Another year’s gone by! Another New Year’s Eve is arriving! I’m going to say what I say every year! This is my least favorite holiday! To me it’s a sad day because we remember all those who we lost over the years, and we think of them in a different way than we do on other days. We think that they left us too soon and over the last two years too quickly!
What made this year different? I’m going to say the same thing I did last year! You wake up every morning and turn on the news and no matter where you live New York, Italy, Germany, Russia, Australia, the news is the same – Wash Your Hands! Wear a Mask! Social Distance!
What do we all do on New Year’s Eve? We make resolutions. They usually last about a week and then it’s back to our old ways. But now we’ve forgotten about resolutions! For two year’s we are wrapped up in a world that refuses to go back to normal. No, I don’t buy the idea that this is the new normal. So, we find ourselves not saying what we are resolved to do but instead “When Will This All End???”
Those we left behind!
Then there’s the part of New Year’s that always brings to mind those who have left us! And that makes me so sad! This year, hundreds of thousands of people felt the loss of one person, Vito Boschetto. Yes, we all remember the announcement that shocked us! We had no idea he was ill and then he was gone.
We watched Ignazio step on the stage at Sanremo and courageously sing “Your Love,” and we all cried. It seems strange that so many people had the same reaction, but it goes back to what I’ve been talking about these last three weeks, “Family.” As we watched our guys go from amazing teenage boys to handsome young men who are phenomenal entertainers, we saw a transformation. Three strangers who stepped on a stage in 2009 are now three very handsome young men but more importantly they are, “Brothers!”
And as to their families, they went from three families to one. When we saw the boys, we saw the parents. Such an unusual situation! This led us to open our hearts to their families and thus we all became one, “Il Volo Family!”
When the news of Vito arrived, we immediately thought of Ignazio and how tragic it was to lose his father at such a young age. But we also learned something about Ignazio, and I think Piero said it best when he said he set an example for all of us with his courage.
When Ignazio stepped on that stage at Sanremo we had no idea how he or the guys would react. There were tears but above all there was a phenomenal performance to honor Vito. Ignazio knew this is where his father wanted him to be.
Mr. Boschetto was a man who worked very hard for his family. He was a mason, a brick layer. He worked at this job right up to the last days of his life. Ignazio would tell you that his mom and dad had worked at many jobs, and they tried to learn any trade, just to earn some extra money for the family.
This is what Ignazio had to say about his parents. “Is it the same if the images that I will never forget are …. the memories of my parents? It’s not that I’m crazy or strange, it’s right that my story would never have existed without my parents …. Of sacrifices they have made many and, big for me and for my sister but, more so for me. I do not spend a day when I do not think about how proud I am of them.”
In July 2004 when the family moved back to Marsala. Caterina’s dream was to open a pizzeria and Vito’s dream was to make Caterina’s dream come true. Every day for one year, when Vito returned from worked, he built the pizzeria. Every free moment Ignazio had, he worked alongside his father so that his mother could realize her dream. A year later the pizzeria was completed, and this led to another dream, Ignazio’s discovery and Ti Lascio una Canzone.
Since Ignazio was underage when he started to tour, he had to have a parent with him. The traveling was shared by his parents. When Vito returned from a tour he would return to his work. He never tried to make his life easy. What he did, he did for his children and would only accept their love in return.
What can I say about Vito? Vito was a simple man! A humble man who taught his children to be kind and humble and to live lives that they could be proud of.
It is not every man that passes through this life that can say he was able to fulfill his son’s dream. A dream that would bring him fame.
Vito we will all miss your presence at the concerts because you are a part of our Il Volo family, but you will be missed by Caterina, Ignazio and Nina every day of their lives but especially at this time of the year when our thoughts go back to the people who left us over the years!
He is gone but the memories never go away especially when they are moments that Ignazio shared with his dad as they traveled around the world together!
Certainly, there were many ups and downs this past year but what the guys did really made up for all the lost concerts! So, let’s move forward to the successes of the past year!
