Our Piero, a few days ago, woke up with the desire to make a joke on someone.
And who could it be, if not poor Ignazio ???
P= Igna, do me a courtesy ….. since Marta from the Press Office called me, and I had to do a video interview, you can do it, which I took this morning ….. I fell asleep …..
I= (Ignazio is very amazed, but he still hasn’t realized what happens, he doesn’t see Piero entirely).
Can you ask Gianluca to do it? Today I have to finish one thing.
P= No, Ignazio, Gianluca cannot. I fell asleep in the sun this morning.
(At this point Piero shows his face, greets Igna with his hand. Ignazio says an exclamation, then and Ignazio’s face is a mixture of amazement and concern 😁)
I put aloe vera ….. (Ignazio doesn’t know what to say, he’s open-mouthed) …. and now my skin is burning, it’s burning me.
I= But why can’t Gianluca?
P= I don’t know, Igna, in your opinion, with aloe vera, it passes.
I= Yes, yes, it must pass. Damn I had to finish one thing.
P= It is important.
I= Who is it with? (the interview)
P= Bho, I don’t know what to do. (Piero laughs, and bring his face closer)
I= Why are you laughing? (observes Piero’s face) But you are crazy.
P= I don’t know what to do “cumpa” (word in Sicilian dialect that is addressed to a friend). I have all scrapes.
I= Of course. But did you wear sunscreen?
P= The oil.
I= Then the oil reacted to you.
P= Sure !!! Good this face mask that I put, I recommend it.
(Piero laughs but Ignazio has not yet understood but begins to suspect).
I= But are you taking me for the bottoms ??? (big laugh by Piero) “Che facisti”. (Sicilian dialect to say “what have you done?”)
P= It’s the face mask. (keep laughing)
I= Bip Bip Bip (series of censored words) But is it a face mask?
I = You made me “scantare” (Sicilian word to say frighten). Cretin
P= Bye, bye, I love you!!
On Sunday there was a call betweenPiero andAnastacia. I think you all know the good singer Anastacia.
Their dialogue is very beautiful, and this time no translation is needed, but for those who haven’t seen it, here is the video.
At the beginning Piero says: “Hi everyone, how are you and happy Sunday. Today is a beautiful sunny day. Today I will do a live with a special friend that you all know, but many do not know the human side of this fantastic woman, we have been friends for a long time and I wanted to share a Sunday chat with you. Many know who I’m talking about, here she is” :
Really interesting what was said by Piero and Anastacia, and as I’m curious, I went to look for the video of Budapest where Piero said he lost his voice.
Poor Piero, in the first verse, Ignazio came to his aid, and more ahead, played only the orchestra. Who knows what fear Piero had, and here it is the video:
And here is a video of a performance at the Arena di Verona,by IL VOLO and ANASTACIA.
Ignazio’s face was an open book, with his faces.
But be careful Piero, Ignazio will surely devise a way to return the joke to you.
Very nice live between Anastacia and Piero, two good artists.
You can tell that the Il Volo guys are natural performers, and need an audience. Since the shut-in situation started, they’ve been making themselves available non-stop on live-streaming, webchats, and other media, to stay in front their fans, and probably to keep their sanity as well.
Piero was in very good spirits last week on a live interview with Stefano Fisico on “Billboard Calling.” This is a summary of their chiaccherata (chat) with a few highlights for fun.
S: Stefano remarked that yesterday they had hoped there’s be a nice sunny day today, but by last night it was obvious it was going to be wet and rainy.
P: Remarked that this is making it easier for us to stay indoors, warm and cozy.
Stefano also offered Piero his bottle of germicide hand cleaner on screen while thanking Piero for accepting his invitation and for the guys always being so kind (about making themselves available).
P: Asked if Stefano saw the live stream last night with Ignazio.
S: “I even flagged you because you were exceptional, and sweet as usual. I could tell you were having fun, but it’s right that you should act like that.”
P: He explains that he’s at home in Naro, in Agrigento province, and has been alone for 20 days. He said he’s survived thanks to the microwave, because he doesn’t know how to prepare anything homemade.
