Tag Archives: 10 Year Anniversary

IL VOLO ON THE ROAD TO PBS by SUSAN

Nine years ago, PBS introduced America to three teenage Italian boys, Il Volo.
Piero, Ignazio and Gianluca grew up on PBS. From their first concert on October 27, 2011 at the Detroit Opera House, they won the admiration of the American people. These three teenagers stole the hearts of the American people and they continue to do so today. They have done 6 concerts with PBS over the past 10 years. Their last concert in 2019 in Matera, Italy was to celebrate their ten years together as Il Volo.
They introduced America to a new style of music. Operatic pop and classical music! A very different kind of music for teenagers. Il Volo’s aim was to show young people how good this music is. They won over the children, parents and grandparents. They were an immediate sensation. America fell in love with them.
On the Ninth Anniversary of Il Volo’s concerts on PBS, let’s look back at how they started on this road.
Over the last year I have shared Il Volo’s life story with you, their fans. Now it’s time to go back and see how they landed on this road. Let’s travel back in time to where it all began in Naro, Bologna and Montepagano!
Piero’s best memories as a child were his Sunday dinners with his family which included every family member from his great grandmother, Lina, all the way down to his cousins who were more like brothers and sisters. And he recalls summers in the countryside with his entire family. Piero says, “I swear they were perhaps the most beautiful days of my life, and I will never forget them.”
Let’s take a closer look at one of these stories.
Discovering Piero!
Piero’s discovery starts in the Garden of Pietro Ognibene’s (Piero’s Grandfather) house.  
As was his custom, Piero’s grandfather Pietro, would come out on the terrace every morning and find a cool place to sit. Pietro always had a recorder with him. He has been blind for many years and he uses the recorder to record music, recite poetry and compose songs. Piero says, “When I think back to the first images I have of him, he is sitting on the terrace in the country with a stereo in his hands.”
On this morning Piero is the garden on the Altalena, an old fashioned swing that is hanging from a mulberry tree, and on the terrace, Pietro is preparing to record a song. It’s just a little song. The song is only two lines and it is pure Sicilian. Pietro begins to sing. E lu suli talia, talia, talia. Sopra ‘sta petra luci ci duna, that is and, the sun, look, look, look, to this stone gives the light.
Piero recalls, “I was swinging on the swing, I was about four or five years old, I was really, very small. I listened to him a little and at a certain point, when he stopped singing, I started: E lu suli, talia, talia, talia. Sopra ‘sta pedra luci ci duna. What can I tell you? It just came out like that.”
His grandfather turned off the recorder and called his wife. Rina came out on the terrace and he asked her, “Unni è Piero?” (Where is Piero?)
She replied, “In Altalena” (He is on the swing)
Pietro asked, “Ma cu cantava? Iddru?” (But who was singing? He?)
She replied, “Eh, si.” (yes)
He told Rina to call him.
So, Piero got up and went to his grandfather. Pietro lifted him up and put him on the table next to the recorder and told him to “sing the song again.” Piero sang the song exactly as his grandfather sang it. He listened to Piero sing the song and then he made the decision to go to his friend Antonio’s house to record it.
Antonio a friend of Pietro had in his home what was called at that time a “recording studio”. It was not very big but, it did have a bigger stereo and a microphone. So, that afternoon they recorded Piero singing his grandfather’s song in Sicilian. But it didn’t stop there!
The meeting with Mimmo Riolo, in the Garden of the Riolo House.
The next day Pietro and Piero went to the countryside to the Riolo’s house. Piero’s grandparents had a country house and the Riolos were their neighbors. Pietro had a good relationship with Mr. Riolo, they were family friends. At the Riolo house, they all sat together under a carob tree because the air was always fresh under that tree. While the men talked, Piero ate prickly pears.
Pietro said to his old friend, “You know, Mimmo, yesterday I discovered that my grandson has a nice voice.”
Mimmo thought about it for a moment and came up with an idea. “I want Piero to listen to one of my favorite singers.”
Piero recalls, “And this is how I listened for the first time to Un Amore Così Grande by Mario del Monaco. And I learned it right away, but right away. My grandfather was very proud. And something told me the next day we would go to record Un Amore Così Grande at Antonio’s house.”
The day after they visited Mr. Riolo, they went to Anotonio’s house to record Un Amore Così Grande.
That evening the family met for dinner in the countryside, as was their custom, in the summertime.
In the Garden of Piero’s Grandparents House
This evening would be the beginning of Piero’s journey to stardom. 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.
On the Terrace of Piero’s Grandparents House
When they finished dinner, 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. 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!
In Ignazio’s story, I found out that he is an excellent writer. He is the only one who wrote his story. Ignazio is very articulate. His words just fly off the page. Ignazio’s mother says and I agree, “Ignazio is very serious and responsible.”
Let’s see how Ignazio views this time in his life.
Il Volo with Jim Masters and Lee Newton
Discovering Ignazio
Ignazio says, “My story is not a fictional story even if it seems to be one of those dreams that you never want to wake up from.”
Ignazio learns to play Nina’s piano
Ignazio remembers, “When I was three or four years old – I played with the piano my parents had given my sister, Nina. My mother says I was one years old when I played. Nina taught me to play Happy Birthday with one finger.”
Ignazio’s School in Bologna
Ignazio says, “I do not remember the first day of school, but I certainly did not take long to get noticed. If you’re thinking of scenes of me being put in the middle of the class to sing, forget it. I had a passion for music but, I had an even greater passion for pranks. I tell you, since I started talking and walking, mine was an escalation of agitation.”
Ignazio Joins the School Choir
