It’s December 26th and I am sitting at my desk putting together my last story for 2022! So much has happened this last year that it is so hard to decide where to start!
They let us loose from our houses and we all moved forward quite quickly. No one more so than our guys! They were everywhere! And, as the year comes to a close, they already have the South America concerts in place for 2023!
As New Year’s Eve approaches, we think about the past. What do we do on New Year’s Eve? We always made resolutions but, now we’ve forgotten about resolutions! Our world has changed over the last two or so years! We look at life differently now! What was good about these past few years? We had the perfect opportunity to spend time with our families and find out who they really are and, I must say it left us all the better for it. Many of us got closer to the ones we love. Family! It’s so important! God had a good plan! Stay home and love your family!
I guess it wouldn’t be New Year’s if I didn’t start by saying 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 few years too quickly!
So, Another Year is Over but let’s stop for a moment and take a step back before we move on to 2023….
2022 ~ A year in review! What have we gained and what have we lost?
Let’s begin with the great loss for Piero.
When I wrote about this great loss, I started by saying, “Pietro Ognibene…. was a great discoverer! No, he didn’t discover lands or the cure for anything, he discovered something even better; he discovered Piero Barone!”
When we heard the news that Mr. Ognibene had died, we immediately felt the loss because he is a man we are all familiar with and he played an important role in Piero’s life. In fact, Piero would probably not be a singer today if it had not been for this man.
Piero recalled the story of how he was discovered in the guys’ book, “Un’avventure straordinaria, la nostra storia”….
Picture this, in front of the terrace there was a typical swing from the past hanging from a mulberry tree. One morning, my grandfather sat in a cool place on the terrace with his faithful stereo next to him. He enjoyed the peace of the countryside. And, then he sang a song that I believe, he had made up: ‘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.’
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 stops 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. My grandfather turned off the recorder and stood there on the balcony: imagine the terrace and the swing right there in front of you and he says loudly to my grandmother:
‘Rina, veni ca’ (Rina come here)
‘Chi è Pitri?’ (What do you want Pietro?)
‘Unni è Piero?’ (Where is Piero?)
‘In altalena’ (On the swing)
‘Ma cu cantava? Iddru?’ (But who was singing? He?)
‘Eh, sì.’ (Yes)
‘Chiamalo’ (Call him)
So, this is where Piero’s musical journey began! He grew up breathing the musical environment that has surrounded him since the age of 5. We are all grateful to Mr. Ognibene for his great love of his grandson. Because of him, we have the great pleasure of listening to this amazing tenor who grows more and more amazing each day!
These were Piero’s final words to his grandfather….
This is for all the times I turned, and you were close to me.
For all the stages I went up hoping to find you underneath listening to me.
For all the days when I couldn’t, and you made me find the strength to continue.
For all the joys we have shared and the hardships we have shared.
Because even if it seems incredible, it was you who showed me that all of this really could come true!
So, we all bid you “Farewell Mr. Ognibene.”
Let’s move on to what made this year different. Certainly, some amazing achievements by our guys.
In June, the guys and their families had the great honor of being invited to the World Meeting of Families.
The Festival of Families was held in Rome on Wednesday, June 22, 2022. The 10th edition of the World Meeting was an event that was entitled “The Beauty of the Family.” The guys performed for the event and along with their families, gave witness to the beautiful events that made their families who they are. Their lives show that even when you find yourself in difficult situations, you can work through anything with love and understanding.
This is what the guys had to say about being invited to the event….
Gianluca: We are excited to come to Papa Francesco’s house. Hello everyone! We are very happy and excited to come to Pope Francis’ house and celebrate together with the families of Rome, families of the world and our families.
Piero:On that day we will witness to the importance of the strength and support of our families in our lives.
Ignazio:I come personally with my mother and my sister.
Piero:I will bring, Mom, Dad, my sister Mariagrazia my brother Francesco and I can’t wait to be able to hug Papa Francesco.
