Tag Archives: Frank Sinatra

Gianluca Shares His Amazing Voice

Gianluca is very different from Piero and Ignazio. He had a calm and peaceful childhood. He didn’t have the challenges that Ignazio had or the intense classical education that Piero had. No, Gianluca lived a very simple life. Perhaps that explains why Gianluca is a romantic. With him, everything is about passion! Like his passion for Abruzzo which he takes around the world. On tour he always speaks about Abruzzo. He loves his country and, he wants others to love it too! I agree with Gianluca, Abruzzo is an amazing place. My maternal grandparents were from Abruzzo!

A young Gianluca eating a cookie A teenage Gianluca wearing a hat

Gianluca’s life began in the small town of Montepagano where he lived a simple life but, when he emerged, he began a journey that would take him around the world and through his amazing voice would leave his mark in every corner of that world.
Let’s listen to how Gianluca describes the town he grew up in:
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.
The accents are beautiful, the dialects are beautiful, but I can say that what I prefer is the Abruzzese? I am, very, proud to be from Abruzzo. I love everything about this region. And I like to bring Abruzzo around the world and keep it high.
I am right at the sea. I’m relaxing, I’m calm! There is a sea breeze and nothing else. It’s Thursday and I am practically alone on the beach. I’m fine, from God! I’m fine because I’m home.

Gianluca in sunglasses and a leather jacket

When Gianluca goes home to Abruzzo, he feels like he is on vacation. Montepagano is a very beautiful town. It sits at the top of a hill facing the Adriatic Sea. It is like a picture-perfect postcard!  It’s no wonder Gianluca is at peace here. Montepagano is Gianluca’s paradise.
If you ask Gianluca about this paradise and how he spent his childhood there he will tell you, “My life as a child seems so far away. I remember, very, little of my childhood! It’s like twenty years have passed but, only five have passed. I’m not like Ignazio I was born and raised in Montepagano. I was traveling only with dreams. What made me dream? Music naturally.”
And, so, we come to perhaps Gianluca’s greatest passion, Music! Or let’s say our greatest passion about Gianluca, his music!
As you know, Gianluca’s mother worked, so, he went to after-school session with the nuns. He had a teacher named Gabriella. One afternoon, while Gianluca was doing homework, he suddenly got up and started singing “Time to Say Goodbye.” The teacher was speechless. “What a voice you have, what a wonderful voice,” she told Gianluca. “But do you know Andrea Bocelli?” She could not believe how it was possible for such a small child to have such a voice and to know a singer of that kind. “Of course, I know him,” Gianluca said, “he’s my idol, my favorite singer,” Gianluca said this with a certain pride. “Only I do not have his CD yet.” “I’ll bring it to you tomorrow, I’ll gift it to you” was the teacher’s answer. “I was seven, maybe eight years old and thanks to Gabriella I was able to start listening to Andrea Bocelli as often as I wanted.”
Yes, this was Gianluca’s passion as a young boy to sing Bocelli songs. And he sang them all the time. But it was music itself that motived Gianluca.  In an interview with the “Rosetana Star” Gianluca said: “Music for me is the oxygen of my life.”
And it wasn’t just Bocelli as Gianluca will tell you. “As I grew older, I became more passionate about singing, including the great American classics, first of all Frank Sinatra.”

So, let’s turn to the Voice! Sinatra was known as the Voice. But I think Sinatra would be in awe of Gianluca. Love you Frank but Gianluca’s got this one!
Gianluca is known as the Velvet Voice!
I don’t who coined the phrase but, that is right on. Let’s use our senses to understand what that means. Take a piece of velvet and hold it in your hand. Now take your other hand and gently pass your hand across the velvet. What do you feel? You feel a smooth even surface that is crisp with no breaks in it. The sensation is so good that you automatically go back and do it again. And every time it’s the same. It’s pleasing!
Now take Gianluca’s voice, let the notes pass into your ears, what do you hear? A crisp, smooth, even voice with no breaks in it. The note barely passes into your ear and, you are going back for the next note. It’s always pleasing!
Gianluca is a lyrical baritone. He is exceptional because he can sing from the lowest to the highest note in the baritone range. Most baritones are limited in range. Gianluca’s voice is huge. He has a very rich chest resonance which creates a feeling of depth and drama in his voice.