(In other Flight Crew posts, Piero has mentioned that he has not learned how to cook, no matter how hard Ignazio has tried to teach him. In other live casts, we’ve seen that Gianluca, who also never cooked, has learned to make dairy-free banana bread and rigatoni al forno. That’s what happens when you’re shut in with your Italian Mamma).
P: He explains that these days at home he has discovered things he would never have imagined he’d be doing. He’s read a lot of books, and watched a number of TV series, because he’s never watched much TV, and has cleaned the house. Since his Mamma and relatives always used to clean the house every 5 or 6 days, he started doing the same thing. He’s been going around the house with the vacuum cleaner, and his house is now immaculate.
(I think it would be hilarious to photoshop a picture of Piero with a microwave, the TV remote, and the vacuum cleaner. Maybe my son or one of you readers can help us do that.)
S: Let’s go in order because you gave us a bunch of information. Ok you said you watched a little TV, which you normally don’t, because you’re always on tour. You need to take a break from all the touring.
P: No, we couldn’t.
S: What are you watching?
P: Narcos Mexico. It’s pretty rough stuff. I don’t recommend it for young kids or people who are too sensitive. Then I watched Elite. (Stefano says that ran last year. Piero just watched it). Piero says “Ignazio and Gianluca recommended it and they knew it well, so I watched it and liked it. It was really nice. Now I’m starting to watch the series “Decine.””
S: Jokes to Piero that the character Carla, from Elite, an 18 year old Spanish girl, sends her greetings.
Piero adds that his favorite character on Elite is Nadia, who’s a really beautiful young girl.
Stefano remarks that sooner or later they must inevitably have encountered some of these celebrities on tour.
P: They a TV show did a month ago, and there one of the judges was Donna Paola, the fidanzata of Guzman on Elite. Piero didn’t know who she was, but Ignazio did. He adds that he only watched 2 or 3 TV episodes a day and that’s enough. It gets to be too sad.
P: These days he also plays the piano quite bit, and posts a lot on Instagram. He recently sang “Ave Maria”. His sister Maria records him.
S: Wanted to congratulate him and his colleagues on what they have been doing to help with awareness and the fight against COVID19.
P: Explains that when they were in the US, they were not really aware of the gravity of the situation in Italy. When they arrived, it became very apparent what was happening. It was like waking up, or the light going on. He understood that if what had occurred in Lombardia, were to reach Sicily, they were not equipped to respond. He felt it was necessary to talk about the issues and do something to save Sicily. He got together with other artist from Agrigento in Sicily, like Daniele Magro, a great singer, and agreed to set up this fundraiser to support the hospitals in Agrigento Province, who have been using the funds to buy many needed supplies. The response has been very positive.
Now that they understand the need to stay home, Piero felt it’s useless to complain or get nervous, because you can’t do anything. In cases like this, you need to look on the bright side, always, even while understanding that the circumstances are sad. For example, if you look on the bright side, there are many, many things to do at home. One day isn’t enough to enjoy it all. For him he’s busy, he’s content, and enjoying himself, and he’s doing really well.
P: Posted greetings were coming in from Venezuela, Poland, Argentina, Mexico, and all over Italy. After hearing Stefano say “Mexico” Piero remarks that he’s in love with that country. Then he spontaneously breaks into “Cielito Lindo”, in honor of the Mexican fans.
(His voice is remarkably rich, deep, and clear, even sitting down, with no warm up!)
P: Mentions a game he’s done with Gianluca and Ignazio. He names a pop song title or some funny lyrics, and they have to sing it in Il Volo style. He gives Piero “Soldi di mammuta, come potrebbe essere” (“Huge amounts of money, how could it exist?”) Piero looks up the lyrics and pops off an operatic version of “We have so much money, money…”.
In response to the next title, he does the Baronebel canto version of “Rolls Royce… That’s the life I want, that’s how I want to end up. That’s the life….”
Then he was asked for a Francesco Gabbani song “Occidentali’s Karma.” (Francesco was the 2017 San Remo and Eurovision winner. He is a delightful composer whose debut album was wittily entitled “Greitizt Itz” Greatest Hits?).
