Saturday 19 June, on RAI 2, a beautiful interview made with Il Volo, in the FELICITÀ (Happiness) program conducted by Pascal Vicedomini, was broadcast.
The RAI press office only notified us the day before this interview, so few knew, but surely the videos have already been published on all Facebook pages (what we fans can do) and therefore, I bet you’re wondering what our guys said, so here’s the video and the translation.🤗
I warn you that it is a very long interview, but very interesting, and therefore I will proceed by dividing it into two parts.
So here’s the first part, up to 27:03.
PIERO = Happiness for me is every day. Because I found that inner balance. In the particular year we lived, I took advantage of it, thanks to the people who support me, like my family and friends, and I found that inner balance that makes me enjoy life. I enjoy life every day.
PV = What is happiness for you? (to Gianluca)
GIANLUCA = I believe this certainly – the support of the family, do what you love, live from your passion, make it a job, and be serene, feel good about yourself.
Happiness is a moment. The moments of pain help you to face life, to form that armor that allows you to face life in the best way. That inner serenity is surrounding yourself with people that allow you to be a better person.
PV = For you, Ignazio?
IGNAZIO = Happiness, in the end, is just a word.
Surely as they say, feeling good about yourself can be a cause for happiness, but the most important thing is to create it, and it’s very subjective, I think.
(start the theme song of the program)
PV = Happiness. But who is happier than me today, who are together with three ex-kids, whom I met who were really at the beginning and have become international stars: Ignazio, Pietro and Gianluca.
PIERO = Piero, Piero (Pascal said Pietro).
PV = Piero, sorry, sometimes I make a mistake.
PIERO = Pascal, we are very happy anyway.
GIAN= But the grandfather’s name is Pietro, so you paid him a compliment anyway.
PV = (to Piero) But do you celebrate St. Peter and Paul? (the name day).
PIERO = Yes, of course.
PV = So, it was a little mistake.
GIAN = You knew us as children, now we are almost men … almost men.
PV = And what guys, three young music legends, three seducers …
GIAN = Indeed ….. but all these compliments ….
PV = I almost feel like an intruder in your world
IGNAZIO = We met, really at the beginning of our journey. (career)
In Los Angeles, right?
PV = How not !!
IGNAZIO = We shared those moments, even a little strange for fourteen-fifteen-year-olds, being in parties with the biggest stars in the world.
PV = I remember, guys, they arrived in Los Angeles and were immediately catapulted into a mega galactic party, greeted by: Schwarzenegger, Sean Penn, Puff Daddy, Quincy Jones, Beyoncé, Cindy Crawford …
IGNAZIO = Cindy Crawford I remember her well!
GIAN = I remember her too ….
PIERO = The particular thing, do you know what Pascal was? To go home and tell our friends what we had experienced, and it was impossible (because they would not believe).
PV = Those are the first moments when you begin to understand that something is changing.
(the video of the Sanremo victory starts)
PV = (voice) Gianluca Ginoble, Piero Barone, Ignazio Boschetto, aka IL VOLO, three young excellences of contemporary bel canto in the world, three constantly evolving talents, who have already seduced the audiences of many countries far and wide for the planet.
Three guys put together to break through the myth of the three tenors par excellence: Pavarotti, Carreras and Domingo and who in some way are keeping up with the expectations of the many people who believed in them, from the very beginning.
Three brilliant witnesses of pure Italianness that strikes, fascinates and seduces, so much so that it gradually becomes a global phenomenon.
Three witnesses of the restart of the music industry and of the Italian live entertainment, and who recently seduced the national television audience with the record concert at the Verona Arena, in homage to maestro Ennio Morricone. Event that arranged them in a good mood, on the occasion of our “reunion” between friends.
PV = Ignazio, when did you realize that your life was changing?
IGNAZIO = But maybe we haven’t noticed today yet, because fortunately, and I say fortunately, we live things with simplicity, always trying to put music, our passion, in the foreground.
Then, it is normal, there are many responsibilities, we are no longer kids, where there is the novelty of three kids who have an important voice, an adult voice, so now is the time to work, to develop new ideas. With our manager Michele Torpedine, we always try to renew ourselves, we lock ourselves in a room for days to understand what is the best thing, the next step to take.
There was the Arena di Verona, and we are already thinking about another project, so we must never stop.
PV = About the Arena, a great recent triumph, we will talk very soon, but let’s go back a little to the beginning.
(the video of O Sole Mio, starts)
PV = (voice) It was 2009 when three provincial kids, with an extraordinary voice, two Sicilians, Piero and Ignazio and one from Abruzzo, Gianluca, made their debut on the RAI stage in “TI LASCIO UNA CANZONE,” a program by Antonella Clerici, directed by Roberto Cenci, who, in meeting the three “child prodigies”, immediately came up with the brilliant idea of putting them together.
R. CENCI = I followed the casting directly and in this second edition, I found these three guys and took them individually, because I got Ginoble because he had a voice very similar to Bocelli, not as a tenor, but when he sang normally. Ignazio had what I called “canna” (high tones) and Piero was the only one I had doubts about, whether to take it or not, because he was really a “tenorino” (small tenor) and the year before I had already had a boy with the tenor voice.
In the end, after two or three episodes, I spoke with Bibi (Bibi Ballandi, Italian TV producer) and I said: “Look, I have an idea, I want to bring them together and call them – Tenorini – to make the beautiful songs, the Italian bel canto.”
It was an immediate, incredible success.
He called Tony Renis and said, “Guys, but these three are very strong, in my opinion in America, they could win,” and I said, “In my opinion, the only one who can help them in this sense is you, if you want I can put you in contact with the families,” and in short, from there, let’s say that he accompanied them in what is their journey under full sail.
(the video of THE WORLD begins)
PV = (voice) Launching three very young Italian tenors into the world seemed an impossible mission, but considering the previous successes of producer Tony Renis, who for the occasion wanted, at all costs, at his side, the former manager of Bocelli, Michele Torpedine, the operation was a challenge to attempt.
Especially since together with the lawyer Peter Lopez, mister “Quando Quando” (Tony Renis) , he convinced the legendary Italian-American colleague Jimmy Lovine, to make an album with the Italian “tenorini”, very different from the rappers he launched, as a tribute to its Ischian origins.