To understand what happened, we need to go back to the guy’s final performance for 2020, their mini-Concert at Piazza Pio XII on Christmas Day. And here the guys sent us their final greeting for the year!
Gianluca: On this special day when we all feel close from afar, we wanted to find a way to wish you all happy holidays.
Ignazio: And we did so in the way that best suits us, through music from this gorgeous square where we feel like we are enveloped in a welcoming embrace.
Piero: We hope this holiday season may bring a smile to your homes and warm your hearts. On this “Oh holy night” we wish to dedicate every single note and every single word to you all.
Then came the announcement that they would pay tribute to Ennio Morricone with a Concert in Piazza Pio XII next June 5th! Unfortunately, because of Covid and the fact that perhaps upwards of one million people would attend, it was decided that the performance would not take place at Piazza Pio XII instead it would be at the ancient Arena of Verona!
And then the journey began from Melpignano to Verona and beyond!
“La Notte della Taranta”, is one of the largest Festivals in Italy and one of the most significant manifestations of popular culture in Europe. The final concert of La Notte della Taranta, has had as many as one hundred and fifty thousand spectators in the past. It takes place in Salento, in the municipality of Melpignano, at the esplanade of the former Augustinian Convent specifically for the rediscovery and the enhancement of traditional Salento music. It is not limited to traditional music. It also allows for rock, jazz and symphonic music. This year’s host was Albano, a native son of Apulia, and his special guests where Il Volo.
Listen to the voices of our guys coming alive backstage! It’s a calling! “Who sells olives.”
Meanwhile Albano awaits their arrival on stage. He tells us about the song. It is from the region of Apulia, the region where he was born. He says, “It reminds me of the autumn song. It is the November song.”
November is the time of the olive harvest, and a man would always pass with a cart of olives to sell to the people. Albano and Ignazio sing a phrase in the Apulian dialect (“Who has olives, I have to buy them.”) Albano said when Modugno sang in the Apulian dialect he was very proud of him. Ignazio said, “So let’s hope, with this next song we will sing, you will be even more proud of your land.”
And then the awards began.
The 78th Filming Italy Movie Awards
In the afternoon the guys attended the award presentations where they were presented as winners of the 78th Film Italy Movie Awards. Upon exiting the building, they were interviewed by an unknown man…
Man: This is not Sanremo, this is the cinema exhibition!
PIero: But it seems a little like Sanremo, we meet, all familiar faces.
Gianluca: We are preparing a very ambitious recording project which is a tribute to maestro Ennio Morricone. We had the opportunity to collaborate with Vittorio Storaro in a music video, so we are here in the company of a great master of cinema, Vittorio Storaro.
Ignazio: He chose our voices for a tribute of the video of “Your Love,” which is shot in the Frasassi Caves, and therefore it is beautiful, this is not the first time we come here. It is always a beautiful atmosphere. Venice is a place that is stupendous.
So, let’s go back to the ancient Arena of Verona and the Seat Music Awards.
Prior to the guy’s performance, the stage was set up with multi color lights and when the guys arrived on stage, I think they were even surprised. The stage was lit as it was for last year’s performance. Very simple, very plain but what was going on in the audience was a totally different story. All phones were lit up. It was magic.
They stepped on stage in their beautiful but informal all black attire. Elegant in its simplicity!
As they came face to face with the audience, I could see the emotion in their faces.
Look at how these people love them and how they love their fans!
The DIVA Award
Then Carlo Conti presented the guys with their DIVA award
Carlo said, “I seriously read the inscription: Arena di Verona Award for Il Volo, for the tribute project to Ennio Morricone, represented with great success right here at the Verona Arena, live on RAI1, and for the over 10 years of career, which led them to be known and appreciated representatives of Italian music in the world.”
This song is slowly becoming a signature song! A song that reminds us of sadness but brings us to a new and exciting time in the lives of our guys! It’s as if Vito left them a final gift, a new and exciting adventure in their lives. It is the song that will lead the way in their new tour around the world. Always before them will be this song and the movie which has already and continues to make its mark in history!
And then on Christmas Eve!