With the passage of time, I found something good to do at school, that is, an activity that was able to hold my interest enough to prevent me from slipping into some disaster. I joined the school choir. I always liked to sing, to be ‘in the middle’ of the music. And more and more passionately I began to understand how to make better use of Nina’s famous pianola. I learned how to start the musical bases and flip through them. And that’s when I discovered La Donna È Mobile. I liked it so much that I sang with the base and invented words. I don’t remember the words but, it certainly was a song about Pavarotti. Having seen Pavarotti on TV, I knew he always had a big handkerchief so I would invent text and sing on the air La Donna È Mobile.
In 2004 at the age of 10, Ignazio’s family moved back to Marsala and opened a Pizzeria.
While the pizzeria grew, a passion grew within Ignazio. It was a passion for electronics and music.
Ignazio’s mother opens Pizzeria dei Desideri in front of their house.
In 2005 Pizzeria dei Desideri was completed and, within a few months Caterina already had regular customers and since the pizzeria was right in front of the house, when Ignazio sang, 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’s Meeting with Lilliana Andreanò in Marsala
Ignazio recalls, “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.
Ignazio says: “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 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 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), Ignazio 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. I thought a little bit and then I said to her: sometimes I even sing Con Te Partirò by Andrea Bocelli. I started singing and, when I finished Liliana told me: ‘Ignazio, this is your musical direction’.”
Ignazio continues: “From that first lesson I began to study songs like Il Mare Calmo Della Sera, Un Amore Così Grande and all those that came to mind, and I liked it. It approached that genre that was not lyrical, it was modern music but with something classic. With Liliana I found myself, very comfortable. We understood each other immediately because she is a sociable person, simple, as are all of us in my family.”
After several lessons, Lilliana proposed that Ignazio take part in a bullfight (competition) organized in Paolini.
Ignazio says: “I wasn’t completely convinced that I wanted to get on a stage. Until that moment I had only thought about singing, but I had never seriously thought that all that singing one day could bring me into the spotlight.”
Ignazio performs in his first Competition in Paolini
Ignazio says, “I was about to get on the bullfight stage. My legs were trembling, the butterflies in my stomach were no longer butterflies but crazy swallows.
I decided to participate with the song by Bocelli 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.
As to 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! Above all, Gianluca loved to sing. Music was his whole life! Gianluca said, “Singing makes me feel good.”
Discovering Gianluca
Garden of Gianluca’s house facing the beach of Roseto degli Abruzzo.
Gianluca says, “I am from the town of Montepagano, Abruzzo. To be precise, I grew up, in Montepagano, on a hill two hundred meters as the crow flies and ten minutes by road from the sea, and Roseto degli Abruzzi.”
Gianluca continues, “My life as a child seems so far away. I remember very little of my childhood! I’m not like Ignazio I was born and raised in Montepagano. I was traveling only with dreams. What made me dream? Music naturally. Dad and mom realized that I had something special in my voice when I started to sing at the age of three or four years.
Town Square of Montepagano
My parents 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, sitting around the bar table, were listening to this little boy with such a particular voice.”
Gianluca continues, “This was my first audience but, of course, I don’t remember it. My grandfather wanted me to study music, he always told me: ‘Gianluca, study the piano, study an instrument.’ I’ve never done it. It would be a dream to sit down on the piano and start playing and singing.” (Since this statement, Gianluca has studied piano and now he plays quite well.)
While his grandfather made him listen to classical music, Pavarotti and music from the Fifties-Sixties, his father made him feel Fabrizio De Andrè, Francesco De Gregori, Giorgio Gaber, Antonello Venditti and, as he grew older, he became more passionate about singing, including the great American classics, first of all, Frank Sinatra.
Gianluca says, “I never, never would have thought that…. I could make music my life. I only sang because it made me feel good. Then what happened? I do not know exactly, because everything happened very quickly.”
The phone call that changed it all!
“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.”
Each boy has now been set on the road to PBS so where did they go from here?
Over the years, each boy approached his musical education in a different way.
After his discovery in the garden, Piero embarked on a classical music education.  He began piano lessons at the age of 8. At 10 years old he joined the Little Singers of the Philharmonic Association – Santa Cecilia of Agrigento. And then he began the competitions around Sicily.
Ignazio continued his singing lessons moving on to other teachers as he progressed. He took three years of piano lessons. His relationship with Lilliana Andreanò continued. She advised him every step of the way right up to his audition at Ti Lascio Una Canzone which she convinced him to do. But I’m getting ahead of myself!
Gianluca, unlike Piero and Ignazio, never had a singing lesson or piano lesson. Gianluca joined the Piccolo Choir of Roses. At one of their events, he was discovered.
As you know, the three teenage boys came together on the Ariston Stage in Ti Lascio Una Canzone for the performance of O Sole Mio and stepped off the stage and embarked on the road to stardom.
They came in first, second and third. Gianluca, Ignazio and Piero. But the biggest prize was becoming Il Volo.
They signed a contract with Universal and recorded their first album.
In 2010 when they arrived in America, they took it by storm. After their performance on American Idol, they sky rocketed to the top of the Billboard charts.
What happened next? And, so, we arrive at PBS. But let me turn the story over to the guys. They will tell you about what happened after Ti Lascio Una Canzone.
“Spotlight” Producer Paul Larson just minutes before going on stage at Place des Arts in Montreal, Quebec spoke with the guys about their career after their performance on PBS. So, I invite you to watch this amazing video and listen to what the guys have to say about their beginnings and their future!