Gianluca:I will come with my family, we are numerous, but the best thing is that I will be able to bring my grandfather Ernesto who, at the age of 88, will be able to shake hands with Pope Francis. These are the most important things, the most beautiful emotions in life, like a mother who is a refuge, a father who is a guide, and this is really the importance of the family.
Ignazio:In all these years we have always reiterated how important our family is and they will always be important for us and for our careers, like a lighthouse in the middle of the ocean, a meeting point at this moment with them. We are really happy to be able to share this moment with them.
Piero:In addition to our families, we will also bring our music.
After the event, I wrote…. Where do you begin to tell the story of three child prodigies who have brought so much joy to people around the world with their wonderful voices. It’s simple you start with the families! And this week the families have received their reward for all they have done for their families and especially for their three incredible sons!
This was a great honor for our guys and their families! So well deserved! Congratulations to all the Families!
I said the guys were everywhere and they certainly were….
The concerts were in Italy, Europe, Japan, Canada, the United States and Australia! All the concerts were phenomenal!
They started the concerts by showing up in white tuxedos! My first reaction, SHOCK! But then I must say when the shock wore off and I saw them in person, they were drop dead gorgeous!
So, they started by shocking us in white tuxedos and ended by shocking us in their dazzling tuxedos. Talk about gorgeous!!!
And what’s a concert without one of Ignazio’s special performances. “Ignazio the Disco Ball.”
The guys returned to Disney World after 8 years for Disney’s Magical Holiday Celebration 2022
What have we gained in 2022….
Now it was time to give us something we’ve been waiting for, for a long time, a new book….
Il Volo “Quello Che Porta Nel Cuore” ~ “What I Carry in My Heart”
This beautiful book brings us up to date on all that’s happened since they wrote “Un’avventure straordinaria, la nostra storia” ~ “An Extraordinary Adventure, Our Story.” Sorry the book is not in English, but we can hope that someday they will translate it!
And if that wasn’t enough, they surprised us with a new Christmas song, “Happy Xmas.” (War is over). Written by John Lennon and Yoko Ono. The song was launched as a Christmas gift for the fans. Thank you, guys!
So how do you end such an amazing year? By doing another concert, of course! But not just any concert, a concert in the Holy Land to honor the Birth of the Christ Child. A Christmas Eve concert that had people in Italy glued to their TV’s for 2 ½ hours. I know I was glued to my TV!
To see the entire concert with English subtitles, go to Danielas’ post here in Flight Crew “Natale a Gerusalemme” by Danilea,
This is what “AllMusic Italia,” had to say about it:
THE NIGHT OF THE TELEVISED CHRISTMAS EVE MARKS THE TRIUMPH OF IL VOLO WITH THE CONCERT FROM JERUSALEM
Il Volo in concert in Jerusalem for the night of Christmas, an event broadcast on TV in the early evening of Canale 5, has conquered the public and made excellent numbers in TV ratings.
Piero Barone, Gianluca Ginoble and Ignazio Boschetto performed under the Tower of David in the Holy Land going to interpret beautiful Italian and international songs, including Happy Xmas (War is over) by John Lennon and Yoko Ono, a song launched as a Christmas gift for fans in recent weeks.
The concert broadcast on Canale 5 was produced by the manager of Il Volo, Michele Torpedine. Let’s find out the numbers of the television success of the event. “The Christmas Flight in Jerusalem.”
The three artists glued on TV, from 21:31 to 23:59, as many as 3,169,000 viewers with an average share of 23.6%.
And, in truth, it was a very beautiful, very emotional concert! Thank you, guys!
And so, we come to the Picture of the Year 2022.
Every year I say this year will be different. This year it will be someone else’s picture but, who am I kidding! We know who it is, who it always is? But before I tell you which picture won; I have to tell you that I had a different picture in mind for quite some time. It was a picture of one of the fans who nearly knocked Ignazio over. I actually think he was overwhelmed. I was so sure this was the one then…. BOOM! It was knocked out of the box! Why, because you never know when one of Ignazio’s friends is going to show up!
