On Saturday 9 October, Il Volo was interviewed by Andrea Spinelli for Quotidiano Nazionale, in the beautiful Royal Palace of Monza, (near Milan), for the event – “Born again: Behind the Scenes, The Arts Beyond the Emergency” – dedicated to the difficulty of the total reopening after the Covid pandemic.
It’s a beautiful interview, very long with interesting questions and as many honest answers.
It will enrich you a lot to read what has been said.
Here is the video, and the translation.
SPINELLI = Good afternoon, welcome. Welcome to Il Volo, which we will now have here on stage.
With Il Volo we will talk about live music, the sector, at least economically, most damaged by this pandemic, and the one that, we never tire of saying, the first sector that closed, and probably the last that will reopen.
So I would invite Il Volo on stage. (applause)
PIERO = Hi
GIANLUCA = Good evening everyone.
PIERO = Andrea!
GIAN = That is, good afternoon.
SPINELLI = Welcome Piero, welcome Gianluca ….
GIAN = We’re not the only ones excited are we?
SPINELLI = No, no ….. Ignazio, welcome.
IGNAZIO = Thanks, hello.
PIERO = You must know that Andrea Spinelli, for us, is a particular journalist, because we are very fond of Andrea, and every time we do a press conference of a tour, of an album, we always ask for his presence, with the awareness that ……
IGNAZIO = He is the baddest.
PIERO = ….. with the most uncomfortable questions.
So today, for us, to accept this interview it’s really a big challenge, so Andrea, you have a lot of vent with us today!
SPINELLI = Thanks, but we will keep that for the presentation of the album on Morricone at the beginning of November.
Today we are talking about something related to concerts.
IGNAZIO = I can only ask one thing, if you can increase the audio in the microphone, on the stage, in the monitors, on the microphone of Andrea, because I don’t hear you.
SPINELLI = Can you hear me now?
IGNAZIO = Yes.
SPINELLI = Here.
IGNAZIO = Ok better, thanks.
SPINELLI = So, let’s start with a decade, which was to be celebrated in 2020, then 2020 + 1, 2020 + 2. How did you live it?
IGNAZIO = We are reaching 15 years. 😁
SPINELLI = That is?
IGNAZIO = Soon we are celebrating 15 years!
Well, there were two difficult years for everyone, here, more or less, we were was struck by something new to everyone.
Speaking of our sector, we have been at a standstill since 2020, since March 2020, we are not working, and we are more than happy to restart next year from America, which fortunately has started to reopen with full capacities.
So we will start in March 2022, (hesitant to say the year), I have lost the count of the years.
SPINELLI = March 18, 2022, Radio City Music Hall.
IGNAZIO = Yes, March 2022, we will start with a two-month tour of America at full capacity.
It is a fortune, but it is also something that makes us reflect: why in America yes, and in Italy, still today we are unable to have the confirmation of a 100% opening?
PIERO = More than anything else, today we have a great responsibility, because we try to represent all the artists.
Because today we read in the newspapers “100% theaters will open”, theaters, cinemas, but there is a lot of vagueness, because not all artists perform concerts in theaters.
There are artists who do concerts in clubs, there are artists who do concerts in stadiums, so in stadiums, how much percentage of the public can enter ??
We must regain the trust of the public, and give them the certainty of what they are buying, because today, a person is not sure to buy a ticket, because he does not know what he is buying.
In the sports halls nothing is known about the capacity yet. Yes, the theaters ok, for those who perform concerts in theaters, 100% capacity is fine, but there is still too much vagueness.
SPINELLI = Yes.
What does it mean to go on stage?
What is the meaning of music for you, of live music?
PIERO = I have read the biography of a great artist: Beniamino Gigli, a journalist asks him “What is music for him?” and his answer was:
“For me music is the fulfillment of a need, and at the same time, the maximum expression of our deepest joy”.
Today, reopening, returning to the stage, is not only an economic necessity, because many people clearly lack work, but it is a need, a need for those who make music, because they go on stage and sing, but also for those who listen.
