I was one of the very first writers to write columns for the Flight Crew and I always enjoyed doing it and I always was proud of the fact that many you would write comments and some would email me when they wanted to. The last time I wrote an article of any length was for the wonderful “Notte Magica” program – both the PBS presentation and the CD. Since then I was always waiting for a new album and/or a new PBS show. Well the Latin American songs were MP3 and digital download. I do CD’s (as old fashioned as that is) but I did listen to the songs they recorded in Miami with Emilio Estefan. I did not write an article then because I was told there would be a CD eventually. Well, so far ? ? ? I really ended up worried about the challenges that the boys were putting their voices through. The songs were each very similar to the next but I did like some of those songs. My problem was the stress and extreme tight throat they were developing in the recording process.
Now we skip ahead to right now. Good news. In the process of preparing for this new album they must have gone back to working with their vocal coaches (always the foundation to the incredible sound these guys produce). I sent an email to Barbara Vitali this afternoon and asked about vocal coaches and hope to get an answer soon. Bottom line is that each guy has progressed in spite of the extremes of some of those previous songs. The other factor is that I really do like the songs on this album. Good for them!
Gianluca: In some of these songs the approach to vowels starts out a little closed and tight in the throat. But as he warms up the throat gets more and more free and the size and sound of the vowels is bigger and more rich than ever. As I have said many times in other reviews, this is the finest baritone working the professional music world today and he sings Latin, Broadway, light rock, pop ballads, Italian romantic songs, opera and classical recital songs. He can do it all and do it all superbly!!
Piero: a little bit of the same problem that I think is left over from singing a whole different style of music. But, as with Gianluca, he loosens up and gets rid of the old (sometimes) tight sound and lets it fly free and big. This is an instrument that always was a big instrument and now is bigger.
Ignazio: Listen to him float and soar up and around those high notes. Greatest Lyric tenor working today. I have said that many times before also. There is a way that he and Gianluca can “caress” and “romance” a beautiful phrase of love until the listener falls to the ground in a rush of emotion.
Do you ever listen to these guys and find yourself getting chills up and down your back? Do you ever find yourself having a hard time breathing when they handle the word “subtle” in their singing. Too many young singers cannot sing soft without ending up with a dead sound and they cannot sing loud without screeching their brains out. When our boys sing soft it is with absolute control and beauty – the kind that does send chills out. And they do not just sing with a mindless LOUD. They produce a gorgeous large sound that fills the room without being harsh or formless. That kind of sound can make your heart skip a beat.
So here is where all that vocal work really pays off.
The songs on this CD are:
Musica Che Restaby Gianna Nannini & Emilio Munda & Antonello Carozza
I think all of the Il Volo fans know by now this song was featured for the 2019 Sanremo Festival. I was asked to address the controversy comparing “Musica Che Resta” to “Grande Amore” composed by Francesco Boccia. First of all they are two different songs composed by two different composers. The “fuss” is silly and a waste of time. These are two different songs and each has a special energy and works well for Il Volo. Having listened to “Grande Amore” many times and “Musica che resta” a good number of times I can see where some people would find similarity in the way the piano/softer opening sections layered over fast tempo rhythmic sections would have a “sameness” to them. But they don’t really. Another place where you might find similarity is in the form of the two songs.
This is one place where there is a resemblance but, once again, it is of no importance.
Vicinissimo – more to come later.
Arrivederci Romaby Renato Rascel & Pietro Garinei & Sandro Giovanni
A good number of the “crooners” of the late 40’s, 50’s and 60’s sang this at one time or another. It was used in the movie “Seven Hills of Rome” and it was a hit for Dean Martin and also Mario Lanza, Well you can see the attraction going from Dean to Gianluca and from Mario to Piero.
Gianluca starts out a little tight in the throat but gets more loose as he moves ahead. Piero starts the same – restricted throat but changes as he moves to the next phrase and he is showing off a much more open vowel sound concept. I am anxious to see him in person soon and what how he uses his jaw. Ignazio really makes this song very romantic in the way he works the musical phrase.
