As most of you know, I was stuck at Athens airport for 13 hours, so I wasn’t able to post my story. I thought about doing a review on the concert but I’m going to leave that to Daniela who does such sparkling reviews. Instead, I want to talk about what I observed being that this was the first live concert I’ve seen since the guys started their new concerts.
Let me start by saying Athens was Phenomenal! All of their concerts are phenomenal, but this had a different edge to it! This concert had a lot of energy on the part of the guys and the audience. The audience was amazingly responsive. For a new group (new to Athens that is) in a new town that’s unusual. But it does say something. It says these people are really Il Volo fans who have waited a long time for them to come to their town.
And they came to town so ready for this concert. The guys were so at ease, so at home here, you would never believe it was their first performance in Athens!
To begin with, for me, it was the first performance of their new individually. I love how the concert is divided up. I love how we can have everything old that we love and everything new to love!
The performances have become more personal. The guys can each speak to the audience with an open heart and give them a feel for what they will present and represent. Every song has a story, and we are finally finding out what that story is! Each story comes from the heart of each guy. We can relate to what he is feeling, why he chose his song, and above all he can present it in his own way with his own style.
Their styles stand out.
Gianluca is flamboyant!
Ignazio is soulful!
And Piero is reserved!
What’s new is each one has become an absolute presence on stage. Of course, Ignazio, Mr. Personality, is in charge as always holding it all together but they have broken out. Ignazio’s humor as always is an asset on stage. But they are all reaching new dimensions.
I will say, I am so used to Gianluca being the romantic who leads us into a beautiful song that I find myself amazed at his new look and totally new performance. He has a new creativity that expresses a vision of Elvis from the fifties! He shines like a rock star. He’s really loosened up and this has added volume to his performance. Gianluca truly loves this music! It suits his beautiful voice. And of course, there’s his love for Sinatra. Gianluca will tell you Sinatra was his idol. I’ve said this so many times, Gianluca, Sinatra would be in awe of you. Sinatra was amazing but he didn’t have Gianlucas range. No other baritone has ever had Gianlucas unique voice.
I find Gianluca more expressive than before. And he has all the moves down pat to complement the Elvis songs. If you’re singing Elvis, you’ve got to act like Elvis. But Gianluca does it in a different way. There’s a certain finesse in the way he delivers an Elvis song! He romances the microphone!
Above all we can now feel Gianlucas love for his music. Before he used his amazing voice just to deliver a song, now he uses it to encompass a song; to become completely a part of it.
What can I say about Ignazio? He always was the presence on the stage and now that presence has turned into a whole production. His voice comes from every direction. And it is even clearer and more crisp than in the past. His presentation of female artists is rich, and these songs bring out the magnificence of his voice.
Ignazio’s delivery of every song makes you beg for more. He has such feeling when he sings, and he shares that feeling with us. You can truly feel every note. A note that comes from deep within his soul and gives us the most amazing sensations! You can feel the depth of that feeling as he reaches into his soul and gives us a performance to last a lifetime.
Everything about Ignazio shines. He is the consummate performer. He has exceptional knowledge of all that happens on the stage. He gives the audience what they want, and he does it in an exceptional way that only he can do. His shines even brighter than before!
And then there was Piero!
I think I’ve written more about Piero this year than the other two. Why? Because I watched Piero truly become an opera star this year!
His voice has exceptional power. He is always a showstopper. His voice has become very dramatic. It’s always warm, graceful and bright and now it is reaching higher notes that extend to new boundaries. There is intensity in every note. His voice reaches out to you and demands your attention. Each note pierces your soul! His passion comes through in his music. His Arias have become very dramatic, and he shares that drama in his performance. He performs like an opera singer. Even his repertoire is that of an opera singer. He sings his opera and he sings his Neapolitan songs. Piero you are so ready for an opera stage. And I will be there for the first performance!
Sticking with Piero for a moment, I want to add Ignazio to the picture.
Their performance of Miserere is like experiencing a phenomenal moment in time. I’ve said this before, I heard others sing this duet, but no one can sing it like Piero and Ignazio. Two beautiful voices that span time and eternity and deliver a magical moment! Hearing it live was amazing. One of the moments I cried during the concert.
Piero took the opportunity to thank Michele Torpedine for making this moment possible. Piero said “because Michele went to Philadelphia it made it possible for them to sing this song.”
This was something I wrote about not long ago. Zucchero wanted to sing this song with Pavarotti, so Michele had a young man who was blind record the song and he brought it to Philadelphia to have Pavarotti listen to it. When Pavarotti heard the song he refused to sing it with Zucchero (they eventually did sing it together). But Pavarotti commented, whoever that singer is you should sign him. And that’s how Andrea Boccelli was discovered. Michele was also Boccelli’s manager.
And that’s how the song was handed down and now is being sung by to amazing singers, Piero and Ignazio.
The guys presentation of Hallelujah is phenomenal! It’s like it’s one continual note. Absolutely harmonious. Listen to how smooth and clean their voices are. The purity of their voices. One continuous voice. There is no break, it is complete harmony, absolute energy. A very serene delivery. Angelic from three angel voices.
About the Odeon Herodes Atticus Theater. It is a beautiful Amphitheater. In Taormina we look out at the stage, and we see Mount Etna and the beautiful Ionian Sea. But in Athens the views are reversed.
We see the stage….
While the guys see the magnificent view!
This had to be one of the most beautiful views the guys ever had during a concert. I’m sure it took their breath away. What beautiful thoughts will remain in their memories!
They gave their all and as a result Athens was Phenomenal!
Join me next week as I go back Through the Fields of My Mind and open the door to a new adventure!
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Today I begin my journey to Athens and so do the guys. Even though we have different businesses, the guys bring their beautiful voices around the world, and I bring beautiful people around the world, we both conduct businesses in the same way. Our businesses require that we Tour so we are both very comfortable with traveling around the world and bringing happiness to many people.
The guys bring joy to hundreds of thousands of people worldwide each year. I too bring joy to my pilgrims but not on quite as a grand scale. Everything has its value in its own way.
Why do I say pilgrims? Because my business is pilgrimages. I bring people to religious places around the world.
So, what does this pilgrimage have to do with the guys? Some of the places we will visit along the way are places the guys are very familiar with because they did concerts there. One of those places is Assisi.
But let’s begin at the beginning….
This morning, Sunday, September 17th, the guys stepped on a plane in Milan, destination Zurich and the beginning of their European Tour!
This evening, Sunday September 17th I stepped on a plane at JFK airport in New York, destination Rome and the beginning of my pilgrimage.
Working My Way to Athens! Or should I say we are Working our way to Athens!
What’s so important about Athens? It’s the first time the guys will perform there, and the performance will be in the ancient Odeon of Herodes Atticus Amphitheater which is just below the Acropolis. A magnificent theater! I’ve seen performances there over the years, but I had to be at this performance because I know this will be the greatest of all performances that ever was presented in this theater! Why?
Because, Greece, you have never experienced Il Volo! You are about to pass through a new age of entertainment the likes of which you have never experienced before. Be prepared for your senses to be awakened! Greece prepare yourself to take a giant leap forward in your musical experience.
Many of the Greek fans have been asking and waiting for this performance for a long time. I will be meeting up with many of those fans and group administrators while I’m in Athens. I will also meet up with American fans who are there.
So, this is where my journey is leading me. But while I’m in flight, let me tell you about a review I read about the guys. Thanks to Daniela’s translation, I can bring you part of this beautiful review.
This review was from a Blogger ~ Cristina Rampini. Cristina is the Director of the Blog. She writes about herself, “I was born a pianist and I continue as an artist! Why? Because I break the mold and start living my days and art at 360 degrees without limits, barriers and above all leaving the ‘idiots gossip’ and ‘criticism’ for its own sake. I started a new life at the age of 40 but as they say… better late than never!!
I already like this lady!
DEJAVU by Cristina Rampini
I begin with Cristina’s description of the guys….
Piero has a lyrical range and technical precision that make him ready to take on great roles in Italian melodrama. In particular, he leaves us speechless with his interpretation of “Mamma, il vino è generous”, an aria taken from Pietro Mascagni’s Cavalleria Rusticana. (I’m sorry for those who dispute this simply because of archaic mental prototypes).