I miss concerts, not as an artist, not as a singer, but as a spectator, I miss, going to a concert with friends, and clearly behind us (to those who perform concerts), behind the scenes ….. we have to thank whoever organized, (he refers to who organized this interview to talk about the people behind the scenes), thank you very much indeed it is a very nice event what you are doing …. behind the scenes there is a lot people, many people who do not work for us, but work with us, because behind a concert there is a team of many, many people and in recent months, we have clearly tried to turn on the spotlight for these people who are not seen, but they are human beings, many working families, and what are they doing today?
We must not hide, it is clear that an artist can survive two years without a job, if he has behaved well (if he has saved the money), but there are many people who work concert, for concert, and can only live if they work week by week, so it is no longer possible today not to give certainties.
SPINELLI = Well, I would like to ask you: “You give us an idea of how many people are following you on tour, who are working for you, on the square, because there is a world, behind you three.
IGNAZIO = It is difficult to count them.
For example, with us in March, from Italy, we will bring about ten people with us, even 15 people and in America there will be other people, so it is a group of people with a question mark. But I can tell you that behind a tour there are about 50 people, even 60 people, who work during the tour, before the tour, and in any case there are people who work even months before the tour, to prepare the production, the logistics. So the “behind the scenes” is a way of saying, because they move everything, and then allow us to go on stage on March 18th.
SPINELLI = Sure.
I put on my glasses because I would like to read some figures, because you reopened the road on June 5 with a great concert at the Verona Arena, and with live television with an amazing figure: 4 million 702 thousand spectators, with a very high share: 25 , 7%, and that means, to be clear, 1 million more than Amadeus did who won the next night (with another show), even better than the WIND (Seat Music Awards), so surely there was a lot of anticipation , for you, and perhaps also for this reopening.
What do you remember of the evening and what it meant in your year, to go back on stage and sing for a real audience, for an audience that was there in the stands.
GIAN = Yes Andrea, let’s say it was a breath of fresh air, we needed it, as Ignazio and Piero said before, as all of us who do concerts need it.
People were there in the Arena, happy to be able to return to the big events after a year and a half of practically silence.
Then on that occasion, we presented a very ambitious project, which is this tribute to the soundtracks of Ennio Morricone, which we will then take on tour from March.
It is clear that, after a year and a half, returning to the Verona Arena, live on RAI1, for us was a moment of great joy and in my opinion, one of the most beautiful concerts we have done, because it was really felt, there was the great thrill of looking the audience in the face, and finally being able to sing for all of them, after all this time.
This is the best thing for us.
SPINELLI = By the way, you have also won the “tyranny of capacity and curfew”.
You submitted a 55-page health protocol, but in the end you won. (Because that very evening for the Arena, the capacity was increased from 3000 to 5000 people and the curfew, moved beyond midnight to give way to who was at the concert to go home)
IGNAZIO = It was a tug-of-war between Salzano …
SPINELLI = Producer (of the concert)
IGNAZIO = Yes, it was a great tug-of-war, but we succeeded.
We often have many meetings with Ferdinando (Salzano) and the main topic is to give confidence to the citizen, because they are the ones who come to concerts, just as we go to other concerts and therefore we must have faith, we must start from something, we cannot always stay with the doubt “will everyone abide by the rules?” . We have to trust.
GIAN = It is clear that people are afraid, they are scared, as we said before, they do not have the certainty of entering a place, both outdoors and indoors, with various gatherings, even if there is a green pass (certification of the double dose of vaccine), and even with all the certainties, let’s call them that, it is a very delicate moment, but we must start again.
Now we have seen that the situation seems to have improved, it’s not like last year, so … let’s be confident.
IGNAZIO = Otherwise the solution could be, instead of writing Il Volo concert, let’s have a political meeting , so there are no problems …. no come on it was just a subtle controversy!
SPINELLI = Another thing, you have done 3 concerts around Europe this summer, I would like to ask you how you found each other, and the difference you found compared to the very, very strict regime that existed in Italy.
GIAN = I don’t know if you can say, but maybe Covid didn’t exist there, I don’t know, maybe it didn’t exist in those countries.
PIERO = We can be honest ….. we did two concerts in Croatia, and one in Bulgaria, and at the beginning we asked for restrictions, and the distance, but maybe it was the bull’s eye that didn’t show me .. ….. but there was no distance. (in fact in Italy there was a full place and an empty one, but, from them, all the places were full).
IGNAZIO = But there is a truth behind it, in those countries, unfortunately, the government does not pass the vaccine to everyone and the vaccine costs a lot of money and not everyone can afford it. This is the great and sad truth of those countries.
