My plan this week was to talk about the opening of the World Tour. It turns out it’s that and so much more. Over the past week many things have happened that need to be mentioned here. All that’s important in the lives of these three young men, Family, Country & Music, are up front and present in my story today.
We know that the Holy Father, Pope Francis has great love and respect for these young men. He sees them as an example of how young people should live their lives. They have respect for their families and for life in general. Always putting family first. And always trying to please everyone!
So, I will start my story today with an event at the Vatican which the guys will, at the request of Pope Francis, participate in! The World Meeting of Families ~ The Festival of Families
If there is one thing I can tell you for certain about these young men it is that they truly love His Holiness, Pope Francis. And I can tell you for certain that the Holy Father truly loves them. They have shared many wonderful moments together, but none greater than singing the Ave Maria Mater Misericordiae at World Youth Day in Panama in 2019.
This event is entitled “The Beauty of the Family.” The Press Office explained, “rather than giving speeches and theories on families, people will give voice to witness. The choice of presenters, artists and those who will speak is designed to promote their experience as Christian families. For this reason, the presentation is entrusted to Amadeus and his wife Giovanna Civitillo. As for the artistic presence, the young artists ‘Il Volo’ together with some of their relatives, will participate by recounting their own family experience and proposing some musical pieces.”
The Holy Father recognized that the families of Piero, Ignazio and Gianluca made many sacrifices so that these young men could go out into the world and present their beautiful Bel Canto.
In the beginning the boys were 15 and 16 years old and so it was necessary for a member of their family to travel with them. These families found themselves in a very difficult situation having to choose which parent would travel and which would stay home with the other children. These were very difficult times for them, and they made great sacrifices to do this. While they were with their sons, they left the other children behind. And when the boys were old enough to travel on their own another sacrifice had to be made; not seeing their sons for long periods of time.
The parents of Piero, Ignazio and Gianluca realized that the gift that each of these boys was given was a gift from God and through the presence of God in their lives they were able to deal with the situation and share their amazing sons with the world.
This truly is what this conference is about. Families sharing their love and supporting each other. The result of their story is these families gave to the world three truly amazing men who appreciate the value of family and put their families first above all else in life.
Congratulations to the families of Piero, Ignazio and Gianluca!
Piero, Ignazio and Gianluca had the honor of singing the Mameli, the National Anthem of Italy, on June 2nd Republic Day before Sergio Mattarella the President of the Republic of Italy.
Also, in the Grandstand was Pietro Grasso former President of the Senate. He was very pleased to see the guys again. You will recall Mr. Grasso was the man who sang every song along with the guys when they did their Christmas Concert for the Senate in December 2014.
Mr. Grasso left the Senate to become the Acting President of Italy when Giorgio Napolitano resigned as President. He was the president from January 4, 2015, to February 3, 2015 when Sergio Mattarella the present President was sworn in.
For these young men, singing the National Anthem was a very proud moment in their lives because they are proud to be Italian and they are proud to be Ambassadors representing their country through song around the world
Anyone who knows Il Volo knows one of their signature songs is “Caruso.”
Lucio Dalla was the composer of “Caruso” (1986), a song dedicated to the last days of Italian opera tenor Enrico Caruso. The song, dedicated to the tenor became an Italian national anthem abroad. It was the identifying song for the world of Dalla’s entire career. Nine million copies were sold. It was reinterpreted by among others Luciano Pavarotti and Andrea Bocelli. And most recently and most importantly it was reinterpreted by our guys, Il Volo and it became one of those songs we look forward to hearing in their concerts.
A Concert tribute to Lucio Dalla was held at the Verona Arena on June 3rd with many stars singing Dalla songs, including Il Volo. This thrilling event was prerecorded at the Arena di Verona on June 2nd and presented on Raiuno on June 3rd. The presenters of the evening were Carlo Conti and Fiorella Mannoia.
The Concert in tribute to Lucio Dalla at the Verona Arena was a great party in the name of the music of one of the most loved songwriters of all time.
The World Tour Begins
Go out into the world and share the voice God gave you!
The new World Tour is about the old and the new and the two years in-between. It’s the best picture of what the guys have been doing these last two years when they were separated from us.
The big thing, they worked on new songs. Thus ~ Il Volo Sings Morricone!
They came on Instagram and Facebook and sang for us! One memorable moment from those songs is included in this concert.
They expanded their own horizons! Read what I have to say about Piero.
And they chose a set list that is very different from the past. All very beautiful songs. Something for everyone’s taste. Different…
The Ecstasy of Gold ~ Nessun Dorma ~ Un Amore Cosi Grande ~ Se Telefonando ~ Se ~ Your Love ~ Your Song ~ All By Myself ~ La Donna è Mobile ~ No Puede Ser ~ E Lucevan le Stelle ~ Hallelujah ~ My Way ~ Here’s to You ~ Delilah ~ Can’t help Falling in Love ~ Musica che Resta ~ L’amore si Muove ~ Nel Blu Dipinto di Blu ~ O Sole Mio/ Surrender ~ Granada ~ Libiamo Ne’ Lieti Calici ~ Caruso ~ Io Che Non Vivo Senza Te ~ Il Mondo ~ Grande Amore
There is so much to say about the production, but I will save that for another day. Instead, I will talk about the songs and the guys!
A good place to start is with the duets….
The duets in this concert were phenomenal! I will start with the duet between Ignazio and Gianluca. It is their prayer for those who were not as lucky as we were.
It’s very appropriate that Gianluca and Ignazio chose to present a prayer in this concert. Recognizing all that was, all that is and all that still remains, it is in the end, an expression of hope. The song Ignazio and Gianluca chose was the song Ignazio sang to us during COVID. You will recall each of the guys sang a prayer for us. Piero sang the “Ave Maria,” Ignazio sang “Hallelujah,” and Gianluca sang “You Raise Me up.” I remember this was at the high point in the pandemic and we were all very sad and very sensitive and they calmed our fears with their beautiful voices. We were all touched by this, and I wrote a column for each guy and his song.
This is what Ignazio had to say about the song they chose….
When we had to decide what to sing … We sang many songs together but this year we wanted something very special. So, one day I called Gianluca, and I said, ‘Why don’t we sing a prayer?’ We are living through a period of … I say it in Gianluca’s way… Bad time… We all have been through a very bad time and … We decided to sing a very significant song, it was in the pandemic, and it still is today. Let’s pretend it is a prayer, a prayer for everything that is happening and that has happened in the past months and unfortunately continues to happen. Let’s think about Covid…. now in Ukraine and Russia…. So, we want to address this prayer to those who are not making it, to those who are suffering, to those who are not as fortunate as us…
Their rendition of Hallelujah was very touching and very expressive. Ignazio articulates very well, and he has such beautiful diction, his words just flow on the air. Ignazio’s beautiful voice expresses the beauty of this song which leads us to a supreme experience. It brought me to tears. A truly beautiful delivery by both our tenor and baritone.
Next, I want to talk about the duet between Piero and Ignazio ~ “La Donna è Mobile.”
How did Piero feel about this duet…? Piero said when Ignazio proposed they do this duet, he replied that he was crazy, but then they tried to do it by themselves and they had fun, so they called the management and proposed singing this duet from Rigoletto.
This is a song everyone knows. For me, in this concert, it brought back memories of Ignazio’s childhood. You will recall in their book, Un’avventura Straordinaria, Ignazio said….
I always liked to sing, to be ‘in the middle’ of the music. And more and more passionately I began to understand how to use Nina’s famous pianola. I learned how to start the musical bases and flipping through them I discovered ‘La Donna è Mobile.’