And so it was that the three boys found themselves in Hollywood, among the elite of showbiz.
It was February 2010, on the eve of the Grammy Awards, or the Oscars of music.
PV = Gianluca: this first experience in America.
GIAN = It is a great emotion, we hope it is a starting point, because it is an incredible thing to be in America.
PV = Ignazio: in the footsteps of the great masters who made the history of world music, here in Los Angeles.
IGNAZIO = Being with Tony is beautiful, we have fun, we spend beautiful days together.
PV = (to Piero) You are already preparing an album, which will soon be released, also made with Umberto Gatica, therefore: Tony Renis, Umberto Gatica, Torpedine, one team …..
PIERO = Really strong, we get along very well with them, we communicate with them and we express ourselves well with them.
(start the video of UN AMORE COSÌ GRANDE – Live The Americana)
T. RENIS = Very strong, they are conquering the United States. The Americans are going crazy for these three kids, who are phenomena. They sing, they sing, really, they know how to sing.
(start the video WE ARE THE WORLD 25 FOR HAITI)
PV = (voice) That trip to Los Angeles, with their uncle Tony Renis in 2010, marked the turning point for Gianluca, Ignazio and Piero, in fact, the famous producer, also managed to convince his old friend-colleague Quincy Jones to let his three new ones enter as pupils, in the video in favor of Haiti, which re-proposed WE ARE THE WORLD by Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie.
TORPEDINE = It was a great dream, also because I came from a long experience of Andrea Bocelli, after 16 years, let’s say it was easier for me to continue this discussion.
PV = What place do Il Volo occupy in international music today?
TORPEDINE = I believe that after Andrea Bocelli, who clearly today we are talking about a monument, we are no longer talking only about an artist, immediately afterwards, they are there, because they are present in all countries of the world, as a publication, as a live, as a performance . Today Il Volo, together with Andrea, clearly Andrea becomes almost unattainable, because the recording market today is almost infinite, in general, but on the live part, they have the same capacities, in some countries, in others they don’t, but let’s say they occupy a huge space.
GIAN = Let’s say that, certainly the novelty was that, as Ignazio said, of three children singing pop-lyric, because it was the first time, so let’s say that from this point of view, we have always tried to be unique, and to propose to the public, to the people who follow us, something different.
Then, it is clear that over time, it is necessary to demonstrate and consolidate success, because being the novelty, it is also easy to be a meteor, therefore, as Ignazio said, sorry if I repeat myself, we must renew ourselves, with hard work, with constancy, with sacrifices and always staying on track, this is important. I must say that there is not only a working relationship, but also our friendship has been consolidated over time, and this helps us to be cohesive, strong and to develop ideas that allow us to renew ourselves.
RED RONNIE = I want for them, a good of the soul, because even if they joined almost by chance, Piero, Ignazio and Gianluca, they have three totally different personalities, who together have a crazy cohesion, so much so that they have invaded the world.
I hope they enjoy the happiness they deserve and are experiencing, because …… because they are still spontaneous, they still have the desire to see with their eyes what happens and, this is important, also with the heart. They are perfect when they are elegant, at the Verona Arena or on an important stage, or when they are like this, a little “discarded” when they come into my programs and let themselves go. Because they are three guys, very lucky, and very alive.
PV = (voice) Red Ronnie says well, three very different guys, who complement each other on stage, three particular characters, united by their common talent and love for music: Piero the professor, Ignazio the philosopher and Gianluca the seducer, two Sicilians and an Abruzzese.
After all, they are three young people of today with the ancient passion for opera, to be merged with pop, a characteristic that makes them fascinating in a transversal way to the different civilizations crossed in their first twelve years of common career in the world.
The result of the intelligence of the Italian province, which over the years has established itself, not only in music, but in every sector of society, as the journalist and writer points out: Pierangelo Buttafuoco.
P. BUTTAFUOCO = It is up to the village boy to “take flight”. If that of IL Volo is the story, or rather the novel, or better still the epic, of those who, like the guys, know how to go away.
Because the commandment given to the country guys is always the same, and it is this: “Who goes out, succeeds” (pun to say that whoever leaves the country, succeeds, that is, is successful, in life), and said in Sicilian it becomes: “cu nesci, arriesci”.
ANTONELLA BORALEVI(writer-journalist) = What is special about Il Volo?
Meanwhile, this name, because already hearing it, this name, takes you somewhere else, and then the fact that, we never say Il Volo, but we say “the boys of Il Volo”. I think that the three members of Il Volo group will have to get used to being called “boys” even when they are 70 years old.
But above all I would like to thank them, the guys from Il Volo, because they have the characteristic of giving joy. The guys from Il Volo put you in a good mood. The guys from Il Volo, you look at them and you feel better, you listen to them and you hum them and you feel better. So, as they say: go go go, guys from Il Volo and thank you for the joy you give us.
PV = (voice) All mad per Il Volo, it could be the title of a docu-film about the life of the three boys who continue to reap successes and attract fans of all ages, especially women, in the many countries already visited by three young people, they enchant the spectators and seduce, in particular, the fair sex, with their typical Italian charm. That’s right, it was for Pavarotti, it is for Andrea Bocelli, it is for Gianluca, Ignazio and Piero, of whom also three collaborators of Milly Carlucci have an excellent opinion and who had the pleasure of training Il Volo, for a special episode of Dancing with the stars.
OB = (dance teacher). Piero dancer mmmmhhh. Piero dancer, determined, very stubborn, I remember that he always wanted to try the steps, always perfect the rhythm. Obviously: he Sicilian and I Sicilian, we had a great time, I have wonderful memories, both of Piero and of the whole group. We had a lot of fun in our beautiful tango.
LL = (dance teacher) Gianluca dancer was a real discovery. But I think that in the tango, it was really exceptional, because in reality it represents it a little. Tango is very technical, and in my opinion Gianluca is precise, like tango, like all professionals, on the other hand. He is sensual, mysterious, captivating and intriguing, but above all, tango is elegance, and he is a very, very elegant person, and this is a gift that few people have, and that distinguishes him above all.