GIAN = The amazing thing is that it was a 5000 seat outdoor arena and all of them were ….
PIERO = The gates were opened 5 hours before the concert started, they had to have a proof of a negative nasal swab for COVID, those who did not have it, had a nasal swab at the time, so they found a solution, that’s the key, you have to find a solution, we must not stay there waiting in the vagueness of what to do, we must find a solution and I repeat, the news 100% of the theaters is not enough, and I say this on behalf of those who perform concerts in stadiums.
Why if I were to ask you now: did stadiums reopen them at 60-65%, (for sports competitions) and stadium concerts? Who can answer this question? And the concerts in the sports hall? Who responds to this?
SPINELLI = Reopenings have been indicated, certainly reopening for sport, they are valid for concerts up to a certain point, because clearly the context is different.
PIERO = But even in the outdoor arenas, we for next year in June, it is clear that our Italian tour will be around the summer-autumn of next year, however many of our colleagues have dates in February, January, March , and therefore they must know something.
We will perform concerts at the Ancient Theater of Taormina (in June 2022) and today with Salzano, he did not know how to give us an answer for the people, for how many people can come.
IGNAZIO = I would like to say something to make it clear to those who come to our concerts.
Many think “okay, you will get a little less but do the concerts”, but it is not really like that, because it is all a chain.
The chain consists of: ok the capacity, the cost of the ticket which varies from concert to concert, is given by the sum of production costs and logistics costs. Unfortunately, after Covid, we are realizing now that we are closing the budget for the tour in America, the costs have doubled. The price of the porterage cost that was after the concerts has doubled, so the costs have become double. If we fail to have a full capacity, even in the stadiums, the costs of the stadiums are unimaginable …
SPINELLI = Very tall …
IGNAZIO = If you can’t already make 100% capacity, it means that I have to increase the ticket to cover the costs, right? The problem is that the citizen, the boy, the girl, who comes to a concert, has to pay a ticket 150 euros, 200 euros (it refers to the cost of tickets for a stadium), how does he do it?
So it’s all a chain and that’s why we have to be able, in one way or another, to find a solution to reopen at concerts and not to make an artist earn, but to ensure that art, art that one person does, you get to more people. To make sure that the normality we had will gradually return, even if it will be difficult because it is all a process of trust. But for me, going to 100% can be the beginning of a return to normalcy and trust above all.
SPINELLI = Well, I’m starting from this, because yesterday on this stage it was said “normality?”, But we don’t want to go back to normality as it was before.
PIERO = Better than before.
SPINELLI = A normality in which we ran, we ran, sometimes without paying too much attention to the direction we were taking. How do you see this thing, what do you think?
PIERO = Objectively, this stoppage that took place allowed us …. we tried to look on the bright side, it was difficult, but we succeeded. We went to the recording studio and made an album, time allowed us to dedicate a lot of time to this, to make a fairly studied selection, in this case for Morricone’s album, so we had more time to work on the details, while before we could not. Before, it was too many concerts and too much work and little time to work on a project.
So when we say: “let’s go back as before”, we can’t wait to go back, but we will be back better than before, because the work has been much more painstaking, so give us the opportunity, just this.
SPINELLI = …. and about running ….
IGNAZIO = I let Piero run, he trains in the morning …. every morning he runs 10 km, I prefer to run in my dreams in the long prairies!
SPINELLI = Running, understood as doing many things ….
GIAN = That, don’t run as a run ….
IGNAZIO = I understood, I was joking !!!😁
GIAN = Ah
SPINELLI = All of you have been running for 12 years …
IGNAZIO = Exactly, we are a group, we are guys who run and we never stopped …
GIAN = …. flying …😁
IGNAZIO = Yes, we are guys who fly. Although, sometimes it took a break, we never took it. Calculate that we did the first 8 years in a row, we never stopped a month, to say, ok, we stop for ourselves. For 8 years we have never stopped. Running is good, it helps you to be active, but I think it is also important to stop. It is a little like Maestro Morricone used to say: “Silences are not a missing part of a music, of a composition, but they are that part that helps you, silence is music”, so it can also be stopping in life of each one, it can be that moment that makes you reflect on what you want from life, on the steps you are going to take, and I can tell you that this year and a half, personally, I do not speak as a group, personally it has served me a lot, as personal growth, how to get to know my family more, to be together with my origins, also made me understand how grateful I am to music, how good music does me, how much company it has made me in these two years. So stopping every now and then is good. We must not get used to stopping, but stopping is good.