Picture of the Year 2022
They say, “A picture is worth a thousand words” and I could certainly write a 1,000-word essay on this picture, but I can sum up this picture of Ignazio and his friend Nicola in five! That’s what friends are for!
So, now I leave you now with the words I left you with last year!
Every morning when I get up, I sing. What do I sing? “Smile!” Is it because of the guys? Well, I certainly love when the guys sing “Smile,” but no, I’ve been singing this song since I was a child because….
I believe no matter what happened yesterday, today has the possibility to be better, so, “Smile, just Smile.”
This year, I’m dedicating this final column to the fans. “I’m thinking about the smile on everyone’s face the day they unlocked their doors and set their lives in motion again! That day we took a step backand leaped forward into the new world! And now “Another Year (Is) Over, and (soon) A New One Just Begun!”
To all the fans let me say, never stop smiling! I recently said to a friend, “Always be happy! Happiness is the one thing that never goes out of style and never goes away if you keep it in your heart!” Keep happiness in your heart today and always!
A Happy New Year to All the Fans!
And from myself, all the staff at Flight Crew and all the Fans we wish you guys a very Happy New Year filled with many new Adventures!
We also wish all the Il Volo Family including Michele Torpedine, Barbara Vitali and all the crew that work so hard to bring us the best productions a very Happy New Year!
And I wish my personal crew in Italy. Alessandra Torma and Stefi Bonometti (the ladies who prepare the pictures for my stories) a Happy New Year full of love and joy!
See you in 2023!
I thought you might like all the lyrics to the song….
Happy Xmas (War Is Over)
So this is Christmas And what have you done Another year over And a new one just begun
And so this is Christmas I hope you have fun The near and the dear ones The old and the young
A very Merry Christmas And a Happy New Year Let’s hope it’s a good one Without any fear
And so this is Christmas For weak and for strong For rich and the poor ones The war is so long
And so happy Christmas For black and for white For yellow and red ones Let’s stop all the fight
A very Merry Christmas And a Happy New Year Let’s hope it’s a good one Without any fear
And so this is Christmas (war is over) And what have we done (if you want it) Another year over (war is over) And a new one just begun (now)
And so happy Christmas (war is over) We hope you have fun (if you want it) The near and the dear ones (war is over) The old and the young (now)
A very Merry Christmas And a Happy New Year Let’s hope it’s a good one It’ a good, it’s a good one Without any fear
And so this is Christmas (war is over) And what have we done (if you want it) Another year over (war is over) And a new one just begun (now)
Join me next week as I go back Through the Fields of My Mind and open the door to a new adventure!
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We understood why Gianluca, Ignazio and Piero chose the name Il Volo, (The Flight) because they are always traveling by plane, they move here and there, from one continent to another, who knows how many hours of travel they will have accumulated, really a lot.
And in fact, the photo posted on Instagram by Gianluca tells us that they are flying to Brazil.
But what are they going to do in Brazil? There has been talk of a private event, but surely they also participated in a TV show: São Paulo with Patricia Poeta where they promoted the new dates of the 2023 South American tour.
In the first video, Patricia presents Il Volo and they perform a song from Il Mondo a capella.
In this second video, Patricia tells the story of Il Volo, how they met in a talent show, she says they are two tenors and a baritone and they sing pop-opera.
It is almost always Ignazio who replies in Portuguese, he says that it is a great responsibility for them to sing their musical genre because they want to make it known to the new generations who may not know it, and Ignazio explains that they try not to lose the music of the tradition that is part of Italian culture.
Patricia compliments Ignazio who speaks Portuguese.
Gianluca greets Paula Fernandes, with whom they recorded GRANDE AMORE, then they talk about the 4 tour dates that will be done in Brazil in 2023 and at the end they sing GRANDE AMORE.
