This is a tribute to Il Volo in the first decade their career.
Some time ago Valeria Bosch wrote this beautiful article, which talks about true Friendship, the one with a capital F.
Perhaps not all of you have had the opportunity to read these beautiful words, which only Valeria knows how to compose so well, and then I propose to you this beautiful reading.
1 – Traveling to Rome.
Who knows what was going on in the minds of those three kids while, in the spring of 2009, who on the plane and in the car, headed for Rome. The expected convocation had arrived and now they could hope to be selected for the television show of Antonella Clerici – to perform on the most important national network, to be seen by everyone and return to their towns with an upturned nose, at school with the comrades boasting of having been seen in the magical world contained in the television box, and of having sung just like the most famous stars, in short as they too had become, “VIPs”!
Not even the unbridled imagination of three thrilled and enthusiastic teenagers could ever remotely imagine what the destiny behind that convocation was concealing for them: it would have taken a magic mirror more powerful than Snow White’s to see inside the journeys, the planes, the thousands of discs sold, prizes, awards, the Radio City Music Hall and the Barclay Center in New York, the Olympia in Paris, the Royal Albert Hall in London and the most prestigious theaters in the world, the thousands of people across the planet standing to applaud their every song, the adoring little girls that crowded under the hotels waiting for them, dealing, on equal terms, with the most famous celebrities of the music world.
The story that starts from that journey to Rome could be told in a thousand ways, the songs, the theaters, the people, the prizes, the interviews, the relations with the press. But I would like here instead, and just to honor the ten years of activity of Il Volo, which is equivalent to ten years of life in common, choosing a really personal and delicate button, something that, especially considering the current times, is extraordinary and amazing, and that is friendship, the true friendship that exists between these boys, strengthened more and more over the years, a friendship as used in ancient times, that is made of mutual support, understanding, capacity for forgiveness, of confidence of the most intimate secrets, in short, a feeling that, in certain situations, can prove even more solid and satisfying than love.
2 – A true friendship
At first it was certainly not a bed of roses: who was that kind of a nuisance that was already talking and singing on the pullman that took them to Rome? and that timid little bit of snobbish, who singing, brought out a powerful voice? and that other one with glasses and command modes, who was nevertheless always ready for a joke and a laugh? Bringing together three males still in full adolescence, tearing them away from their habitual context, home, school, friends, to get them to travel the world, subjecting them to considerable physical and psychological stress, was a daring feat. There is no doubt: at first the thing seemed titanic, but then, over time, something was changed. There was something more in them than the normal vivacity of adolescents, the whims, the desire to have fun: there was a basic solidity, a great loyalty and goodness of character that in the formative years had been shaped in them by three exemplary families, parents and grandparents united, full of intelligence and love, who had managed to convey to them the need to be serious, the beauty of doing their duty, the acceptance of fatigue and sacrifice.
And so, slowly, they began to look at each other not with mistrust, but with sympathy, not with rivalry, but with a spirit of collaboration. The friendship has been strengthened and has managed to create an understanding between them that, to those who have to observe it during performances, both in concerts and in interviews, can only appear obvious and even incredible: just a nod of one to start (or block) the other, sometimes they touch their shoulders to look for security, they hug each other to welcome the ovations of the audience, they shake hands in a superstitious gesture before each concert. Really three voices and one soul, as is often said.
The litmus paper of the by now profound mutual affection was, as told in their testimony book An Extraordinary Adventure (Un’avventura straordinaria: La nostra storia), an accident that occurred in Miami in 2013, when during an evening at the disco among friends, Ignazio was unknowingly drugged, beaten and left unconscious on a lawn. The fear felt in not seeing him return, the anxiety of waiting that drove Gian to watch all night in the hotel in the hope that he would appear, and Piero, on a motorbike on the streets of Miami to look for him, cemented them indissolubly, made them understand, how important they were to each other, and urged Ignazio to give a public thanks during a subsequent concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York, without mentioning the incident, but expressing to his friends his affection, his joy of being together and sharing all the experiences with them.
There is no rivalry, there is no envy, there is no jealousy between these three boys: they collaborate in the work of recording in the studio, in the technical preparation of the pieces, in all the activities required of them, and they are sometimes seen together even outside the stage, this is a true sign of sincere understanding. In fact, if they felt annoyed with each other, after work they would immediately split up, to live each their own life.
This is their secret, their spring, their added value: in the DVD that was released after the victory in Sanremo in 2015, one is surprised to hear Ignazio declare that, “Gian is the best boy in the world.”, and Gian reiterating, “We love each other so much.” and Piero, “There are no problems between us because when one is born, we resolve it immediately, where it is born it must die.” No more friends, therefore, but brothers, as they themselves have been declared several times.
3 – The bench of Montepagano
Even the magic mirror of Snow White, no matter how powerful could tell us if, after this first decade, the guys of Il Volo will still celebrate others together. It is also possible, with the golden voices that can be found in all three, that to someone, and it would be completely legitimate, the desire to probe new ways and to pursue, at least at times, a solo career. But we do not need the mirror of Snow White to be certain that their friendship will be celebrating the 2nd, 3rd, 4th decades, and so on: Ignazio will forever remain an indelible piece of the life of Gian and Gian of Piero and Piero of Ignazio, and vice versa.
Perhaps, when they are three sprightly old men, without the need for tricks and wigs, they will meet again on the bench of Montepagano, made famous by “L’ amore si muove”. And there, they will still be friends and brothers, it will be enough – a joke, a laugh, a memory, a hug – to find each other as they have been for the whole life, “three men and one soul”.
What a beautiful story, of an incredible friendship, born by chance, but lasting over time. Certain feelings are connected with time and events.
Valeria you have the gift of finding the most beautiful words to describe this beautiful friendship between Piero, Ignazio and Gianluca.
Credit to owners of all photos and videos.