A chi mi dice (English=“those who tell me”) by Lars Halvor Jensen & Martin Larsson musicians of Danish background but now live in United Kingdom. This song was featured by their own band.
Fino a quando fa bene –
People (from musical “Funny Girl”) by Julie Styne & Bob Merrill. Funny Girl was a huge Broadway hit back in the mid-1960’s and made Barbara Streisand a star. Then Columbia Pictures made a truly great film of the musical and Streisand, once again, starred. At Oscar time, she ended up in the only tie ever in Best actress with Katharine Hepburn. All you loyal Il Volo fans should know that the boys have always loved her and, better yet, sang with her on her 2012 tour. Great experience for them. They learned a lot from her. This song is her theme song and it works very well for the guys. Each guy is doing his best work on this song. Makes sense since they are loyal to her. Rumor has it she may join them for the PBS program – hope so.
La nave del olvidoby Dino Ramos and Armando Manzanero
This song was a big hit for the famous Mexican singer Jose Jose. Remember IL VOLO singing for him at an awards program because he has lost his voice forever. They sang “El Triste” at that time.
Lontano dagli occhiby Sergio Endrigo and Sergio Bardotti
Be My Loveby Sammy Cahn & Nicholas Brodzsky
Those of us of a certain age (now wait a minute, I did not say the word “old” ) – anyway for those people of that age we all remember what a strong impression was made on us when Mario Lanza sang this song in the movies. Check out the video of “That’s Entertainment” from MGM which is a fantastic collection of many scenes from MGM musicals from the 1930’s to the 1960’s He is very much part of the late 40’s and the 50’s. He was way too young when he died.
Here is another song that I bet Piero loves. I would be interested in finding out in which order these songs were recorded. Certain songs show that the boys have a rather tight throat take a verse or so to get loosened up to a more free sound
When you read my reviews of the past years you will see that the control of their instruments (voice) was always one thing that amazed me for their age and their more pop interests. One note about Sammy Cahn. He is a composer that wrote a lot of Frank Sinatra’s best songs.
La voce del silenzioby Paolo Limiti and Elio Isola
This song was a hit in 1968 from different singers first in Italian and then in English under the title “ Silent Voices” sung by Dionne Warwick
Meravigliosa creatura by Gianna Nannini & Mara Redeghieri
A few more thoughts:
I have been reading that our boys have been getting negative comments for the style of music they do. They seem to get more support here in the USA than they do in Europe (although that is getting better). My thought is that we who stick by the boys no matter what kind of music they do because they are the best and because they show their love in every note – we must always make sure that loyalty gets to them and gets known by them.
I have a feeling that upcoming programs will be just wonderful.
The guys have landed safely in Miami! They are “here” for a little while, even if we are not lucky enough to run into them, like the fans in Miami….
I had planned to wait for the new Il Volo album to review but I have been getting a number of emails and phone calls about the album that have inspired me to comment ahead of time. I will still do a review of the album later. Since all of the people that have written and many of you on this Flight Crew site that I have met at concerts or at the Il Volo Fan Faire conventions are friends I had the urge to share some ideas about your concerns for this coming album.
FORMAL VOICE TRAINING
First of all the basics: Gianluca, Piero, and Ignazio come from backgrounds that are founded in well-trained, formal voice work – private voice lessons. If you look at some of the concert or album reviews that I have written on this site (see Flight Crew archives) over the past 6 years you will see what factors are involved in the mechanics of good singing. It is not easy!
Our guys have that kind of formal work in spades! You may remember the tour they did with Barbra Streisand and how they had their vocal coach and she had her own. She started working with that coach 6 months prior to tour and had the coach drop in once in a while during the tour. This keeps the singing honest, true and high quality. For the Notte Magica concert in Florence that DVD had a “behind the scenes” video that showed the guys working with a vocal coach. As Barbra would probably say: you never stop needing a vocal coach if you want to do things right.
This kind of training will give them the prowess to handle any kind of music they choose to perform – including the Cuban-influenced Latin music that they are learning with Emilio Estefan.