MG = (dance teacher). Ignazio was a great revelation and certainly as a dancer he was exceptional that evening at Dancing under the stars, when we did the tango together and I must say that it was really nice to see how, in a short time, this guy really learned the main things, of this dance, which was the tango. He tried to really express himself 100% and I was really very proud and proud and happy to have danced this dance with him.
R. RONNIE = Happiness could be …. such a wonderful place, surrounded by nature, relaxation. But you are missing something, you miss sharing it with the person you love, and then happiness is not living a beautiful thing, but sharing it.
Happiness is giving to others, it is giving, making people feel good. For me, happiness is giving space to artists, emerging groups, giving a voice to those who don’t have it.
In the end, we remain, for what we have given, not for what we have had, so happiness is giving.
(There are some scenes with Pavarotti)
PV = (voice) The myth of Luciano Pavarotti, after the docu-masterpiece of the Oscar winner Ron Howard, hovers in the dreams of all of us and above all in those of Piero Barone, Ignazio Boschetto and Gianluca Ginoble, alias Il Volo, who during the years they also managed to make friends with the friends and colleagues of a thousand adventures of Big Luciano (Pavarotti), the Spanish tenors Josè Carreras and Plácido Domingo. Especially with the latter who, as an indomitable lion, has also granted his three grandchildren (Il Volo) the honor of stepping on the same stage.
But what does it feel like to follow in the footsteps of three legends, who started the history of opera-pop? Feel the thought of Il Volo about it.
PIERO = The three tenors, Pavarotti, Domingo and Carreras, were the three who cleared opera, classical music, outside the theater and brought it to the general public.
Let’s say that we are trying to follow, humbly, without emulating the three tenors, we are trying not to let this music die, which will never end, because classical music, the classical term, is synonymous with eternal. We were in Florence, in Piazza Santa Croce, it was not a normal evening, it was a Magic Night, in fact it was the title of that project that we have taken on tour everywhere.
Clearly when we conceive a project, if there is no trust on the part of someone, there is no encouragement. When the idea of doing the Tribute to the Three Tenors was born, there was the foundation of Pavarotti who supported this idea, many messages with Josè Carreras, but the maestro Plácido Domingo did us the honor …..
IGNAZIO = Besides, he is a great friend of ours!
PIERO = ……he did us the honor of accepting our invitation, coming to Florence, conducting and singing that repertoire with us, so having his support gave us so much strength.
GIAN = I would also like to add that we have just done the concert at the Arena di Verona, the Tribute to Morricone, and there too, as Piero said, there was support, and of course it continues to be there for this recording project that will be released soon, by maestro Andrea Morricone and the whole Morricone family.
So this gives us that encouragement Piero was talking about.
PV = I must tell you that at this moment I am having a bit of the chills, because the first part of my artistic career began in the myth of Luciano Pavarotti, Josè Carreras, and Placido Domingo, I have followed them, ever since in 1990, together with maestro Zubin Mehta, they trod the Caracalla stage for a concert on the occasion of the Italia 90 World Cup, and from that moment, I understood the power of Luciano Pavarotti, and his two Spanish friends, to go and communicate the great international music, but above all Italian.
Finding myself today, with three very young friends, Italians, who are on that road, frankly, gives me, on the one hand, the feeling that I am getting a little old, on the other hand the joy of seeing that Maestro Pavarotti has drawn a really important road that you guys are following very well, isn’t it Ignazio?
IGNAZIO = Look, I tell you the truth, even with this Morricone project, we never wanted to be a copy of something, we want to try to be the means, to ensure that this music is never forgotten.
We are moving towards an era where the music changes every year, the charts change.
GIAN = (says in English) This legacy will never die, you know?
PV = You understand, the boy from Abruzzo who now speaks with an English slang!
PV = Piero, at this moment I have a flash, I remember a magnificent summer evening, in Piazza del Popolo (Rome) with the master Ennio Morricone who directed you in that wonderful song E PIÙ TI PENSO . In those days we celebrated the 150th anniversary of the unification of Italy, it was your first great performance, face to face with the legend of legends, the master Morricone.
PIERO = The first meeting with master Morricone, took place in the FORUM studios in Rome, in 2010 during the recording of our first album.
We were just recording E PIÙ TI PENSO and the master was passing through the studios and came in to listen, so he was the first to listen to our work.
We, fourteen, fifteen, still did not realize the importance, the greatness of the master. When he listened to E PIÙ TI PENSO, he decided to conduct this song live, on the occasion of a concert in Piazza del Popolo …
IGNAZIO = 150 years of the Unification of Italy.
PIERO = ….. 150 years of the Unification of Italy.
Today, we are not ashamed to say it, we have realized the importance and prestige of that event.
PV= In fact, Ignazio, having reached personal success, having arrived at a personal encounter with the legends, you so young, did not immediately make you understand what magnificent world you had entered.
How do you relive the memory of these events today? We talked about We Are The World and then 150 years, and in any case you are still at the beginning of a prestigious career.
How do you relive those passages that have taken place in the international arena and that seemed so unimaginable?
IGNAZIO = Look, I try to be brief. I think they will be indelible memories, which we will never forget, perhaps in those times, thanks to naivety, we lived everything more serenely. But they will be memories that we cannot help but take with us, tell them to our children, our grandchildren. Surely a very important thing is that we have learned a lot from them, the experience with Barbra Streisand has taught us a lot. In the end, when you relate to artists and people, because they are mainly people, you learn humanity, you learn humility, you learn how much dedication they put into their work, how much effort, how many sacrifices, and therefore we only learned from them.
GIAN = And then, these experiences that we have lived, we feel three privileged, those experiences that, like pieces, form the personality and that give sensitivity, empathy. These strong emotions that we have lived together have been a continuous personal growth, which has allowed us, really, to experience these things at a young age, with a naivety and a beauty, with a purity and we are truly proud to have lived them together.
Being on stage together, knowing that there are companions … I look at them (Piero and Ignazio) and they have experienced things that not even our brothers or our parents can understand, because there is this union between us, which makes these things truly special.
I wanted to translate this long interview, because it seemed interesting to me.