PBS Spotlight Video – Click Here

The guys have grown in their music and now they continue to bring their bel canto around the world.
We look forward to their 10th Anniversary with PBS. Stay tuned for more stories about Il Volo and PBS as we approach their 10th year of collaboration!

 

Credit to owners of all photos and video.

Il Volo’s Viva Las Vegas (Almost) By Giovanna

Today it is exactly seven months to the day, since I was supposed to see Il Volo in the US for the first time.  It would have been my third Il Volo concert.  As we all know, the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the last three shows of Il Volo’s 10th Anniversary USA tour.  The third of the cancelled shows was going to be the grand finale at the Pearl Theater at the Palms Casino in mid-March.

Since Il Volo was going to perform in Las Vegas, home of all Elvis impersonators, good and terrible, I was looking forward to how many Elvis songs they might do (“Surrender/Sorriento,” “It’s Now or Never/O Sole Mio,” “I Can’t Help Falling in Love with You,” etc.) 

Maybe they would even do a little Freddie Mercury, while playing around at soundcheck.  I understood a certain high tenor named Boschetto does that sometimes with backup harmony from the others.  And, of course, Il Volo appeared with “La Streisand” when she had a residency at one of the clubs on the Vegas Strip 10 years ago.  I thought they might do “Smile” as they did with her back then.

Strange as it sounds, I was also looking forward to hearing the guys do the scripted joke routine that they do repeatedly in English on American stages.  Even though it may be “old hat” to Americans who have been to multiple Il Volo concerts in this country, the well-rehearsed wisecracks and gimmicks in English would have been new to me.

You see, the only two Il Volo concerts I’ve ever been to were both in Italia.  The guys, relaxed and on their home turf there, didn’t do their usual routine, but instead did spontaneous jokes suitable to the locale.  For example, at the Lecce concert in 2019, Ignazio admitted he no longer had a fidanzata (girlfriend) and was “available.”  As an afterthought, he remarked that maybe he needed to find a nice Salentina girl from among the local Lecce young ladies. (They are very slender and very dark, and as a rule very beautiful.)  That caused a predictable response:  a flock of young Salentina girls, dressed up for the occasion, tried to rush the stage.  Igna didn’t seem to mind at all.  He seems to like to cause a disturbance, then take it all in stride, while the other two want to know “Ma cosa sta combinando, ora?” (What is he stirring up now)?

And of course, in Taormina, Sicily, when Ignazio started razzing Piero about his chopped off summer haircut, it was in Sicilian slang (which I won’t repeat here).  He was implying, with rude words, that Piero cut it himself.  If you know Piero, you know that his usual response to that kind of thing from Ignazio is, “Ma che te ne frega?” So, what do you care?  Actually, I thought Piero’s summer haircut looked fine.  Check out the picture below from Italy last July.  What do you think?

By the way, Piero does occasionally cut his own hair. During the period when he was in voluntary quarantine after first returning to Italy this March, I saw him video-chatting with Gianluca.  He proudly announced that he cut his hair himself, then lifted some of it with his fingers and showed the shorn part of the side of his head, where he nearly scalped himself bald with the razor.  Gianluca responded that he would never consider cutting his own hair.  His own hair has to be done expertly, because it’s so curly and unmanageable.  He said this with a completely straight face.  I couldn’t tell if he was serious.  With these guys, you never know.

But I digress.  As I said, I had never heard Il Volo do their scherzi (stage jokes) in English, and the Pearl Concert Theater in Las Vegas was going to be the place.  Of course, as we know, it didn’t happen.

I was excited about Las Vegas because I thought I was going to have three opportunities to see the guys up close and maybe visit for a minute or two.  As it was: 1) My ticket included something called a Meet & Greet.  At first I didn’t even know what that was.  2) I was signed up for access to the soundcheck before the show.  3) I was signed up for the Fan Faire get-together with the guys which is hosted in Las Vegas by Myron Heaton and Jeanette Giglio at the lucky Penny Café at the Palms Casino Resort, where the theater is, and where I was staying.  Three for three.  I thought I had hit the Trifecta.