In short, I began to like it so much that I sang with that base, inventing words. Now the exact words that I invented, I do not remember, but for sure my song was about Luciano Pavarotti. Why? Because as a child I always saw him on television and he always had a huge handkerchief in his hand, so I invented a text with Pavarotti and his handkerchief.
And so, I sang on the air of ‘La Donna è Mobile’not knowing what was on the horizon and what we would have to deal with in those years.
Was Ignazio thinking of his childhood, his first performance when they chose this song?
Beyond my memories of Ignazio’s childhood, I have to say their presentation was absolutely phenomenal! The tenor and the spinto tenor showed their true colors! They could have been singing on the stage of the MET! True opera singers in their delivery and expression! Absolutely phenomenal! Yes, Ignazio you do sing opera!
While I’m talking about Piero, I want to give you some of my thoughts about our spinto tenor. Piero’s voice which always was amazing, always was powerful, and his presentation which always produced phenomenal climaxes in the concerts, has now become such a vibrant sound in our ears! His voice has expanded so much in the last two years. Over this period, Piero has had the opportunity to spend unlimited time on his opera lessons. This is something that is not possible in his normal schedule. The intense opera lessons of the last two years have paid off with Piero standing at the door of the MET! The intensity of his voice sends shivers up and down my spine! A truly amazing voice that has become even more powerful than it was! Phenomenal! Bravo Piero!
My Way is the one song of the duets that has been presented before. And now as then it is amazing! Gianluca’s love of Frank Sinatra is something that brings joy to him and grace to their concerts. I know that Gianluca aspires to be like Sinatra, but I have to honestly say, if Sinatra was alive, he would aspire to be like Gianluca. Sinatra was and still is greatly loved and admired by his fans but Sinatra although a baritone like Gianluca could never achieve what Gianluca has achieved. Yes, he had great fame and was admired worldwide but he didn’t have the range that Gianluca has. Sinatra could not sing the full range of a baritone like Gianluca does. Gianluca, you have it all wrapped up.
Let’s turn to the solos….
Before he begins his solo, Ignazio tells us about his solo….
We meet again year after year, and I wonder what I am doing this year because what I tried to do in recent years was too ambitious. I sing what some men have never sung but at least if I make a fool of myself this year it is over a very famous person, a great artist who I hope sooner or later to have the honor of singing with. This is taken from the album of Celine Dion. ~ ‘All By Myself’
Before beginning his song, “Can’t Help Falling in Love with You” Gianluca spoke about his choice of this solo and why he chose it….
Tonight, I will sing a song that was part of my adolescence of my musical inspiration. I grew up with many singers starting from Andrea Bocelli, definitely a great one! All the Great Americans Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin and the greatest of all Elvis Presley. I have been singing this song for years I have also grown a little with her because tonight I want to dedicate it to a person who is here (pointing to Elenora Venturini Storaro in the audience) and I will sing it for her.
Before beginning his solo, No puede ser, Piero said….
I am accompanied by a great musician. I always watched his videos and tonight I invited him to accompany me ~ Maestro Andrea Grinelli
A beautiful interpretation Piero! This aria is about a man’s love for a woman who everyone says is wicked but he doesn’t believe it. Piero’s expression shows his trust for the woman he loves and that he believes that she is good! Magnificent!
So where do we go from here?
Before they sang, Ignazio takes a moment to thank the fans….
I have to thank the fans, not only for their great affection, but also because coming to these concerts doesn’t just mean spending money on tickets, but for many people, also spending on travel and hotel expenses …. and therefore, we thank you for always being with us and we dedicate to you: ‘Un Amore Cosi Grande’
After the song Piero says some beautiful words as to why he gets excited when he sings this song. It’s about being Sicilian and who he is….
Piero:To pursue his dream as a director, Toto leaves his homeland. He is forced to leave his homeland. Every time I leave for a tour, fortunately I am a privileged guy, when we leave our homes, our cities, we leave them for good things, for what we are doing tonight, but there is always that….
Ignazio: Melancholy ….
Gianluca: That basic nostalgia ….
Piero: That incurable nostalgia and therefore I cried a lot, (watching that movie) because I see myself in that child. When I sing this song, those who know me well, see me quite moved by it.
And we end with a song you are all familiar with in Italian and English….
This is just a small part of the concert. I couldn’t fit all 27 songs into this article but over the next few weeks and as we continue the concerts, I will include all of them.
The importance of today’s story was to show you that the guys love what they do but they don’t forget who they are and where they came from. For them it’s about Family, Country & Music not always in that order. It’s called stepping up to the plate and that is something they do well!
Join me next week as I go back Through the Fields of My Mind and open the door to a new adventure!
Daniela, Ale and Stefi at the Concert! Wish I was with them.
Today I want to thank three ladies who help me with photos and translations: Daniela, Ale and Stefi. I also want to thank my proof readers. Thanks for catching the errors! Pat in English and Daniela in Italian
If you would like to share a story with me, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
It was all wonderful, a magnificent evening, despite the afternoon all the sky had clouded over and it had started to rain, the evening reserved for us a time without rain, a beautiful temperature, and a fantastic show.
It started on time and it was 2 and a half hours of songs, 27 songs, without ever a break.
Every now and then some comic joke or some serious dedication, made by them, and the respect, always between the three of them, so evident, as well as the affection that surrounds them.
A small premise, the seats of the Arena are very narrow and in front of me there were two ladies who every now and then blocked the view to the camera with their heads.
I have not taken all the songs, and of some I have only taken a small piece, because I have noticed that Sony freezes the complete videos. That said, sorry if the videos aren’t great, but being there in front of them is hard to keep quiet and unmoved to get good videos !!
The glance of the Arena, full of people, is always absolutely priceless.
The start of the concert, was a surprise start, after the entrance of the orchestra, we all waited for their appearance on the stage, but no, they appeared in the audience, from behind, on the three ways between the seats and little by little they advanced, people got up, and shouted: ”they are there, they are there” and the three of them surrounded by people, slowly went up to the stage to sing ECSTASY OF GOLD.
People seemed crazy, all standing, nothing could be seen and even the camera’s focus was compromised,
Luckily my friend Francesca Brazzale was also in the audience, who makes beautiful videos and which many I will attach here, with her approval, thanks Francesca. 😘
Immediately after they sang the intro, then starts NESSUN DORMA. They prefer to put this song at the beginning, because you need all the power of their voices not yet tired from singing.
Note Ignazio who continues to wave his hand to the fans he recognizes, he reminded me of the kindergarten children who greet their parents from the stage, at their first performance, very sweet Ignazio.❤
Immediately after, IL MONDO followed, always beautiful and that makes everyone sing, and listen to it from the voices of Il Volo, wonderful!
Ignazio, Piero and Gianluca were almost never still on stage, they went from one side to the other to please the audience and it was difficult to follow one or the other.
The choreographies that alternated on the big screens behind them are very beautiful.
At this point, after three songs, Ignazio, Piero and Gianluca take a breath for one of their spoken skits that I will translate for you.
Always witty our three men !!
IGNAZIO: Let us take off the headphones to hear your voices and greet you.
PIERO = After two and a half years.
IGNAZIO = Welcome again, we met last night, right? (Because on the evening of June 2, Il Volo sang a tribute to Lucio Dalla in the Arena, together with many other artists).
GIANLUCA = We met yesterday, but it’s incredible, after two years, two and a half years …..
IGNAZIO = But they are not the same people as last night, they are different !!! ???? (Ignazio says so, because the press often wrote that Il Volo sang in pizzerias, or that they used the photos of other singers to show how many people there were, therefore, Ignazio says it ironically, to emphasize that these people are not the same as the previous day.)