I’m halfway through the work, there are still many interesting things.
Tell me if you want to find out what will be said in the second part and, with a little patience, that too will come.
Over the past week I have been thinking about where it all began for the guys. As you know, I have written excerpts from their story but, I thought it might be nice for some of the new fans to hear about where it all began for the guys. Three different stories but all with the same ending! This is the story of how they were discovered and of course their journey to Ti Lascio una Canzone.
Piero: The Beginning of the Journey
Most of you know that Piero was discovered by his grandfather. In the garden of his grandparents’ house there is a mulberry tree and hanging on that tree is an old-fashioned swing. Piero was swinging on that swing when his grandfather heard him sing for the first time! He was about four years old at the time. The following day Pietro had a recording made of Piero singing “Un Amore Così Grande.”
The evening of the recording would be the beginning of Piero’sjourney to stardom. As always, Piero’s entire family ate dinner together. The family consisted of his great grandmother, all the aunts, uncles and cousins who were like sisters and brothers to him. After dinner all the kids played soccer while the adults went outside to chat and enjoy the cool of the evening on the terrace. But this evening would be a little different because just one day earlier, Piero’s grandfather Pietro discovered that Piero had an amazing voice.
They had just finished dinner when *Pietro called his wife. “Rina, get the recorder.” Rina brought in the recorder and placed it in front of Pietro. The recorder was already prepared with the cassette that had the recording of Piero’s voice. Pietro turns to Piero’s dad and says, “Listen to this voice, Gaetano.” He pushes play and starts the recording of “Un Amore Così Grande.” Gaetano is amazed like he has just heard a good thing, and he says, “It’s beautiful, who is it daddy?” (He calls his father-in-law daddy.) Pietro says, “Piero.” Silence. Gaetano has a questioning looking on his face “How did Piero?” Pietro says, “So?”
On that night Piero’s life changed! His father did everything he could think of to start him on a musical journey. He wanted Piero to start the festivals but, he was too young. He needed to “put in a base” because the voice alone was not enough. Gaetano asked himself: “What must Piero start to do?” And the answer was: “Piero must start playing the piano”.
Piero began to study piano at the age of eight but, economically the family could not afford the costs of the lessons. So, Piero’s grandfather paid for everything, and not just from the material point of view. Stefano Tesè was Piero’s first piano teacher. The mother of Piero’s teacher lived on the floor below in his grandfather’s house and the master came to see his mother every Monday. Pietro made an agreement with Mr. Tesè to give Piero lessons every Monday at six o’clock.
Piero says, “The road was very short to my grandfather’s house, I could even go there alone, but here was the problem, to get there I had to face a dog that was going around in that neighborhood, that dog would approach and bark furiously. And I had a fear of dogs. Squeezed under my grandfather’s arm, he who being blind needed to be guided, I felt protected as behind a shield: when the dog approached, Pietro shouted: “Passa arrassu!” (fast pass), go away, and the dog went away.”
Piero confesses there was another problem, “Every Monday at six in the afternoon was a nightmare for me, because I did not like going to the piano lesson. Or rather, I liked it only when the lessons were good, when I could play, but at the beginning I was bored a lot with the hammers, solfeggios and all the things that you rightly have to learn to play the piano. Maestro Tesè was a tough guy and, I was always worried that he would scold me. After a while I started to understand how the piano worked and the lessons started to please me.”
The advice everyone gave Piero was that he should join the choir that met in the church of Santo Spirito in Agrigento. Originally Gaetano objected to this saying they would “break my sons voice,” but, eventually he came to the reality that this was the right thing to do. And so it was that Piero joined the Little Singers of the Philharmonic Association – Santa Cecilia of Agrigento.
And so it was that Piero started his classical musical education that would end at Ti Lascio Una Canzone.
Of the three, Piero is the only one who said, “…. if there is one thing I want to do in life, it is singing, living for and with music.”
The original story I wrote about Piero’s beginnings I called **The Mulberry Tree because Piero was swinging on a swing which hung from a mulberry tree in his grandfather garden. Around the time of this event, I was at home in New York busy writing a screenplay. The name screenplay was “The Mulberry Tree!”
Ignazio: The Beginning of the Journey
In this story, Ignazio leaves his friends and his school in Bologna and starts all over again in Marsala. He fought this move every step of the way but this move would bring him to the start of his journey to stardom!All the What if’s, come into play! What if the family didn’t return to Marsala? What if Caterina didn’t open the pizzeria? What if that customer didn’t hear Ignazio sing? What if Ignazio decided not to take singing lessons? Ignazio’s story begins shortly after his arrival in Marsala
In 2004 there was a great change for Ignazio’s family. Ignazio’s mom had regained her health and finally the family was financially stable so, they returned to Marsala.
Ignazio’s story of the building of the pizzeria was so inspiring that I called my original story, “A Slice of Pizza with Ignazio on the Side.”
During the first year they were back in Marsala, Ignazio’s mom had gone back and forth every day to the center of Marsala to be able to secure her great dream: to open a pizzeria of her own. In order to open the pizzeria, she needed to do certain things. First thing: she had to get the permits and all the bureaucratic things that she needed to do. Second thing: she used the ovens of friends and made pizzas. Ignazio said: “I remember it very well. She went from one oven to another and tried so many types of flour, she tried the dough, she tried so many types of mozzarellas so, when she finally opened the pizzeria, she already knew how to prepare the right dough. It is different to make pizza in Bologna than making it in Marsala, take the word of a son and brother of a pizza maker: it is different because it depends on the humidity, the temperature and the type of flour. It’s not a simple matter to make a really good pizza.”
While Caterina was preparing permits and trying different kinds of pizza, it was left for the men to build the pizzeria. With the savings Vito accumulated over the years he began the work on the pizzeria. He was now working in a company that built wooden structures and being an experienced bricklayer, the dream could be realized, and the pizzeria could be built in front of the house.
Ignazio said: “For a whole year, in every free moment, my father dedicated himself to building the pizzeria for my mother and I loved to help him, so much so that when there were a few days of school vacation, I went to work with him.”
Ignazio continues; “You will think that I tell you about the pizzeria under construction, but I am not a pizza maker. Of course, if there had not been the pizzeria, perhaps I would never have started singing seriously.