SPINELLI = You have also become a producer, therefore, in short, you have also approached music from another side.
IGNAZIO = Yes, I’ve always liked it. Do you think that we, within the group, have our tasks, because if we all three did the same thing, three different ideas ….
SPINELLI = In fact, you are like POOH (another Italian group), everyone has their own role within the group, then maybe you explain them to us.
IGNAZIO = I personally prefer to take care of the studio part. Which means talking to the producers, the work that takes place inside the studio.
Gianluca is very grasped on the choices of the songs, on the ratings, on the intuitions of the songs and Piero does public relations, he is a born PR. (Piero laughs) He breaks the boxes guys, though ….
SPINELLI = I would like to ask another thing to the man of public relations, I would like to focus on your success which is an Italian success exported to the world. I am reminded of Madonna’s birthday (a couple of months ago) made in Salento (Puglia), and in the end they were all English, but she wanted AlBano (singer who presented the night of the Taranta), and AlBano told me that Madonna asked him to sing that Italian song “Caruso”, to understand what is the attachment that there is to our melody, also on the part of great international artists. Two days ago we were in connection from Berlin with the Maneskin (another italian group who won Eurovision this year) who said, obviously jokingly “our success is because we are beautiful, we are good and above all we are Italian”.
Here, how much is Italianness worth?
PIERO = We are aware that the results obtained, these long tours, are the result of patient work …. but our results are thanks to Italy, to the music we sing. We sing bel canto, the songs that are part of our culture.
When we go to America and sing the Nessun Dorma, O Sole Mio, but also Grande Amore, and we sing in Italian, people want to hear us sing in Italian, because already in America there are already those who do rock, rock was born in America, but bel canto was born in Italy, that’s why Italianness is the strength, it is our being, it is what we are, and when people hear Italy, but starting from music, fashion, food , Italy is the icing on the world, everyone dreams of coming to Italy, and we are aware that our strength is the music we sing, as it did in the past for maestro Luciano Pavarotti, as did Andrea Bocelli and continues to do, and we’re trying to follow that trail there.
GIAN = Then it is clear that it depends, we are talking about how Italianness is perceived abroad, because it is clear, if we talk about how Italians perceive Italianness, it is clear that it is different, because I who am, but all of us who are lovers of De Andrè, Guccini or Gaber (they are all Italian songwriters), surely, paradoxically AlBano is better known abroad than they who sing wonderful poems that have made the history of Italian music, is how we are perceived, at the certainly abroad. This is why Italianness is the melody, from this point of view, it is that, as Piero said, bel canto, this great strength that is appreciated by all.
SPINELLI = And that’s why it doesn’t exist, only RCMH on March 18th, but there are 29 more dates …
PIERO = Where?
SPINELLI = In America ….
PIERO = Yes, there are 30 dates in the U.S.
SPINELLI = Well, I mean, there are not only Italians who come, there it means that you have “taken” the American public, and this is the big difference with many other artists, who perform concerts abroad, but do not have the possibility to organize, to plan long and articulated tours like yours.
In Japan, it seems to me that you have something like 20 dates in play ….
IGNAZIO = We have often talked about this, we have also talked about it this morning and you know my thoughts well.
For me the Italianness, this word, is on a razor’s edge, on the one hand you fall from the chic (elegant) ….. sorry kich (tacky) and on the other you are cool, the Italianness famous all over the world .
Unfortunately, this obstacle is put up by people. I try to give you an example: if Italy wins the Europeans (football), we are all cool we are all proud, if Italy is “out” from the World Cup qualifiers, we have something to say.
I think that Italianness is something you feel, and I can tell you the truth, I discovered it when we participated in Eurovision. I have learned to love our flag, there hasn’t been a moment where I was more proud of being Italian, and I tell you sincerely.