CHOICE OF REPERTOIRE
From the beginning of their career the guys have chosen great music to sing and it has often been in different languages from different cultures: Italian (of course) , English, Spanish, French, and German. Some times they have gone back and redone parts of an album to sing a translated portion in Spanish that they had previously done in Italian or English. So a whole album in Spanish is nothing new. They have done it before and we loved it. Regardless, the songs they have chosen have been excellent and a person does not have to understand the meaning of the text to get the musical message from that song. Passion wins through in the end and these guys have great passion by the boat- load to add to those beautiful vocal instruments.
So now we have the guys working with renown producer, Emilio Estefan – husband of great singer, Gloria Estefan to produce this album. To get a little hint look at Gloria and her music history. She is a well trained singer and she has done not only Cuban – influenced albums but also, mainstream jazz, Broadway and Latin pop songs. She is superb in her wide variety. Recently, she released an album called “ The Standards” which features songs the guys have also done like Charlie Chaplin’s “ Smile” and she has a number of Frank Sinatra and Henry Mancini songs that are American standards on that album. Go to Youtube and look up Gloria and Smile. Give a listen. She is very good. I am telling you this because Gloria gives a hint about the kind of background not only she has but also Emilio. So I would say that the guys are in good hands. From what I have heard they are doing a song with Gloria. Great ! I hope they do other things with her. Some of the “guest” singers they have worked with in the past left much to be desired (compared to the guys) . Well they can’t all be a Barbra or a Gloria.
The guys have indicated that they want to explore different musical cultures. They have for the past number of years, done an excellent job of exploring their own Italian heritage and the classical background they share. Now, while they are still young, they want to branch out. This is a good thing. It does not mean that they have stopped loving the music they have done up to now. It does not mean that they are leaving those of us in mainstream USA behind. It just means they want to try new things and they want to take us along with them on the journey. Hopefully, tried and true fans will want to venture out with them on that journey.
Nothing can erase the great albums, PBS specials, and the concerts that they have done so far. Those events will always be part of their heritage and our memory. Will this new album be equally successful ? From what I hear they are doing a number of songs that are original – never done before – unpublished. That is gutsy and brave.
If you want to get a hint about the new album listen to some of Gloria’s Cuban/Latin pop albums. Of all the Latin American countries Cuba has had a very strong influence on North and South American music. This goes back long before the Castro government came in. Even in Hollywood you can see from the movies in the 1930s and 1940s that the influence is strong. Go to Youtube and look up Gloria and “ Conga “ have some fun.
IL VOLO RETURNS TO SANREMO – 2018.
I had a chance yesterday to watch a video of the recent Sanremo event. Il Volo was not in competition this time but, rather, guests to add some sparkle to the show. They sang three songs – one from the Notte Magica album and tour – one from earlier album and tour and a song that was not in the earlier albums. It was great to see them back there again. I will save this review for another time.
Thank you, Myron!!
A note from Jana…
And to all of you out there that are saying “that is not my kind of music – pshaw!” and shame on you! Remember that old “Life” cereal commercial? “Mikey won’t eat it, he hates everything!…” as they say… Then cut to “hey look, he’s eating it!” Well, to all of you “Mikeys (and Michaelas)” out there – just TRY it, you might LIKE it! I am not a personal fan of rap, or hip-hop, but if the guys are singing it, then I’ll listen to it. Remember, like Myron said, they’ve been singing this same type of music now for nearly 10 years! When was the last time you had a job, the same job, for 10 years? It gets boring after a while, right? Didn’t you want to branch out? Do something different? Change it up just a bit? That’s all the guys are doing! They have a long career ahead of them and they will probably try just about anything and everything in the next 20 plus years. Some of us may be under ground or on a shelf by then, but they will still be going strong! 🙂 Does anyone remember how many people said “I don’t like opera” when Notte Magica came out? I’m sure there were plenty! These guys are chameleons! But leopards, too! They may change their colors up once in a while, but a leopard can’t change its spots and we can’t change the incredible voices these guys have. Speaking of the animal world, they are also like zebras, where no two zebras have the same pattern of stripes – our guys are as unique and individual as they come, even amongst themselves! Remember, you are never too old to learn or appreciate something new! – jmv
I know we will all turn into “THIS” Mikey, real soon! 🙂
A little background on this posting…several months back, I had had a few ideas on what I thought would be great posts. I was in the process of rounding up a few more writers and realized Pat would be the perfect person to do these. I put on my “boss” cap and asked her if she’d be willing to take on these assignments. She agreed heartily, maybe a bit too heartily, later thinking “what did I just get myself into?” None of the 3 assignments I gave her were easy. Some were very grueling, like making her search and scour the Internet for some of these videos! But she eagerly took on the task! 🙂
In the meantime, Myron sent me a note saying he was in the process of writing this article comparing Il Volo’s songs with past and present performances. Ding, ding, ding!! How perfect – I could easily combine both my assignment for Pat and Myron’s article. I’m sure it would be a smash!