In this video Il Volo and Paula Fernandes :GRANDE AMORE.
And here are the four dates announced during the show:
March 8 and 9 – Sao Paulo
March 11 – Rio De Janeiro
March 17 – Porte Alegre
March 18 – Curitiba
A couple of photos taken in Brazil.
In the meantime, the dates of the book signing events have been confirmed here in Italy, here they are:
A book to read and listen… with the heart 🎵
🚀 The guys from Il Volo meet the fans for the presentation of the book “Il Volo. What I Carry in my Heart”, published by #RaiLibri
⏰ December 14 Feltrinelli Turin, Piazza CLN, 5.30 pm, Turin ⏰ 16 December Mondadori Megastore, 5.30 pm, Milan ⏰ 21 December Librerie.coop, 7.30 pm, Bologna ⏰ December 22 New Europe Library I Granai, 5 pm, Rome
………..and I will be in Milan!!!!☺☺☺
In addition, this nice and fun interview has been published which I translate for you.
Il Volo: Our selfies with Lady Gaga. Sharon Stone a true friend. The fans who try? Many
Who is it of the three who said “Hello!” to the Pope? Name out.
Piero:Who do you think did it? Huh?”
Gianluca:Okay, I confess it. But in 2014 I had just come of age, emotion betrayed me. However, His Holiness answered me “Hello”, as if nothing had happened. At the third meeting, in Panama, in 2019, I even asked him for a photo together. Done”.
Piero:I swear that in a few years I will write a book about our embarrassing moments .There are also those who, at the hearing in St. Peter’s Square, fell asleep behind sunglasses, next to Lewis Hamilton… right Ignazio?
Ignazio:“I woke up at 3 and a half in the morning to arrive in Rome at 7, I was destroyed, and my eyelids closed.”
A chat for four voices with Piero Barone (29), Ignazio Boschetto (28) and Gianluca Ginoble (27), or the three tenors (better, two tenors and a baritone) of Il Volo, a group born in 2009 in a talent show for children (Ti Lascio una canzone ). After that, with a victory at Sanremo 2015 in his curriculum vitae — adored or snubbed, with no middle ground — quickly enrolled in the “international star” category with guaranteed sold outs, in perpetual travel around the world: only in the last few months a frenetic tour between Canada, USA, Japan and Australia. To close with a trio of Italian dates (December 15th in Turin, 17th in Milan, 23rd in Rome) and with the Christmas concert from Jerusalem (Magical place), on the 24th in prime time on Canale 5.
On your phone you have a barrage of selfies with Lady Gaga.
Piero:Here we are, see? It must have happened five years ago, in the kitchens of a hotel in Washington.
And how did you end up in the kitchen?
Piero:There was a charity event with the Italian-American community. Outside people were going crazy, to be safe we hid in there with her. Gianluca and I, because Ignazio was sleeping as usual. Lady Gaga was very nice.”
And you’re very, very good friends with…
Piero: The great Placido Domingo, just met in New York. We always keep in touch with Laura Pausini.
Ignazio:And Sharon Stone. We met her in Montecarlo, we feel it all the time.
And one day in 2012, at the hair salon on Canyon Drive, Los Angeles…
Piero:We were on tour with Barbra Streisand. While they fixed my hair, I made conversation with a beautiful lady next to me. “You know, we sing at the Hollywood Bowl tomorrow.” “Congratulations, you are very good”. The hairdresser leaned over and whispered in my ear: “You know who it is, don’t you? Did you recognize her? It’s Priscilla Presley!” I returned the compliments immediately. And we invited her to the concert. From that moment, whenever she can, Priscilla comes to listen to us, a great friendship was born.
Do you like Elvis?
Piero: What questions: yessss.
Quick self-portrait of you as a child.
Piero: Very lively, too good, I hated solfeggio (voice practice) but now I thank those lessons. I deafened my brother who was trying to study.