Ignazio, or ‘the voice.’ Disarming vocal extension with a tightness even in the high notes that leaves you speechless. The star of the stage with his jokes and his irony who also, doesn’t fail to make us cry with a splendid reinterpretation of ‘Almeno tu nell’universo’ (At least you in the universe) by Mia Martini.
Gianluca is always fascinating (but since super in love also very tender) he takes us into the world of the Beatles, of the legendary Elvis Presley without leaving out precious jewels of Italian song such as ‘La cura’ by Battiato of which he does an intense and highly emotional revisitation with a voice that enchants you from the first notes also for its truly enveloping timbre.
Great music, great voices, great stage performance… a show to absolutely see.
The only sadness: very few young people in the audience, and this must make us reflect a lot on the fact that it is necessary to ‘educate’ the new generations, have the critical ability to distinguish the difference between real music, real artists and pseudo artists.
And finally, a truly truthful review, which leaves nothing to chance.
The writer does not report ‘hearsay,’ she was present at the concert and was impressed in a very positive sense.
The comments on the voices and personalities of Piero, Ignazio and Gianluca are very beautiful and spot on.
I had the impression, reading this review, that the writer did not have any restrictions or impediments to write what she saw at full speed.
I was very happy, even elated, it’s been a long time since we read such a beautiful and accurate review.
In recent days, after the concerts in Milan, there have been many positive comments and even good reviews, but this is certainly the best.
The final reflection of the article DEJAVU is very beautiful, it’s true, our young people are not used to listening to beautiful songs even by recent song writers, if they don’t have rap or urban rhythms, in short rhythms that are successful now here in Italy.
Our young people don’t listen to Il Volo at all, also due to the denigrating campaign that Il Volo has had from the press which has always defined them as “old”.
But people are tired of the new rhythms, which have also brought rudeness, vulgarity and inelegance.
Something is changing and our favorites are getting more and more support, and this makes me really happy.
My comment is more of an observation but not on the Milan concerts. The Milan concerts were phenomenal but building on Cristina Rampini’s review I need to say that the guys have made amazing strides in just a few months. This is evident in their appearance at the TIM Awards. On Saturday, the guys performed at the Awards. Yes, they did win an award for their amazing Tutti per uno, but my comment is more about who the guys have become in just a short period of time….
As each guy walked up to the stage last night I couldn’t help but notice how happy he was. And I couldn’t help but notice that the three men who were on this stage in June were different from these three men. They already were phenomenal entertainers, but last night they became rock stars!
Did you hear the excitement when they approached the stage. The whole Arena was acknowledging them. And their performances were met with such great excitement both individually and together! No these were not Il Volo fans; these were Italians who were there for the Awards and acknowledging our guys for their phenomenal performances. The tides have changed! Amazing what a few months can do!
Onwards to Sanremo! Italy is so ready for you! Bring home another Lion!!!
This is what they were talking about when they received their awards.
Vanessa Incontrata said: The flight is from 2015 and look where they are. So, 2 million records as well as a billion views, millions of subscribers on the YouTuber channel.
Piero tells us that they will be doing three big events here at the Arena di Verona “Tutti per uno” the “Tutti per uno” Concept for large events where every evening there will be 10 guests with us here at the Arena di Verona, so we are really happy to announce this this event.
Gianluca tells us that next year will be a year of great celebrations because we are celebrating 15 years of our career.
Ignazio gives us gossip. He tells us that Carlo Conti will be a guest and he will sing with them for the first time. He guarantee us, “I wasn’t saying that all for one can be your philosophy. Yes, absolutely not your way of being. Look, we grew up together. Now they are quinticelli, unfortunately we are together I’m not joking, we have been together for 15 years, we really know each other better than our brothers and share our music with each other but above all with all of you.
Carlo Conti said….
This the motivation for the award: For the great success they had in the events at the Arena of Verona in which they brought all genres of music: pop, rock, opera and the great songwriting, as you demonstrated tonight. Making the public experience a real journey into music that only three great artists with talent and sensitivity like Il Volo could give.
So back to the tour….
So today I arrived in Assisi. Assisi is a beautiful city where St. Francis was born, and the people of this city dedicate their lives to him.
As I was walking around the city, I couldn’t help but remember when our guys lent their beautiful voices to this beautiful city with a magnificent concert at the Basilica of St. Francis.
In 2013 the guys did a concert at the Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi. It was the 28th year that the classical Christmas concert was being performed and the cast was exceptional. The Rai National Symphony Orchestra was conducted by Steven Mercurio, and the chorus of the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, directed by Ciro Visco, performed numerous solo voices in a typical Christmas music program. Among those who performed alongside Il Volo, was actor and singer, Paul Sorvino.
This is a preview of the event.
Backstage at the concert we have a rare interview of the parents of the guys. Below are the responses by Piero’s father, Gaetano. Gianluca’s mother Elenora. And Ignazio’s mother, Caterina.
Gaetano says they hoped Piero would be successful and that for them it was a dream to be there.
Leonora says she is very proud and very happy.
Caterina says that the success didn’t go to their heads, absolutely, that they are playful, especially her son who was holding back because they were in a very serious moment.
Below is the full concert which was produced by Rai. It was a very beautiful concert. The guys were honored and moved by the invitation to perform at this amazing Basilica. For the guys, this was a step closer to Italy accepting them.
Today my group left Assisi and went to Manopello stopping enroute at the beautiful city of Orvieto. After some Wine Tasting, we leave Umbria and continue to Abruzzo.
Next stop Manopello….
Now you might say Manopello, I never heard of that city. And if you looked it up on a map you would have a hard time finding it, so, why would I go there and more importantly why would the guys go there. They never did a concert there. That’s correct but Gianluca certainly made a stop there.
Manopello, particularly the municipality of Lettomanoppello, is in the Abruzzo region.
Now that I said Abruzzo let me begin with Gianluca’s reason for going there.
In an article in a local newspaper, it was stated that a young artist from Abruzzo famous all over the world has been made a Honorary Citizen of Lettomanopello.
The Abruzzo region does not waste a moment to celebrate merits and express gratitude to Gianluca. The beautiful baritone was awarded honorary citizenship of the municipality of Lettomanoppello.
During the extraordinary city council an urgent session was held by the mayor Giuseppe Esposito and the college of municipal councilors of the village of Letta, the immediate request for the conferral of honorary citizenship to Gianluca Ginoble was accepted.
The award ceremony took place inside the council chamber of the municipality of Pescara, in the presence of Dr. Luciano D’Alfonso, president of the Abruzzo region and other local authorities. Following the municipal call, in Piazza Umberto I, a festive welcome was held with an open buffet and greeting by the member of Il Volo.
Words of pride were spoken in favor of Ginoble who was classified as an artist having the simplicity and sweetness of a true gentleman.”
What remains of this umpteenth event dedicated to an important presence for the good artistic-value image of Abruzzo, the testimony provided by a representative of Pro Loco Tholos, a voluntary association for the promotion of tourism in Lettomanoppello, among other things the promoter of the evening:
“We hope that this small community of 3,000 inhabitants in the province of Pescara will always remain in his heart and that he continues to bring up the ‘Great love’ for Abruzzo and in particular for Lettomanoppello in the world.”
If the nickname of “Prince of Abruzzo” attributed to Gianluca by fans, were not enough to embody the character qualities of the artist, the municipality of Lettomanoppello thinks that from today they officially crown him as “Gentlemen of Abruzzo.”
Luciano Monticelli wrote….
GIANLUCA GINOBLE AMBASSADOR AND PRIDE OF ABRUZZO
Yesterday Gianluca Ginoble was named honorary citizen of Lettomanoppello: it is just the last of an impressive series of awards, especially at his young age. In fact, I’m sure that any Abruzzo municipality would be proud to be able to name Gianluca among its citizens, even if only as an honorary title.
I was present at the ceremony as well, and I thank Mayor Giuseppe Esposito and President Luciano D’Alfonso for the invitation. Not only that: I made the car trip from Pineto to Lettomanoppello with the Ginoble family, and in particular the father and inseparable grandfather. Two ideal car-sharing companions: we talked about music, culture and many beautiful things that our Abruzzo has and can put on the field to be appreciated in the world.
How Gianluca, ambassador of Abruzzo in the world and genuine pride of our territory, teaches us.
A COUNTRY FOR YOUTH
In December 2015 Luciano again wrote about Gianluca.
