Penina wrote me that a friend of hers sent her this video of the Three Tenors (not the two tenors and a baritone!) singing My Way in Los Angeles. The cool thing about it was that Frank Sinatra was in the audience watching and appreciating their performance.
In response Penina sent her friend a video of the boys singing the same song. Her friend’s response to the video sent was one word, “magnifico!”
If only Frank Sinatra could sit in the front row RIGHT NOW and watch Gianluca and Piero give such timeless beauty to this song of his. He would be so proud of these three young Italian men who are bringing their bel canto to the world and keeping his legacy alive by honoring his song. Mr. Sinatra did it HIS WAY and IL VOLO is doing it THEIR WAY. Yes, he would indeed be very proud of them.
~~ The Three Tenors ~~
~~ Piero and Gianluca ~~
Credit to all owners of videos.
Hello all…. I’m going to cheat a little bit here (but I still have to pack, as I’m leaving for an exciting weekend with hot and sandy beaches – already getting chilly here in MI!) and repost this one I wrote last year, just about a year ago now. It seemed to be a well-loved post, so I hope you enjoy it again. I know there are some newbies out there that have not seen this!
Just an update… I still have this addiction and my pusher skills are still going strong, just recently I converted another admin at work. It started out she was having a stressful day, trying to schedule some meetings. I viciously sent her Gianluca’s version of Bridge Over Troubled Water from the first LA appearance. I waited and waited, knowing she was busy. I wondered… did she like it? did she think I was crazy? I started out with something in English and well-known. I figured she’d at least like the song. Ok, sent an email back “thanks, she said, that was wonderful!” Oh whew! So glad. She’s a director’s admin! lol! 🙂 Another week or two pass….another stressful day. But finally, it was almost over. I told her she need an Il Volo break. I sent her the “new” Ave Maria and told her that even if she did not know the song or words, the melody was hauntingly beautiful. I waited some more…. YES! She loved that one as well… Ok, time to really reel her in! I pretty much had her hook, line, and sinker! I think I sent her Nessun Dorma as well and then told her a “little bit” more about me and the guys. Then I sent her this article! Days passed… I knew she was busy. Finally! The email was returned. She loved this article! And she says… yeah, they aren’t too bad to look at, either! lol! Yes, folks… there are more fans to conquer. You never know when some poor, unsuspecting person will just fall into your evil web of deception with those 3 innocent-looking faces! I challenge all of you to make a new fan this week!
Hi, my name is Jana, and I’m an Ivolover. My obsession started about 3 years ago or so, and like many obsessions, it started out slow. But along the way, I had to find a friend or two to help feed my obsession and help it grow. It started with just watching them on PBS, with a concert or two. Then, I went to the concert. After that one concert, it became apparent that this obsession turned into an addiction! I just had to have them – their faces, their music, their voices, the sound, it filled my soul like no other euphoric thing I’d ever experienced! I became a fanatic, ordering every CD I could find and scouring You Tube each night for a video or interview, so I could experience this amazing phenomenon. I got my fill most nights, but I just had to have more. I started listening to them all day at work, playing the same CD over and over. The bad thing was, I became a pusher! Yes, every time someone came to my desk and asked what I was listening to, I couldn’t wait to start pushing my addiction on to them. And it was so easy, too. Just showed them the CD cover and told them how awesome they were. Then I brought in the DVDs for them to watch. I was so bad…. Pushing my addiction on others like that. When we thought we couldn’t possibly get more of them, it becomes our ring tones on our cell phones, and their pictures are our wallpapers on our phones and computers, and to really annoy those that aren’t our fellow Ilvolovers, we have their songs on our ringback tones on our phones! There we were, exposing innocent persons to just a snippet of their voices, every time they called us! I just had to stop, but I couldn’t. Then, I found what I thought was a support group. We met and shared our stories about our addiction, and they were all so similar. Kindred spirits! I’d also found this blog site, where I found more addicted and obsessed persons! This obsession was rampant, and I quickly found it was spreading like wildfire all around the world. The scary