Piero didn’t know this song and didn’t want to do this, but Stefano goaded him on. He pushed him over the line telling him, it’s his own fault. If he had seen Gianluca’s interview the other day. . . That did it.
Piero blurts out, “When I see that guy (Gianluca) I’m going to beat him up, I tell you.” And for good measure, he calls Stefano a miserable wretch for making him do this. But he did it. The ridiculous lyrics are something to the effect of:
“Le brutte intenzioni, le maleducazione, la tua brutte figura di ieri sera… (your rotten attitude, the rudeness, the lousy impression you made last night, your ungratefulness, your arrogance, you joke by putting your foot in my face…)”
Piero had to take a break from laughing too hard, while Stefano checked the posts from fans. Piero spotted a post from a girl who apparently understood all the goofy lyrics, because she wrote “Let’s skip that and move on…”
Another fan posted “What character from an opera would you like to do?”
After mulling over the fact that there are so many, Piero decides on Cavaradossi from Puccini’s Tosca, which is one of his favorite operas.
A fan from Panama asked: How long do you train every day?Piero asks “Train in which way? I get up at 9. I have breakfast. At 11, I train for an hour of running and one of gym workout.” After lunch a little bit on the phone. At 4, I takes care of business accounts, and at 5, I start an hour or an hour and a half with my voice teacher. Then dinner. If you want to send me Instagrams, do that around 5:30, Because at 7 I’m working on my singing lessons.”
A fan from France asks for a joke he pulled on Ignazio or Gianluca.
P: Piero describes taking a strange orange with weird texture, and putting under Ignazio’s pillow while he was sleeping. Ignazio knew right away who was to blame, because it’s usually Piero who harasses him.
He wanted to be sure that the other guys weren’t watching, so he could talk about one prank he really wants to do to both of the other two sometime. While Stefano checked who was connected, Piero decided to share it anyway, because it could be a whole year, or who knows, before this confinement ends and the other two catch up with him.
Piero is waiting for the next time he can sneak into Ignazio’s or Gianluca’s room, hide in the closet, and chase them right back out when they come in exhausted after a concert.
His favorite joke is one the whole group did to their pianist, who has a habit of going to bed early at night. When they were in Chihuahua, Mexico, Ignazio was able to pick the lock on the pianist’s hotel room door, because in Mexico the locks are pretty lousy. They all went in dressed like police with flashlights yelling “Federal police, federal police” and yanked the poor, frightened guy out of bed.
S: He recounts that Gianluca shared a story of their biggest goof-up, and wanted to know if Piero would recall the same incident. He added that it was not the one about forgetting all the French lyrics to “Tous les Visages de l’Amour.” He was referring to one that happened at a dinner. After a few hints, Piero remembers being dinner guests somewhere. One of the boys held a prawn by the tail, waving it in the face of the president of the historical society, and it escaped from his hand. Piero insists it was Gianluca’s fault.
Piero is laughing about a girl whose on-line name is “Ignazio Boschetto, Argentina.”
S: With what meal could you conquer a lady’s heart?
P: Spaghetti ricci di mare. (Ricci di mare is the Sicilian equivalent of caviar, but from the sea urchin). He says when it’s done well, like at a certain restaurant he likes, it’s something you don’t want to miss. When he returns from a concert tour, one of the first things he does is go with his sister to eat at the restaurant that makes it so well. We all know very well why he couldn’t do that this time.
Asks for one good feature and one fault of each of his Il Volo colleagues.
P: (always a smart-mouth) asks, “Just one?”
S: Asks him to start with Gianluca, because he was already interviewed, and Ignazio will be next time.
P: His immediate response was “What did he say about me?” Then he says Gianluca’s most annoying quality is that he always wants to be right. He’s like a cat that always lands on its feet. Gianluca always wants to be the one to land on his feet (to be correct). His best feature is that he’s so knowledgeable. He’s always up to date on every artist, every bit of news, every score and ranking. He knows even before Spotify, or any other music platform, everything they need to know.