I will say, this all started with a very innocent email from Gale Wall to Marie with a few videos she had found from past and present, and it just went from there! 🙂 So, please enjoy the following article from Myron and the hard work from Pat.
Ground rules for this article includes the fact that I will find something good and something not as good. To be honest we all know that some Il Volo performances are better than others – nobody is perfect all the time. But I have always felt that even their worst quality performance is far superior to the best of most other singers. Where is the proof? Just compare Il Volo on an average day to any other famous singer or group on their best day and see what you come up with. Take as much time as you wish. See! I told you so! Not even close.
Now I am going to compare Il Volo to the only group that gives them a serious run for the money – Themselves ! ! !
Source of this comparison: a list of videos put together by Pat Ward plus a few that I have added. Thanks so much to Pat.
Sample # 1 is the song “Maria” from West Side Story by Leonard Bernstein.
One performance is from Westbury outside New York. I will not include this because this venue is never a very good one for the boys (in the round) – bad acoustics, terrible site lines, terrible sound and it is near impossible to stage anything like this. So that leaves us the most recent (2017) Radio City Music Hall performance in New York where Maria is done as a duet and a performance from Louisville, Kentucky where Gianluca does a solo performance.
The vocal quality of the most recent one is better and, of course, more mature. The vowels are more perfectly shaped which then allows tone to be more rich and well shaped. Gianluca and Ignazio show a more “natural” staging and use of hands and facial expression than the older one. Years of experience will do that.
The older performance with only Gianluca shows a “kid” that is just trying out facial and hand gestures at an early time in his life. He is just learning how to relate to the audience in front of him which is quite a job for a boy that is so shy as he was then (and still is to a degree). However, young though he may be, his heart-felt passion is unleashed in a way that takes your breath away. I remember that summer offered another performance in the mid-west someplace where he was wearing a white shirt and a black vest. He had been ill on the trip and lost weight. He looked so skinny that we wondered if he could even make it through the whole song. The passion carried the day and he made it – but we, the audience were exhausted ! ! ! For passion and naked feelings I give it to the older performance. For quality of technique I give the nod to the Radio City show.
For contrast here I will use the Il Volo performance from Florence last summer called: Una Notte Magica vs. the very first music video that they ever did filmed at Taormina. They were about ages 15, 16 & 17 when that was filmed and when the first album was recorded.
I remember that it was such a pleasant surprise as a music director/voice teacher to see young guys that sounded so mature. If you want to get technical then you notice that vowels are not always consistent. One example is the vowel “Ah” which is a very wide (or should be) position mouth opening. Here it is correct sometimes and other times it is more shallow. Does it make a huge difference in the long run? No. What carries the day is that they are using large vowel concepts most of the time – 80% to 90% of the time. Again, compare with other singers of their age who don’t even know what pure vowel shapes are – duh! It boils down to the vocal training they have had (or others have not had).
The Florence concert of summer of 2016 gives us the boys in their early 20s after years of voice lessons and working with a great vocal coach. I suggest you get the “Notte Magica” DVD and skip to the special features where they go behind the scenes. During that video you will see them working with a vocal coach. That woman is right on the money – Great work. I wish they would have shown more of that session in the video. A great Olympic athlete must always work with a coach and so also, a great singer must always work with a great vocal coach. That is how you prevent bad habits from disrupting.