thing was that no one tried to stop it! We just kept adding more people to our group. Like all addictions, it was getting a bit expensive, too! We just had to have their latest CD or DVD and we had to have it now. We could not wait and thought nothing of paying expedited shipping costs, just so we could have it first! We went to concerts and fought to get front row seats. We did not care what they cost, it was “the guys!” Then there were the meet & greets. Were we afraid of overdosing? No, never! We knew our friends were there to help us. The cost of the meet & greets and concerts? Hundreds…to some, maybe even thousands! It didn’t matter. We were there. Even when we’d thought we’d had enough, we just kept needing more to feed this habit of ours. We kept pushing others, so they would share in our glorious addiction; this untold high we got when we heard our favorite guy sing “that” note! It was pure ecstasy for those precious seconds! The cost of those meet & greets become a distant past when you see their faces up close and personal. Oh, and it doesn’t stop there….all of a sudden, we find out there is a concert in Italy! The next thing we know we are buying a ticket to Florence or Verona and then we are afraid. Afraid to tell our loved ones we are going to see the guys, yet again – that part is not so bad, but we are afraid to tell them it’s in Italy (because we are sure they will be calling the men in the little white coats!)! What a joy it will be to hear them in their own country. We’ve yet to experience the joy and beauty of our own country, but don’t think twice about jetting off to Italy! They don’t know it, but for those 30 seconds or less when you are looking into those innocent and talented eyes, they are yours! They belong to you. When you hold their hands, the power of your touch, matches theirs and it’s electric. The fire courses through your veins, their eyes penetrate yours and you are lost in those few seconds; you get dizzy, and lightheaded. You cannot speak; your legs feel like fettuccine, and your feet like cement blocks. You are rudely brought back to reality when they say to turn around and smile, and snap! You turn around one last time. You look at them and the moment is gone.
Many say, after one, or even two meet & greets, and the money it cost; that’s it, no more, won’t do it again. Won’t spend all that money on a ticket, or to get first, their latest CD…they are done. They are calling it quits. They try to be strong, but peer pressure is overwhelming. The date of their next concert is drawing near. Ok, you decide, you will go – just to keep your friends company. Well, maybe you’ll try to get good seats, but definitely no meet & greet. The time is getting closer and closer…you start to feel it again, as hard as you try to push it way, it overtakes your very being again. All of a sudden, you realize, your addiction is back. It’s this craving, this thing, it’s just so overpowering; you can’t stop it. You buy the ticket, you check your bank account, it’s nearly overdrawn, you buy the meet & greet!
No, no, you said you wouldn’t get caught up in this thing again. It’s not worth all the money, and the waiting, and anticipation. It’s too much stress! But, like the words in Unchained Melody, it’s a hunger; a hungering, for their touch. A need, only they can fill.
So, is it worth it you ask?
There they are, standing before you, looking at you with those innocent, sparkling, and playful eyes;
your hand reaches forth…
(Photo credits: PBS 2015)
Carmen is my Spanish friend who teaches Art History. She loves IL VOLO and loves to make comparisons between IL VOLO and artwork. Her teaching method is to create this parallel so that the lessons result less heavy for the students.
It is very interesting and I thought to ask Valeria to translate it for you.
This is what she thinks of Piero.
THE KNIGHT WITH HIS HAND ON HIS CHEST,
written by Carmen Garcia Rodriguez.
When I first watched the trio Il Volo for the first time, two of its members immediately reminded me of the characters I had seen in various artworks. Gianluca has a classic beauty that reminded me of Hermes of Prassitele and Ignazio, for his deportment and for his face, he seemed to me a Knight of the seventeenth century, coming out of a picture of Caravaggio or Dumas’s novel “The Three Musketeers”.
And many people have asked me: “And Piero, do not you remember any character?” The fact is that he reminded me, yes, some, but I did not understand who. His glasses, which give him so many personalities, I think, prevented me from accurately identifying what character of the past he was like, until I saw his picture without glasses and black dress. Then I understood: Piero was “The Knight with his hand on his chest”.