The experience of Eurovision is a competition, and you are there to give prestige to your country, because in the end you are talking about Italy, you are representing Italy, and this Italianness is often mistaken for “pizza and mandolin” and singers who they sing Italian brigades, and there is nothing wrong, in the end, because if I think of all the greatest Italian immigrants in America, I feel like saying Dean Martin, I feel like saying Frank Sinatra, I feel like saying Perry Como, and Tony Bennet, so so be it !!
We are very fond of Italy and we will always be proud to sing the Italian repertoire, we will do it, now anyway with Morricone, we are proud to be Italian, because Morricone is an Italian and he is the greatest, and everyone knows him, in cinema he is a crazy thing. We also had the opportunity to meet at the film festival (Venice), Antonio Banderas, Tom Hanks passed by and when you talk about Morricone … and also recently we have collaborated with the maestro Storaro ….. they are names that: how do you don’t be proud of being Italian?
SPINELLI = Even to make you proud, to be Italian, just think of Eurovision, I still remember, arrived at the airport, in the taxi, while I was coming to the State Hall (Vienna 2015, Il Volo was in the race), the driver tells me:
“You are italian? “,
“are you coming for Eurovision?”,
“this year you win” (ie Il Volo), because it was clear that in any case, that was the feeling.
You collided with the prejudice of the juries (they gave low marks to Il Volo), which happened a little this year too, a little less than you, in fact we saw the result (the Maneskin won).
I mean this, the prejudice, there has always been, because in any case the winner creates some stomach ache, we have seen it in sport, we have seen it in music … the Maneskin win and take drugs (he refers to the fact that on the evening of the Maneskin victory, the foreign newspapers said they were addicted, the usual negative press), Jacobs wins and gets doped (Italian athlete first in the 100 meters Olympics and the press wrote that he was doped, always bad press ).
This also happened with you, when you went to America for the first time, if I’m not mistaken, everyone said: “Yes ok, this is the record, but then they won’t be able to keep that level”, and then you, on the other hand, during the various television broadcasts, you kept it.
IGNAZIO = Just a little thing, the answers are given with time and with facts, and we, as a group, have always tried to keep quiet about provocations and demonstrate, and we did it from the first Sanremo up to …. .before, from the beginning, then Sanremo and until today.
This is a thought that all three of us have, and thank you that we have this common thought, the desire to work, head down, and prove with facts. And then, frankly, when one is fine, with what he does and is satisfied, but we never stop, but we are satisfied, proud of what we are able to do together, the criticisms, people talk, but they will always talk, of everything.
PIERO = An artist, if he decides to do this profession, renounces his own “comfort zone” directly, so he puts himself on display and clearly, the others give an opinion.
Participation in Sanremo in 2015, we were a little doubtful, hesitant, and we have to thank Bruno Vespa, during a dinner he said: “Sorry guys, why do you have the doubt of participating in the Sanremo festival? You are not famous in Italy” … because we sang only abroad and in Italy everyone had forgotten our name …. “you have nothing to lose . If you finish last, you haven’t lost anything, you can only gain something. “ We are grateful to Bruno Vespa for his great advice.
SPINELLI = I would like to ask you something, if I can, if you like, could you give a hint to what you were doing in broadcasting in America, to show that in fact you were really harmonizers, people who knew what they were doing and those songs were truly made without artifice.
PIERO = Also because in America you can’t lip-sync, so you should know that in America, the “morning show” is fashionable, people wake up early in the morning, and the morning show is at 6 in the morning, the soundcheck at 5.30, you don’t wake up and go singing, you also have to warm up your voice. So my next door neighbor at 3.30am in New York, when I started vocalizing, 8 times out of 10, he would hit the wall saying “shut up, shut up” 😁😁😁 and I kept warming up my voice!
But in the morning shows, if you want to go back to your request, what do you want …..
IGNAZIO = What are you asking us? Sing or …..
SPINELLI = A harmony.
PIERO = Usually there are three of us. What is harmony? They may be wondering what harmony is ?? ….
GIAN = Everyone knows!
PIERO = Not everyone knows … (to the audience) do you know what harmony is?
IGNAZIO = When we are well together there is harmony.
PIERO = That’s right, that’s the one there. We have three voices, two tenors and a baritone. One makes the melodic line, the one everyone knows, the other makes the upper harmony and the other the lower one.
(turning to Ignazio and Gian) Can I make the melody ?? OK !