I had already met Jana VandeLaare, of Flight Crew fame, by phone when we decided to share my apartment in the Palms Place for a few days around the show.  She kept me informed by text as soon as she started hearing murmurs that the boys might need to cancel this show and go right home due to COVID-19-related travel issues.  I was on board my flight from Denver and taxiing out to the runway, when I got her text that it was likely cancelled!  My mouth fell open as I squirmed with disappointment in my seat belt.  It was too late to do anything except go on to Las Vegas.

Yes, the heartbreak was final after I got to the Palms Casino.  Jana, who had cancelled her trip, asked me to go and confirm the cancellation at the theater box office as soon as I got there.  When I did, it seems that the theater people, God bless them, had no idea what was going on and did not have the inside info that Jana already had.  When I asked them about the show, the young desk agent I spoke to told me something like:

“The band is OK with it and it’s still on.”

He was wrong on three counts out of three.  Il Volo is not a “band;” they were not “OK with it” (performing in a close crowd during a viral epidemic); and it was not “still on.”

The theater’s delayed reaction to the facts had one nice side effect.  The staff was unable to remove the Il Volo concert advertisements all over the casino, theatre, hotel hallways, in-room televisions, and outdoor marquee.  Everywhere I turned for the next several days, including all night on my apartment TV, I saw this:

Although two out of three events were now gone, at least the Fan Faire people chose to have their get-together anyway.  It would be a good way for the fans still in town to get to visit with each other, even though there would be no Il Volo guys this time.

Until then, I had two days to myself in Las Vegas, but I don’t know how to gamble.  I’m an engineering geek, so I just had to visit the Atomic Testing Museum, and I’m a Sicilian Jew from “New Joisey,” so of course I had to visit the Mob Museum.  That place was so “familiar” to me it was almost funny.  More than once, while looking at some of the old photos of Sicilian-American and Jewish-American mobsters, I did a double-take, thinking I recognized one of my old relatives.

I used the time to talk to all the young people working at these places to promote Il Volo, and was surprised to find out how many kids were interested in opera and bel canto music.  That was a pleasant surprise, and not what I expected from hardened Las Vegas natives.

On Sunday before the Fan Faire I just had to do something Italian.  I jogged up to the Venetian Casino on the north end of the Strip, past Caesar’s Palace.  As kitschy and artificial as the place is, it still made me homesick for the “old country” as we used to call it.

I came across this singing toy dog who does “O Sole Mio” in alternating Italian and English (“It’s Now or Never”).  Do you suppose that was copied from you-know-who?  It was cute, but the tenor voice they recorded in the singing dog was not that great.  Jana later said the dog reminds her of Ignazio’s mustache. Have a look.

The singing gondoliers rowing guests all over the indoor canal were iffy, except for the older baritone.  He was impressive – a mature voice, dark and smooth.

This authentic Venetian gondola below is there for display only, and is not used in the faux canals.  The black paint job is traditional, and became law in the 15th or 16th century, to stop wealthier Venetians outdoing each other with their outlandish, gaudily-painted, plush luxury vehicles.  The seven arms on the white mast represent seven of the main islands of Venice.  The one arm facing backwards represents the Jewish quarter on Cannaregio.

At least the rock and pop music outside on the piazza was in Italian.  As I picnic lunched there, I recognized some of the modern Italian music I heard in espresso bars and on cab drivers’ radios the last two years in Sicily and Puglia, and also some Italian hip hop thing that I knew the words to.  I had heard Ernie and Gianluca singing it once when they were goofing around on Instagram.  Have you ever heard Ernie sing?  His voice is as deep as Gianluca’s baritone.

I ate below this bridge facing Las Vegas Boulevard.  It’s supposed to be a reduced-scale model of the Ponte di Rialto across the Grand Canal in Venice.  Except this one has a Walgreen’s Drugstore and fast-food chain next door.

Do you remember this view from below the Ponte di Rialto, half a career ago?  It was posted on the Flight Crew page some years back.  It’s the “same bridge” I photographed, but it has a better view in the foreground.

Here’s an update of the foreground – Venice has been undergoing restoration.

This view from the bridge isn’t bad either.  Las Vegas’ Venetian Rialto didn’t have anything like this.

The Fan Faire people turned out to be superb and sweet.  Thank you to Myron and Jeannette for having the dinner.  Myron, Jeanette, Linda, Diane, (and I’m sure I missed several others) all told me Il Volo stories.  I like Myron’s story best.  He had sent flowers to Italy when the Boschetto’s grandpa died. Assuming Il Volo was back on tour, he telephoned Nina Boschetto’s pizzeria, to ask her if the flowers had gotten there in time for the funeral.  When Nina couldn’t understand him very well, she asked him to wait until she could find someone in the pizzeria who understood English.  Guess who came to the phone to interpret for Nina?