His austere air, his serious face, and the penetrating look were those of the famous Toledo horseman depicted by El Greco. Afterwards I realized that, very often, singing or greetings, Piero carried his hand to the chest in a gesture very similar to that of the man of the painting, and I thought: finally I found Piero’s character.
El Greco was a famous painter of the sixteenth century, born in Crete and artistically formed in Italy, although today he is considered a Spanish painter since he settled in Toledo and in Spain reached the fame he still maintains. “The Knight with his hand on his chest” (Museo del Prado) is surely his most famous portrait. Unfortunately, we do not know for sure who the Knight is, but El Greco, as a portraitist, has been able to grasp the character of the character. .
It is a simple portrait in which black and gray predominate, which gives arousing air to the character, but there are three elements that characterize the portrait: the penetrating gaze, the grip of the sword pointing to his character noble origin and, above all, the hand on the chest that represents it as a man of honor.
Of course Piero is more attractive than El Greco’s Knight and also wears glasses that I hope will never be removed because they characterize his image. I do not know Piero personally, so I do not know if his personality resembles the one that comes from this horseman, but for some reason Piero is for me “the Knight with his hand on his chest”, one of my favorite portraits.
(translated from Spanish to Italian by Valeria Bosch)
The teacher Carmen Garcia Rodriguez has a blog dedicated to art and IL VOLO. This is her link,
~Credit to all owners of photos.~
Hi – just a shout out to everyone experiencing these crazy and unusual weather phenomenas we are having right now… fires, hurricanes, earthquakes, any flooding, etc. It’s been a really crazy year for weather and I’m sure we will all be glad when the new year starts. Puerto Rico had a direct hit with Maria and I read the entire island is without power. Let’s pray that the guys keep missing all of this tragic weather and stay one step ahead! 🙂 One more bit of news – just a reminder that we will only be doing ONE POST per country. Brazil has 3 concerts alone from Sao Paolo, as well as Curitiba. Look for Curitiba/Sao Paolo next Monday.
Ok, now on with this lovely story from Daniela… In search of….
Wow – it’s been a year already! Where does the time go? We’ve had an incredible year, the guys are enjoying their time off and the Latin Tour awaits. Saw them 3 times this year – certainly not enough!
(thank you to those that have answered the survey from Tuesday – let’s get some more answers! So far there are over 100 responses!) 🙂
Ciao a tutti! Ok, this might be even a little longer than normal, but I think I if I didn’t have all the details in here, some would be upset! 🙂 Here’s the inside scoop…
Lorna and I had barely been back a week from Italy and on July 14, Chris and I received the email to volunteer for the upcoming pledge drive at PBS. A quick check on Aug 24 said it was a live event – YES! Il Volo was coming! We quickly signed up to work the phones as we did last year, not knowing how things were going to go and we wanted to be sure we were there. Later that afternoon, we received the official email from Michelle Gaisser at PBS. Per Il Volo management, there were only to be 35 tickets available for sale at a cost of $350 a ticket! Oh no, our odds just dipped! She announced they would go on sale on July 26 at 10a sharp and enclosed the website link to the PBS site. Wow, there were over 10 of us in our little group. What if we all didn’t get tickets? Operation “get tickets” went into motion! Of course, we went to the website and as she had said, there was nothing there yet. We later found out this email went to about 250 persons. Our odds of getting tickets were getting slimmer by the moment. Ok, we quickly mobilized the troupes and our plan went into action on the morning of July 26. Ginny and Lorna were at Jana’s with fingers ready on the keyboards at 9:55am. Chris was at work and unable to order, so Ginny had her info. Donna went to Sharon’s, so they could help each other. Sherry was at home, at the ready, too! I was at the office, behind closed doors, waiting nervously for the laptop I had borrowed to strike 10am! I had preset the link to the website on the computer. I believe we all did. All we had to do was hit refresh, and boom, order as fast as our fingers allowed! We all agreed we would sign on and order at least 2 tickets so everyone in our group would be able to go. If there was a chance someone didn’t get tickets, we would work it out.