Forgive me if I come back one more time about the exceptional day yesterday, but I am pleased to publish this video, which is a wonderful testimony to the great affection of the citizens of Castilenti and the whole Val Fino City towards Gianluca Ginoble.
Luciano D’Alfonso has called him an Abruzzo Ambassador, but I would add that he is also a great example of perseverance and courage for all our young people: courage to be themselves, aim for excellence and look at the globalized world not as a threat, but as an extraordinary opportunity.
Gianluca is the living proof that when young Italians decide to put into fruition the extraordinary cultural heritage passed down from previous generations, to do it and to reinvent it for the new times, there is no one else. Even for this we thank him from the bottom of our hearts for having agreed to be a witness to the Project “Val Fino City”!
So why am I in Manopello?
This tiny hamlet in Abruzzo holds one of the greatest treasures in the Catholic Church.
Volto Santo di Manopello (Holy Face of Manoppello)
This is believed to be the veil that was placed over Jesus’ face when he was buried. Not to be confused with Veronicas Veil.
The image, according to a tradition, would be “acheropita” that is “not drawn or painted by human hand” and has the particular characteristic of being clearly visible from both sides, as with elaborate photographic techniques of digital magnification it is possible to ascertain.
According to Professor Donato Vittore of the University of Bari, who performed an examination with ultraviolet rays in 1997, this test shows that the fibers of the Veil do not have any type of color, which is consistent with the tradition that states that this relic is neither painted nor woven with colored fibers.
The next few days we will travel to San Giovanni Rotondo where you find the body of Padre Pio. Many of you have read my book about Padre Pio. I thank you for following me and reading my Il Volo stories and my books and thank you for following me on a part of this pilgrimage. I enjoyed having you along as I was Working My Way to Athens. I will remain with the group for two more days and then on September 23rd, I go back to Rome to catch my flight to Athens. And I enjoyed sharing my Tour with the guys Tour. It was fun traveling together.
Join me next week as I go back Through the Fields of My Mind and open the door to a new adventure!
Thank you all for all your help with the videos and translations this week.
Christmas with the Three Tenors – Porta a Porta del 17/12/2013. There are some very beautiful memories in this video.
Today I was thinking about Verona and the TV Special, and I was thinking about how magical the guys are. I even wrote a story once about the magic of Il Volo. Yes, they are and always will be magic. But magic is an understatement. Let’s look at what these phenomenal guys have done recently.
Individuality!!! You know that everyone loves Il Volo, but everyone loves his favorite guy, best! Though I don’t admit it too often, I love all the guys but, I too have a favorite! Think of how many times at a concert you said I wish (my guy) would sing more. You said that not because you don’t like the group but in fact you want to listen to each one individually. Their new concerts are doing exactly that! It’s giving us the opportunity to look into the heart of our guys through their music. It allows us to see them in a deeper and more personal way.
Some of you have written to me about the new concerts to say, you know I always loved (your guy) but now I’m see some great value in (the other guy). Does that mean your favorite guy is no longer your favorite guy? No, it just means that you appreciate the other guy more than before.
Their idea of “individuality” was not to dissuade you from one or the other. No, in fact, they want you to take a closer look at the other guy. Not to compare but to understand their individuality!
You may have found that some of the music they are singing now you like more than what they were singing or vis versa! It’s called taking a closer look!
The magic of Il Volo is on the stage, in the concert halls, in Arenas and Amphitheaters, on TV, in videos and CD’s but the true magic of Il Volo is in our hearts.
When we leave the concerts, we don’t leave them behind! No, we take them with us! They’re with us in our homes, in cars, on trains and on planes. How many of you out there can say that you ever felt that way about a singer or a group at any other time in your life? I’ll answer for you! Never! Because no other group in history has ever been so open, so sincere and so forthcoming with their fans.
I’m sure there are other singers you listen to. Think about them. Would they take the time to talk to you, to ask about you and your family? And that’s another thing. We all know about their families but think about this. They know about our families too! They ask for them and if you’re at a concert without them they ask where they are! That’s an expression of love and it is very commendable.
So, let’s go back to what I said about individuality. That guy that’s your favorite, is he your favorite solely because he has a phenomenal voice? They all have phenomenal voices. So, what is it that makes him your favorite. I think this is where true individuality comes in. You love who he is and how he represents himself. You love his kindness and his generosity. His compassion. You love how when he sings he makes you feel like he’s singing for you! There’s something about him that makes your life worth living! So, when I say, the true magic of Il Volo is in your heart, I say it because first and foremost his phenomenal voice has touched your heart! Listening to him sing makes every day perfect. After all, he’s singing just for you!
Now, let’s get back to the concerts for a minute.
Every concert I’ve seen is phenomenal. I feel that the guys are new at every concert. What does that mean. It means that even though they’ve sung those songs before and you’ve heard them a thousand times, when they come out on that stage, they make you feel like they are singing those songs for the first time. It’s called caring about your audience! Not just singing for the audience but wholeheartedly wanting to give the audience the most phenomenal experience of their lives. And that they do at every concert. For someone like me and there are many of you out there like me, we don’t go to just one concert, we go to numerous concerts. Someone might say, “why?” You’ve already seen that concert; you’ve heard those songs! But in fact, the guys are aware that we attend numerous concerts, so they try to mix it up a bit, so we have a new experience each time. But in all sincerity, I’m more than happy to see the same concert over and over again.
So where did the magic begin? For me it was one morning when I was walking to work on the west side of New York. ABC Studios was a few blocks from my office on 47th. On this particular morning there was a large crowd standing outside and in the middle of the group were three teenage boys. I stopped to listen, and I was amazed. Who are they and how do I get to see them perform. Well over the next few days they were everywhere! On all the day shows! On all the night shows! And then the real magic began when, about six months later, I turned on PBS and there they were! And I fell in LOVE!
Back to the guys!
Now I’m going to show you where this individuality began.
I refer to my story “Phenomenal” about the concert at the Arena of Verona. How did I describe that amazing event….
What was really happening here? We were watching the transition of Il Volo. When the guys came to the States in 2020, they were our boys and when they stepped on the stage in Verona, they were our guys. They were elegant! They matured! Their voices matured! They came into their own! They were owning their music! During their isolation, they worked apart but close to one another on the Morricone project. This was the beginning of what would be their new idea, their new concept, their “individuality!” Every man stepped up and showed who they were. Not our boys, though for many of you out there they will always be your boys. No, they showed us how they had become independent young men during their isolation. In the quiet of their homes over those long months they each had the opportunity to see and to feel and to understand who they were. In their isolation, they began to think about how their future would be molded. Where they fit in as individuals.
On the stage of the ancient Arena of Verona we witnessed the dawn of Il Volo’s new adventure! We witnessed our guys shaping a new beginning and sharing this amazing moment in time with us.
At that time, I wrote: “If I wrote what I felt, saw, experienced in this concert, I would have to write a book!” That is just the tip of the iceberg to where we are today!
In their opening song, “The Ecstasy of Gold,” I said, “Listen to the intensity of their voices! What force! Watch their motions. Look at Gianluca! Watch his body react to the music! The fist that comes at you saying this is the punch, just the beginning.
Listen to Ignazio ride the note that guides us into the story! Now we’re sailing on the wind!
Piero intensifies the moment with his powerful voice that says the journey has begun! Follow us in this new adventure!
Let’s move on to another song in the program ~ “Here’s to You.”
As you know the guys make decisions about where and how a song is presented. Their decision to do “Here’s to You,” in the audience had a lot of significance. We are used to having the guys in and out of the audience, interacting with the fans but, because of the RAI filming, this was not possible at this concert. But the guys made sure the audience would feel their presence, so they chose a very sincere, very personal song to share their time with the fans. They showed in their presentation how intelligent they are and how much they are a part of the American culture. In this song they reached out to the American fans and showed them how grateful they are for their acceptance and support over the years.
To explain this, let me start by presenting the meaning of the song. From Marco Gallini’s explanation before the song, you know Sacco and Vanzietti were executed for a crime that many believed they did not commit. But what you don’t know is why they were accused of this crime. To understand this, we have to go back to America at the turn of the 20th century. Each group of immigrants that came to America experienced prejudice by the former immigrants. Therefore, the Irish were prejudiced against the Italians and the Germans against Irish before them and so on back to the beginning of immigration.
After a few hours’ deliberation, the jury convicted Sacco and Vanzetti of first-degree murder. Anti-Italianism, anti-immigrant, and anti-Anarchist bias were suspected as having heavily influenced the verdict.