(Ignazio begins to sing the refrain of Il Mondo) ❤ (applause)
IGNAZIO = This isn’t just what we did on TV shows. I have memories, crazy images at the beginning, in the vans, which took us from the hotel to the television stations, in Germany, rather than in Holland. Do you remember? (he turns to Piero and Gian) we were doing the harmonies on Christmas songs, we were little ones and we were arguing “No, you have to do that, I have to do this” (he laughs), they are good memories.
PIERO = In 12 years, it’s amazing how our relationship has strengthened, day after day, you know, usually in groups, there are those who want to be the leader, those who want to be the first woman, in our group, this thing doesn’t exists.
As with any team, there is always a commander. We must say that our greatest fortune in life, the most beautiful, greatest thing my parents taught me, is to be grateful. We are grateful to a person who follows us from the first day we met, until a minute ago, at lunch, is our greatest advisor, our backbone. We often say this in interviews, but we will never stop thanking him, because he is the fourth member of Il Volo, he is the fourth artist and he is Michele Torpedine. (applause)
(Piero turns to Michele) I wanted to thank you in public, ….. we wanted, in the name of all three, to thank you in public.
IGNAZIO = Well, only he thanks you, not us, that is, let’s be clear …. (but then Piero corrected himself).
GIAN = I apologize if I speak little, but I have a headache that is breaking out. I apologize that maybe, I seem unpleasant, but I wanted to say it …..
IGNAZIO = It’s not like you look … we know … (he jokes)
GIAN = ….. I wanted to say this, because I don’t want to seem what I am not.
SPINELLI = No, Gianluca!
IGNAZIO = In fact, he first got out of tune, I don’t know if you noticed. (laughs)
SPINELLI = Another thing, in 10 years, thanks to this success, American success, you have met many people, here, I would like to ask you what were your encounters with extraordinary men that you have found along the way, famous and less famous. I would like a memory each.
IGNAZIO = I have an indelible memory, perhaps the greatest birthday present, I’ve ever had, and it was the first sound rehearsals with Barbra Streisand, when we toured with her. I want to tell you something, I don’t know if it can be told, but I always make a fool of myself, so I tell it.
When we were contacted to tour with her, we signed a contract, where we couldn’t look her in the eye, get too close, all these things here, these safety things.
In the end we didn’t respect anything, but not because we didn’t respect it, but it was she who didn’t respect it, she was the one who came up on stage and said: “Guys I cut my hair, you should too, cut a little here “, then we were talking about bra straps, do you understand? We talked about a lot of things, it’s incredible how, we so young, we knew by name Barbra Streisand, but in that period we documented ourselves on everything she did, as an actress, as a singer, as a director, we informed ourselves, we “discovered” her.
Touring with her, knowing who she was, who she is, and who she will be, because she will remain in history, you look at her differently on stage, and it is something that will always remain in our hearts, in our minds, all performances, all the time spent together, the rehearsals, the concerts, her saying “shut your mouth”, when maybe we were doing a high pitch, (he refers to their phrase during the tour), are things that I personally will not forget.
GIAN = But then we were little, and then we went through the most delicate period which is adolescence, the period of youth bewilderment, of kids who may not know what role they will play in life or what they will do. We recognized this vocation, which is the passion for singing that made us feel good. The support of our parents, who have always encouraged us to pursue this goal, which then came naturally, that of singing, because it made us feel good.
And then the luck of having met on a television program, in the same year, in the same edition, and then a series of lucky events, which then led us to reach these goals, with a great team, as Piero said, and therefore we are also privileged because we take nothing for granted, and this great privilege, as I said, is this of bringing this great musical cultural heritage that is bel canto, following in the footsteps of great idols like Andrea Bocelli, like Mario Lanza, that it all began at the time of del Monaco, it is a music that can certainly be said, an eternal music, and now we demonstrate, with this project with the music of Morricone, that we may pass from O Sole Mio, to the first sung version of The Ecstasy of Gold, with the music of The Good, the Bad, the Ugly, so this is also an artistic upgrade, which we try to have every time, project after project. And so we work hard for that too.
IGNAZIO = Beautiful …… but the question was: “Who is left to you ……”😁
GIAN = Yes, I wanted to get there ….
SPINELLI = (answering to Ignazio) I would have done it again later (the question)
GIAN = …… I also wanted to connect to your speech, which is also nice that we have this great relationship, and we have this passion in common …..