A baritone’s voice is very romantic, very pleasing to listen to and is always inviting. Most songs are written for baritones. Gianluca starts, almost, every song. Why? In order for a song to be received well you must draw your audience into it. Gianluca’s voice draws you in in a romantic way and you hang on to every note. He can mesmerize you with songs like “Mi Mancherai” where he reaches into the depth of his being and yours. His interpretation of “Surrender” is electrifying. But, when Gianluca sings, “She’s Always a Woman”, he takes your breath away. The highs, the lows, the emotion, the expression. His voice expands like nothing I ever heard before. He has total command of the song. You walk away with your senses lifted to another level.
So, let’s turn to how Gianluca got to where he is today! To do this I need to introduce you to the Zecchino d’oro .
Why the Zecchino d’oro or perhaps you’re saying what is the Zecchino d’oro?
I was first introduced to the Zecchino d’oro last November when an article came out saying the Zecchino d’oro will be postponed due to Covid 19. The presenters of the year would be Mara Venier and Carlo Conti.
When I read this article, I immediately thought of Gianluca.  So, what is the Zecchino d’oro and what does it have to do with Gianluca?
The Zecchino d’oro is an Italian tradition. It is an event for kids, and it is dedicated to them and to all the adults who still feel like kids.
This show is presented every year between late November and the beginning of December.
In Italy there are magical days, when it starts to get cold, and children stay in their warm homes. It’s not Christmas, but the period that precedes it when the famous Zecchino d’oro TV show is broadcast. It has been broadcast every year, for decades. It was established in 1959 by Cino Tortorella who was the good presenter who introduced the children on stage, disguised as Mago Zurlì. He was so loved by all children.

Black and white photo of Cino Tortorella talking to a little girl on the show Black and white photo of the Zecchino d’oro TV show

The Zecchino d’oro is the festival of the little ones. In fact, if the Sanremo Festival is aimed at adult audiences and the songs are interpreted by adults, the Zecchino d’oro is made for children, with songs tailored for children.
The songs may seem like simple songs but, they are actually much more. Special attention is given to the songs’ texts. The themes are about tolerance and peace. And this is confirmed by the expression of the event: “In this contest, the winner is not the child who sings, but the song that is sung!”
Black and white photo fo Mariele Ventre teaching children Father Berardo Rossi, one of the founders, discovered by chance, a girl who used to teach the children of his parish and organize events. Mariele Ventre, who was 22 years old, had just graduated from the Verdi Conservatory in Milan and was on her way to a promising concert career. She said yes to Fr. Rossi’s proposal and the adventure began.
Mariele liked the name Zecchino because it refers to the gold coin in the field of miracles of Collodi’s Pinocchio and thus it was called Zecchino d’oro. She founded the Piccolo Coro two years later, an institution that she would direct passionately for thirty years, until the last day before she died on December 16, 1995. Upon her death the Piccolo Coro dell’Antoniano, was renamed Piccolo Coro for Mariele.
Zecchino d’oro, however, is not only music and entertainment, but it has also been carrying out voluntary initiatives by raising funds to build schools, hospitals, orphanages, with projects all over the world, to help the less fortunate live better lives.
In 2008, the Zecchino d’oro received an amazing recognition from UNESCO, becoming a world heritage for a culture of peace: the first TV show in the world to receive such a prestigious award.
This year the images were to be reassuring to Italy. The country had the strength to bet on good feelings and a strong idea of safeguarding children.

Topo Gigio

Though you may not know this show in America, we can relate to one of the characters, Topo Gigio, the puppet created by Maria Perego. Topo Gigio landed in America many years ago on the legendary Ed Sullivan Show. For those of you who are not old enough to remember Topo Gigio, let me say we waited every week for his appearance on the show. For us kids and the adults he became a household name. Seems hard to believe that this little mouse stole the hearts of the American people.
So where does Gianluca fit into all of this? If it wasn’t for the Piccolo Choir of Roses which was inspired by the Zecchino d’oro, Gianluca may not have been discovered.