GIANLUCA = No, they weren’t the same, and…. I sometimes forget that I am a singer ……
PIERO = But sorry, because let’s say 2 and a half years, if last year, June 5th, we did a concert ?….
GIANLUCA = Yes, first of all …. excuse me for a moment (he says to Ignazio, but Ignazio won’t let him speak)
IGNAZIO = But that was a taste, they were all left with the desire in their mouth … like a small taste of vodka, just one, that’s enough.
GIANLUCA = We are a little rusty, we haven’t played concerts for a long time, so forgive us for the gaffes, let’s start like this. (applause, my voice is heard saying “bravo”)
PIERO = We are very happy.
GIANLUCA = It’s nice to see you again after a long time …. (Ignazio raises his hand and asks to speak) … what is it?
IGNAZIO = You feel rusty, it’s you who are rusty, I went through the rust inhibitor this morning (laughter)
PIERO = Now, here, whatever you say … in three, in three (in the sense that Gianluca speaks in the name of all three), you, speak in the singular.
GIANLUCA = (to Ignazio) You never change !!
IGNAZIO = I know, but the thing we have in common is that we are always hungry … (laughter)
PIERO = Today in an interview, I said: “I’m very peaceful tonight, excited, I’m just afraid of one thing, of him (Ignazio – laughter). 😁 So, forgive me, but I’ll put my hands forward….
IGNAZIO = But you, you’ve been afraid every time for 10 years …
PIERO = Will there be a reason ???😁😁😁
IGNAZIO = I understand but, either you resign yourself to the idea of fear and let the fear pass by yourself …..
GIANLUCA = By now you know us well, we are like a big family, some of you know us really well, we finally feel at home.
PIERO = Ladies and gentlemen, tonight we will sing for you….
IGNAZIO = Excuse me ….
PIERO = Tonight we will sing for you the songs that have accompanied us in these thirteen years of career. This project will include some songs from the last project (Morricone) and also from the project from three years ago, it will be a summary and a journey, during these years.
These years of friendship ….❤
GIANLUCA = Of music 😘…. and of
IGNAZIO = And to … (he makes the gesture of hassle) 😁😁
PIERO = How is the translation of this gesture ….. ah beautiful !!! 😁
Starts SE TELEFONANDO, but the video ends before the song
They continue with a very sweet moment, approach the piano where Maestro Grani is and begin to sing the beautiful song SE, taken from Nuovo Cinema Paradiso.
After the song Piero says some beautiful words, that he gets very excited when he sings this song, because it is about a Sicilian who …..
PIERO = ….. to pursue his dream as a director, he leaves his homeland, he is forced to leave his homeland. Every time I leave for a tour, fortunately I am a privileged guy, when we leave our homes, our cities, we leave them for good things, for what we are doing tonight, but there is always that …..
IGNAZIO = Melancholy ….
GIANLUCA = That basic nostalgia ….
PIERO = …… that incurable nostalgia and therefore I cried a lot, (watching that movie) because I see myself in that child. When I sing this song, those who know me well, see me quite moved by it.
Now, with a beautiful accompanying choreography, Piero, Ignazio and Gianluca sing the sweet YOUR LOVE.
In the end, Ignazio rolls his eyes upward, and sends a sweet message to those who are no longer there.
The solos begin, and the first to perform is Ignazio who explains that he wants to propose a new song….
IGNAZIO= (Between one song and another, the lights were sometimes turned off, to allow the change of place)
I need to speak to the light man, if he paid the bill, nothing, because the lights go out every time, (the lights come on) thanks Manu! (Ignazio blows a kiss)
So, we find ourselves here, after a year, having to do another solo, and I asked myself:
“What am I doing this year?”
Also because it is not so simple to choose a song, because it can be too obvious, or too ambitious, therefore, I follow in the wake of what I have tried to do in recent years, I sing what some men have never sung, so if I do a bad figure, I’m the only one, understand?
But also this year I decided to sing a very famous song, which we all know and after you will help me sing, by a great artist, which I hope sooner or later we will have the honor of singing with her.
Ladies and Gentlemen, taken from the Celine Dion album Falling into You:
ALL BY MYSELF
Really very good Ignazio, what a thrill, what a voice, what a passion …. a beautiful standing ovation for you. ❤
But here Gianluca is ready, sitting on the piano, it’s his turn: YOUR SONG by Elton John.
Gianluca is also very good, a beautiful interpretation and her warm velvety voice ….Another standing ovation. ❤
And now it’s up to Piero, for him E LUCEVAN LE STELLE from Tosca.
All up for Piero, we know this air well, but every time Piero is always better, Piero, very well !! People were enchanted. ❤
The next song is presented. (I only picked up one piece of the song)
But first, Ignazio makes a nice speech that I have only taken up at the bottom, but which I remember well. He says that they have to thank the fans, not only for the great affection, but also because coming to their concerts doesn’t just mean spending money on tickets, but for many people, also spending on travel and hotel expenses ….
IGNAZIO= ….. and therefore we thank you for always being with us and we dedicate to you:
UN AMORE COSÌ GRANDE
It’s time for duets and Gianluca and Piero begin with the always beautiful:
(It’s just a short piece of the song)
We have heard it many times, but every time, Gianluca and Piero amaze us, this song seems to be made for the two of them and people like it very much. ❤❤
Here too Ignazio explains that he and Gianluca often made duets …..
IGNAZIO = What have we done ??
GIANLUCA = We made Maria from West Side Story.
IGNAZIO = West side story, and then, what did we do?
GIANLUCA = We also did …..
IGNAZIO = He doesn’t even remember … (laughter)
But this year we decided to change again and sing a very significant song, especially for us, it was in the pandemic, and it is today too.
Let’s pretend it is a prayer, a prayer for everything that is happening and that has happened in the past months and that continues to happen, unfortunately.
So we want to address this prayer to those who are not making it, to those who are suffering, to those who are more unfortunate than us, unfortunately. (applause) ❤
We are all speechless, what a wonderful duet, what a wonderful song and sung with so much love.
Amazing to see the looks of satisfaction that pass between Gianluca and Ignazio and in the end, that nice hug, I think they were both moved, the scenography behind them evoked the stained glass windows of the cathedrals and the whole Arena was full of beautiful lights, and the audience gave a nice standing ovation. ❤
The time has come for the duet between Piero and Ignazio and another surprise, Piero says that when Ignazio proposed to him to do this duet he replied that he was crazy, but then they tried to do it by themselves and they had fun, so they called the management and proposed singing the aria from Rigoletto:
LA DONNA È MOBILE
The people all stood for the standing ovation.
Incredibly, I never thought that opera arias were liked so much and Ignazio and Piero were fantastic !! What voices, what interpreters, wonderful. ❤❤
But how beautiful is the final embrace between Ignazio and Piero?
A song also to make people sing, and we all sing for:
IO CHE NON VIVO SENZA TE.
You know it too, it is also sung in an English version.
A nice medley of two beautiful songs from Il Volo follows.
I liked the idea of merging them, it starts with:
L’AMORE SI MUOVE combined with MUSICA CHE RESTA(in the video only Musica Che Resta, the video at the end is blurred)
It’s the turn of three other solos, and this time Gianluca begins.
GIANLUCA = It’s strange to be here without the other two. 😁😁
Tonight I will sing a song that was part of my adolescence, of my musical inspiration. I grew up listening to many singers, from Andrea Bocelli, of course, but I was also inspired by the great American voices like Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, but above all the great Elvis Presley.
I have been singing this song for years and I have grown a little with her, because she has also formed me a little artistically.
Tonight I want to dedicate it to a person who is here ❤ (he points to Eleonora, his girlfriend), and I will sing:
CAN’T HELP FALLING IN LOVE
How sweet Gianluca, you gave the best of yourself.