IGNAZIO = This was the preface ….😁
GIAN = One of my best experiences, I can say that is the one where I celebrated my 16th birthday with Paul Anka and we sang together “Put Your Head on My Shoulder” in Los Angeles, you realize, with the great Paul Anka, we were there in a restaurant in Los Angeles, who was friends with Michele and the whole team from the first album, so we were sixteen, we were little, actually I didn’t even know who he was, (Paul Anka), then oh well, they explained to me …. (laughter) …. but today I can tell you it was Paul Anka!
SPINELLI = Damn!
GIAN = And then, a memorable thing, when we were all three, we were singing in Panama, I get up, because at a certain point we were having lunch with the Pope: “Can we take a selfie like young people do?”, And the Pope : “Sure, yes yes, with pleasure, let’s take a selfie” (Gian imitates the voice of Pope Francis). So we can say that we also took a selfie with the Pope two years ago.
IGNAZIO = But I did the worst one, actually I should be ashamed, I called Woody Allen a saxophonist (laughter).
GIAN = This happens, you understand (addressed to the audience), when you pick up three children from school desks and put them on the other side of the world, rightly, from Marsala you ask yourself: “Who is Woody Allen?”
IGNAZIO = But wait, a sensational gaffe, but I didn’t tell him, I asked: “Is that the saxophonist?”, but no, but he plays the clarinet very well …
GIAN = No, the sax, so you got confused …
IGNAZIO = So I wasn’t very wrong.
SPINELLI = Now I ask the question to him (to Piero), but first about gaffe (he turns to Gianluca), “kid don’t worry …..”
GIAN = Ah, yes, that’s nice, because in 2011, we were working on the first record, and there was also a Morricone medley, made by Once Upon a Time in America and Malena, the medley is called “E più ti penso”.
We had to sing in Piazza del Popolo (Rome), with the Sinfonietta, the great orchestra of Maestro Morricone, there were rehearsals the day before and we arrive at this hotel, in this giant room, there were all the orchestra elements , with maestro Morricone who welcomes us.
You, imagine, we sixteen, fifteen, we arrive, with short legs, which then remained so ….
IGNAZIO = I’ve never had short legs! 😁
GIAN = ….. mine, I talk about me, not about you (laughs) at some point we arrive, the song starts with a note mmmmm, the double basses, and I was supposed to start “and the more I think of you .. . “and I don’t start, so the teacher does this, he gives the attack to the orchestra and I don’t start. I look at it and say “Ah, but you give me the attack?” (laughs). The first violin like this (imitates the surprised face). He (Morricone) turns and says: “Don’t worry kid, I’ll take care of it, I’ll give you the attack”.
This will remain in the annals …..
PIERO = If this is the effect that his headache has on him ….. I hope you have a headache every day.
GIAN = I have recovered, I have recovered, just take a look.
PIERO = I have two memories.
IGNAZIO = The first is Barbara D’Urso !! (Italian presenter)
PIERO = No, the first memory is in 2010 We Are The Word for Haiti, after 25 years they remake Michael Jackson’s We Are The Word, produced by Quincy Jones and Lionel Ritchie.
They chose many artists, including Barbra Streisand, Celin Dion, there were all, and as Italians, only us in the midst of the choir.
It was nice that day, because we found ourselves with many artists, you consider that we started from three small towns, two Sicilians and one from Abruzzo, catapulted in front of Quincy Jones ….. we had Barbara Vitali, where is (and points to her in the room) she is, I don’t know, who you are to us ….
IGNAZIO = Shadow.
PIERO = … has been with us for 12 years ….
GIAN = She is our shadow.
PIERO = She is with us every day.
Have you seen “The Devil Wears Prada” (film), when the manager walks alongside and points, this does what … she (Barbara Vitali) does this to us, she did this, because today, perhaps, we learned a little bit. However that day she pointed out to us: “That’s Barbra Streisand, that’s Quincy Jones, that Lionel Ritchie,” … and so on.
The second memory, the experience, for me, was the collaboration with Maestro Placido Domingo, in 2016.
SPINELLI = In Florence.
PIERO = (nods) The fact that he agreed to direct the orchestra on stage, and duet with us, was a great gesture, a gesture of trust on the part of Maestro Plácido Domingo and the beautiful relationship that was born with all his family.