Back to the guys and where all this fits into their story.
By performing this song in the audience, the guys were first and foremost toasting Nicola and Bart but more so, they were three links which represented the people who stood in defense of Nicola and Bart. They told them they would not be forgotten and the crowd, the audience, stood with them.
Now the irony of it all!
This song was composed by an Italian composer for an American movie and, it was written in the English language.
The song was sung, in English, by three phenomenal Italian men who came to America and immediately became a success. The American people embraced them and called them their own. We feel they are a part of us and a part of our culture. You have to see the irony in this!
Before I leave this concert and go on to the six Milan concerts, I need to turn to the solos. Or should I say the showstoppers. Before they sang their solo each guy said what it was and why they chose it! Individuality in the works!
First up, Gianluca!
Gianluca remarks: It’s hard to be alone after twelve years together on stage. I guess like all of us in times of difficulty, in moments of happiness, I take refuge in music. This is something I’ve done since I was little. I had headphones, I walked, I also went to the park to listen to music. Even at school I was distracted. In short it was my biggest distraction. Let’s say the music I feel this evening is a celebration of a great genius of music Maestro Ennio Morricone. But I want to talk about other geniuses who changed my life. Artist like Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra but also the great Elton John. Tonight, I will sing for you one of the most beautiful songs written in fifty years and I want to dedicate it to my mother.
Elton Johns’ lyrics to “Your Song” expresses the romantic thoughts of an innocent person. Gianluca brings the song to another dimension. He is very romantic and everything he sings turns into a love song. His warm beautiful voice expresses the thoughts behind Elton John’s words.
The beautiful words of this song certainly express Gianluca’s feelings for his mother, Eleonora, who has been at his side throughout his career.
His beautiful rendition of this song would make Elton John praise his performance. Gianluca got a well-deserved standing ovation! Just phenomenal!’
Next up Piero!
Piero said:I always had a great desire to be accompanied by a great musician, a great flautist. I’ve always watched his videos while playing alongside Maestro Pavarotti, Sting and many other artists. This evening, he did me the great honor of accepting my invitation. The Master Andrea Grimmenelli.
What can I say about Piero singing “No Puede Ser?” It’s my favorite aria that Piero sings. He takes my breath away. No one, and I have heard many tenors sing “No Puede Ser,” no one sings it like Piero.
Always a showstopper, always a highlight, a splendid moment in the concert. I wait for you at La Scala! A Phenomenal performance!
And last but not least Ignazio!
Ignazio said:I want to say that tonight is extremely exciting and, we all know in this year that we have experienced shortcomings. Especially shortcomings!
Many had great losses but many who had great satisfaction economically modify this concert. To all the people who have not made it through the whole year, our thoughts go up there to them.
I feel a little alone, but I will not be alone. I have a big but small surprise that is great because it is a crazy talent. It is really a great talent. Gentlemen and ladies, ladies and gentlemen my comparative accompaniment in this my performance – Julian.
Ignazio sings Beyonce’s beautiful song “Listen.” It’s a song that expresses how many people are feeling.
You are right Ignazio, it’s time to find our own voices. Ignazio knocks it out of the box with this song. His voice goes to unreal heights. Not only does he express how we are all feeling but he gives us a beautiful version of the song that fills our souls with emotion. And, little Julian adds to the moment with his phenomenal saxophone accompaniment. As I said before, guys, Julian is all of you at 8 years old. Now you know how people felt when they experienced your voices at such a young age!
Ignazio we always ‘listen’ to you and, and we can feel what you feel in our hearts!
And that brings us back to where I began! You feel your guy in your heart!
So now we’ve seen where the guys began to think about this new idea, this new concept, so let’s go back to the last six concerts in Milan.
The idea of six concerts in a theater namely, the Arcimboldi Theater, one of the most prestigious theaters in Italy seems outrageous. The guys have never performed in a theater in Italy! But the guys are always ready to try something new.
In an interview with Andrea Spinelli from IL GIORNO the guys talked about this idea.
Gianluca:We built the repertoire of the show with the idea of consolidating our musical evolution: three child prodigies, who have become three interpreters of character, each with his own personality. That’s why the innovation of ‘Tutti per uno’ (All for one) is precisely that it clearly outlines the characteristics of each one, in addition to that of the group that everyone already knows.
Ignazio:Because the Arcimboldi theater is one of the most significant modern theaters we have in Italy and because bringing an arena performance into such a setting ends up making it necessarily resonate with a different intimacy.
Piero: And then in the two TV episodes we sang 60 songs, while in the theater we sang half of them: the best of.
Gianluca went on to say…having never performed in Italian theatres, we are curious to see the audience’s reaction in such a different setting. As happened on TV, to give vent to our personalities there will be solo moments. Five each. Piero will sing his opera arias; I will pay homage to Elvis and Ignazio the great female pop voices. And, speaking of Elvis, the show begins with the Straussian ‘Thus Spoke Zarathustra’ also used by him in his shows in Las Vegas. An idea of Ignazio.
So, yes it is very different in the theater because there are not as many songs, but the best of the repertoire is delivered in a very intimate setting where each man can show you who they really are and what they have in their hearts.
If you take into consideration the fact that they were child prodigies, you have to realize that they have been storing these feelings and emotions in their hearts for many years. When they joined together almost fifteen years ago, they combined those feelings to give us some very emotional experiences. Up until this last year or two, definitely, after their isolation, they are finally coming to terms with those feelings. During the period of isolation, they became in touch with their feelings in a new way and knew it was time to release them. All these years they sang with such beautiful emotion, and they gave us some very phenomenal experiences but now they have opened up and showed us where all those emotions and phenomenal feelings came from. It came from their hearts!
So, let’s go to Milan and look at some of those emotions!
While I’m writing this I’m listening to the final concert in Milan. They just opened with Hallelujah.
This new arrangement blew my mind! This is the never-ending magic of Il Volo! It’s the same song but it’s new.
After that amazingly beautiful opening the guys greeted everyone!
Ignazio: Good evening, welcome, we are finally back in concert.
In the theatre, our first theatre, it had never occurred to us to sing in the theater in Italy, but as a first impression everything is already much more intimate. We are much closer; we don’t have the risk of rain like in Verona.
Thank you all so much for being here tonight, thank you.
Gianluca: I would say that after a break…..we are particularly excited, because after a break of almost 3-4 months, after a summer of vacation and relaxation, now we can start again, we need to warm up properly, but as Ignazio said, it is the first time in the theatre.
Finally, we can have our Italian audience so close, in a more intimate concert, where we can perhaps best express our emotions, singing like never before.
Piero:The need for the theater arose from the two television evenings that I hope at least many of you saw, from the Verona Arena concert ALL FOR ONE, to demonstrate to those who know us and those who don’t, our three personalities. Our deepest personalities and vocal characteristics and so tonight will be a musical journey across almost every genre.
Ladies and gentlemen, good evening.
And with that the six nights of magic began in Milan!
Every song was amazing in the Milan concerts, but I chose one song for each guy that I called his moment!
Let me begin with Piero. As you know I’ve been writing a lot about Piero over the last year. His voice has blossomed. I love opera and when I listen to Piero sing he always captures my heart! When he was in isolation he took opera lessons every day and his voice is showing the results of those lessons. Piero was always a showstopper but now he is a true opera singer. Every aria is amazing! Piero you are so ready to step on the stage of any opera house in the world.
So now you might wonder why I chose for Piero’s individual moment the song Marechiare. I chose it because Piero is now acting like an opera singer. If you remember a while back I wrote, every opera singer after Caruso sang arias and Neapolitan songs. So like Caruso, in Milan, Piero sang his arias and then sang a Neapolitan song! The song I chose for his moment was Marechaire a beautiful Neapolitan song and one of my favorite Neapolitan songs! I’m sure many of you older fans will remember this song. Among others Dean Martin and Louis Prima sang this song! But I have to honestly say Piero sings it better than anyone I’ve ever heard sing it!
Next up Gianluca….
For me this was Gianluca’s shining moment! He chose three Beatles songs that have a lot of feeling and express that can cause many different emotions. This is his heartfelt moment! Think about these three songs. “Long and Winding Road” talks about the past and the girl who left him there. “Yesterday” talks about a love that left him standing and never opened the door! But “Hey Jude” talks about a girl who got under his skin and makes him feel better. There’s a lot of feeling and emotions in these songs. And Gianluca has the perfect voice for these songs! He delivers them with such feeling! The romantic baritone!