P: Ignazio’s defect is that he plays everything like an instrument, even the house doorbell. Piero has had to beg him to stop the doorbell performance. Also, on tour, they have rule that between soundcheck/practice and the performance, no one is supposed to touch any of the tuned/prepped instruments. Ignoring the rules, Ignazio goes straight to the drum kit, and Alessandro often has to drag him forcibly off the kit. On the other hand, one of Ignazio’s great abilities is that he understands every technical thing in the recording studio. For example, during this last tour, the guys were recording a song they really liked, and there was a repeated glitch/imperfection in the recorded track. The pianist and recording engineer struggled with it and couldn’t fix it. Ignazio politely offered, “Let me deal with it,” and amazed them by getting it perfect on the first try. Piero, who doesn’t have the patience or skill to correct technical problems, considers that they are really fortunate to have Ignazio who is so technically gifted.
Piero, still a wise guy, called Ignazio the other night just to hear him pronounce the future tense of “laurearsi” (to graduate). (I can imagine what kind of noises Ignazio made. The future is laureerò,which is hard to pronounce even for Italians! Honestly, I don’t know how these guys put up with each other). Piero asked Ignazio just for a laugh, and got more than he could handle.
Of course, the Ecuador and Brazil fans (and the rest of us) wanted to hear Pieruzzo’s voice. He chose to do “My Way”, which he usually sings as a duet with Gianluca, saying that it sets him dreaming.
Stefano offered a symbolic 92 minutes of applause, and a tip of the hat like Frank Sinatra.
S: How much do you miss being in contact with the public?
P: That desire is constant, it never stops. Yesterday I watched our concert at Santa Croce with Placido Domingo from 2017. I told an interviewer backstage that the sensation I experience, and I speak also for Ignazio and Gianluca, is that there is no adjective that can describe the feeling. There isn’t anything more beautiful than to land anywhere in the world and find there are people who have been waiting (to greet you) since 7 AM at the airport. No matter what hour we land, I see that there are people waiting. It’s the most marvelous feeling, this unique sensation, that God has given me such a blessing. It’s our task to keep that going forward and not quench that flame.
S: I also asked this same question of Gianluca, because your musical perspectives are different. What international singers do you want to get to work with in person?
P: They are so many, and Il Volo has already some beautiful collaborations with artists like Eros Ramazzoti. There was an artist I was listening to this morning, Mercedes Sosa.
(She was an Argentine singer considered the “Voice of the Voiceless”, who died in 2009. She sang folk material from unpublished songwriters of the South American nueva conción movement.)
P: I like some specific things. I’d like to perform personally with Luis Miguel. (He’s known as El Sol de México), and also Celine Dion, and why not Lewis Capaldi.
The Piero described how to support the fundraiser by accessing GoFundMe® or by going to Piero’s Instagram page which has a link to the same site, to make a donation. He asks that even if you are unable to donate, please share the information and the link to the site with others.
Finally, he asks what song does Piero suggest we sing while we wash our hands. Piero sings “La Vita” while practicing his hand washing.
Note: I was watching Stefano’s face, and it was obvious how much affection he has for the Il Volo guys when they speak their hearts. I also love Piero’s face when he closes his eyes and says how much God has blessed him.
And here’s a few more pictures from Jo Ann’s collection…
In these days, Ignazio, Piero and Gianluca, do not make their absence felt. They put online many moments of dialogue, and also of singing, which make us a little forget a little the sad moments we are experiencing.
Just the moments of singing I want to bring together today, starting from their participation, Sunday March 31, at an online concert “MUSICA CHE UNISCE”, of many Italian singers, to raise funds for Civil Protection.
Of course, they sang, each from their homes, GRANDE AMORE. ❤️
I would say that the song went very well, the voices are there and powerful!
In these videos, you understand that the power of the voices is true and not amplified by technical instruments. Here everyone has been able to feel the strength of their individual voices !!
And what about this acapella (voice only) execution of IL MONDO, made by Piero during an interview via Skype? Gorgeous 😘
(Thank you to Viviana Viv for the video.)
But how much sweetness there is in this piece by Lewis Capaldi performed by Gianluca.
Gian your voice is caressing, but also very powerful. Your performances on the piano have improved a lot.