While the pizzeria grew, a passion grew within me. It was a passion for electronics and music. I had started to be part of the elementary school choir and my dad, who was more passionate about electronics than me, had bought me a mixer, a microphone and two speakers, with which we started doing the easiest thing that could be done with those instruments: karaoke.”
Finally, in 2005 the pizzeria was completed and, Caterina opened the Pizzeria dei Desideri.
Within a few months Caterina already had regular customers and since the pizzeria was right in front of the house, when Ignazio was singing at home, even the customers heard him. One day a gentleman said to Caterina, ‘You know, my daughter is studying singing, why don’t you come with your son once? Even just to try.”
Ignazio said: “Like everything else, we talked it over within my family and everyone was enthusiastic about it. It was decided, I would go and see what these singing lessona were like.
I remember it as if it were yesterday! I was eleven. I wore a yellow shirt with green stripes, fashion was never my strong point. Arianna, the daughter of the pizzeria customer, who had heard me sing, and her mother and I waited, in front of the school for more than twenty minutes for Liliana Andreanò, the singing teacher.
Lilliana Adreanò, arrived in a grey Opel Astra. She got out of the car and immediately entered the school.
I was worried, almost embarrassed. Hard to believe, right? Even as a child I’ve never been the type to be speechless.
Lilliana begins to talk about music, what kind of songs do I like to sing. It was already a strange thing because usually I just sang, no one asked me why and how. You know, Liliana, I said, I like to sing Giorgia’s songs.”
Lilliana said: “Strange for a kid to sing this kind of song.” She asked, “And which song of Giorgia would you like to make me listen to?” “Gocce Di Memoria (Drops of Memory),” I said. “I didn’t even have a doubt. I start singing and Liliana was amazed by my extension but asks me to try a male song too.”
Ignazio thought a little bit and then he said he sometimes sang Con Te Partirò by Andrea Bocelli. He started singing and, when he finished Liliana told him: “Ignazio, this is your musical direction”.
From that first lesson Ignazio began to study songs like “Il Mare Calmo Della Sera,” “Un Amore Così Grande” and all those that came to mind, and he liked it. The songs approached that genre that was not lyrical, it was modern music but with something classic.
Ignazio was very comfortable with Lilliana and they understood each other immediately because she was a sociable person, simple, as are all of Ignazio’s family.
After several lessons, Lilliana proposed that Ignazio take part in a competition organized in Paolini. Ignazio wasn’t completely convinced that he wanted to go on a stage. Until that moment he had only thought about singing, but he never seriously thought that all his singing one day could bring him into the spotlight. In short, he was afraid. Fear of making mistakes. Fear of not being able to face the stage, but just to gain mastery on stage, Liliana urged him to participate, and so in the end he decided to do it.
Ignazio said: “I was about to get on the stage. My legs were trembling, the butterflies in my stomach were no longer butterflies but crazy swallows.
I decided to participate with Bocelli’s “Con te partirò” (Time to Say Goodbye), a song that I had studied and re-studied with Liliana, but as soon as the music started, I had a terrible fear of forgetting the words. So, what did I do? I looked down all the time. So, the audience, the place, what happened around me while I was singing, it’s not that I do not remember anything, I just do not know because I only saw the tips of my feet.
Fortunately, however, I remembered all the words and it is not so obvious because sometimes it happens that I forget the words even today now that I have become professional, the emotion continues to take us despite everything and.… I came in third.”
Once the ice was broken and the stage panic was over, that ended up being just the first of many competitions for Ignazio.
After two and a half years, three that he was studying with Liliana, one day Lilliana told him that for the genre that he was going to sing another teacher was better suited to give lyrical singing lessons. So, Ignazio was convinced and started to follow another singing teacher, Roberta Caly.
So now his life became complicated. He went to Lilliana for singing lessons and interpretation. He went to Roberta for lyric singing. And he took a diction course from Lilliana and Roberta. He also went to a diction course with Lilliana and a diction course with Roberta but taught by other teachers in the school. And he also attended a jazz workshop.
Ignazio went to class every day except Sunday when he went to see Nina’s soccer matches. Nina was now playing in Serie B.
Between the school, the singing lessons, the piano lessons and diction Ignazio was always busy, so much so that he was forced to leave the school of soccer.
Ignazio could not do everything because of the economic conditions of his family. At this time Ignazio found another thing to do: an extracurricular musical laboratory. Ignazio was so busy but, he did not want to give up that workshop, it was about setting up musicals. Ignazio said, “It was one of the most beautiful experiences of my life.”
In 2007, Ignazio stopped studying with Roberta. He met Giovanna Collica, a very good soprano, who gave lessons in Siracusa. Even though Giovanna was in Siracusa, which was a long journey from Ignazio’s home, she was too important to give up. She was a very good soprano, she had even sung a duet with Luciano Pavarotti.
Ignazio concludes, “It took a lot of money to cover the travel expenses, the lessons and the registration for competitions that in many cases were not free. So, it was at a certain point, mom and dad found themselves not having enough money to send me forward. They were more hurt than me. Having always worked and being accustomed to face sacrifices for the family, they did not want to surrender to this obstacle but at the same time they did not know what to do. In the end, it was necessary to make a decision. The decision was to ask a person dear to us for a loan that, as soon as mom and dad had settled a little, would be returned.
This person has helped us with great generosity, so as, to allow me to continue to pursue this dream.” Next stop Ti Lascio una Canzone!
Gianluca: The Beginning of the Journey
So, finally, we come to Gianluca. I must tell you Gianluca’s journey to stardomwas different from Ignazio and Piero. The end result was the same but, the beginnings were different. Gianluca says: “Yes, we were lucky all three to have the families we had. Ignazio and Piero were able to study music thanks to the sacrifices, big sacrifices, of their families. I’ve never studied it, if I have to tell the truth, but the music at home has always been there.
Mom and dad tell me, when I was three years old, I sang ‘O Sole Mio’ in the town square in front of all the elderly gentlemen friends of my grandfather who were sitting around in the square.”
This was the beginning of Gianluca’sjourney to stardom.