Having said all that, is there another reason why Gianluca chose this medley? Could it be that he’s saying all the girls in the past meant nothing but the girl in his life has gotten under his skin!
Gianluca some advice, “Remember to let her into your heart. Then you can start to make it better.”
And last but not least Ignazio…
This one was difficult for me because every song Ignazio sings is from his heart! I chose the song “Una ragione di più” (One More Reason) because there are so many beautiful expressions in this song. To sing it properly you have to sing it with feeling, emotion and heart. All of which Ignazio has. There’s a sadness and joy in his voice when he sings it. Even not knowing what the words mean you can enjoy it because you’re listening to a song from the heart! It’s one of those tear jerkers! Beautiful delivery Ignazio! This song wasn’t just your special moment, Ignazio, it was a moment that we all shared with you and felt in our hearts. You have a tendency to do that when you sing!
Now that we’ve looked at some special moments with the guys, let’s look at some beautiful moments in the concerts.
I absolutely have to start with Gianluca and his beautiful Elenora. This has to be the sweetest moment in the history of concerts! Gianluca I got such a beautiful feeling listening to you tell your beautiful lady how much she meant to you! It was like love had taken over the concert hall. There was a majestic calm that surrounded both of you and there was harmony throughout the theater.
I had to share Piero’s beautiful moment with Ignazio. Their rendition of Miserere is absolutely beautiful! Absolutely phenomenal! Absolutely blew me away! I have heard many singers including Pavarotti and Zucchero and Bocelli and Pavarotti sing “Miserere.” They don’t even come close to Piero and Ignazio! An absolute showstopper!
Mr. Personality only you can have numerous special moments because you have such love in your heart. You share everything with everyone.
In Milan Ignazio shared his stage with two very talented people. One of them you all know very well because I’ve written about him on many occasions. Our own Nico Arezzo. Well, many of you have been asking where is Nico? Now we know he’s shared a stage with his mentor Ignazio! And what a performance it was! You guys both shine!
So, you would think Ignazio sopped there, no he invited another friend to join him on stage. The beautiful Elenora Montagnana. Elenora is a phenomenal violinist! She is known throughout Europe! Talking about emotions in a post, she said, “The greatest was definitely to share this wonderful piece of #tuttiperuno with me on the Arcomboldi Stage in the context of the concert with @Ignazioboschetto. Thank you, Igni, for this unforgettable gift born as an invitation to play among friends.”
Does it surprise you that Ignazio had a third beautiful moment. When Ignazio was singing “A Natural Woman,” he looked out into the audience and waved to Saturnino Celani and asked him to join him on stage. This is just a short video of that performance, but it is an amazing video of two amazing entertainers!
The following day Saturnino was doing a Live on Instagram and I told him his performance with Ignazio was fantastic. He told me, “Ignazio is incredible. And those guys are so F…ing Good!” He got that right!
How about a cute moment!
At one point when the guys were getting ready to sing Gianluca told Ignazio it was hot. Well watch the video to see what Ignazio did for him!
And no show would be complete without Nessun Dorma!
This is where all the personalities come together and the three become one phenomenal voice that rises and spreads its joy throughout the Theaters, the Arenas, the Amphitheaters and Concert Halls around the world! This the one the only Il Volo!
So, I come to the close of a story that showed us where the turning point was in their career. It also tells us how their isolation brought them closer and gave them a new realization of where they were going. It led them to take a good look at how their future would be molded and how each would after almost fifteen years together come to the realization that the road to the future would be lined with new ideas and ideals. All of which are an expression of their personalities and Individuality!
Before I close today, I want to tell you about something that’s been going on for the last two weeks.
As you know, I write my story for Flight Crew (We are not on Facebook) and then I post my story on the individual fan pages on Facebook. I have been doing this for almost four years. There are approximately 75 fan pages. There may be more, but these are the ones I know about, and I post my story to.
When I was posting two weeks ago suddenly when I tried to post the story, it wouldn’t post. Next thing I know, I was Blocked from Facebook??? Why? I had no idea. I sent a message and got a response that they didn’t know why but probably I violated the rules. So, I say what rules. They said probably someone reported you for a bad post. I said, “not possible” because what I was posting was a story that they wanted and look forward to every week. So, they said, how many posts do you do. I said anywhere from 50 – 75 a week. And they asked how many people read those posts. I said I think those fan pages and newspapers combined have about 10 million people. They said then you’re blocked for too many post. I said, I don’t post to the 10 million people, just pages. So, they said it’s too many posts and that’s it you can’t post for six days. My hands were tied!
I thought Facebook was a social media where we go to post stories. What’s wrong with writing a story about three beautiful young men who have truly been put on this earth by God to give us joy! Tell me what newspaper writes beautiful stories every day? There’s something wrong with this picture!
The next day on Instagram I saw that one of the Il Volo Fan pages was reporting that they were blocked on Facebook, and they were giving us a temporary site until they were unblocked. Why? So, I wrote to all the fan pages and asked if anyone else was blocked. Seven fan pages came back to say they were blocked. Luckily, Instagram was not affected and so we were able to get the message out to the fans that we would be back soon.
So, they are blocking me for writing stories about three beautiful men and they are blocking the fan pages for writing stories or posting picture about three beautiful young men. What’s going on? Why are they targeting Il Volo?
Someone suggested that they think I am paid for this and so they want their cut. Let me make it perfectly clear. I do not get paid to write these stories: I write them because 15 years ago I fell in love with three amazing teenagers. They stole my heart! And when I write about them I write from my heart!
As to the fan pages, they don’t get paid to administrate!
So, I want you to know if you didn’t get or in future if you don’t get my story it’s because I was not able to post it.
And to guys I have to say you know how much I love you and I am saddened by the fact that they have chosen to block me and your fan pages from Facebook. No one should be cutoff without a reason. If I broke a rule I need to know what that rule was! No explanation!
You can turn me off, but you can’t close me down! My love for this wonderful group gives me the strength to wait 6 days if I have to, to tell the fans how truly amazing these men are! You know the place you hold in my heart!
Last week I was speaking with a friend about the new European Tour and the first thing that struck me was six concerts in Milan! WOW! Who would have thought back in the beginning that the guys would do a tour in Italy, no less six concerts in Milan. Their lives changed in 2015 but they changed even more after the pandemic. Italy finally opened its eyes and gave these three amazing guys the recognition they truly deserve.
Of course, there are those who are always going to be blind towards them because they are also deaf and dumb. Mostly dumb! When I think about where the guys are today, I have to say they’ve all worked so hard to get here. I think after the pandemic they took a new direction, one that opened new doors. It’s like they started all over. I remember Ignazio saying, “We started all over on a stage in Italy.” Yes, that’s what happened. The joy they got standing on that stage in Verona, restarting the music industry, was their new beginning The Second Time Around! They were starting again but this time it was in Italy.
The above words were part of a message that I sent to a friend. After I wrote those words I said to him, “I’m writing this and I’m thinking this is what I should be writing in my column. It’s the story of how these guys reached stardom not once but twice.” Thanks to my friend, I was suddenly very inspired! I came to life! I said, “This will be next week’s column!” Thanks, my dear friend, for the inspiration!
In 2020, like most of us, the one thing the guys wanted more than anything was to get back to work. Well they did have the commitment with Dolce & Gabbana which gave us a spectacular Sunday event. And there was the concert in Monte Carlo but, something was missing.
One Saturday night in September 2020 they showed us what was missing!
But before they got to that Saturday, they took an unusual journey.
Some stories just write themselves and the author stands by with pen in hand, looks down at the paper and says yes, yes that’s exactly what I wanted to say! And you can’t even remember writing it but it’s there and it’s so spot on!
Life writes its own stories! Certainly, life wrote this one about three teenage boys. Teenagers! Think of your kid outside playing basketball or soccer. Could you imagine that he would walk off the court and into the limelight? I think your fondest hope would be that he would clean up his room.
How do you explain three amazing voices coming together on the same stage, at the same time? I have only one explanation. La Forza del Destino! It was fate! It was a plan! It was God’s plan!
Watching the guys on the stage in Milan for the beginning of their European Tour brought back fond memories of their beginnings. Before Ti Lascio una Canzone, before Sanremo, before they turned the music back on! In the real beginning….