This version of Sole Mio is pure – the original song complete. They have done versions that mix the original with the Elvis arrangement. That one is fun but this one requires the best singing habits. This performance is truly great ! ! !
The performances listed by Pat here are all fine but I am going to use only one performance which is not listed. I am using this for a special reason.
On Friday (Good Friday), March 25, 2016 the boys of Il Volo attended the first ever – Il Volo Fan Faire convention at the Palms Hotel Casino in Las Vegas. Those of us there had a great chance to “love “ these guys to death and shower them with gifts. It was fun and we found out again just last month that the boys want to do it again soon. Then later that night they gave a concert in the Pearl Theater in the same hotel. Turned out to be one of the best concerts of their whole tour with one of the best orchestras of the tour. My son and soon-to-be daughter-in-law were attending both the Fan Faire and the concert. He is a great photographer and took a video during the concert when Gianluca and Ignazio sang a duet on “Unchained Melody.” Turns out that song is a favorite for both my son and his girlfriend and it brought them both to tears. In short, he proposed, she said yes and now they are married and I have a grandson ! ! By the way I am going to post that video soon and you will see it is one of the best versions of that song. Hooray for Il Volo. Hooray for David, Erin and little Jacob! (Myron, hope you find it, because I looked and could not!)
By the way, the family was in attendance again this year for the return of Il Volo to Vegas for “Notte Magica” – this time the Park Theater at the Monte Carlo Hotel Casino.
This song deals with the sad, unhappy life of one of the great tenors of all time: Enrico Caruso. This man had many trials in his life, had rough times in Italy but found success in the USA. Even though he bedded many women and had two sons he eventually ended up alone when he died near Sorrento in Italy. It is a great song, a demanding song, very filled with passion and can easily die without that passion.
The two performances from Pat’s list I am using are Christmas concert in the senate in Italy and the concert (their first time) in Radio City Music Hall in New York – both in 2013.
One problem here is the video which has a “skip” in the middle of the song. That is too bad because they are presenting a very passionate performance of this song at that point. This concert was on December 14, 2013 and came very closely after a very long and poorly planned tour of the USA and Latin America. Too many concerts in too short a time including two cities where they did 4 concerts back to back to back ! ! ! One city where they were outdoors in the rain. Too many concerts in too short a time. They each got sick when then were coming into Panama City. Gianluca and Piero had raspy voices and Ignazio could not even talk let alone sing. So the Senate concert happened at the end of a stressful fall and winter. They still did a great job.
My choice, however, is Radio City. This place inspired our guys to give a great concert and this song especially was a solid hit on that show. I would say that it is very difficult to listen to this song sung by the guys in full rendition without having some tears. Powerful song – sung by wonderful singers. That Radio City Concert is still one of their all-time best.
Piero (age 15) e Simona Collura (age 12) Ti lascio una canzone Italian TV talent contest 09 maggio 2009
September 27, 2013 Radio City Music Hall, New York
Published on Jun 12, 2014 IVMO les presenta: Porta a Porta – Solo – 4 de Julio
Even when they were only 16 years old these boys were exciting to listen to. Maybe they still needed more staging work and to loosen up the face a bit. Maybe they still needed to work on tone placement a bit more but that is splitting hairs. The wonderful thing is that they kept working on their craft in order to produce the great art that they do. Today, as we see in current performances, they still work with a coach and they produce even greater vocal excitement as they sing the best in music repertoire.
I will save more songs for another time. Bravo! to Gianluca, Ignazio and Piero!
Ok, you be the critic – here are a few more songs Pat found. Jana (comments on video from Pat!)
The “ WIND MUSIC AWARDS” and some other thoughts for this summer of Il Volo 2017.
I was pleased to view the “Wind Music Awards” presentation today and to see that our group, Il Volo, was presented with an award honoring the fact that their Notte Magica has achieved a Platinum album level of sales (meaning sales of a miniumum of 50,000).Also, in this category, Amazon lists “Notte Magica” as number one in sales. There are also some other awards they have won this year having to do with sales and honoring the fact that they are the bestGoodwill Ambassadors that Italy has ever had to the rest of the world.