During the well-deserved applause he also sent a kiss to his beloved 😘
Piero follows with his workhorse, the magnificent:
NO PUEDE SER(which I have not registered)
Ignazio, instead, does not play a second solo.
The boys ask the audience to stand up, it’s time to dance and sing with:
VOLARE(which I have not registered)
Another nice medley:
SURRENDER and O SOLE MIO. (In the video there is only a piece of O Sole Mio)
Very nice the idea of the medley between two songs that have the same theme.
According to my sequence of songs, we got to the finale, but I already told you that I didn’t record all the songs, and not having recorded them, I don’t remember what order they were in, but they, definitely sang too:
LIBIAMO NE’ LIETI CALICI from TRAVIATA
and then three more that Francesca Brazzale recorded and therefore I propose to you:
CARUSO that Il Volo sings divinely!
HERE’S TO YOU, sung among the audience.
Kristen, who is a member of Flight Crew, I see very well how you hugged Ignazio, I hope you will send us the photo!!
We are at the final, the beautiful GRANDE AMORE could not be missing, in the new more rock version, with which Il Volo closes the magnificent evening.
A beautiful shower of golden confetti in the air and it’s all over.
Great applause and all the people were very happy with this beautiful concert.
What can I say, the Il Volo concerts are magnificent and the three of them are adorable, elegant and polite. ❤❤❤❤
The Filarmonia Veneta orchestra and its young conductor are very good, as are the members of the band: maestro Grani on the piano, Bruno Farinelli on drums and the two guitarists.
All summarized in this short video.
Please click on the photo below to view the video.
Tomorrow everything repeats itself and then Taormina and then slowly, the road to get to you becomes shorter and shorter!
As June 3rd approaches, we feel the excitement in the air? After two long years, the World Tour will begin. The fans are starting to assemble in Verona to welcome the guys! This has been going on since last week but, it will intensify as June 3rd draws near.
On June 5th, 2021, Ignazio’s message to the press was, “Finally, June 5th! You don’t know how long we waited for this day! How many days to think, to study, to develop ideas! How many days to hope it would come! Today is an important day for the entire music industry. We start singing in front of an audience!” Yes, they were the first to do a live concert in front of an audience in the ancient Arena of Verona.
You could hear the excitement in Ignazio’s voice! His words sent chills up and down my spine. His words said it loud and clear. We made it! Live is back! The event as you well remember was the “Tribute to Ennio Morricone.”
Can you imagine how the guys are feeling right now? They are so ready to go out and present their new World Tour, Il Volo Sings Morricone and more….
While we’re waiting for them to arrive at Verona, let’s take a look back at the Tribute to Ennio Morricone, where we witnessed An Amazing Transformation in their production. Not to mention the fact that it was their first Live Concert on TV with Rai 1. This will give us a hint about what to expect in their World Tour which begins on June 3rd.
Let’s go to the stage!
Besides the superb performance, did you notice the interesting scenery? So different from what we are used to in an Il Volo concert. Spectacular scenery! And the videos that go along with each song. Such precision! Just amazing! Everything so well thought out. Down to the last detail!
The guys kept the set list a secret. They wanted to surprise all of us. Piero said, “As for the set list we like to keep it a secret. We will try to satisfy every need of our audience by always keeping the master at the center.” And that they did!
Remembering Morricone’s music and having our guys sing it is by far one of the most incredible things that can happen for us. An event that will never be repeated by anyone! Spectacular!
Piero went on to say, “The Concert will anticipate the album that will be released later.” ~ “Il Volo Sings Morricone”
While they were dealing with the pandemic, they were being very productive. Gianluca said, “We dealt with the pandemic productively, we tried not to give up. Young people must not give up the strength to believe in their dreams and pursue their goals.”
He also went on to thank the Morricone family for allowing them to sing an unreleased song, written by Andrea Morricone, “I Colori dell’amore.” A very beautiful song!
Piero reminds us that, “this is the first time we have performed a Concert live on TV.”
Well guys you did an amazing job!
“We really appreciate the tribute to Ennio Morricone because as Ignazio reminded us ‘it is the only (concert) date scheduled in 2021.’”
I must say, the Morricone project kept them very busy. They had to select and study songs from the master’s repertoire. That was no easy task.
So how do you go about selecting the songs and fitting them to your voice. It’s very difficult! Let me remind you about something Ignazio said about recording a song. Ignazio explains, “…. a take is the recording of the single phrase that each of us sings when we record a song. We continue to redo it until we get the best version.”
Can you imagine going through all of Morricone’s songs and deciding which ones to choose? Remember a song that may be good for a baritone may not be good for a tenor. So, what do you do? You redo the arrangements to fit your voice. How? You take the song apart and then decide which part is able to accommodate a tenor or baritone. Not an easy task! Think about some of the concerts where the guys have sung a song as a group (the three) and then decided it should be a duet. Why? Because it is more suitable to two voices perhaps baritone and tenor or tenor and spinto tenor. You need to see how it fits your voice and how it relates. In the end it’s all about the delivery. Once you’ve taken the song apart, you must put it back together again. Shall I say it again, not an easy task! It takes months to rearrange this many songs and believe me these guys worked very hard for long hours and long periods of time, many, many months, to get these songs where they needed to be. Great songs, arranged to great voices!
Let me give you an example of what I’m talking about. This is the song “Se Telefonando.” It is a song that was performed by a famous Italian singer, Mina. It was released in May 1966. I want you to listen to Mina sing the song and then listen to Il Volo sing it. You will note that the words did not change. Just the arrangement changed to fit the voices of our guys.
Now the Guys!
So now you can understand what I mean by taking a song and arranging it to fit another voice. Without changing the words look at how the song has changed. The delivery is spectacular! Just magnificent!
The studio work was done. The songs were in the bag, and everything was in place. It was time for the guys to restart the live concerts! In essence, symbolically, restart the entire sector.
As to Rai 1, Claudio Fasulo explained, “For our flagship network it is an honor to host this date. Rai 1 wants to remember Morricone who has done so much for our culture through the many arts. I wanted three young people to do it that I admire so much. They were born into a talent, but they also teach us that talent is sometimes meritocratic.”
“Il Volo has the artistic and behavioral characteristics of Rai 1. It is no coincidence that in our schedules of great music, the trio is always present. Dedicating an evening to Ennio Morricone was a duty for us.”
Gianluca said: “For us it is a great journey, a wonderful adventure. A year after Morricone’s death we want to remember the master in the best way. We were born as child prodigies and after 12 years of career we can say that this project makes us proud and makes us feel more mature”.
Piero said, “At last, we sing. It’s been a tough year and there’s a desire to get on stage and bring all the workers in the show with us. I want to point out that it will not be the orchestra that will accompany us, but we will sing together.” Alluding to the long-awaited return to live.
Ignazio said, “Let’s go back to singing in one of the largest outdoor theaters in the world, finally safe. The ancient sayings are always the truest, hope is the last to die.”
In an interview given to the magazine Mio, Piero, allowed himself to go to a painful confession about the very hard period from which we come and, which now seems, fortunately, to give us a moment of respite. “Finally, we sing, after a year and a half. We could not take it anymore! Ours is a dream job. We are incurable dreamers. Every wish is finally coming to fruition. On June 5th we will give a message of hope, there is a great desire to get on that stage.”
And that is exactly what they did!
So, let’s turn to the master!
You can ask anyone if they know who Ennio Morricone is, many people will say no. But, if you ask them if they know the theme song from “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.” They’ll say of course I know it. Everyone knows Morricone’s music! They may not know his name but, they certainly know his music.