In the beginning there were three guys named Piero, Ignazio and Gianluca. They were ordinary guys!
Piero loved his motorbike! “When I arrived at the roundabout in the center of the city, voom, I did a wheelie with the motorbike.”
Ignazio loved to play soccer. “My main project when I went to school was to get home and spend the afternoon playing football.”
Gianluca, also, loved to play soccer! “How did I play soccer? I was good, come on, I did not like losing, I wanted to score goals by force, I never passed the ball, and when I had the ball, I scored.”
So, yes, they were ordinary kids but, they all had something special. They had a special gift from God. Their voice!
What was it that made them different? What was it about this baritone and two tenors that was different from other tenors or baritones? First and foremost, the delivery of these three voices was equal. The crispness and clarity in each voice was defined. They were alike but they were different. They were balanced! Roberto Cenci recognized these exceptional qualities and understood that they could blend into one beautiful voice, so he decided to put the three voices together. The result was they were an immediate sensation and they caused important people in the industry to stop and listen!
Each one separately was captivating, together, they were a gift that God gave to humanity!
Where did it all begin?
We have to keep in mind that in the beginning the guys were underage so any negotiations and plans for their future was handled by their parents. It was only after the parents first meeting with among others, Michele Torpedine, that the guys were informed that plans were being made for them. After this meeting the parents met again a month later and signed a contract for the guys to record with Universal.
I think Piero put it best when he said, “The day before, I went to my uncle’s workshop and the next day I signed a millionaire contract with an American label.”
Yes that’s how it happened. They stepped on the stage at Ti Lascio una Canzone sang one song together and their fate was sealed. Immediate stardom! But a stardom that would not take them around Italy, no! It was a stardom that took them around the world! They were an immediate success in America. They appeared on every morning and night show. Every station you turned on spoke of three Italian teenagers who were stealing the hearts of the American people! They certainly stole my heart!
But what about Italy. Let’s listen to what Ginauca had to say about that….
Before Sanremo, we lived two lives, two completely different lives. Abroad we were stars and, we came to Italy to rest. I took refuge in Montepagano, Piero in Naro, Ignazio in Marsala. It was nice to come back to a ‘normal’ life. But… we felt that something was missing, that it was bad to be so successful outside of our country and not be able to have it in Italy.
This was what they suffered in the early years. More than anything they wanted to be recognized in Italy! They never even hoped for the success they had in other countries, they just wanted to be recognized.
So now I will flash forward eight years and tell you about The Night the Lion Roared….
We know 2014 started out as a bad year for the guys but suddenly things were happening. They signed a new recording contract. They were invited to sing at the Italian Senate. This was an event of immense importance for them. It said Italy was finally noticing them so, it only made sense that it was time to take a giant step!
Time to go to Sanremo!
But this story doesn’t start with Sanremo, nor does it end there! Sanremo was the door opener!
The Decision to go to Sanremo was a difficult one!
So where do you begin to make the decision. Well, you have to start with….
Who’s in and who’s out!
From day one, Gianluca wanted to go. He was so convinced that they would win that he never backed down from it. He had no doubt in his mind that they would win.
Always the pessimist, Ignazio. He said “No, we can’t win. It’s too hard.”
So that leaves Piero! Piero at first was not on board but Gianluca persuaded him. Gianluca said, “No one trusted, no one believed it. It was I who persuaded Piero to persuade Ignazio to go to Sanremo. Because I told them: ‘Guys, if we go, we’ll win it, I’m sure, I’m sure’”.
Piero said, “We said to ourselves: ‘Guys, make it or break it, in the end, we were not anyone here in Italy, at most we would not be anyone even afterwards.’”
Decision made! It’s official the guys go to Sanremo!
Then there’s the second problem, the song! After much searching, its Grande Amore!
Ignazio:In short, the final evening arrives, February 14th. I realize from my shirt that in a week we have eaten more than we sang. Unfortunately, or fortunately, I’m a boy who does not say cat if I do not have it in the bag, then until Carlo Conti said…. ‘The winner of the Sanremo Festival 2015 is … Il Volo!’
So what did the win at Sanremo do for them with the press? As I said before they are “deaf, dumb and blind!” Mostly dumb!
But this win set the guys on a new path. They began to do concerts and tour around Italy. They began to feel like they were finally home. The Italian people loved them. They always loved them.
And then, One Saturday night in September 2020 the guys showed us what was missing!
It’s 2020 what was going on in the world? Literally in the World!
We started hearing about a pandemic. And it seemed the worst of it was in Italy. The guys began to worry. And then, no it was time to leave. Leave now or get stuck in America! It was time! They turned off the lights and went home!
The first message from the guys on the Covid situation was sent when they were still on tour in America.
The last three concerts would be cancelled, and Il Volo will go home!
They canceled their last three performances and the next thing we knew they were on their way home. But being true to form, like good children, they checked in with us as soon as they got home and told us they were safe and they needed to be with their families now.
As you know the guys went into quarantine and stayed there for three and a half months.
Then the quarantine was over and, they left their houses. And something amazing started to happen!
The one thing they wanted more than anything was to get back to work. Well, they did have the commitment with Dolce & Gabbana which gave us a spectacular Sunday event. And there was the concert in Monte Carlo but, something was missing.
At Verona, they showed us what was missing!
Let’s start with September 11th 2020, the Friday afternoon before the performance, we watched the guys at sound check give a performance to the people who were scattered around the Verona Arena that would rival most concerts. And then later in the evening they returned to the Arena for light check.
Ignazio and Gianluca were making videos with their phones, while Piero was wandering around.
Ignazio get’s Piero’s attention.
Ignazio: What are you doing?
Piero shakes his head and asks. What are you looking at?
Ignazio (points): The light that is there.
Gianluca: It’s Beautiful.
Ignazio: The gorgeous light. Gorgeous! Gorgeous!
Of course, Piero pulled out his phone and started to video.
But what was it about the lights that got Ignazio’s attention? Well, they were as Ignazio said, “La Luce Stupenda!” “The lights were gorgeous,” but I think he was thinking about the last lights that he saw on stage.
That Saturday night when the guys were entering the Arena before the show they were stopped and asked this question by a woman reporter:
Reporter: You are International entertainers therefore you know how much the live dimension is missing. But above all you have defined the stage as your natural element. So, how is it for you to return to a live performance tonight?
Ignazio: It’s like giving candy to a baby. We are happy because we missed it. We missed it to die for but not only for our personal thing but because this is to me the music slowly restarting with safety measures. But we are restarting it all with Italian music. It’s like I am starting again to grow up on stage and hope that it can be a message of hope for the groups, in the cities, in the emerging local areas who want to start making music. We have to continue making music and we hope for full concerts and full live by 2021.
It was an absolutely beautiful statement that said it all! What I liked best about this statement was Ignazio saying “It’s like I am restarting it all with Italian music. I’m starting again to grow up on stage…” What did he mean? This time he is starting in Italy not America. It was their rebirth! He finally feels like he is at home! Bravo Ignazio! You are home.
When the guys arrived on stage, they had a message for the world and all the people in the industry:
Ignazio: 2020 will be remembered as the year where the world would be constrained to be turned off.
Gianluca: For the music employees the verb “turn off” means the end of the show, when the curtains close and it is the waiting moment for the next show, but this time the waiting lasted more than expected, the silence was unavoidable.
Piero: Now, the world is getting ready to start again! Now the moment has arrived to raise the curtain! Now, we will turn on the music!
This beautiful statement was followed by the performance of the evening. Their choice of “Nessun Dorma” sent an even stronger message. It’s says we may have to perform under these new world conditions, but we don’t have to change who we are or why we’re here. In this ancient Arena we look to the past while following the path to the future.
From their first note the whole arena lit up. Their voices were clean and crisp. Their presence was illuminating. Their notes rose above the Arena into the night sky to let the world know music is back! The final note of their song sent the final message. All three voices rose in unison and their voices sent forth a note that took our breaths away! It said We Have Returned! “Turn on the Lights!”
What is so amazing about this is, over the months since they had left quarantine, they had almost single handedly brought back the music industry in Italy. All the work they’ve did after they left quarantine had been to move things forward in Italy. This includes their most important project the concert in Tribute to Ennio Morricone and the recording of their album by the same name.