During the presentation the guys sang Nessun Dorma again, which makes sense since this song has a very, very wide audience around the world – opera lovers or not. But only one song is not a good way to judge a singing performance. Usually we have 15 to 20 songs to use for source material, but I will say that the guys’ singing artistry was very fine as usual. If I were to make one tiny comment it would be that they sounded a little tired – vocally – which makes perfect sense. After all they have been on tour ever since the last part of January with only a few short breaks and further more they have more to do yet up to near the end of July. That is a lot of concerts. One good thing I noticed when they started here in the USA in February was that they are avoiding having two or more concerts back to back to back. That sort of poor planning really hurt them during the 2013 Latin America tour. If you play Trumpet and break it then you can go out to a store and buy a new one but if you ruin your voice you cannot go to the store and buy a new one. The human voice is very resilient, but sometimes we push it too far and it does not bounce back fast or, maybe, at all. The Latin singer Jose Jose is an example of that sort of thing. He can never sing again – ever. You may remember that for the Latin Grammy awards show a few years back the boys sang Jose’s “El Triste” on a program where they were giving him an honor. He received the award and could barely talk – sounded like gravel – too much over singing, too much booze, too much drugs, and too much bad living. Thus, Il Volo sang his song for him.
I have written about this already, but want to share it again. When the boys came to Las Vegas this March they had been already fighting the desert-dry throat since Los Angeles so here our people made sure that there was humidity on stage and plenty of water bottles. My point is that because of taking good care of themselves, vocally, they sang one of the best concerts of the whole USA tour. This sort of thing has to be handled and taken care of from one moment to the next through all 2 ½ hours of the concert. But these guys are very smart about handling themselves. I sat in the front row and (as a vocal coach) admired tremendously how well they adapted. The singing was SUPERB! Less well trained singers would have coughed or broken phrase or sang out of tune. I know because I have heard some very famous singers give way to exactly that.
But not our boys. They had it under control from beginning to end. This is what professional singing is all about. Not just the money. All that and the fact that this program is THE most demanding set of songs that they have ever put together for a concert. The famous tenors did this program when they were in their 50s, but our boys are doing it in their early 20s. Bravo !
We need to hope that they keep this pacing steady as they head into the next batch of concerts. I am so proud of these guys.
My two cents worth….(Jana)
On the 2nd day of their performance, the guys did a “360 loop,” opting for a change in dress from their formal wear for Nessun Dorma, to a more comfortable leather and jeans, to sing their cherished hit, Grande Amore! The guys didn’t miss a beat, battling downpours of rain – even stepping out from the stage to get a little wet – all for the love of their fans!
They were also presented with a new award this year. They received the “gold” award for audience attendance. This seemed to be calculated only using the concerts from Italy during May 2016 to May 2017. The gold range level was from 40,000 to 100,000 audience attendance. Per Daniela,
The concerts from May 2016 to May 2017 are taken into account. I believe, but it is my opinion that only Italian concerts are taken into consideration, at that time (2016) the concerts in Italian palasport had already been made, only Florence And Verona that you also saw (6000 + 12000) then concerts in 2017 in Italy but only until May, so the major ones were Torino 11.000 milano 11.000 Verona 24.000 (both night) Roma 12.000 (both nights) then others have more capes small Ancona, Roccaraso Livorno and Bologna.
Last night they were good, admirable for being differentiated from the rest of the performances and also brave to bring a piece so busy on a very light evening. They have shown yesterday that they are serious professionals, elegant, mature at their age. Today they are three boys in jeans and leather jackets, show their age, have been addicted, certainly more suitable to this type of audience, they were cool and nice.They sang under a rain shower and Torpedine accompanied them to the drum. Bravo in both cases, have shown two faces of IL VOLO, they can do it.
Thank you to Daniela who sent us the link to the show! Watch it before it is gone!