Ignazio: I sang pretending that the curtain knob was a microphone.
Gianluca: At the age of 10 I was already asking myself existential questions. Who I am? Why was I born? What meaning will my life have? I found an answer to the latter: the meaning was given to him by music.
Three teenagers who meet overnight in America, under contract with Universal Music. Imagine if you had disliked each other.
Piero: Ignazio and I bonded immediately, between Sicilians. Then with Gianluca, it came naturally.
Gianluca:Everything went very fast, we didn’t even realize it so much. On the plane to Miami I looked out the window and I couldn’t believe it, total euphoria”.
Ignazio:The next day I had them take me to Mel’s Diner for an American breakfast.
Piero: I lived two parallel lives. There the parties with Beyoncé and Quincy Jones. Back in Italy, I didn’t tell anyone anything, for fear of sounding crazy, but I was terrified it would end.
In 2013 sold out Radio City Music Hall.
Ignazio: Only a year and a half before, standing in front of the entrance to the theatre, we dreamed, one day, of going up on that stage.
Gianluca: The important thing is to always go forward, to keep up with the times, otherwise it’s easy to end up like Nikka Costa. (famous child singer which was never heard from again)
Victory in Sanremo with “Grande Amore”.
Gianluca: Until then we were only well known abroad, not here in Italy, difficult to accept. It was the perfect opportunity, the revenge of bel canto which hadn’t had success at the Festival since the days of Bocelli.
Piero: An absolute joy. In Catania, many were waiting for me with placards, it was a beautiful party. Going home every now and then helps me find balance, makes me feel like the most normal person on the planet. In the summer I always go fishing with my friend Enzo, we go out by boat at five in the morning, I love to see the sunrise. Last time I caught a 5 kilo sea bass.
The Volovers, i.e. your wildest admirers, how far of madness have they reached?
Gianluca: There is someone who tattoos our names and surnames on his skin. Who follows us in every stage of the tour around the world. And who is waiting for us at home for hours.
Piero: One day, in the gym in Phoenix, I was running on the treadmill. Next to me was a girl who was training. Half past seven in the morning, I was still sleepy. Suddenly I focus on an inscription on her ankle. “It looks just like my autograph.” It was,” (if I’m not mistaken he’s talking about Marie)
Do they try?
Ignazio: “Avoglia…. (certainly..).” Who of the three hooks up the most?
Gianluca: We can’t say it ourselves.
Do they knock on the door in the hotel?
Ignazio: If I don’t know her I won’t open. And then I took a vow of chastity. (laughs)
Quarrels between you have we collected?
Gianluca: It happens in times of stress. But we have learned to control ourselves, before it happened more often.
Piero: In Santo Domingo, we were in the car, I didn’t feel well, I was sweaty. “Gianluca, come on, close that window, the draft is hitting me”. And he did, but then, a minute later he lowered it again, I would have killed him.
Gianluca: Yes, but it was 40 degrees outside and we didn’t have air conditioning.
Ignazio: I always eat last, these two often leave me nothing, not even rice. They are thin, but they eat anything.”
You have lost 34 kilos. How?
Ignazio: I closed my mouth.
Piero: We were at the breakfast buffet in New Zealand and… “
Ignazio: “No, in Kuala Lumpur».
Piero: Oh well, in any case Ignazio suddenly said to me: “I want to lose weight”. “Bravo, then come with me to the gym, train, work hard. And from that day on he became a sex symbol….
Ignazio: Now I’ve started training again after two years, I’ve put on 13 kilos again. Waivers? No. We eat healthy. Piero is intolerant to pork, so we don’t eat it either. And all three of us can’t stand dairy products.
It takes a beastly physique.
Piero: Travelling a lot, discovering the world is a privilege. I love running, wherever I go I ask the concierge and get advice on the best routes. Once Ignazio also came and I almost had to carry him back on my back».
Ignazio: In Matera, it was terribly hot, 7 and a half km of ups and downs.