So where did our guys begin the concert? They began with the most famous of Morricone’s songs from The Good, the Bad and the Ugly – “The Ecstasy of Gold.” Smart! This song set the mood for the concert. What they did with this song and, the other songs, is amazing!
Let’s talk about some of the music. Let’s start by asking the question, “What made Morricone’s music different? Why was it so popular? Why was he the most sought-after composer in the last 40 years? The answer is his arrangements and his style. Unlike anyone else in his time Morricone composed and wrote songs that reflected nature and reflected everyday life! In his music we hear the wind and the rain, the howls and the silence! Again, I will go back to songs like “Se Telefonando,” where we hear three notes in this song that represent the siren of a police car. He wrote about reality. How he heard it, is how he wrote it. He didn’t describe the event he used the event! When you write a theme song or compose a score for a film, it has to draw you in. It has to tell the story before you witness it.
Now I’m going to step out of the concert for a moment but stick with Morricone because I need to pay a compliment to Ignazio.
As you recall, the first time we heard the song “Makari” which Ignazio composed and wrote, was during a commercial break at Sanremo 2021. When I heard the song, I felt like there was something very familiar about it. Last night after I wrote about three quarters of this article, I was tired, so I went to bed. And, as it often happens with me, I woke up in the middle of the night and thought about something I want to say in my story. This is what came to me. I finally figured out what was so familiar about “Makari.” Ignazio wrote in the style of Morricone. Think about it. What is Ignazio doing for us in this theme song? He is painting a picture! Remember I said, it has to draw you in. It has to tell the story before you witness it.
Ignazio’s song invites us to take a better look at this other land in the south (Sicily). It speaks of “a land of sages and a land of fools, made from devils and saints.” It invites you to live a new reality through his eyes. This is exactly what Morricone does in his songs.
In a Morricone song you hear life! In Ignazio’s song you hear the sounds of Sicily. It is the “silence” of the land that screams for you to open your eyes and look around at the wonder of the landscape, of Makari, and the traditions of the land that go deep into your soul?
There is something very mysterious in the song!
Ignazio’s song sings about approaching Makari and, the colors of the island come to life. The houses, the people, it’s all there. It comes to life before you approach the shore! And that’s what I was feeling when I heard the song! It’s written very much like a Morricone song.
Ignazio, I said you are a great composer and, some day you will compose a great opera. This is the proof. You learned from the great masters about expression and intensity in music! I can honestly say, you are your own master, and you began your journey at the front door! Music is in your soul! Just amazing!
Now, let’s get back to the concert!
I’m not going to write in any detail about the songs. There were a few other articles which were written for Flight Crew which discussed the songs individually. I am merely going to name the new songs and where necessary, give you some details on how they came about.
“Your Love” from Once Upon a Time in the West, is a song we all are familiar with. It is the song that the guys sang at Sanremo 2021. As Il Volo fans, this song will be with us forever. There are tender moments attached to it. It is an absolutely magnificent song. No one else could sing it like our guys. I know it touches my heart not just because of the circumstances but because of the emotion and passion the guys have when they sing this song. It will always be a signature song for them and for us!
So, what did they need in this production, a good pop song, set to music by Morricone, “Se Telefonando.” As I already mentioned, “Se Telefonando” is a song that was performed by a famous Italian singer, Mina. The music was composed, orchestrated and conducted by Ennio Morricone to Italian lyrics by Ghigo De Chiara and Maurizio Costanzo. The song was written for an episode of the Aria condizionata a Sunday morning television program. The main theme of the song was composed around just three notes, taken from the siren of a police car in Marseilles.
At this point in the show, the guys did their solos. Where do I begin to talk about the solos?
As I said, I am not writing about the individual songs, but I will say that each of the guys’ solos were phenomenal.
Gianluca’s “Your Song,” Ignazio’s “Listen” and Piero’s “No Puede Ser” were exceptional experiences in a sea of amazing voices.
When I originally wrote about this concert, I did not include the songs but for this story I will. Let’s start with Gianluca…
What I will comment on is little Julian. Many critics praised him and so do I! See guys, this is how you were at 8 years old. Blowing everyone’s mind!
And of course Piero singing “No puede ser” is just so amazing!
Let’s go back to the theme song of “Nuovo Cinema Paradiso” from the film of the same name. At the end of the song there is a small exchange between our guys and Salvatore Cascio, the child, now adult, of Nuovo Cinema Paradiso.
This was followed by Raphael Gualazzi on the piano with Nina Zillio and our guys performing the beautiful theme song from the film of the same name, “Metti, una Sera a Cena.” Nina Zillio is always so charming, and the guys enjoy performing with her.
Next came “Here’s to You”, the theme from Sacco and Vanzetti. This was preceded by a reading of the story of the two unfortunate Italian immigrants, read by Giallini. For those of you who don’t know the story of Sacco and Vanzetti here is a brief summary:
Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti were Italian immigrants, anarchists, who were controversially convicted of murdering a guard and a paymaster during the April 15, 1920, armed robbery of the Slater and Morrill Shoe Company in Braintree, Massachusetts.
A series of appeals followed, funded largely by the private Sacco and Vanzetti Defense Committee. As details of the trial and the men’s suspected innocence became known, Sacco and Vanzetti became the center of one of the largest causes célèbres in modern history.
Responding to a massive influx of telegrams urging their pardon, Massachusetts governor Alvan T. Fuller appointed a three-man commission to investigate the case. After weeks of secret deliberation, the commission upheld the verdict. Sacco and Vanzetti were executed in the electric chair just after midnight on August 23, 1927.
And so, we come to the end of the concert and the dedication of “Conradiana” to Vito Boschetto, Ignazio’s dad. “Conradiana” is a beautiful song written by Andrea Bocelli and Ennio Morricone. Very touching, very emotional and it certainly touched the heart of Ignazio and his brothers Piero and Gianluca, and I know it also touched our hearts.
In closing today let me say that the guys showed us their talent and their love in this concert. And they really dedicated it to us. When they were singing their song, to Sacco and Vanzetti, they were saying to us, their fans, “Here’s to You.”
I wrote about the staging of this concert so you will have an idea of what to expect in the upcoming World Tour. There will be An Amazing Transformation but they will not depart from their Bel Canto. They will add to what is great and make it greater!
See you in Verona on June 3rd, 2022, for the start of the World Tour ~ Il Volo Sings Morricone and more….
Visit http://www.ilvolomusic.com for a full list of concerts around the world. Find one near you and buy a ticket! It will be the best night of your life!
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: email@example.com
To read more Il Volo stories visit us at www.ilvoloflightcrw.com
To celebrate Mara Venier’s 30-year career, this evening’s show has been titled: DOMENICA IN SHOW.
Guests of the first episode, among the many, Il Volo, was entrusted with the task of starting the evening.
Here they are:
Please click on the picture below to view the video.
The show begins immediately without presentation, with Il Volo in the center immediately starting to sing Grande Amore in the new more rock version. The song is sung in Italian, except for the words “You are my everything Grande Amore” in English.
GIANLUCA = Good evening, we are very happy to be here this evening, DOMENICA IN SHOW, live on RAI1.
IGNAZIO = We can say that: the audience is there, let’s hear … (audience ovation). The orchestra is there …. (there was the sound of the orchestra). The studio is beautiful, because it is different, it is beautiful, very beautiful ….
PIERO = Only she is missing, only she is missing, the hostess: “Signore e Signori, Ladies and Gentlemen, Mesdames et Messieurs: Mara Venier.
Piero, Gianluca and Ignazio go to meet Mara Venier who greets them and embraces them with affection.
IGNAZIO = We are still here. (they have already been interviewed by her)
MARA = We are still here.