The Fan Faire bunch took this group photo before we left.  I’m the Sicilian runt, the one whose head barely reaches above the sign.

The Las Vegas that didn’t happen was valuable despite Il Volo’s cancellation.  Without it, I would not have met Jana and Pat, the Fan Faire folks, and Daniela and the rest of the Flight Crew, and I would not have started writing to all of you.

I also came home all cranked up about helping in some way.  I understood we need to develop something akin to Fan Faire for when Il Volo next comes to Denver, whenever that will be.  It’s been several years since they’ve been here, so I’m hopeful that when touring eventually resumes Denver will be back on the schedule.  More importantly, I have heard the guys often say that their favorite concert events are where there are lots of young people.  We really need the next generation to catch their fire.  I repeatedly hear the guys say they want to and need to get in front of kids.  And we need to make their next trip to the mountains better than the last time.  Piero had an attack of cold-induced asthma on one trip, and Denver Airport nearly lost one of his suitcases (with his eyeglass collection) on another.

I’ve been learning my way around the music community here in Denver to create settings to get Il Volo in front of kids to give them more publicity among their own generation.  Folks that I know are involved in the University of Denver’s opera school, and their youth vocal program, who would love to hold something Italian and interactive between their vocal students, or their children’s chorale, and Il Volo.  I even started visiting with managers of Italian restaurants in downtown Denver, and found one who would love to host a Fan Faire-type event at their place near the Pepsi Center or the Opera House.  The Dante Alighieri Society (Italian language, food, and culture society) would probably spoil the Il Volo guys, feed them (knowing their allergies and special diets), and throw an Italian open sing-along complete with accordion and mandolin.  I can picture Ignazio, whom Gianluca calls “Il Canta-Cuoco” (the singing chef), taking over the Saint Anne’s parish kitchen.

I’m in the process of calling/emailing Barbara Vitale to ask her to put this in front of Piero, Gianluca, and Ignazio early enough for future planning, long before they confirm a new tour schedule.  Touring has to wait until post-COVID of course, but planning early won’t hurt.

If you are from any large city in the US, you probably have been to and have experience with Il Volo receptions and such.  We Denver folks can learn from you.  If you are from the Colorado Front Range, or even if you’re not but want to help, get in touch with me. Email me comments with ideas, contacts.  If you are from the old Denver Il Volo on-line fan club, tell me.  When the touring resumes, let’s don’t wait for an Il Volo event to appear.  Let’s create one.

Oh, by the way, Denver has already started doing something for Il Volo.  As of now, we have two synagogues praying for Alessandro Quarta’s complete recovery. Che Dio sia misericordioso e che la sua guarigione sia rapida!  May God be merciful and may his healing be quick.

Credit to the owners of all photos.

BILLBOARD INTERVIEW 2019 by Daniela

In the absence of any news, requests for translations continue.
Albertine, sent me a video of a small interview with Il Volo and Billboard, during the presentation of the 10 years CD.
During that time there were many interviews and I had not seen this one, I enjoyed listening to it and I think you will enjoy it too when you read the translation.
Good fun!

