca’s hotel room.

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This appears to have been taken while getting ready for the concert.

No matter how many countless times they sing Nessun Dorma, it can  still lift your heart and soul to a higher place. 

 

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A medley of songs mixed with a little Ignazio humor.

It looks like things got REALLY fun at the Meet and Greet!

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Those Italians just love the blondes!! 🙂

 

And so it ends…

Another standing ovation,

The crowd chanting for more (I am guessing),

More handshakes, selfies and another pat on the head of a small child,

Another night to remember forever for the folks sitting in that Vienna Theater!!

 

Bulgaria, they are on their way!  

 

Credit to all owners of videos and folders.

 

~~Jane~~

 

 

 

Notte Magica – Warsaw, Poland – June 26, 2017

We were all happy to hear that Igna had gotten some rest and was back to singing again!  Lucky for us, they knew little Polish and spoke mostly in English at this concert.  I don’t think the voice of God helped them with this one though… 🙂 

Here are some short excerpts from the concert.  Thank you to Lisa Joy and those who uploaded to Instagram!

 

 

 

 

 

Here are some You Tube links Daniela found, thank you to owners!

Ignazio thinks something is very funny…. 🙂

This is a comment by a Polish girl

 Wspaniali utalentowani śpiewacy! To był fantastyczny koncert! Wysoki poziom muzyczny! Dobrze, że w Polsce, nie tylko we Włoszech są wielbiciele bel canto. No i udało się rozkręcić publiczność tak, że byli szczęśliwi. Dziękujemy

 Wonderful talented singers! It was a great concert! The high level of music! Well, in Poland, not only in Italy are devoted to the BEL CANTO. Well, the audience was able to please, so they were happy. thank you


This is a very nice article, written from Prestigemjm.com.  Thank you Judy Thurman for posting the link!  Article translated into English by Bing Translator…

2017-06-27

It was a magical evening with Il Volo!

O’ Sole Mio, Torna a Surriento, Granada, My Way, Tonight, En Aranjuez Con Tu Amor and many other Italian and English songs wybrzmiało with full force in Warsaw Torwar. Trio Il Volo enchanted even the Polish audience, which in a special way she thanked handsome singers and for performance. It was an amazing evening, which for a long time will remain in the memory of Polish fans.

 

The trio came to the scene immediately after the uwerturze to “La Forza del Destino” Verdi, with a huge aplauzie the audience that at the sight of Il Volo leapt from chairs. Also revealed fans with the banner and the shouts of delight. Musicians greeted with the song “Nessun Dorma”. The next two also sang together, and these were the “Granada” and “Mattinata” and then each of the Italians presented solo. After the party Piero audience zaintonowała “Happy Birthday”, and one of the fans gave him a red rose, due to per birthday two days earlier. the 24-year-old thanked. After each song also echoed with applause and even during the singing, especially after he. It was a real hurricane of applause. Which one has the greater applause? Hard to say: each that evening earned great recognition, and the audience appreciated the trio in trójnasób. And it’s standing up! Sami singers well played and often turned to the people sitting in the front row, to teach them some of the words in English. Thanks to zaanonsowali several times: “ladies and gentlemen”, and then develop the delight!

In the first part of the concert, extremely beautifully sounded “Ave Maria Mater Misericordiae”. During the chorus the viewers sitting on the Board Torwaru raised up cards in the national colours of Italy. The trio–not emotions this gesture. -A surprise with the flag was adorable. Thank you, said Gianluca Ginoble from Il Volo. While singing hits “My Way” and “Caruso” viewers have lights in their phones. Made that the mood in the Hall did a truly magical!

Live audience react, was laughing and applauding in the second part of the performance. Piero, Ignazio and Gianluca finally sang real gems: “O Sole Mio” and “Libiamo Ne ‘ Lieti Calici”. While the “Grande Amore” sung on the bis sparked rage in the audience! Lively atmosphere even rozsadzała Torwar! It was also thanks to the musicians of the Orchestra Music Theatre in Poznań, which was conducted by Diego Basso. The audience appreciated the artistry of instrumentalists, rewarding their thunderous applause, a standing ovation.

-The most zdumiała me the reaction of the audience that in so enthusiastic way was: just like on pop or rock! You can see that artists have in Poland many admirers. I think that is what is most beautiful is that the people who came to the concert, were largely very young. Perhaps in such a way worth it to educate young people and bring them to classical music. With Il Volo and their popularity is actually going on. I am very pleased that our Orchestra musical theatre so impressively presented and in solo moments beautifully played. All together have created a wonderful climate- said right after the concert, Przemysław Kieliszewski, Director of musical theatre in Poznań.

-I am thrilled! I was on more than one concert, the boys and I believe that we presented a great, and the action with the Italian flag fared quite sensationally! I saw their faces – they couldn’t say anything, because you just have to sing-but they were very surprised. The audience was very hot and I think our singers were thrilled! not the serpent of delight Natalia Rosiak, Blogger and fan of Il Volo. At the end of the concert by the trio the audience ran to the scene, przybijała, “five” with the guys, awarded them with flowers and gifts.

-On the background of a red-white-black scenery trio Il Volo presented to truly bring! Their vocals impress the entire Torwar, a final Grande Amore literally powaliło all. It was an unforgettable evening: a magical evening with Il Volo! said Janusz Stefanski from Prestige MJM.

A few pictures, courtesy of the photographer from Prestige MJM…

audience

orches

trio maestro

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Link to the happy meet and greeters and a few of Piero – credit to owner… https://www.omgvip.com/il-volo-june-26-2017/

 

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Nice job guys!!  Igna, take care of yourself, only a few more concerts to go!

 

Jana

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Notte Magica – Moscow! June 18, 2017

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We just learned that Spain has been cancelled.  We are very saddened by this as I heard their last 2 Ukraine concerts were cancelled as well.  Enjoy Moscow!

To paraphrase James Bond…. “To Russia, with love… from Il Volo!”  Did you know that according to some trivia, Italians refer to James Bond’s character as “kiss, kiss, bang, bang!” ?  Tonight, Il Volo did not need any guns to keep a captive audience; their mere presence alone was enough to stun and hypnotize their fans.  From beginning to end, they kept you on the edge of your seat with one amazing feat of song after another.  They dazzled with death-defying high notes, to spine-tingling low notes, and arias!  Always amazing; always getting their man (or woman), to experience new heights, never before seen or heard.  Giving us chills and thrills as only they can do!  Their voices lifting you to the highest mountain-tops, to the depths of the deepest oceans.  From Crocus City Hall, here is,

Il Volo!

(with a little help from the voice of God!)  🙂

with a little bonus, they speak in English!

(how many hands does it take to carry all the flowers?)

Link to the entire concert, thank you Daniela for finding this!  Thank you author, Olga Anacheeko (sorry, not sure of last name…)  for posting!  🙂

 

Many lucky fans ran into them in the streets from Red Square to the many pictures taken in front of St. Basil’s Cathedral below…

igna fansall st basilsbarbara st basilsgian red sqpiero michelewith the fans

And some pictures from the concert…. thank you to Lisa Joy and those persons that she shared the posts from for all pictures above and below!

trio moscowignadolls of themgrazie moscowThank you, Moscow!

The happy meet and greeters!  https://www.omgvip.com/il-volo-june-18-2017/

Ciao,

Jana