Ok, it was 10a – refresh! Refresh!! Refresh!! Wait, it wasn’t working, I was starting to panic and break out in a cold sweat! I quickly emailed Michelle and said it wasn’t working. Plan B. I went back to the original email, on my phone and clicked on the link! Presto! It worked, by then it was at least 5 after 10a and I was in panic mode. I quickly chose 2 tickets, that said that was our limit, put in my information and voila! It said I was confirmed for 2 tickets! Yea! I quickly texted the others and said I had 2 tickets. Oh, no, Sharon and Donna could not connect. I told them to go back to the original email, said they did, but that didn’t work. Ok, I told Sharon to send me her info ASAP and I would try to order them. She sent the info and I believe I got the last 2 tickets, from what I heard later. By about 10:20a, the tickets were sold out. We later learned that Lorna had gotten 4 tickets. So, between the 5 of us, we had gotten 12 tickets!! Just about 1/3 of the tickets were ours!
As usual, the anticipation grew, and clothes were getting chosen. OK, fast-forward…..August 24th!
It was a beautiful day, however there was a threat of rain in the forecast. We all met at my apartment (Ignazio’s Blessing – lol!) and took off shortly after 4:30p. A group of us, about 15 or so, met at Antonio’s the night before for a meet/greet/celebration of our own.
It was to start at 6:30p. After almost a 1.5 hour car ride out to Wixom from Dearborn, while dodging a few rain showers, we finally arrived about 6:15p. We got our badges, mingled a bit and took a few pictures. At just about 6:30p, they led us to the dining area. The food was all set up and waiting for us and the wine on the tables. We were table #1. There were 7 of us sitting at a table for ten. Mingled some more and took more pictures. Had a glass of wine. It was really warm in there and it wasn’t the wine! There appeared to be something wrong with the A/C! (Chris and I later found out on Sunday, while we were volunteering that the guys were too cold and they asked to turn off the air. A room full of 40 year-old plus women and they turn the air off!) Dinner was pretty good; better than last year. It was a little after 7:30p and we were anxiously awaiting for 8p to get there. Finally, about 7:55p or so, Il Volo security announced we could not personally give them any gifts we brought, but we had to put them on a table and they would take them to them. That was very disappointing for everyone. But at least they will get them and I could get rid of those t-shirts! They started calling the tables about 8:10p – late again. We were told they were rehearsing and on a tight schedule. However, they called table 3 first! That was ok though, I didn’t really want to be first. We ended up being the 3rd table to be called. There were 4 tables.
We went in and it was nothing like last year. It was dull and almost sterile. They didn’t allow the others to stay in the room. They were ushering you out as soon as you were done. However, I did stay as I had put my bag on the floor and went back to get it and then stayed until our group was finished.
The guys were just standing up there, kind of looking bored, no presents, no fun, no extra lights. Red carpet, but dull and boring beige backdrop for pictures. We had nametags on and Gianluca was calling out everyone’s name, kind of announcing us – that was nice.
I was next. “Jana!” “Gianluca!” I exclaimed. I excitedly walked up to them, clutching my book and bear. I asked Gian and Piero to sign my book and Igna to sign my bear. After they signed my items, I brought them all close to me and told them all that I saw them in both the Florence and Verona concerts. They seemed mildly amused that I had attended both concerts. I told Gian we went to Montepagano and how much we loved it. I told Piero how perfect he always was and he grinned broadly. I told Igna how awesome his note was in Per Te Ci Saro in Verona and he loved that as well. I then gave them all a hug and was time for the pictures.
Snap! Poof Scree-eech wait, rewind….!!
Sadly, that was how I wished it had gone!
Here is what really happened… I may have to turn in my official membership card (and I have one lol!) after I ashamedly admit the true story….