GIANLUCA = After 30 years (Mara Venier celebrates 30 years of television with this show)
MARA = After 30 years I’m still here. I started the first episode of “Domenica In” in 1993.
IGNAZIO = I remember it !! 😁
GIANLUCA = When was Piero born, in 1993 !! 😘
MARA = Really!!
PIERO = Yes, June 1993.
MARA = Think , I started in October ….. but no, you ….
PIERO = I wasn’t born yet ….
MARA = You were born, you are in June ….
GIANLUCA = You are in June, so ….
MARA = June, July, August and September, 4 months …
GIANLUCA = He was 4 months old when the first episode aired !!
MARA = Mamma mia, how old I am, guys …. okay, we started in 93 (she and her staff) we are still here, I did 13 editions on “Domenica In”, and tonight we are here to celebrate, it’s a party for Domenica In, with my friends, with your friends (of the audience), and I am happy to see you again (she turns to Il Volo), because we broke up in a fantastic episode in December (they had the peak of listening ) ….
GIANLUCA= And I can say that I finally sang Grande Amore live, because at Eurovision I couldn’t sing it.
MARA = But I know Gianluca, because you were sick, you had taken Covid, my love ….
GIANLUCA = But I sang it here tonight on “DOMENICA IN” together with Ignazio and Piero. ❤(applause)
MARA = How are you?
GIANLUCA = Well, very well. Fortunately, it didn’t last long.
MARA = Were you sorry not to be there?
GIANLUCA = Well, very, very much. But now we will get busy, because …..
IGNAZIO = He cried for a week … ❤
GIANLUCA = One week !!
IGNAZIO = We endured him for a week.
PIERO = But now he will have …..
MARA = What did he do? How have you consoled him? 😘
IGNAZIO = Eurovision is still one of the most important stages …
MARA = Indeed it is.
IGNAZIO = We consoled him by telling him …“Come on, now the tour starts, don’t worry, this summer you will sing again.”
PIERO = Now he will be able to sing on tour …
MARA = How were you at home? Were you disheartened? 😘
GIANLUCA = At home I looked at them, (Piero and Ignazio) incredible…
MARA = But somehow you were there !!
GIANLUCA = …. me at home and them on stage!
IGNAZIO = But it went well for him, he was 25 times bigger than us, on the screens …😁
MARA = It’s true !! And it was also double! 😁
IGNAZIO = Double too !!😁
MARA = I must say that from home I also thought, but why don’t they put it in the center? Because I didn’t know which one to look at, whether to look over here, or look over there.
However it is true, you have been a formidable presence in every case, but we were sorry not to see you there, because when you are on that stage it is always a wonderful opportunity.
GIANLUCA = But they were great (Piero and Ignazio), I was excited to see them from home, on the sofa, the two of them ….
IGNAZIO = We had more space on stage, that’s it.
MARA = Listen guys, just one question, then you come back later, the evening is long, there are many friends.
When you perform abroad, when the audience gets excited? With which of your songs?
PIERO= They are actually all melodies. Now, the last album is dedicated to Ennio Morricone ….
MARA = That you presented to me that wonderful Sunday, where we had fun and were excited! 😘
PIERO = ….. we already had the opportunity to sing it live, but the world tour starts on June 3rd from the Verona Arena, then we will do many concerts in Italy, but when abroad they hear the Italian melody with the lyrics in Italian, people get excited, in any part of the globe. (applause)
MARA = And they are totally foreigners, not Italian-Americans.
PIERO = Of course there are, but mainly the audience is local, American, Japanese, now we are also returning to Australia.
MARA = How nice, guys, let’s start again! (she turns to Ignazio) How’s it going with your girlfriend, she’s from Mexico, right?
IGNAZIO = No, she is in Brazil!
MARA = Ah from Brazil, right!
IGNAZIO = Yes, she will meet me for the tour.
MARA = But when do you see each other?
IGNAZIO = Well, she and I see each other, every now and then, I work, she works, and like all intelligent couples, we wait for the right moment.
MARA = Oh yes! Look, I agree with you.
GIANLUCA = He always falls on his feet, like cats!
MARA = See you later guys !!
G + P + I = More later.
MARA = Thanks for being here !!
Very pleasant the first part of the presence of Il Volo, which was given the task of introducing the “hostess” Mara Venier, always very sweet with our young men.
And here is the second part of the participation of IL Volo at DOMENICA IN.
Please click on the picture below to view the video.
MARA = Il Volo, here is Il Volo. They have already been here at DOMENICA IN, they presented this new project of theirs dedicated entirely to the music of Ennio Morricone, and tonight, they propose us again …. (she turns towards them) …. here they are …
GIANLUCA = Here we are again.
MARA = How much emotion guys! What are you singing tonight?
PIERO = We will sing SE, a melody taken from the film NUOVO CINEMA PARADISO.
MARA = Ah, that’s nice, it’s one of my favorites and you know it.
Il Volo, guys, still here on DOMENICA IN: “SE”. I leave you and I also take away the stool.
(song SE begins)
MARA = Il Volo on DOMENICA IN.
IGNAZIO = Thank you very much.
MARA = Thanks guys for being with me. When will we see each other again? Where do we see you again?
PIERO = See you again this summer on tour …
MARA = When do you start? When are you at the Verona Arena?
GIANLUCA = Will we invite you to the Verona Arena?
MARA = Eh but in fact, I want to come, of course I’m coming.
GIANLUCA = It would be nice to have you.
MARA = What day?
GIANLUCA = June 3rd and 4th.
MARA = But now? I’m on the air with DOMENICA IN, I can’t come …
PIERO = However there is Taormina, Agrigento ….
MARA = Oh well, I want to come and see you live, absolutely.
GIANLUCA = Also because we will not only sing the melodies of our repertoire, but also the melodies of the maestro Ennio Morricone.
MARA = Sure!
GIANLUCA = Because it is important to try to introduce young people to these melodies too.
MARA = Absolutely yes.
GIANLUCA = We are passionate about cinema, and we grew up with Ennio Morricone’s films and soundtracks and it is important that young people, who probably never knew him (Morricone), maybe through us ….
MARA = Maybe through you, to reach young people.
GIANLUCA = …. through this music, discover these films, with the soundtracks.
IGNAZIO = We thank you, we are happy to have been a little part of the history of your 30 years of DOMENICA IN.
MARA = Thank you my love, thank you. So, I’ll come to one of your concerts and then see you again next year, because the aunt continues. (Mara is often called aunt and she means she expects Il Volo next year, guests on her program)
IGNAZIO = Absolutely. Thanks a lot to everyone. See you on tour.
MARA = Thanks, Il Volo, Il Volo, thanks guys! 🤗
Good, was a very pleasant presence and also the audience appreciated, giving Il Volo a nice standing ovation after Grande Amore !!
Il Volo is entrusted with the opening of Domenica In Show, with one of their most representative pieces: “Grande Amore”. Warm applause for Gianluca Ginobole, Piero Barone and Ignazio Boschetto who over the years have not only confirmed themselves at very high levels, but have also expanded their popularity and filled up with awards. Mara Venier awaits them in her living room for this first evening episode of Domenica In Show.
“We are very happy to be here tonight”, they say in unison. “The audience is there and you can hear it, the orchestra is there, the studio is beautiful, only the mistress is missing …”, who enters in grand style, to the applause of his fans.
And now let’s see the audience analysis of the evening.
The evening had the peak of listening and, who deals with the audience analysis, writes these words which I will translate to you:
“The first evening sees Rai1 in command with Domenica In show, this curve that flows rather steadily on the 20% share line, after the initial propulsive thrust of Il Volo at 22% share.”
Very well, we had no doubts, when there is Il Volo, the ratings are always excellent !!