B = Music has been, is, and will be your life.
In 10 YEARS The Best Of, there are 19 tracks that you have selected, what were the criteria that made you decide to include these tracks, and, now, there were some tracks that were not chosen and that you regretted not to have inserted in the CD?
GIAN = We have chosen very carefully, what is our repertoire, it was not so difficult to choose the most famous songs in Italy and abroad, such as “Caruso” or an aria like “Nessun Dorma”, even unreleased songs such as “Grande Amore”. It contains our whole story, from “O Sole Mio”, which was our first single, when we were 14/15 years old, up to “Grande Amore” or “Musica Che Resta”. It is a choice of songs that represents us, I would say that it is our presentation, the identity card, even for those who do not know us, this is Il Volo.
B = You are the perfect evolution of what the Italian opera singers who preceded you were: Luciano Pavarotti and Andrea Bocelli, a sort of 3.0 version, pop lyric, which is a little bit what happened to pop music that has winked, to the world INDIE, to then merge together and obtain excellent results.
What do you think of INDIE music? Is there anything you particularly like? Have you ever thought about a further indie-lyric evolution?
IGNAZIO = Indian is good!
PIERO = We are trying to follow the path, the message, that Pavarotti tried to do in the past with the famous “Pavarotti and friends”, to bring the belcanto out of the theaters, and to the general public.
Andrea Bocelli has been doing it for many years. We are three young 24/25 year olds who do something different, we can say UNIQUE, we try to bring this musical genre, which is part of our culture and tradition, to our peers, there are those who do not know it, they may like it or not, however, in our opinion, everyone must know what was born in our country and not.
IGNAZIO = Regardless of whether you like it or not.
PIERO = Absolutely.
We respect all genres of music. As for the INDIE, we listen to all genres of music, respect them and try to learn a little from everyone.
B = Let’s retrace these 10 incredible years, which probably, if, at the beginning of everything, you had been told about the success you could achieve, you would have thought it crazy.
The last crazy thing, in chronological order, you have done is the exhibition in Panama in front of the Pope, on the occasion of World Youth Day, January 26.
Before that experience, can you tell me, each of you, a moment that has left its mark on you?
GIAN = I start because a good moment came to mind: one of the best moments was in 2014 winning the LATIN BILLBOARD, and this is one of the most beautiful things (looks Piero and Ignazio in the face to confirm) or not, or am I wrong ? Nice, or not it?
IGNAZIO = Yes, of course!
PIERO = By the way, we can tell a nice anecdote…… always telling serious things ….. right in that event, all three, which nobody knows, we had broken pants, below (and he marks in the groin).
IGNAZIO = I don’t remember we had broken pants.
PIERO = All three, all three had broken pants.
GIAN = NO, we don’t sing with broken pants.
PIERO = It was a very delicate material. Since before the event, we walked on the “red carpet”, the material was a little worn.
GIAN = It was slightly worn.
PIERO = It was slightly, quite worn out.
IGNAZIO = So what was the anecdote?
PIERO = Receive the prize with the pants with holes in them.
GIAN = But they weren’t holes.
PIERO = They had holes in them, trust me.
GIAN = Yours.
PIERO = No, those of all three.
IGNAZIO = But if you had holes in your pants, why did you have to think that mine were holes too?
PIERO = Because they had holes in them.
IGNAZIO = They were your pants with holes in them!
GIAN = Okay, but tell us what’s your best time?
IGNAZIO + PIERO = The pants with holes!
GIAN = Come on!
PIERO = No, there are many moments, but I believe that the moment lived with naivety, the one that while you are doing it, you do not understand what you are experiencing, is that of WE ARE THE WORLD for Haiti, with Quincy Jones, Lionel Richie, and all great American singers.
At that moment, we looked at each other and thought: “What are we doing here in the middle?”, however it was a good experience.
IGNAZIO = I celebrated my 17th birthday, on stage with Barbra Streisand, so …… that !!
PIERO = And at fifteen, you high-fived Steven Tyler on American Idol.
IGNAZIO = Yes
PIERO = And what did you do the day before?
IGNAZIO = What had I done ??
PIERO = It’s very funny, it still makes me laugh.
IGNAZIO = But you are strange, age hurts you.
B = Let’s talk about the tour, after you returned from Brazil, where you performed in front of tens of thousands of people,  you are ready, already in 2020, to restart with the North American Tour and you will perform in 11 countries, in places such as RCMH in New York, do you have something different in mind or some surprises to celebrate these 10 years in all these places?
GIAN = Surely we will strive not to repeat ourselves with our shows, and always do something new, it is clear, the repertoire is that, we certainly add some more songs, as we did in the DVD, adding classics, we also sing individually, everyone has the his space, we also sing in duet.
Maybe there will be some guests, as we had Alessandro Quarta guest on our tour this year, a great rock violinist, very strong.
We are working on this, even with the artistic or stage production, to enrich the show a little with many things.
B = During all these years, you have seen and visited many cities, thanks to your European and world dates. Many Italian artists have decided to move abroad, or to live there for several months a year. Is there a city that has aroused this feeling in you, or the love for your country is too much, so, will you want to stay here and have not thought about this thing? 
PIERO = It is difficult to choose a city outside of Italy. I could say San Francisco, but after a couple of months, I would definitely want to return.
IGNAZIO = It is difficult, I would never think of going to live outside Italy, I would like it as an idea, ……but I am more and more convinced,  that…. I live in Bologna and I love Bologna, today I came to Milan by car and thank you, that I live in Bologna because it is a city where you can move, without taking 40 minutes to cross the city.
GIAN = During the recordings of the first album, also of the second, we can say that we spent two years in Los Angeles, we lived for months in Los Angeles, and going back there wouldn’t be bad, or living in New York for a few months ….
IGNAZIO = You go there, then we meet.
GIAN = ….. to do a full immersion, not only for the language, which we now speak, but to experience New York, to experience a different city.
B = Guys like you, who in 10 years have conquered, and obtained what many artists will never obtain, how do they find new stimuli?
GIAN = Actually it is not true that we do not miss anything, maybe this is coming, but we have many goals, and still many dreams and desires. Also because so many things have happened, our life has allowed us to mature and grow faster, but it is clear that there are still many things, many dreams to be achieved.
PIERO = The desire to make music is great, apart from today we announced our new album, but above all the next events, the next concerts in Italy, we will sing on August 30th at the Verona Arena and September 4th at the Ancient Theater of Taormina (unfortunately both postponed for Covid) and on November 19th, we advise you not to miss our concert on Canale 5, Live from Matera.
B = Perfect, thank you very much and good luck for everything.
G + P + I = Thank you, die the wolf! (it is a way of responding to the phrase good luck)
Have you already seen and read this interview?
I know there is an automatic translator, but the words are often distorted, plus many of you can’t activate it.
I hope you liked it, and made you laugh with the squabble about broken pants!!
These guys are amazing! 😁😁😁
Daniela

Credit to owners of all photos and video.