Some of it was true…. I was excited to walk up there, a bit nervous, but not too bad. I had already seen them up close and personal 3 or 4 times already this year! I handed Gian and Piero my book and asked them to sign it, then turned to Igna and asked him if he would sign my bear. He did seem to grin a bit at the picture, but signed it no questions asked… I did tell Igna that I had gone to Italy and was at both the Florence and Verona concerts. I think he said, “yeah?” At least I think he looked at me with questioning eyes? Then I had to tell him that I had to go 4,400 miles to hear them sing Per Te Ci Saro and that I/we were very sad they didn’t sing it in the United States. I felt so bad, I really did, because of his reaction – “yes,” he said, “we, know…” Then, I just turned around and said, ok, now what, and they said “look here” and took our picture. I then put my arm around Igna’s waist and said to him that Alessandra was beautiful and I hoped they were happy together. He said thank you with a little smile. I wanted him to feel a little better after I made him sad… I started to walk away and realized that I was missing the cap from my pen, so turned around and Piero had it. I took the cap, looked into beautiful eyes and said “grazie!” I then went down the red carpet to gather my bag… Marie put my picture that Chris took up on the site, so you can see that. (the other professional pictures have not been posted yet)
Yes, that was it – no hugs – at all, unless you count my arm around Ignazio! I hang my Flight Crew head in shame! Others were more successful than I – getting hugs and selfies, even, with Gianluca! Well, I guess I have to keep doing this until I get it right! Next time, I’m going to write everything down so I don’t forget it.
I WANT A DO-OVER!!!
Then it was back in the dining area for some dessert and coffee and the raffle prize giveaway. We also sang Happy Birthday to Mary to celebrate her 87th birthday! Some lucky lady won a HUGE signed poster of the guys. That same gracious lady, gave it to Mary, for her birthday! Mary was tickled – but how was she going to get it home to Minnesota!? I heard today she had it shipped UPS.
It was really roasting in there and suddenly the air seemed to kick in, I felt a cooler breeze every so often. Finally, 9:30p and the show was already starting. They gave us a lecture, yet again, on cameras, videoing (we could not), when we could take pictures, etc. That was a bummer! Ok, we got to go into the studio. The guys were sitting behind the desk, all prim and proper. They really HAD matured since last year. But they were also pretty tired. I knew, first hand, how exhausted they must feel, as Lorna and I were on the exact same flight they were from Rome to Detroit. I remember, about the 2nd day home, it really hit me about 8 or 9p and I wanted to just collapse. They all had coffee in front of them! Everyone always says, “oh, they are young…” but when jet lag hits, you can’t help it! Another lecture on when you could take pictures – only when he said we could, so many of the pictures you see are almost identical, except for the possible angle. Or for those that snuck pictures, somehow, when security wasn’t looking! I see there were a few of those pictures out on Facebook… I may have snuck a few also, but my new camera made a lot of noise and they threatened (and already did) take someone’s camera away if they took pictures when they weren’t supposed to! I wasn’t taking any chances. There were only about 3 or 4 times we could take pictures during the whole 1.5 hours of taping. Very disappointing. And to top it off, the guys did not MOVE from their chairs behind that desk until the very end. I was so looking forward to that this year, since Chris and I were stuck on the phones last year.
They had a different gal this year doing the interviewing – oh good, we thought. Maybe she won’t screw up their names! What were we thinking? Agggghhh! She introduces Il Volo – “here we are with GianlucO, Piero, and Ig – naz – io!” Ugh, you should have heard the audience groan! I’m still surprised you did not hear it on the taping! She screwed up their names a few more times, we kept trying to tell those in charge to stop butchering their names. At one point, one of the security persons asked the audience, how many think she is messing up their names? Just about everyone raised their hands – I’m thinking now, those on the end didn’t because maybe they didn’t hear him? I raised BOTH my hands!! Finally, please, someone tell her!! Shortly after that, they started doing these promos for different cities. They went into their old routine of “I’m Gianluca, I’m Piero, and I’m Ignazio, and we are Il Volo!” Ah, finally, after about 10 times of doing this, we figured she’d get it right!? Like, why didn’t they do that in the first place?? Well, after that, I think she was too afraid to say any of their names, but did, finally, get Gianluca’s name right! I think she even screwed up Piero, but I’m not sure how. Such an embarrassment for PBS. I think the guys thought it was funny. Once or twice, even Ignazio said “GianlucO” with great emphasis on the “O” part. Lol! Good ol’ Igna – I hope she got the hint!