Very good 😘
I was so amazed at this splendid duet by Ignazio and Lidia Schillaci.
Magnificent, their voices are very well united, they blend very well.
Really excellent duet, both very good😘😘
But I believe that not all of you know Lidia Schillaci. She is a Sicilian singer, exactly from Palermo. She is 36 years old,
In my opinion, she has a beautiful voice, yet, I didn’t even know who she was, it seems incredible, but here in Italy there are many talents who do not have the success due. It’s true, I read that she is in great demand, but certainly not known by most of the Italian audience.
Many compliments Lidia! 😊
This other duet is also fantastic, where Ignazio and Lidia sing “Shallow”. ❤️❤️
Wonderful, I would listen to them endlessly and nice also Ignazio’s comment: “Well I only miss blue eyes! 📷📷 Besides, I have my Lady Gaga !!”😁
And here is another video that amazed me: there are three of them: Ignazio, Lidia Schillaci and Nico Arezzo.
The song is the beautiful “That’s What Friends Are For.”
I like all three very, very well. 🤗
Now that we’ve met Lidia, we know the guy with the guitar. He is Nico Arezzo (Domenico Arezzo) is 18 years old and is Sicilian, from Modica.
Maybe not everyone knows that this guy is followed by Ignazio, because before leaving for the American tour, Ignazio opened his own record label, Floki Production, and the first artist that follows is Nico Arezzo, always under the final supervision of Torpedine .
We wish Nico and also Ignazio a deserved success.
This song has just been published on Instagram by Gianluca, really beautiful.
How much sweetness and how much feeling. Bravo Gian!❤️
In these moments, where we are all locked up in our homes, and we hear terrible news and we see images that we never would have thought to see …….. the notes of some songs really come to us and fill our hearts with hope.
IMAGINE : performed by some Italian singers and actors and of course, among them also Gianluca, Ignazio and Piero.
Another song of a poignant sweetness touched our soul:
HALLELUJAH, sung by Ignazio.
These are the words of Ignazio:
“Stop for 3 minutes, close your eyes
And send a thought to those who,
Less fortunate than us, they are no longer there.”
You are real treasures.
Your delicacy fills us with sweetness and happiness.
In these days of quarantine, there are live videos, between our boys and their friends.
This is Piero with Jovanotti. I state that Jovanotti, (also called Jova, but his real name is Lorenzo Cherubini) is a famous Italian singer-songwriter, rapper and disc jockey.
The live is very interesting and therefore I translate roughly for you.
Friendly greetings between Piero and Jovanotti.
Piero says that he returned three days earlier from the US where Il Volo was on tour, but they did not realize from there what the situation was like in Italy.
He is now in Naro, and is in quarantine. He says that quarantine stimulates creativity, he must commit the days, the mind, he takes advantage of it to study, and read.
Jova asks where the other two are and Piero replies that everyone is at home, Gianluca is in Abruzzo and Ignazio in Bologna.
Jova asks if there is someone at home with him and Piero replies that he is alone, that he has not yet seen his parents and his sister. Piero says that in America they didn’t have the feeling of what was going on, that if you put on gloves and a medical mask, maybe you looked badly.
Now also in the US the situation is different.
Now everyone looks to Italy, also as an example and then we receive many messages from all over the world of solidarity and we must be proud of this. Jova asks if they were on tour and Piero replies that they were on tour since January and they have had to cancel the last three concerts.
Piero explains how fortunately they managed to return to Italy, because he says that after Trump’s speech where he said he would close all flights from Europe, and for Europe, Alitalia, sent a completely empty plane to the US to take the compatriots who wanted to return to Italy.
Jovanotti says that Italians always show the best side when there are emergencies. He says it is in these cases that Italy proves to be a united country.
He says his daughter was also in the US for study and managed to catch one of the last flights.
Then he asks Piero if he is afraid.
Piero replies no, because he is convinced that we live in the safest country in the world, even if he admits that in Sicily, the health facilities (hospitals) are not exactly vanguard, but there are many people of good will. Therefore, by contacting some friends from Agrigento, they thought that, for now there are few cases in Sicily, but if the contagion were to come as strong as in Lombardy, the health facilities would collapse immediately.