Ever since they mentioned to me over three years ago (almost in passing) that they were going to start work on a “big” project about the famous Three Tenors, I have been very eager to see this concert on this tour. The boys of Il Volo started their singing life learning quality singing techniques with voice lessons. This included learning some arias from operas which is sort of a basic foundation of repertoire. They learned this very well. Then they took this technique and applied it to a wide variety of different styles of music – mostly Italian romantic songs, American love songs and some Broadway – all under the loose title “pop” music or as they called it: “operatic pop.”
Now with this project, they are returning to their cultural roots with some solid opera arias – some real gems! That takes work and lot of work with their vocal coach. The end result was a wonderful concert called Notte Magica given in the city square in the center of Florence last summer. I have already reviewed that program on this site and I must say that I was so proud of the guys.
That was on TV and now I get to see that program LIVE on stage in a brand new theater here in Las Vegas. Hooray ! Finally !
The program order was basically the same as Florence however a couple of songs were dropped from that program and a couple of songs were added that were not originally on that program. First of all a song that I did not pay enough attention to when it first came out but now it affected me very strongly: Ave Maria, Mater Misericordiaewritten for the boys of Il Volo by Giorgio Pintusand Romano Musumarra. I tell you, that it is one thing to hear a song on a stereo system in the car and it is drastically different to have the boys singing it “live” just 8 feet away from me (I was in the front row). What an incredible song. The boys said that they hope to one day sing this song for Pope Francis. I hope so. They deserve that honor and also, the Pope deserves to be blessed by their singing. The other song added to the program was “Grande Amore”, their signature song from the San Remo Festival in 2015. Great to have it back again.
Il Voloin concert at the Park Theater – Monte Carlo Hotel in Las Vegas
Saturday, March 25, 2017 – 8:00pm to 10:34pm
Overture – La Forza del Destino Sinfonia by Giuseppi Verdi Orch.
Nessun Dorma – from Turandot by Giacomo Puccini
Granada – Agustin Lara
Mattinata – romance by Ruggero Leoncavallo
Una Furtiva Lagrima – from L’elisir d’amore by Gaetano Donizetti – Ignazio
La Danza – Gioachino Rossini – Gianluca
E Lucevan le Stelle – from Tosca by Puccini – Piero
Torna a Surriento – Giambattista de Curtis
Intermezzo – Manon Lescaut by Puccini – orch.
Core ‘Ngrato – Cardillo
O paese d’o sole – Annibala Bovia – Piero and Ignazio
Maria – from West Side Story by Leonard Bernstein – Gianluca and Ignazio
My Way – Paul Anka – Gianluca and Piero
Tonight – from West Side Story by Leonard Bernstein – Ignazio
Intermezzo – Cavalleria Rusticana by Pietro Mascagni – orch.
Cielito Lindo – Quirino Mendoza y Cortez
En Aranjuez Con Tu Amor – Josquin Rodrigo – Gianluca
No Puede Ser – Pablo Sorozabal – Piero
Ave Maria, Mater Misericordiae– by Giorgio Pintus & Romano Musumarra
O Sole Mio – Eduardo de Capua and Giovanni Capurro
Libiamo – from La Traviata by Giuseppe Verdi
Nessun Dorma – with extra ending
The concert was presented in a new theater called the Park Theater which is part of the Monte Carlo Hotel-Casino complex on the strip in Las Vegas. It opened in December and everything is the latest, state-of-the-art equipment and a huge stage with great sound system. A tech man told me at the end of the concert that they were filled with 4132 people (the upper balcony was not open).
This high quality music requires an ensemble of good size. Two years ago they used 26 musicians. Last year they used 38 and this year (hold your hat) they had 55 in the orchestra. Or to put it the way Piero said it: “55 plus one” because one of the cello players was pregnant !!! Cool . That is a huge orchestra. Sitting as close as I was I noticed many players who are also in the Las Vegas Philharmonic. That is the kind of quality that our boys deserve. Minor point: it was the first time they have used harp in their programs. Very, very nice. This really was an excellent quality ensemble.