Ok, they did a few retakes and a few more promos. Finally, they were coming out from behind the barrier of the desk and coming toward us. Gianluca made a few donors happy, as I saw him with the headphones on. Ignazio must have really wanted to get out of there and he was coming down first. Ok, maybe I can get my membership card reinstated here, maybe…. I was being bold, not my usual style, and stood out in the aisleway, waiting for him to get near me. I called out to him and then he stood still, and took my hand and shook it. Ok, no hug, but his soft, cool hands, were nice. He held his one hand over mine, as I shook his other one. So sweet. I told him, “if you see t-shirts, they are from me…” Ok, he said, and he walked away, out the door… Then Gianluca finally got near. Lorna had her moment cut short, so security promised her a few extra minutes with the guys. Gianluca came by and he purposely stopped him so she could take a picture with him. We finally convinced her to stand up, and she did. I tried to get his attention afterward, but it was a no go. Sadly, I was not able to tell him we went to Montepagano. And he walked out. Ok, Piero was last and the ladies up front were keeping him close. He was finally walking toward me and I took my big chance…I reached out to him and the guard was just about to push me away when he heard me say “I’ve never had a hug from Piero!” Ah, my saving grace, he backed off and I got a small hug from the deep, tenor, himself. Even though it lasted just a few seconds, he was sweet. He kept walking down the aisle, getting hugs from all the ladies on the ends. And then, they were gone! That was it, that was our “mingling with the audience” we were promised, by PBS!
Needless to say, we were quite disappointed. They really sat up there like bumps on a log, pretty much the entire night. No cutting up like last year. Maybe Barbara had warned them this time? Every so often the guys were really watching their performance. I opted to sit in the back row so I could stand up and take pictures without bothering anyone and of course, everyone else stood up in front of me! I got a few shots, but nothing great. Others were able to take better pictures that I’ve seen on FaceBook. I think the coffee may have finally taken effect near the end of the program and once in a while, Ignazio would sing a little phrase here and there from Mamma, or some other song. I’m sure it was just to stay awake! Like, that’s how boring it was!
One cute little tidbit… a few days before the show, a select few were emailed and asked to give some questions to ask the guys. Wow, ok, that was cool. Chris was one of the select few and she forwarded the email to me. I submitted 5 questions. They said there was no guarantee they would use them. Well, lo and behold, they actually used 2 of my questions! One, directly aimed at Gianluca… ”Being the only baritone of the group, how was it different, or was it any different to prepare for the concert for the 3 Tenors?” Well, I was tickled when I heard that – didn’t realize it until I was watching it the next night, as we couldn’t hear a thing in the audience. He gave a really strange answer and did not even really answer it. He said he sang this song by so-and-so and he was a tenor (I guess?), so in literally so many words, I guess he said he didn’t really have to prepare any differently? The other question I asked was, “if you could tell the fans anything, what would you tell them?” That was even the more oddest answer (I know that’s not good English, but Gianluca’s answer was bizarre!) Something about wanting to bring opera to young people? I really have to go watch it again.
I was happy to hear Ignazio say he was interested in studying more opera – him being such the “pop” guy and all? And, I’m saving the best for last, this was not on the program….THEY ARE COMING BACK! In MARCH, to Detroit!
Yes, this hand will reach for her credit card, once again! Do you think I can get it right next time? Let’s wait and see!
p.s. well, as many of you know, I did get to do a “do-over” when they came back in March, and it was perfect.
A PRESTO, IL VOLO! Ciao!
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.