And so he and these artists from Agrigento decided to start this fundraiser to help these hospitals. They will channel the donations to this bank account, but they will not give the money, but they will ask what the hospital needs and will buy it and give it to them. All coordinated with local authorities.
Piero says that the duty of the artists is to spread this initiative and says that today there are no records sold or concerts. Today there is only one concert, that of staying united and carrying out this great battle.
Jova greatly appreciates Piero’s speech and tells him that he is “great”. He remembers that they met quickly in a waiting room of the Catania airport and exchanged their contacts.
Then Jovanotti (who has many followers) invites everyone to follow this beautiful initiative, very important.
Then he tells Piero that he wants to hear his voice, he says that he knows that Il Volo sings all over the world bringing the Italian melody, especially the songs in Italian, and says that they are a rarity.
Piero replies that it’s nice to see Americans, even the Japanese, who get excited even if they don’t understand the words.
At this point Jovanotti asks Piero to perform the NESSUN DORMA.
Piero says that his neighbors will be tired of hearing him, as long as he always sings. Jova says they told him that the summer rental agencies have requests to rent apartments near Piero’s !!
So Piero shows the view from his balcony and Jova says it is a beautiful place, a real historical center.
Then he tells Piero that he appreciates Il Volo, because they also love to joke and play down their image, also lending themselves to slightly different interviews, such as the one they did with Fiorello, proposing Il Volo in a rock version.
Piero confirms that they try to bring the message of bel canto to the younger generation too.
Jova asks if they have ever sung in China and Piero confirms yes, in 2015, the year of the dog. Then they do a search and discover that when Piero was born, it was the year of the rooster, then they try, laughing, to make a symphonic version of Jova’s song.
A message from Fiorello arrives (on their video) and recalls a Sicilian song and immediately Piero sings a piece of it. Jova is not Sicilian and does not understand the meaning, so he asks Piero who tells him to ask Fiorello. (It has a mischievous meaning, that’s why Piero replies like this.)
There is also a message from Ignazio saying that they have abandoned him. Jova says no and asks where Ignazio is, Piero replies that he is in Bologna and that due to the jet lag he cannot sleep
So they talk about the importance of sleep to have a rested and fresh voice before the concerts, and Piero also recommends eating apples, and also cold water.
Jovanotti asks Piero if he ever met Pavarotti and Piero says that he missed by two years before their start as Il Volo.
(In this 2013 video there are Pavarotti and Jovanotti in a song by Jova, during “Pavarotti and friends.”)
So they talk about the performances on people’s balconies, these days, and confirm that it is the most beautiful thing, that those videos have gone around the world and that everyone imitates us for this, because it is the most beautiful thing in the world.
Piero tells Jova, that his dad, when he had the auto bodywork shop, put him on the hood of customers’ cars and had him sing UN AMORE COSÌ GRANDE and GRANADA.
Jova says that he is almost 54 years old, Piero’s dad, Gaetano, is only two years older.
Piero says that La Boheme is his favorite opera and Jova says he saw it a year ago at the Metropolitan.
Then Piero sings a piece of the Cavalleria Rusticana.
Piero confirms that he is studying to do an opera, but it takes months and months of study and tries to do lessons via skype with his teacher from Bologna.
Jovanotti tells him that when he debuts at the opera, he wants to be there, then asks if Gaetano wanted to be a singer, and Piero says no, but his grandfather was sincerely sought for singing and says that he and his grandfather have the same voice and he tells how his grandfather noticed his potential.
So Piero tells of the economic difficulties that his father has suffered, in order to take him to various competitions or singing lessons, and Jovanotti says they seem like stories from centuries ago, instead they are recent and very beautiful stories and Piero says that Ignazio and Gianluca also have similar stories.
Jovanotti concludes that now that everyone has time, they must use it to rediscover many things that are not done during busy days.
Then they say goodbye with affection.
Piero has also made specific messages to persuade people to collaborate to raise funds for hospitals in Sicily in the Agrigento area.