THE BOYS’ SINGING
The program order is listed below. The first thing that I always note for each live concert is that I am hearing the well-trained, well-seasoned singing of three gentlemen of 35 to 40 years of age. That kind of control. That kind of musical security. That kind of resonance and tone quality. EXCEPT FOR ONE THING they are only 22 & 23 ! ! !
I know that I make this kind of comment each time and it is true each time. Incredible quality singing from “ kids” (Ignazio will pop me in the nose for that one – Ha ). When you think that the human voice is the last organ of the body to mature – usually around 35 years of age – these guys are incredible ! My choice for outstanding work:
For the whole group – Ave Maria– a great piece of music sung to perfection and it sent chills up and down my back.
Piero – No Puede Ser– he knows this song inside out but tonight it was fresh with new vitality and excitement. He always delivers.
Ignazio – Una Furtiva Lagrima– this is a very subtle and demanding song – very easy to screw it up and over sing. He was splendid.
Gianluca – tie between La Danzaand Aranjuezbut for this show the edge went to Aranjuez because Gianluca had a first class violinist for the counter part (this song is kind of a duet) and Gianluca was in ABSOLUTE CONTROL. That is art of incredible beauty.
The “hidden secret” that I don’t think many people in the audience knew or paid attention to was what some singers sometimes call “Vegas Throat.” I spoke with Ignazio after the concert and he was having quite a time with the dry climate condition that makes it more challenging to sing well. He could not seem to drink enough water. Just as the boys walked on stage at the beginning I could see that this was starting to happen to all three of them. It makes you feel that you are not sure that you can hold out tones for long periods of time for fear it will crack or sound like static. They had water on the stage and the theater was pumping humidity onto the stage for them but it still was a challenge. They had come from Minneapolis (humidity center) to L.A. which is desert and then drove across the Mohave desert to Vegas (an even drier city). It doesn’t happen that often but once in a while. I have heard Celine Dion, Barbra Streisand and Michael Buble have problems in a concert with this.
Now here is my point: each of these young men showed incredible will power for the entire two and half hours of that concert. They kept solid, well-supported tone going under firm control. They never allowed the tone to crack or break once. They each presented us with wonderful, pure and very musical singing throughout. So the “secret” is that they were challenged with potential problems BUT the audience never heard anything but quality, professional singing. I had a hint of it in the concert but when I talked with them later last night after the concert, then they let me know what a challenge it was. BRAVO! BRAVO! Very few singers can do that.
End result? This was one of the best concerts I have ever attended played by a superb 55- piece symphony orchestra and featuring the three best male singers in the business today.
A SOCIAL NOTE
After the concert we hung out watching the Meet and Greet line go by and when that came to an end Jeannette and I finally had a chance to take some time and visit with Gianluca, Ignazio, Piero and with Barbara. They were in a happy mood and relieved that the concert went as well as it did. We talked a little about the next Il Volo Fan Faire which will happen when the next American tour happens. However, we do not have a date yet because they will be occupied with a major new recording project next year so
The American tour will be delayed … They do not plan on touring in 2018 unless they make an announcement later changing their plans…To Be Determined
Remember they still have a lot of touring to do yet in other areas around the world after they finish this American tour.
We found they are getting to know us better and better each year so conversation gets going a lot easier than it used to years ago. Now they pick up where we left off last March. They ask us questions. It gives us a warm feeling (after all they meet thousands of people on each tour). Relations with Barbara are starting to feel like that of an old friend. (maybe I should say “friend we have known for a long time” rather than “OLD” ). Each of them was eager with hugs, kisses and wonderful conversation. If it were not for being about 1:00am we could have gone on much longer. Indeed, security was closing up that part of the building so we had to leave.
One final note: we figured since there was no full-sized Fan Faire this year we would just do dinner and invite a few people to join us just before the concert. Well, that went different than expected. We started out thinking about a dozen, but we ended up with nearly 50 people in that little Italian restaurant right next to the doors of the theater.
It was a big family gathering. What a family – the extended Il Volo family.
Thank you, Myron! Great review!
Stay tuned for more reviews from our Flight Crew. Coming soon!
~~ Leelee ~~
Come in and share the love of life, friends and Il Volo!