And I, that project, I link it to a great meeting, which I had in my life, meeting with a great person that we will all carry (he puts his hand on his heart), who has a comfortable place in our heart. (applause).
SPINELLI = Question: How do you see yourself in 10 years.
IGNAZIO = Gianluca certainly hopes to see himself taller. I thinner…
GIAN = No, oh well !!
However, as we said before, we are three simple guys, from this point of view, we also try to give an example of responsible people, who have a certain lifestyle, who love what they do, are 100% dedicated to work, that have goals.
It is clear that today the “bad boys” has more effect, it comes more immediately, let’s say.
Many young people, even our age, get lost, because they do not give priority to study and many other things, but they give priority to easy things, which do not require sacrifices.
IGNAZIO = Or they are satisfied with the “citizenship income”, unfortunately.
GIAN = We want to give this example of guys who, thanks to perseverance and great ambition, we were able to obtain ….. also thanks to our team and especially to the family, to have the support of a large family, we are happy with education that they have given us, since we were little, and we always try to give this great example, of responsibility, of humility, we hope to be, and even in 10 years, we want to try to remain what we are, what we were also from children, and to always reach the goals and to always carry the name of our music, through our voices, our culture.
SPINELLI = We are in the pipeline, I would like to ask you another question: “Would you have sung in Sanremo without an audience, like the one celebrated in March?”
PIERO = This year, the fact that we were hosted in Sanremo was particular, unpublished to all of us, but I want to say one important thing, this year we sang in Sanremo without an audience….
SPINELLI = Singing yes, but being in the race is another thing ….
PIERO = But it’s the same thing ….
GIAN = There is the awareness of millions of home viewers …..
PIERO = In the events, it is clear that the public makes the difference, it gives you more energy, there is more adrenaline, but it was not lacking, and this year I must tell you that, it was a Sanremo without an audience, but it made us understand how strong Ignazio is, because this year was a special year for him, and he stayed on stage with us singing, despite the great loss…
GIAN = The audience was there, there was a special person who was there with us that evening.
PIERO = And this does us, does you (looks at Ignazio), great honor. (appaluse) ❤
SPINELLI = This is professionalism, this is a reason to be on stage to honor it, in any situation, even the most difficult.
IGNAZIO = If I can afford to say one thing. Often … we think about the people we no longer have, and unfortunately one thing, when it happens, you cannot control it, but I have learned in recent months that it is better not to have a person physically and feel them, than to have them and not feel them. Sure it will always be missing, but I feel it every day, it is with me every day and so, that’s okay. ❤
PIERO = To conclude, we thank you for having turned on the spotlight again for those who work in the field of entertainment, on behalf of all our colleagues.
We hope that everything will be resolved soon. Thanks.
SPINELLI = Thanks to Il Volo, thanks. (applause)
And finally, Il Volo has released this little video-clip from IL GIORNO.
And here is the translation:
PIERO = We read in the news, 100% open.
It seems that the world is back to the way it was before and instead it is not, because not everyone sings in theaters. We are here today to represent our colleagues, all the artists who perform concerts in stadiums, in sports halls, in clubs.
So we seek and demand a clearer answer.
IGNAZIO = We can’t wait to try again that emotion that only some spaces can give, and to finally return to being able to have fun, to be able to spend a carefree evening, without problems, without work.
GIAN = But we are confident optimists by nature.
Clear that the situation is improving and we are realizing it.
IGNAZIO = But, I’m a bit more controversial. We hope to have some answers as soon as possible, not only for us, but also on behalf of all the people who work alongside us and behind us.
PIERO = And also for the people who buy tickets, because we have to regain people’s trust, give certainty to what they are buying.
After such a long but articulated interview, where very beautiful things and very profound concepts were expressed, what can I say ….. I have the impression that journalists have understood that, when they want to have interesting interlocutors, never banal , deep and sincere, if they call Il Volo, they know they will get all this.
Gianluca, Ignazio, Piero, I am deeply proud to be a fan of yours, not only from an artistic point of view, but also from a human one.
Thank you for being who you are!
And now, to finish, this beautiful video. ❤️
Credit to owners of all photos and videos.
Credit to owners of all photos and videos.