And now, let’s analyze how our favorites were dressed!
Piero, Ignazio and Gianluca are dressed in different clothes, but each, in their own way, elegant and sober.
PIERO = He is wearing a gray suit with a classic, timeless cut, which he lightens by wearing the simple white crew-neck t-shirt under his jacket. Colonial colored leather shoes.
IGNAZIO = Wearing cigarette trousers, light gray with an elegant black double-breasted jacket with satin lapels. He too has lightened everything up, wearing a simple black crew-neck t-shirt under his jacket. Classic black shoes.
GIANLUCA = Certainly the most transgressive of the evening, following his “rejuvenation of image”, he wears wide-legged black leather trousers, a beautiful elegant black jacket and under the jacket his greatest transgression, a black lace shirt, with trims in black satin, unfastened on the chest and with a softly unfastened black satin tie. Black ankle boots with heel.
Naturally, he completes the youthful effect, with a clean-shaven face and disheveled and slightly unruly hair.
In short, I like the whole, even if they are dressed differently, and I must say that I like Gianluca too, even if I prefer the old version of Gian, but I would have preferred the leather pants that are not wide at the bottom, I don’t like the final wide leg, especially if you are not very tall, but it is a question of fashion.
I would also like to know your opinion on their clothing, as well as on their performance. 😉
And now let’s enjoy some great shots of the evening. ❤❤❤
I will tell you my opinion, I found Piero, Ignazio and Gianluca, with voices always at the top, a stage presence of three handsome young men, with a particular elegance, always polite and never transgressive.
Very well, I saw that people confirm their love for you, not only those who were present in the broadcast, but also those who followed you from home, because the audience figures obtained are also thanks to you.
It is very close to June 3, the start of your tour, but there will still be a way to see you on TV.
I wait for you soon !!
Two years ago, I wrote a story about the history of music in Naples in order for the fans to understand why the guys sing Opera, in their case Operatic pop or popera and Neapolitan songs and why their Bel Canto worked!
This story is really two stories in one. It’s about Il Volo and their music, and it is about where their music came from and the people who made this music famous. Ironically, many of these people had a lot in common with Il Volo.
So, let’s journey back to Naples in the 15th and 16th century and see how this all began….
Italy is an emotion and in the center of that emotion is a passion and that passion is Naples. Naples is like no other place in Italy or, for that matter, no other place in the world. Neapolitans are the most diversified people in all of Italy. Naples is a feeling you can never shake but, above all…
Naples is music!
Neapolitan Music is very much a part of Naples culture but, its origins are obscure. In the 15th and 16th century Neapolitans sang canzonetta, which were light-hearted melodies. Among the most common styles of Neapolitan canzonetta is villanella, a three-voice, A cappella way of singing. The first villanella score was printed in 1537. As a result, Neapolitan music became famous not only in Naples, but everywhere in Europe. At the end of the 1700’s, composers began incorporating these songs into comic operas.
In the mid 1800’s Naples began to see a new movement in music. In 1835 a new song “Te Voglio Bene Assaje” appeared. This song is considered to be the first modern Italian song.
“Te Voglio Bene Assaje” ~ The trio le Note di Napoli Voice: Francesco Delli Paoli ~ Guitar: Roberto Castagna ~ Mandolino: Bruno de Rosa
The first “hit” may date back to 1835 but the golden age of song, in Naples, was from 1890 – 1910 when immigration to America began. Men left with the dream of a better life but what they found was even harder than what they left. They left their homes and families, and, in some cases, they never went home again. They found themselves alone with nothing but their music. Many Neapolitan songs were written about these times. Most of these immigrants lived in New York City in lower Manhattan in an area which became known as Little Italy. Small music companies would put on one act plays. Little vignettes. The stories were always the same, they were about home and family. They were about the mother they would never see again.
Torna A Surriento ~ Enrico Caruso
In 1903, Enrico Caruso made his debut at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City.
Caruso’s debut on November 23, 1903, was in a new production of Rigoletto. A few months later, he began his lifelong association with the Victor Talking Machine Company. He made his first American record on February 1st, 1904, having signed a lucrative financial deal with Victor. Thereafter, his recording career ran in tandem with his Met career, both bolstering each other, until his death in 1921.
Torna A Surriento ~ Not Caruso! Actually, the version I prefer!
Caruso was the first international singer to come to America. He introduced America to Italian Music. He loved to sing Neapolitan songs and they were so popular that when he performed at the MET at the end of the show he would come out and sing Neapolitan songs. Among these songs were “’O sole Mio,” “Torna Sorrento” and “Santa Lucia.” As a result, Neapolitan songs became a part of an opera singer’s repertoire and every opera singer after Caruso would sing opera and Neapolitan songs.
Music in Naples remained the same until after World War I.
In 1920, the government devised a way to get taxes from singers. The result of this movement caused the artist to devise a new way of singing and thus, sceneggiata was born.
After World War I, the Italian government increased the taxes on variety shows, thus causing many authors to devise a mixed type of show that would complement songs with dramatic acting, in order to circumvent such taxes. In other words, if they told a story, within a song, which was story, then you would not have to pay the variety tax. So, sceneggiata is a story within a story. Sceneggiata can be roughly described as a “musical soap opera”, where action and dialogue are interspersed with Neapolitan songs. Plots revolve around melodramatic themes drawing from the Neapolitan culture and tradition. Songs and dialogue were in Neapolitan dialect. This movement stayed around until the 1940s when all hell broke loose!
With the arrival of US troops in World War II, Naples woke up to a new beat. The US troops introduced them to the buzz and rhythm of jazz and boogie, and Naples immediately liked it. It took little time for performers and songwriters to understand how these new US imports could benefit them. It was time for a new name to appear in Neapolitan music. Enter, Renato Carosone. Carosone introduced Naples to music they could dance to and so Naples got up and danced and never looked back until the late 1970s when a new movement was started in Naples.
I would not do Neapolitan Music or Il Volo justice if I didn’t mention Pino Daniele.
Pino Daniele was an Italian singer-songwriter, and guitarist, whose influences covered a wide number of genres, including pop, blues, jazz, and Italian and Middle Eastern music.
Daniele made his debut in the Italian music world in 1977 with the album Terra mia, which was a successful mix of Neapolitan tradition and Blues. Daniele defined his music with the term “tarumbò”, which indicated a mix of tarantella, blues and rumba. His lyrics attracted critical praise. Written and sung in an intense Neapolitan, they contained strong and bitter accusations against the social injustices of Naples, as well as Italian society in general, and included melancholic personal themes.
Daniele’s talent is evident in albums like Pino Daniele (1979) but, he scored his greatest success in 1980, with “Nero a metà,” which was noted by some authorities as the hallmark of the rebirth of Neapolitan song.
Daniele wrote and sang his own music, and this music was known in America. In 2010, Daniele, a self-taught guitarist, was called by his friend Eric Clapton to play at the Crossroads Guitar Festival. Due to the number of artists who appeared, Clapton was not able to perform with Daniele so, he called Daniele to play at Toyota Park in Chicago where they were able to play together. In 2011, Daniele and Clapton had a concert at Cava de’ Tirreni stadium.
I started this piece by saying Italy is an emotion and Naples a passion. If Naples is a passion, that passion was Pino Daniele. Songs like Napulè, Quando and Quando Chiove are just a few examples of his songs. Examples I chose because I know you know these songs. They are very deep passionate songs. Many artists have sung Daniele’s songs but in order to do justice to a Pino Daniele song you have to bring passion, emotion and Neapolitan dialect to the song.
Enter Ignazio Boschetto….
Napulè ~ Not Pino Daniele. Sorry Pino love your music but there’s another guy who owns this song!