FROM MONTECARLO TO SICILY by Daniela

Despite the period and the dangers of new lockdowns, in Monte Carlo, at the Opera, there was a concert of Il Volo.

The announcement had already been made for some time.

Here are Piero, Ignazio and Gianluca, reunited, as they fly to Monte Carlo.

We thank Gianluca for his videos!

Good guys, you are all wearing a mask, but it’s better to protect your eyes too, like Gianluca does!

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And here they are in Monte Carlo.MC 02

The concert is sold out (according to the Covid19 rules), as this nice article by Monaco Tribune writes, and which I translate for you.

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Monaco Tribune Article – Click Here

IL VOLO IN CONCERT IN MONTE CARLO ON AUGUST 14th

All seats are now sold out for the concert at the Opéra Garnier in Monte-Carlo in honor of the ten-year career of the trio that has become the pride of Italian music

After postponing the Italian stages, Il Volo returns to perform in the Principality for an evening of Monegasque elegance. Tickets sold at 283 euros each are now all sold out. The Monte Carlo Opera House, which is located in the casino complex, was designed by Charles Garnier, the famous architect of the Opéra Garnier in Paris, and seats 524 people.

The Best of 10 Years!

The tour is entitled “Il Volo – The best of 10 years”. Indeed, in 2019 the group celebrated ten years of career. Piero Barone, Ignazio Boschetto and Gianluca Ginoble met in 2009 during the TV talent show “Ti lascio una canzone”. They will become a trio, nicknamed “the tenorini”, even if, while Boschetto and Barone are tenors, Ginoble is baritone.

It was in 2015 that they confirmed themselves as ambassadors of the Italian musical tradition when, after winning the Sanremo festival with the song “Grande Amore”, the same singing event that revealed, among others, Eros Ramazzotti and Laura Pausini.

To celebrate their ten-year career, the group released the album “The best of 10 years” in 2019, with which it is preparing to kick off the new world tour, which started in Japan, touched Europe, North and Latin America and will not fail to stop in Monte Carlo for a memorable evening!

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There are rehearsals for the concert and our guys, like good professionals, are always there to optimize their performance.

As you can see from the next short video, the theater is really very small, a small chest, a treasure.

But here we are at the time of the concert.

Unfortunately,there are very few and incomplete videos, but even if we can see and hear very little, what we can get makes us understand that the boys are in excellent vocal and physical form!!

NESSUN DORMA – IL MONDO

MY WAY

IL MONDO – UN AMORE COSÌ GRANDE

Between one song and another, Piero Ignazio and Gianluca entertain the audience with some chat, but very nice things have also been said that I am now translating to you. Sorry I didn’t attach the video, but they can’t be viewed in the US.

Ignazio = We have always said that for us, singing for 10 thousand people or for 300 people is the same thing.

And today, now that we are OBLIGED to have smaller capacities (due to Covid19), we can really live what we said.

Piero = Because there is no such gap between audience and stage …

Ignazio = … it’s like we were in the family, (addresses the audience) and sometimes, you know, singing in front of a few people is more difficult than singing in front of a lot of people, the emotion is different.

Gianluca = Let’s say that, wearing masks, we don’t see your expressions, but we see your eyes, and we hope to fill you with joy. (applause)

GRANDE AMORE

 

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Here they are arrived at Palermo airport, the voice on the loudspeaker recommends maintaining the interpersonal distance of at least 1 meter and wearing a mask ………. good guys, observe the rules!!

But why did all three boys return to Sicily?

What other news is there?

We see from the photos published Gian and Piero in Selinunte, places full of history, will it be only for vacation???

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But then, we find Piero Ignazio and Gianluca in Polizzi Generosa, a Sicilian town, where the designer Domenico Dolce (D&G) was born.

Why are they in Polizzi Generosa?

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On 13 August was Domenico Dolce’s birthday and today, 16 August in Polizzi Generosa, is a Sunday of celebration, there are stalls and tonight, the film by D&G Devotion will be screened in the square and at the end there will be the fireworks.

Our boys will easily be present at the film screening.
It will be a good party, too bad not to be there!!

Here are some moments of the typical party in the streets of the small town.
How many people, there is no social distancing, beware guys!!

 

Well done,  you guys stay on Domenico Dolce’s balcony, away from the crowd.

What a great celebration, and the boys are so happy.

 

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Il Volo and Domenico Dolce, Music and Fashion at a high level. 💜

 

(Click on each photo below for a close up view.)

Here is the promo of the film at Polizzi Generosa.

 

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The fireworks at the end of the documentary film.

Your voices in Monte Carlo were perfect, and seeing you so happy in Sicily fills our hearts.

But we, who feel like yours, mothers, grandmothers, sisters, recommend you: “Stay safe.”