Gianluca says, when he sings, he “doesn’t forget instinct.” What does that mean? Gianluca has never studied singing. He learned to ‘use’ his voice only thanks to his musical ear. He listens to the music and, it transmits everything he knows. And, for this, he is especially thankful to the Little Choir of Roses.
When Gianluca was about eight or nine, all those who knew him gave him the same advice: go sing in a choir. In Roseto there was the Piccolo Choir of Roses directed by the master Susy Paola Rizzo. They sang the songs of the “Zecchino D’oro” or other famous songs with arrangements in that style, with music for children. The Mago Zurlì, that was the presenter of the situation, was Gianluca’s dad, Ercole.
The choir was nice because they studied the technique of singing, the songs. It was different, because they did not study the notes and how to do them, rather they studied instinctively, following what the teacher said and what their ear heard.
Gianluca said: “If I think of 2009, the year in which I met Piero and Ignazio at Ti Lascio Una Canzone, it seems to me like yesterday.
Ignazio’s story shows that things come and you do not have to force them to arrive. It is not different from mine. Maybe, a little bit different because, apart from the Little Choir of Roses and those modest performances with my father’s theater company, I’ve never done anything else, no competitions, no festivals. I did not want to do them, I never thought about it.”
Gianluca participated in the Festival of the Adriatic, in 2006, and he won it. In 2007 he participated in Ascoli Piceno, for young talents. He sang at weddings, that’s it. He recalls, “I sang Schubert’s ‘Ave Maria’ and they paid me. My first money earned with music. And for fun, in 2007 I recorded a CD in a studio in Roseto degli Abruzzi, it was called “Start from Here.” It was a study by Vincenzo Irelli, a very good musician.” Verilli heard Gianluca sing, probably in one of the Little Rose Choir’s performances, and he said to Mr. Ginoble, “Bring him to me.” Gianluca recalls, “We spent a couple of weeks recording the CD and then we gave it to all the relatives. If I think about it today, it makes me smile. Never, never would I have thought that it would not be the only one, that I could make music my life. I tell you I only sang because it made me feel good, I was happy.”
Then what happened? In his story, Gianluca said: ‘I do not know exactly, what happened, because everything happened very quickly. If I think of 2009, the year in which I met Piero and Ignazio, it seems like yesterday. Instead, six years have passed. To tell you the truth, seven years passed from the casting sessions because it was 2008 when my father received a call from Licia Giunco.
Who is Licia Giunco. She’s an incredible woman, known throughout Italy for being the creator of an annual event called Sport for life, a great international ice-skating gala. For the gala, skating champions come from all over Europe to participate. The reason for Mrs. Giunco’s phone call was Gianluca’s performances with the choir. “We have a great talent here in Roseto,” Mrs. Guinco told Mr. Ginoble. “I would like to bring him to RAI (Italian TV Station).” Gianluca says, “My father had never thought about it. My parents had never even imagined that I would participate in competitions, let alone send me for an audition for television.”
“Let’s try,” Mr. Ginoble replied, “It would be a great opportunity.” “Dad thought it was just a different experience something that could make me have fun. Mrs. Giunco made available her contacts, we talked to Franco Fasano, whom Licia knew, and he would take us to audition with Roberto Cenci for the broadcast of RAI. Maybe this is what I liked, the idea that it was only a life experience to do, an experience that would allow me to sing for a while. My parents, as they had always been until then, did not force me in the least. They left the decision to me. I had not the slightest idea of what awaited me, but I decided instinctively, with my belly, that yes, that audition I really wanted to do it.
At the studio, when they called my name, I entered the recording room. Roberto Cenci was there. It was the first time I saw him. The impact was big because he has a very tough character and, he did not convey much sympathy at the first meeting. But the essential thing is that I start to sing: I wanted to be a little alone to think, you know. I had chosen ‘The Voice of Silence.’ I remember it perfectly. I was thirteen, the first audition was in November 2008 and, I already had this deep, baritone voice.”
And so, we have arrived at “Ti Lascio una Canzone.”
These were the guys’ beginnings, but the real beginning was when they stepped on the stage and sang “O Sole Mio,” and began their real Journey to Stardom.
Join me next week as I go back Through the Fields of My Mind and open the door to a new adventure!
There are various situations that can affect us in life, which we can find singular, rare or even unique. In 2009 happened, due to the combination of various factors, precisely one of these concentrations that not even elaborated by an expert alchemist would have been so perfect to create a union like the one that exists among the Il Volo boys.
One day, to go to a talent show in Rome, they left, completely unaware of what awaited them, two from Sicily and one from Abruzzo, more or less the same age, all three of provincial extraction, all three of modest families but respectable and respectful of the most important traditional values, and finally all three bearers of voices, although different, but of excellent quality for timbre, intonation and passion.
Precisely this exceptionality, this being different from all the others, immediately led them to a lightning career, something that never happened, an immediate contract with an American record company, triumphal tours around the world, applause and standing ovations. But this immediately involved a shared life for the three boys, who not only have three different voices, but also different personalities. As good as bread but sparkling Gianluca, funny and vibrant Ignazio, serious and perfectionist Piero.
A coexistence that could have been dangerous and even lead to a breakup, but having in common instead fundamental qualities such as the sense of duty, the kindness of soul and the ability to love, made possible for the three boys to find strength to stay together and gradually to esteem and amalgamate more and more, until they were united no longer by the need to travel and collaborate, but by a pure and disinterested friendship, completely free of rivalry and envy, by an ever deeper affection, to the point of no longer being friends, but brothers and to considering each other’s families as their own family.
In this they were also helped by the fact that the same type of collaboration, sincerity and affection had been established among their parents.
In short, a large family that found itself reunited in the greatest pain a few months ago when prematurely lost one of its members, Vito, Ignazio’s father. An Ignazio who, very courageous, in observance of the diktat “the show must go on”, wanted to participate in the Sanremo Festival, even in the days of deep mourning, in order not to harm his companions, even he metaphorized the pain presenting himself with his head almost completely shaved.
On that occasion, the brotherly love of Gian and Piero was evident to everyone’s eyes, their eyes did not leave their partner for a moment, ready to encourage him, to caress him, to make him feel their attention even with a simple touch of the hand.