Ignazio’s tribute to Daniele is amazing and emotional.
A few days ago, I posted “Alleria” sung by Ignazio. I did this so I could see how you would react to it. I was not in the least bit surprised with your reaction. Many said it was a beautiful emotional song. Some said it brought them to tears and many said I don’t understand the language but, I can truly feel the song.
Daniele’s songs are very deep and very emotional, and you can feel the depth of the song because of the presentation of the song. I’ve said it before and I will say it again, it’s as if Daniele wrote his songs for Ignazio.
Let’s look back a moment to see how our guys fit into the picture I presented here. Well, we know they sing opera, and we know they sing Neapolitan songs. Why? Remember what I said about Enrico Caruso. Every opera singer after Caruso would sing opera and Neapolitan songs. As a result, Neapolitan songs became a part of an opera singer’s repertoire and that includes Il Volo.
But do we see any other similarities here?
20th Century ~ The year is 1903 – Enrico Caruso comes to America at the turn of the century. He brings with him a new kind of music. The music changes Americas way of viewing Italian music. To Americans, Italian music was opera. But now, they have Caruso singing Neapolitan songs at the MET. A few months later, he begins his lifelong association with the Victor Talking Machine Company. He made his first American record on February 1st, 1904, having signed a deal with Victor Talking Machine company. Thereafter, his recording career ran in tandem with his Met career, both bolstering each other, until his death in 1921.
Does any of this sound familiar to you? Fast forward 100 years to the 21st century.
The year is 2009 Il Volo signs a major contract with Universal Music. They come to America where their music immediately catches on and causes a revolution in the music industry. Over the next ten years they sell out every American Concert. All their albums and concerts are a tremendous success. And their success is from singing Opera and Neapolitan songs. Thereafter, their recording career runs in tandem with their Concert career, both bolstering each other.
Did I read that wrong or did Caruso and Il Volo do exactly the same thing in two different centuries? Did history repeat itself?
So here we are in 2009 and music is about to be revolutionized. Three teenage boys are the first Italian artists in history to sign a contract with a major American music label. This was unheard of! No international artist or group ever captured the ear of an American music label before even stepping foot in America! When they came to America, they had a signed Universal Music contract in hand!
They presented Operatic pop or popera to America. What is this new movement? It’s singing Opera in a more classical style. While opera is very strict and regimented, popera is more ethereal it has a lighter feeling, and it moves freely. It takes away the hard edges of opera and replaces it with a more ethereal feel while still presenting the drama and the high notes of the opera. It has a more popular appeal. This along with the classical Neapolitan songs become a big draw. Why did it work? One reason is three amazing voices! If the voice wasn’t there the song wasn’t going to sell.
When I’m writing these pieces, I do a lot of research and I watch a lot of videos. And this is what I found. I looked at videos of the promos the boys did, for their albums. They were 16 – 17 years old and I found many 14 – 16-year-olds at these promos. I saw teenage girls and boys singing opera and Italian songs. They liked it because the music is easy and catchy and, they pick it up very easily. And more importantly, the guys are very attractive and likeable. The young girls love them not just because they are very handsome be because they can relate to them. They were 16 – 17 years old and they were telling these young kids we love this music, and you can too. And they did and still do! Once the kids were sold the parents followed. Who wouldn’t want their kids singing this music? In turn the parents found it just as pleasing. As to the grandmothers they were the ones who were fainting over these attractive young men. I know an 84-year-old woman who has their picture hanging in her bedroom and she tells me their music saved her life after her husband died. Her kids think she’s crazy. I think she’s happy!
So, let’s continue on this amazing journey.
The albums keep coming, the success keeps coming and the boys have grown into fine attractive young men. And now they’re ready for a new experience. The music evolves and they are ready to crossover. In 2018 they released one of the most exciting Latin albums to come out in years. I would go so far as to say Amame is the most exciting Latin album that was ever produced. It’s opera, its rock, it’s classical, it’s pop and it never stops giving. The rhythm in songs like “Noche Sin Dia” is amazing. You have to move with the music. You can’t sit still.
Songs like “Maldito Amor” is a phenomenal experience for your ears. The delivery is smooth and beautiful. It’s one of those songs that stays with you forever. This album is so exciting that I will not play it while I’m working because from the first note you have to get up and dance. Exciting! Exciting! Exciting! I thought about this album the other day and how I would write about it. These three amazing guys absolutely floored me. The beat is so intense and, they are spot on. I think the guys knocked it out of the box with “Noche Sin Dia.” With Latin music you don’t just sing it, you feel it and if you don’t feel it, you don’t cut it. This album cuts it! Good move!
As if that wasn’t enough, they follow up with Musica!
This is the album that proved that great can get greater. This album is representative of where these young men are now. It’s beautiful, it’s sensitive, it’s romantic. It’s about love. It’s about them being ready for love. It comes from deep within them. All the sweetness and humility of these guys is in this album. It moves your senses. What I am saying is they have evolved and, their voices have evolved. They’ve grown into their voices. Their voices are mature and have expanded in such an amazing way. There’s an intriguing balance in their voices. To experience this amazing evolution in voice and song you need go no further than “Be My Love.” Gianluca’s voice vibrates and expands to realms I’ve never heard before. Ignazio makes your heart stop as you journey along his notes which lead to absolute ecstasy. Piero fills all your sense and brings you to such heights that you have to stop and breathe. This is Musica che resta!
I wasn’t able to talk about all the albums here. But I need to include Il Volo sings Morricone because this is another new direction in their lives. No, they have not left Bel Canto behind, instead, they have moved forward and added Morricone’s music to their repertoire.
This project started with their desire to pay tribute to Ennio Morricone. What better way than to present an album of his Academy Award winning songs.
Morricone died at the beginning of the COVID pandemic and because of this, it gave the guys the opportunity to go through his songs and compile a list of songs that would give a true representation of who Morricone was. In the beginning of their career, the guys sang “E Più Ti Penso” accompanied by Ennio Morricone.
Most of Morricone songs where movie theme songs like “The Ecstasy of Gold” from “The Good, the Bad and, the Ugly.” The guys along with the Morricone’s family and in particular Andrea Morricone put words to music to form an album which has become the theme of their new World Tour, “IL Volo Sings Morricone.” The tour begins on June 3rd in the Verona Arena.
There are so many wonderful songs in this album that it is hard to single one out. “The Ecstasy of Gold” is Gianluca’s favorite. “Se” from Cinema Paradiso is Piero’s favorite and “Here’s to You” from Sacco & Venzetti is Ignazio’s favorite.
My favorite, all of them, but if I really have to choose, I will say for personal reasons, “Come Sail Away.”
So, I have only touched on a small portion of their albums, but in future stories I will go deeper into each album. Til then, keep in mind “Bel Canto” is and always will be their signature but there is always room for new and exciting musical experiences.
Below is a beautiful movie that actor, John Turturro directed and stared in. It is the history of music in Naples over the last century.
In the movie you see performances by many artists you know including Mina, James Senese, Massimo Ranieri and Lina Sastri.
It is so worth watching for the rhythm and beauty in it! It seems everyone in Naples has rhythm and every Neapolitan has a song on his lips. The movie ends with Pino Daniele singing “Napulè.” A song we all know thanks to Ignazio and his tribute to Pino Daniele. Through this song and Turturro’s images, we can see all the beauty and rawness of Naples and it leads us to think, is Naples about the people or are the people Naples? This is not Naples coming to life. This is Naples!
Turturro is the narrator, so aside from the songs, it is in English. Enjoy!
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
Credit to the owners of photos and videos
Come in and share the love of life, friends and Il Volo!