Daniela 

It is true that in Sicily the infections have been very limited, but why risk it? The Italian government, seeing the trend of the last days of the people in Italy, has again imposed, from August 17, the closure of discos and the obligation of the mask, even on the street from 06:00 pm until 06:00 am.

 

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This beautiful painting given to Domenico Dolce during his birthday party is made by Fabio Ingrassia.

Here’s what Fabio wrote on his fanpage:

“I made my first trousers when I was 6 with the help of tailors in my father’s tailor shop.”

This sentence was my starting point when they commissioned me a painting for Domenico Dolce.

I had to somehow represent a concept, stop for a moment, right where the magic was born, a child prodigy who for the first time discovered his world … those little hands sewed a dream that would soon become a fantastic reality!

Baroque and revolutionary like Caravaggio, traditionalist and elegant like Black and White. ❤️

THE CREATION oil on canvas 70×100

Thanks IL VOLO!

(Click on each photo below for a close up view.)

Wonderful work: Congratulations to Fabio Ingrassia! ❤️

 

Credit to owners of all photos and videos.

 

 

IL VOLO and FIAT 500 by Daniela

Lately we have seen several photos with Piero, Ignazio and Gianluca in the famous Italian micro car the beautiful FIAT 500.

Fiat 500

But let’s do a little history.

In July 1957 the FIAT (Italian Automobile Factory Turin) presented the 500, a very small utility vehicle with a two-cylinder engine and a maximum speed of 85 kilometers per hour.

The new car featured rounded lines, a 479 cc engine with 13 horsepower, a length of 2.97 meters, a sunroof in waterproof fabric, two front seats and a small bench behind. The price was 490,000 lire equal to approximately 13 salaries of an Italian worker of those times.

Over 4 million specimens were sold. It was the first car for hundreds of thousands of motorists. Of course, there was no shortage of special and sporty versions.

The production of this car ended in 1975.

At that time, the 500 car, for the Italians, represented having reached full autonomy, it was the dream after the house.

For this reason, even today, it is completely “venerated”, looked at with respect, remembered with affection by everyone, very small, but of great value, so much so that in recent years a larger version has come out that respects its forms .

These are the reasons why the 500 it is often used in images, because however it was a “status symbol” that made the history of Italy.

And here is why it is a pride to take a photo with the 500, because it expresses the “made in Italy”, as well as IL VOLO……. two Italian prides.

This is the reason why Piero, to sponsor the tour of his beautiful NARO, has chosen to be immortalized aboard a 500, which is also very suitable for traveling the narrow streets of Naro.

And here, Piero and his friend Dario, in front of Chiaramonte Castle of Naro, wants everyone to return to beautiful Sicily soon.

Reposted from @soulsicilytravel – After this sad period, we can restart visiting our lovely Sicily. We hope to see you soon!! ❤️ ☀️  

Here’s Piero driving the 500.

It is really a very small car, at that time it seemed completely normal, but to look at it now it is really very, very small.

Instead in this advertising spot, IL VOLO presents the new version of the 500. The shapes are the same, but certainly wider.

This was a commercial made to sensitize young people, so that they do not drive with the stereo at high volume (as often happens), because it could divert attention. To demonstrate this Ignazio, Piero and Gianluca take turns in the parking lots, with the other two singing loudly and the results are evident !!

To hear the unmuted version of this video, please – Click Here

Piero exults! The parking lot race is won by him!

I = (towards Gian who is disappointed) But why, did you think you had won?

G = No …… but …..

I = To you, the car has turned off 500 times.

G = But why are you going against me, celebrate for him (Piero)

I = Why he (Piero) is to be ignored!

P = I greet the small car (and he kisses the car).
Thanks Mom.

I = And anyway there’s something rigged here, and it’s not good (he jokes because he wanted to win the race).

G = I am the best!


Even at the announcement of the concerts for the ten-year career, Il Volo made a video with the 500.

Gianluca says: “For us it is a year of great celebrations, we are celebrating our 10 year career. We try to bear the name of Italy, with our music and our voices, as does the 500, it bears the name of the Italy in the world.”


I want to finish this post with a really funny video that gives a very important message and of course, it was made with the use of the little 500.

I will summarize the meaning.

We are in a Sicilian country, immediately after the end of the Covid pandemic.

Finally you can go out of the home, with the protections (masks). But resuming the normal course of life is not easy, (here represented by the car that cannot start), there is difficulty, people have not worked, there is no money.

So the sense is that if we all give help (people who help push the car), with difficulty, but the road (even that of life) is traveled.

In addition, the video enhances the beauty of the Sicilian land and what it offers, the song says to help and buy Sicilian products …. “instead of emigrating, we hoe our wheat, because the bread is bitter, if it is not Sicilian” ….. bitter bread is understood that if you are abroad you eat bitter bread, because you think of your distant land.

Really nice video and with a very important message, in which the 500 car did its important part !!

One last thought.

When I met my husband, he had a Fiat 500 car.
Good memories …. many years ago !!

Daniela

Credit to owners of all photos and videos.