The photo published here can be said to represent the allegory of this brotherly love, of this continuous attention: Piero, during the concert dedicated to Morricone, has just named Vito, to whom he dedicated, up there in Heaven, the historic concert they are concluding, Ignazio is deeply moved, tries to swallow tears, to mask his emotion with that sweet wonderful smile that is his habitual: his companions surround him, embrace him, make him feel their closeness, but what is surprising is that they too are breaking up in tears, Gian is about to burst, Piero in the photo is from behind, but if you have the patience to go and see the video, you can see how he too has his face in a crying attitude.
This is why at the beginning I was talking about a lucky situation, about a meeting desired by destiny : these guys had many blessings in their lives, their families first of all, then their voice and their beauty. But among them there is also this very positive character, the ability to be brothers, to rejoice and feel pain for the same things, in short, to love each other deeply.
Let me say writing about the concert the last two weeks has really been exciting! But “Where do I go from here?” So many amazing things happened! I keep going over it in my mind. I guess it’s time to move on but first I want you to listen to what the press had to say about the concert!
Andrea Spinelli from Quotidiano.net.
The idea of opening the concert with “The Ecstasy of Gold” directed by Andrea Morricone, while evoking Clint’s ice eyes …. turned out to be the most powerful opening of the gates of the Arena and brought it back to the center of the music.
Faces a little tense! Tense nerves, “our legs tremble, it is the highest and most important moment of our career” but in the voice of Piero Barone, Ignazio Boschetto and Gianluca Ginoble resounded all the determination of the event. A bit like in the “thrill” of “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly,” but without steaming Colts. Many emotions, which the American PBS network will bring back at some time to the audience overseas, to pave the way for the World Tour kicking off on March 18th from Radio City Music Hall. By then, the album, “Il Volo – a Tribute to Ennio Morricone,” scheduled for autumn, will also be in stores.
Another review from Quotidiano.net
In the Concert event “Il Volo- Tributo a Ennio Morricone” at the Arena the three young tenors made the heart of Italy vibrate with their first live on Rai 1…. Immediately the first standing ovation with “Nessun Dorma” from Turandot, but many others followed in a crescendo of emotions.
In the lineup there were many famous songs by maestro Morricone, or arranged by him, but also many classic songs of Italian and international popular music, from “Volare” to “My Way” to “Se Telefondo” to arrive at the successes that made Il Volo known all over the world.
The three also performed alone, each with their own vocal skills and peculiarities, from Gianluca’s pop with “Your Song,” to Piero’s lyrical skills with “No Puede Ser,” to the vocal power of Ignazio with “Listen.” Il Volo wanted to dedicate the concert to all those who did not make it in this year of pandemic, in particular Vito the father of Ignazio who recently passed away. For the audience, a surprise a single unreleased by the trio “I colori dell’amore,” written by Maestro Andrea Morricone.
“These have been difficult months. For a long time, we wanted to do a live broadcast but, we did not feel ready,” said the three. “Tonight, we realized a dream! I say never give up to kids and always chase your dreams.”
So that is the final word on the concert! It’s hard to move on but we must! But you never know, I may come back to it later.
I must say I received thousands of comments from the fan clubs around the world! The consensus was unanimous, “the most amazing event. The guys’ best concert ever!” I agree 100%!
Today, I want to respond to some comments, two, in particular, that come to me time and again.
Many of you have made comments or written to me and said I should write a book about the guys. I will but, not right now, I’m already writing a book and I can only work on one book at a time. But the idea of this brings me back to the guys’ book Un’avventura Straordinaria, La nostra storia, (An Extraordinary Adventure, our story).A great book! I know you’re going to say it’s in Italian and you don’t understand it. Many people have asked me why I don’t translate the book. Simple, it’s not my book to translate. If it were, I would certainly translate it because it is a book everyone should read. It’s not just about their extraordinary voices it’s also about their extraordinary lives. Their beginnings! Their great values! Their amazing families who made great sacrifices for them. This is not just their story it is the story of their families who had to change their lifestyles in order that their children could go around the world and bring joy to millions of people! Extraordinary yes but, not just their adventure, it’s also their family’s adventure!
And what an adventure it was! From their performance at Ti Lascio una Canzone, where they shared the stage with some of the greatest names in the Italian music industry to that moment when they sang together for the first time “O Sole Mio” and changed their lives forever!
From the Italian shores to the American stage these young men have revolutionized the music industry! They reached into the past and brought forward music that was long gone. Italian Classics! True Neapolitan classics! Amazing Arias! They presented to the American people an old but new way of listening to great music! They captured the hearts of all generation. Teenagers, parents, grandparents!
They came to America and found themselves performing with some of the greatest entertainers in the world! Entertainers who were in awe of these three teenage boys. Just amazing!
As many of you know, I wrote excerpts from the book. I took the original book which consisted mostly of dialogues and short stories between the guys and changed it to a narrative so you could truly appreciate their stories. (If you go to my Facebook page, you can read many of these stories.)
In the story, I acted as the narrator leading you from one story to another, always allowing the guys to tell the story in their own words. After a while, the guys took over (as characters usually do in a story) and carried me along on their journey. A very exciting journey!
What did I find out about the guys in this book?
I found out that Piero is an excellent storyteller. When he tells you a story, he includes every little detail so when the story is over you know everything there is to know about that story.
I found out that Ignazio is an excellent writer. (As is evident in his song writing!) He is the only one who wrote his story. Ignazio is very articulate. His words just flew off the pages. Because of this, his story was the easiest to edit.
As for Gianluca I was surprised to find out he was such a romantic. Everything that is important to him is a passion. He invests himself in what he loves and believes in: Family, Music, Country and Soccer!
I have read the book about 10 times. Going back and forth from Italian to English to be sure that the facts I had were correct. I have edited other books but this one was truly an exciting adventure for me because the characters meant something to me.
Let me give you some final thoughts I had about this book. This story truly was as the title suggested “an extraordinary adventure” about three young boys, child prodigies, who travelled the same path but started in different places: Naro, Bologna and Montepagano. I often think how it is possible that three amazing boys, with three extraordinary voices, that complement one another, wound up in the same place, at the same time, in history. My only answer is divine intervention. God had a plan and what a plan it was! He gave us three voices that would stay with us for a long time and certainly for me till the end of my days.