Gianluca: I train in the gym and walk, I don’t run.
The worst flaw of the other two.
Gianluca: Piero is too rational, Ignazio too instinctive. Both touchy.”
Ignazio: Me? It is not true! Gianluca is too perfectionist, Piero stubborn.
Piero: Gianluca is long-winded, when he gets fixated on something he doesn’t stop talking until he’s convinced you, the next day I’m terrified of meeting him at breakfast and that he’ll start over.
Ignazio, on the other hand, keeps everything inside and at the last moment he explodes and says things in your face. It would be better if he spoke clearly from the start. And then he is late, forgets his appointments, falls asleep.
Ignazio: No, you’re a big pain in the ass.”
Mishaps on stage?
Gianluca: Ignazio fell and so did I, tripping over a folding chair.
Ignazio: It happened to me to go out on stage holding a cell phone instead of a microphone.
Piero: In Budapest, the twelfth piece Ave Maria, I start to sing but my voice does not come out. Ignazio looks at me wrong. He thought you were joking. I had caught a cold snap from a big fan that shot freezing air. We had to interrupt for about twenty minutes, the time to take some Bentelan. (medicinal)
Neither rapper nor trapper. Critics say that you make “old men’s music”.
Gianluca: It’s right to respect every opinion, criticism is good. But we go on doing what we like most, which makes us and millions of people happy.
Piero: Before, negative comments made us nervous, they were hard to digest, now they’re good for us. But there is a subtle difference between criticism and offense.
Fear that one of the three decides to break away and continue his career alone?
Gianluca: We are not a classic band with a frontman. But three singers, three leaders.
Piero: We know very well that our strength is the group. People want to hear all three together. And even if, during the concerts, everyone has their own space, we too know that united we are something else.
Il Volo will be a guest on the TV show VERISSIMO with the sweet Silvia Toffanin, Sunday on Canale 5 at 4 pm. It will certainly be a nice and kind interview.
And finally, enjoy this promo video, which advertises the “Christmas in Jerusalem” event, it will be fantastic!!
And here it is their presence at Disney World for the Christmas event.
They are fantastic, what voices, what an atmosphere!!
For those who haven’t seen them here is their video broadcast yesterday by ABC’s “Magical Holiday Celebration”, where they sing “Adeste Fideles”.
Thanks to Il Volo HN for playing the video.
How wonderful, it is a joy for the ears and for the eyes, the finish is fantastic, very long.
And as for their clothes, we have received this confirmation, Piero, Ignazio and Gianluca wore ARMANI.
And here they are in this short interview.
But there is also a preview, thanks to the video of Melannie A. Pagàn Lopez, who was present in the audience during the filming of the song “Happy Christmas, War is Over”. Thank you so much Melannie!!
This video of Il Volo will be part of the program that will be broadcast on Christmas day.
Wow, a longer version of this beautiful song, very beautiful and very heartfelt in this particular moment.
Our boys are always nice and beautiful !
There is also news on the concert that will be held in Bethlehem, here is the announcement from Canale 5.
If you have seen correctly, the event that will soon be on Canale 5 is called “Christmas in Jerusalem” and not Bethlehem, perhaps there has been a small change in the place, but we are still in Israel.
Bethlehem Cathedral which contains the Grotto of the Nativity.
And the photo of the arrival at the airport, posted by Maestro Grani, with the comment: “Israel…….first time.”
The first instore for the book signing in Turin has been announced on December 14th, but I look forward to the announcement for Milan!!
I remind you that in December there will also be three concerts in Italy. In fact Piero has published the photo with him holding the newspaper where there is the photo of Il Volo announcing the concert in Rome!! Here it is.
How nice to see Piero, Ignazio and Gianluca having fun at Disney World, and in Israel Il Volo is thinking of something fantastic for us to see and hear.
And we can’t wait.
Credit to owners of all photos and videos.
Come in and share the love of life, friends and Il Volo!