Listening to them sing “Your Love,” at Sanremo, even under trying circumstances, gave us hope for the future. This preview gave us a look into the new album which we are all anxiously awaiting. But above all, the guys Hit the Restart Button! They played a major part in the restart of the music industry In Italy!
Now they are on a new journey! A new direction which led them to the stage in Milan where six concerts would be performed buy three amazing guys who only a few short years ago thought that Italy was only a place to rest their heads after a long tour abroad.
TheSecond Time Around in Verona led to a new adventure which included a new direction with their music. They came back this last season and introduced us to the new Il Volo. The three teenagers who stole our hearts in 2009 have now become three young men who are showing us their hearts in their music. They are opening up their hearts and showing us their emotions. Individually and together, they are the greatest singers in the world!
For your listening pleasure.
Concert in Verona 2015
Join me next week as I go back Through the Fields of My Mind and open the door to a new adventure!
If you would like to share a story with me, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
To read more Il Volo stories visit us at www.ilvoloflightcrw.com
In June 2020, the local TV station in Rosteo degli Abruzzo, Roseto TV interviewed Gianluca. Since this was the first time that such an event was taking place since the lockdown, it was decided that the interview would take place at Cabana Park overlooking the beautiful Adriatic Sea.
The segment was entitled “Gianluca Ginoble: Il Lockdown, Le Passioni, L’Abruzzo, La Musica, Il Volo,” (Gianluca Ginoble: The Lockdown, the Passion, Abruzzo, the Music and Il Volo). Or simply The Lockdown and Passion of Gianluca.
You might ask yourself what does lockdown have to do with passion. Just consider, everything that Gianluca does is a passion and all that he gained from this time at home became another passion.
Gianluca was quite comfortable with the interviewer, Luca, an Abruzzo native that he knows well, and that is obvious in the fact that he was very willing to talk about his non-professional life. At times, the friends seem to complete each other’s sentences.
In this beautiful interview, Gianluca talks about his passions and his great opportunity to spend time at home with his family. He talks about all the things he would love to do every day but cannot do because he is away eight months out of a year.
It isn’t very often that we get to see Gianluca so relaxed and having fun during an interview. But, of course, being with his friend on the beach at his beloved Roseto degli Abruzzi makes it all special.
Let’s stop a moment and listen to what Gianluca has said about his country, his home….
The accents are beautiful, the dialects are beautiful, but I can say that what I prefer is the Abruzzese? I am very proud to be from Abruzzo. I love everything about this region. And I like to bring Abruzzo around the world and keep it high.
I am right at the sea. I’m relaxing, I’m calm! There is a sea breeze and nothing else. It’s Thursday and I am practically alone on the beach. I’m fine, from God! I’m fine because I’m home.
When I come home, I relax and I am calm, as I cannot be anywhere else in the world. And now, I can say I’ve seen a lot of places in the world. Coming home to Abruzzo, I feel like I am on vacation. Montepagano is right on top of the hill facing the sea, it seems to look like a postcard. It is here that I can get away from everything and everyone and stay in peace. Montepagano is a perfect place, a kind of paradise.
When Gianluca is at home he likes to spend lots of time with his family and friends.
The video of the interview with Roseto TV is no longer available but below you will find the English translation from the video. The interview was translated by Giovanna.
Giovanna said, as she listened, she realized that Luca wasn’t always asking questions. He was pontificating, with pauses for answers, and as soon as Gianluca started speaking in the pauses, Luca would cheer him on, finishing Gianluca’s sentences, talking at the same time. If you’re Italian or have been around Italians, you know that’s normal.
Daniela commented that during COVID, of the three, Gianluca was the most active on social media.
Ignazio preferred not to post a lot of images, but rather, occasionally used Instagram as a form of musical airtime. You may have noticed that during COVID, he was posting tantalizing clips and snippets of his vocals, accompanying himself on piano or guitar, or singing with other performers.
Piero protects his privacy and home life more than Gianluca does, but still posted shots and videos of his workouts at home, in the gym, or outdoors in the sand. And who can forget his daily vocal lessons.
Before beginning the interview, Luca explains it’s June 3, 2020, and he’s with Gianluca Ginoble, an internationally known artist, a Rosetano from their beloved Montepagano.
Luca begins his interview by asking: How have you spent the quarantine period for the COVID19 Coronavirus emergency?
Gianluca: Despite all the negativity of the situation, I have tried to find positive things. For example, I have re-discovered passions that I haven’t exactly abandoned, but, well….
For one thing, I have started playing the piano. I became passionate about books and literature, about being with my family, things that you well know get set aside when we are away eight months per year on tour. You could say that this quarantine hasn’t really been completely negative, because I have been close to my family and have rediscovered passions that I didn’t even know I had.
After COVID we noticed that Gianluca was never without a book or two in hand.
Luca:That’s an interesting reflection because I think that the issue of rediscovering one’s roots and one’s family, and having personal time, is an important message.
Luca then asked Gianluca how he spends his days, in the so-called Phase 2, where there’s some freedom to go out (still respecting social distance) with masks no longer constantly required. He asks what Gianluca’s up to now that he’s free to get out and do some things.
Gianluca:Because of the COVID we’ve had to cancel our series of concerts through October. So, for this time I’ll still be at home. We of course have some filmed interviews and televised get-togethers, as we’ve done during the quarantine. But I’ve been relaxing. I’ve started playing tennis. I’m enjoying the seashore at Roseto d’Abruzzi. I don’t go to other places, even if you can go outside the region from today on. So, I’m staying here. Yesterday we were at Rocca Calascio. Every week my family has a regular date to go hiking in the mountains.
Luca:That’s also a wonderful lead in, because I remember that for several years you’ve been an official ambassador both of Abruzzo, and of Roseto d’Abruzzo, your great love. Yesterday, I saw the photos of you at Rocca Calascio, where they filmed “Ladyhawke,”so this in itself is a great way to inspire future tourism.
Gianluca:Look, Luca, with you, apart from the relationship of respect and friendship we have, going beyond this interview, I’ll tell you as a friend. You have to have the ability, how can I say it, to set and achieve goals, even when you’re as young as I am. But at the same time, I’m trying to maintain my roots, and my connection to that normal guy I used to be, who wanted to live a normal life. It’s like I’m on a train track and every now and then I can jump from one rail to the other. It’s really great to be able to live life like this. I can always return here, stay home, and enjoy my family and my hometown.
I think what Gianluca is really saying is, at times, they (Gianluca, Piero and Ignazio) feel like they would like to toss it all aside and just remain at home with their family and friends. I know many people think their lives are exciting and glamourous and to some degree they are, but in reality they have very difficult lives. During COVID they got to go back to their real lives. Lives they never knew existed, because they left when they were teenagers, and now they got to reconnect with their families in a special way. This family life was new to them. The departure after COVID had to be very difficult for all of them.
Luca: Those who know you also know that one of your trademarks, one of the things that makes you very much loved, is that you have remained humble. The world of concerts, as you already said, is on hold. How much do you miss that world, given that on an international level, for 10 years Il Volo made world tours, virtually continually for the entire 10 years since you started? How much do you miss that life, since it has been such a fundamental part of you?
Gianluca: I miss all the people, our fans. I miss tour life. And above all, I miss singing. When I’m on a bicycle I’m singing. When I’m in the shower, I’m singing. When I’m in bed, I’m singing. When I work out, I’m singing. When I’m on the beach I’m singing. Because that’s my life. It’s my relief valve. It’s the way . . . it’s something that truly makes me feel good. Fortunately, this passion is one of those things that you can do anywhere, even while you’re eating!
Luca:During this break, as we noted, you’re thinking about your roots, and things you put aside. What makes you keep giving your best? Despite the fact that you’re only 25 years old for one thing and have already won Sanremo on the first attempt; you’ve won the Latin awards. You’re Il Volo everywhere. In Tokyo you’re Il Volo; in NY you’re Il Volo; In Texas you’re Il Volo. What do you do to always have that grit that for 10 years has kept you at the world-class level? I can imagine that even with this planetwide success, when you sit down, or try to sit down, what is it that keeps you from really sitting down? [That’s an Italian expression for laying back, taking it easy or giving up].