Another comment that caused a lot of back and forth, between the fans, within the column this week was something that I have dealt with in my stories but, it seems some of you have not read, are new to the group and don’t known about or just need some explanation for.
The question was “Why does Gianluca start every song?” He doesn’t, but in essence he does start most songs. One woman thought Gianluca sings first because he won Ti Lascio una Canzone. They all won Ti Lascio una Canzone! In order to say one won over another, they would have to have the same voices. Well, we know there are three different voices ~ a baritone, a tenor and a spinto tenor. Yes, they did come in first, second and third but, they all won because the end result was the biggest prize of all ~ becoming Il Volo.
Now for why Gianluca sings first, I need to go back to my story from April 6, 2020 “To Talk About Our Guys – IL Volo” which was the first article Flight Crew published by me. I have written about this on numerous occasions but, it needs to be said again especially for those new to the group. (You can read this full story “To Talk About Our Guys – IL Volo” on www.ilvoloflightcrw.com)
Like most of you, I spend a good deal of my day listening to these three amazing guys sing and, at one point, I said maybe I should do a review of what’s been going on in their lives for the last 10 years.
Let me start by saying these three young men are extraordinary! They are remarkable, exceptional, persons. And, they have revolutionized the music industry. Let’s take a look at each one.
Gianluca is known as the Velvet Voice! I don’t who coined the phrase but, that is right on. Let’s use our senses to understand what that means. Take a piece of velvet and hold it in your hand. Now take your other hand and gently pass your hand across the velvet. What do you feel? You feel a smooth even surface that is crisp with no breaks in it. The sensation is so good that you automatically go back and do it again. And every time it’s the same. It’s pleasing!
Now take Gianluca’s voice, let the notes pass into your ears, what do you hear? A crisp, smooth, even voice with no breaks in it. The note barely passes into your ear and, you are going back for the next note. It’s always pleasing!
Gianluca is a lyrical baritone. He is exceptional because he can sing from the lowest to the highest note in the baritone range. Most baritones are limited in range. Gianluca’s voice is huge. He has a very rich chest resonance which creates a feeling of depth and drama in his voice.
A baritone voice is very romantic, very pleasing to listen to and is always inviting. Most songs are written for baritones. Gianluca starts, almost, every song. Why? In order for a song to be received well you must draw your audience into it. Gianluca’s voice draws you in in a romantic way and you hang on to every note. He can mesmerize you with a song but, when he sings, ”She’s Always a Woman”, he takes your breath away. The highs, the lows, the emotion, the expression. His voice expands like nothing I ever heard before. He has total command of the song. You walk away with your senses lifted to another level.
Let’s talk about Ignazio, who I call the bridge. He is a lyrical tenor. He, like Gianluca, is exceptional because he can sing from the lowest to the highest note in the tenor range. And God knows he can, easily, hit that high C. Waiting for it and knowing it’s going to happen is so exciting!
A lyrical tenor has a warm graceful voice which is bright and strong but not heavy and it can be heard over an orchestra. Ignazio’s voice is smooth, clean and clear, with an acute extension. His voice has the ability to increase the baritone voice of Gianluca while softening the spinto tenor voice of Piero.
In the aria “Una Furtiva Lagrima” from L’elisir D’amore, Ignazio grabs you and draws you into the song. He makes you feel the innocence of Nemorino’s love for Adina. In his dedication to Pino Daniele, you hear an interpretation that is emotional and a delivery that is so amazing that you get the sense that Daniele wrote his songs for Ignazio.
And finally, Piero.Piero is a spinto (meaning pushed) tenor. A spinto tenor has the brightness and height of a lyric tenor, but with a heavier vocal weight enabling the voice to be “pushed” to dramatic climaxes with less strain than his lighter-voice counterparts. His voice is warm, graceful, bright, and can be heard over an orchestra. Piero has a powerful voice that easily reaches the higher notes. Every note that comes out of his mouth reaches us with such intensity and remains with us for a long time. It’s the voice that reaches out to you and demands your attention. Think of him singing the beautiful aria, “E lucevan le stelle” from Puccini’s, Tosca. From the first note Piero pierces your soul! His passion comes through in his music. Arias are very dramatic and Piero brings all the drama of the aria into his performance. Always a showstopper!
Now let’s put the voices together.
Gianluca starts most songs because he is a baritone and most songs are written for baritones. As I mentioned he draws you into the song. Gianluca will sing (in most cases) to Ignazio and Ignazio to Piero. This is how the three voices become one. Select one of their songs. Now close your eyes and listen to them sing. What can you say about this song? You can say, that is Gianluca or Ignazio or Piero singing. In the progression of the song, you hear the voices blend to form a symphony for your ears. Their voices are very distinct.
I use the word symphony for their voices because they are like a symphony orchestra. They blend. So, think about an orchestra. You have violins, flutes, cellos, piano, any number of instruments. But what makes it an orchestra in particular a symphony orchestra? It’s how it all comes together. If you just had violins or flutes or any one instrument regardless of how many there are, they wouldn’t work alone. They need to come together for the orchestra to perform the symphony.
They are a symphony because their voices blend together just as the instruments in an orchestra blend together to form a symphony!
Most groups sing and you hear just a song but with Il Volo you are surrounded by voices. And the individuality of their voices entices you and it stays with you.
Think of what Piero says when he introduces one of the solos, “After we were together a while, we realized we had three different voices.” He wasn’t saying that they suddenly found out they had different voices, he was saying we are three voices and one soul but we need to show you those voices individually.
Add to this what Ignazio had to say about recording a song, “….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.”
So, in fact, those takes are specifically for each voice ~ Baritone, Tenor, Spinto Tenor.
And so, we come full circle with the voices, how they are put together and how they are recorded.
We leave you with thoughts of the Reviews, the Comments, theAMAZING Voices!
In closing, I would like to wish Piero a very Happy Birthday!
Join me next week as I go back Through the Fields of My Mind and open the door to a new adventure!