Gianluca: Truly, you need to have the awareness, the slight fear, that it could all end. You really don’t recognize the value of certain things unless there’s some risk you could lose them – not just in the work environment, but in relationships with people. Truly, life has granted me so many things, emotions and experiences, at such an early age. When I was still so immature, at 14 years old, I already started to travel, to be familiar with marvelous places and sights, to meet people, to sing in front of the president of the Republic, and in front of the Pope, for example. Because it all started at such a young age, I didn’t have to make any great sacrifices to achieve success. Really, the success and the emotional experiences came over me like a tsunami. Surely, the part [of me] I need to cultivate is to restore that little boy who dreamed of becoming someone but knew it would take perseverance, who knew that at times the effort was going to be more important than talent itself.
Luca:As they say in Russia, talent is like a basket of diamonds in the rough. Without hard work they don’t become diamonds. You spoke earlier about Pope Francis, about [Sergio] Mattarella President of the Republic, and I could add, Bill Clinton, Barbra Streisand, Quincy Jones, who helped create the phenomenon of Michael Jackson. You don’t have to mention Quincy Jones to anyone who loves music. There would be too many anecdotes to recount from what I’ve heard about, but the most relevant since we are in Abruzzo, if you want to tell us about it, is when you had the assignment to traipse Woody Allen all over Montepulciano d’Abruzzo.
Gianluca: [Laughing] I would have wanted to speak in different dialects. Every now and again I get to speak in other languages: Chinese, American, it’s lots of fun. But that time though, we chose not to, because we were at dinner with other people. Next time, though, I’ll do that.
Giovanna’s Note: Can you imagine Gianluca and Woody Allen swapping languages and mimicking accents together? I’d be in pain from laughing.
Luca: Yes, I saw you with the nice soldiers in the Galleria in Houston [apparently joking in English].
Gianluca: I did get to explain to him [Woody Allen] some things about Montepulciano. I asked him ‘Do you like wine? In my native region, Abruzzo, we have the best wine in the whole world, Montepulciano d’Abruzzo.’ He told me ‘Montepulciano, I know it, I love it.’
Giovanna’s Note: I know every Italian thinks the best wine in the world comes from his own specific region of Italy, but Gianluca is telling the truth about Abruzzo’s fine specialty red – the Montepulciano d’Abruzzo. It competes with the Barolo from the Piedemonte and the Brunello di Montalcino as one of the top reds in all of Italy and the world.
My personal Note: Not because my family is from Abruzzo but Montepulciano d’Abruzzo is my favorite wine!
Luca:That was more valuable than a thousand ad campaigns. Like when Lebron James shared some of his favorite wines several months ago on Instagram and generated a hundred thousand “likes” for a local winemaker in Abruzzo. How lucky that winemaker was.
Luca continues:You’ve talked much about how important your hometown is to you, but I know you also like the ancient village of Montepagano. I’ve seen you walking around now and then taking photos. I know you live in a marvelous place where you can even enjoy the view of the sea from above. I know you’ve never wanted to lose connection with your roots, and this, I imagine, gives you strength. But if you had to describe this to someone who doesn’t know you, what would you want to say?
Gianluca: Every young person, every child, needs to grow up with the knowledge that their roots are the most important thing: like their family, their dialect. We need to raise children this way, and young people my age, especially those who already have children, need to teach real values, including their own dialect. I’m ashamed that I even see people who are actually embarrassed to speak their own dialect, as if it were a bad thing, instead of a fine thing. Even if you only speak it to make jokes or when you get angry. Without it [understanding your own dialect], you make no sense. So, I am really proud to be Paganese, Rosetano, and Abruzzesse. “Abruzzo Forte e Gentile” [“Abruzzo strong and kind” is the local byword]. Every time I go to Belvedere [another historic spot inland from Pescara, Abruzzo], it’s emotional for me. When I’m on tour, I show pictures of Montepagano and Roseto to everyone. Because look, [he turns around to show the seashore behind him] this is maybe one of the most beautiful places on the entire Adriatic coast. You have to be really proud.
Note: I agree with Gianluca that it is important to remember your dialect. My grandparents spoke Italian but when the relatives from Abruzzo were visiting, they always spoke Abruzzese. It’s different and at times we kids laughed at the strange words, but it was what made my grandparents stand out. They left Abruzzo behind, but they did not leave the language behind. Also, the fact that the beautiful family traditions have not been lost. When I write about Gianluca at Christmastime or Easter, I could be writing about my own family. Our traditions are similar and in some cases the same. Traditions make families!
Luca joked a little bit about local dialect and that when you teach the hidden meaning of some expressions, to a Milanese or to an American, how wonderful it is when you see them explode into a smile. He also added that there are some things, expressed between locals with one word of dialect, that would otherwise take an Italian five minutes to hatch (explain).
Luca:What projects do you have? We know your passion for tennis, know you are practicing the piano, and like to draw. Talk to me though about your desire to act. [Gianluca responds about music right here, and about acting further on].
Gianluca: My musical tastes vary. I rarely listen to opera, because I like great musicians, guitarists like John Mayer, and great singers. I’m glad you asked, because I want people to know that I like the full 360-degree range of musical styles. And you know that I have a passion for all genres of music, including the type our group sings in concert, but in the future, who knows. Il Volo is the main priority, but I adore artists like Michael Bublé, Frank Sinatra. I even like Led Zeppelin, a fact that unfortunately was mis-represented by journalists who sometimes write anything to get “clicks” and “likes” in the media. I like them all: Dire Straits, Pink Floyd, I like this music. Another thing that really moves me is the music of Georgio Gaber, of Fabrizio De André. Dad passed on to me a passion for these singers.
We can see in the answer to the last question some hints of what their music would be like in the future. The idea that each man would find the music that speaks to his soul was already in play. The soul searching became a reality! The idea came to light! Together they continue their musical journey but with their own musical passions.
Luca:Your father has very refined taste even in songwriters. This is a Gianluca that has never come out, so it’s right to emphasize this, and I’m happy you brought it up with us, because you’ve often been misunderstood before. So, you love music in the fullest sense.
Gianluca: On Facebook I published a list of the songs I like best with text, like the French song interpreted by Franco Battiato, a song about old lovers that melts you, it’s so heartbreaking in parts. So, there are so many projects. I’d like very much to act, I’d like very much to be an actor, maybe to go to Rome to study; I don’t know. There are so many projects, and for this year that we are inactive, I’m focusing mostly on improving myself.
Luca: Days off are constructive time.
Gianluca:Then, with Il Volo there are so many projects. We have a very beautiful musical project we’re working on, but for now I can’t tell you too much about it. In the future, we’ll see.
I believe Gianluca was referring to the Morricone project!
Luca: Of course. But I’m happy to assure the many fans of Il Volo that, as soon as the situation allows it, you’ll return stronger than ever. So, you’re working on this project; and it’s something important. It’s also important that you miss your fans and, as you’ve said, you’ll be back with them as soon as you can.
Luca continues:One last thing. What is your idea of happiness? What is happiness for this 25-year-old who has remained humble? Define happiness for Gianluca Ginoble.
Gianluca: That question was certainly profound enough.
Luca:The tough one came last.
Gianluca:Happiness for me is to live my passions, “mano a mano” all my life. To have a wonderful family, to have friends you can talk to about things, to let your problems out. Even when there are problems, knowing that there’s someone you can vent your problems to, who listens and understands. For me that’s happiness, knowing that I don’t feel alone. It’s also the feeling [I get] when I’m on the stage and sing for thousands of people. For me that’s also happiness.
Luca: So, with this beautiful reflection on happiness, which I really appreciate, I thank you Gianluca Ginoble of Il Volo. Thanks, Gianluca, and obviously, I wish you a great and successful life with the many things we talked about, and with your many projects.
Gianluca: For doing this interview, Luca, you’re number one. I said it to you and I’m saying it even looking into the camera.
Luca: Thank you. You’re too good. Thank you also for your friendship.
Gianluca was so open and forthcoming in this interview. I think this was one of the best interviews Gianluca ever did. It brings out the real Gianluca. The passionate young man who loves his family, his country, his music and while he was in lockdown he found some new passions like piano and reading. Gianluca doesn’t read books he devours them. We come away from this interview with a passion of our own. A passion for all that Gianluca feels is important in his life and shares with us in our lives. The Lockdown and Passion of Gianluca brought out a new level of awareness for Gianluca. He reached new levels of achievement and expanded his intelligence.
For your listening please, Il Volo Sings Morricone Verona Arena June 5, 2021.
Join me next week as I go back Through the Fields of My Mind and open the door to a new adventure!
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