Gianluca as a member of the Piccolo Choir of Roses

Gianluca was a member of the Piccolo Choir of Roses which is one of the local branches of this choir. The Mago Zurlì, who was the presenter of the event when Gianluca was in the Choir, was Gianluca’s father, Ercole Ginoble.
But, let me let Gianluca tell you how this all came to be….
When I sing, I don’t forget instinct.  What does that mean? As I said, I have never studied singing. I learned to “use” my voice only thanks to my musical ear. I listened to the music and, it transmits everything I know. And I especially thank the Little Choir of Roses.
When I was about eight or nine, all those who knew my voice gave me the same advice: go sing in a choir. In Roseto there was the Piccolo Choir of Roses directed by the master Susy Paola Rizzo. They sang the songs of the “Zecchino d’oro” or other famous songs with arrangements in that style, with music for children. The Mago Zurlì, that was the presenter of the event, was my father. He had been for a couple of seasons.
This is where I started. It was nice because we studied the songs throughout the winter season, not the technique of singing, the songs. It was different, because we did not study the notes and how to do them, rather we studied instinctively, following what the teacher said and what our ear heard.
Then, in the summer, we demonstrated our work in the Municipality of Roseto. We sang in the squares during the local festivals, in the lidos, in the bathing establishments, around the whole of Abruzzo, all these tiny villages.

During the performances with the choir, besides the repertoire of the Zecchino d’oro, we sang the songs of Bocelli: Misere, Il Mare Calmo Della Sera, La Voce Del SilenzIo.

Left to right: Gianluca, Ignazio and Piero in front of a Sanremo 2015 sign Gianluca, Ignazio and Piero

Of course, the greatest achievement for Gianluca and the guys was winning Sanremo! We know that it was Gianluca who convinced the guys to go to Sanremo! Or rather Gianluca convinced Piero who convinced Ignazio. And, in the end, Gianluca sums up Sanremo and the events that follow in this way!
The truth is that I was right from the beginning and, no one has ever listened to me, ever. I believed it so much that, if you notice, maybe I’m the one with the least surprised look when Carlo Conti announces the winner. Then, of those moments, one remembers little, there is great confusion, emotion. It was a dream to be able to shout, “Thank you, Italy!” from that stage. I looked at Sanremo as a child, when there was Pippo Baudo, and I was there and have won because people were on our side and it was a dream, I repeat even if I have already said. The emotion was only when my grandfather told me almost in tears: ‘Who would have told me that in my life I would see Modugno win at the Festival and then I see you win.’
On Sunday evening, when I returned to Montepagano, I found th whole village in a party, not just my grandfather: my countrymen were waiting for me from the morning to celebrate. There really was everyone, including the mayor. And then, the journalists, the local TV and a crowd of people who we could not count.
Another of the beautiful things that came after San Remo was the chance to meet the children of the Agbe, the Association of Parents of the Emopatic Children, of Pescara.
It is a reality born in 2000 from the idea of a group of parents, in fact, with children from the hemopaths treated at the Santo Spirito hospital in the city. The purpose of the association is to give support in every way to the children and families during and after the period of treatment. An initiative that, for those like me and very sensitive to the problems of health of children, and really beautiful.
The thing that honors me a lot and that, inspired by my story with Ti Lascio Una Canzone, they thought to have the children dedicate to singing, so they organize a Christmas show every year that keeps them very busy and also a lot of fun. But at Agbe they would never have thought we would meet.
Instead, after the Festival I went to see them, all young patients from 4 to 15 years, and I invited them to our concert of Il Volo Live 2015 in Chieti because I knew that Piero and Ignazio would have been happy to meet them. And, so, it was: they came, they had fun and we spent time together taking pictures and signing autographs.

Gianluca in a brown jacket looking over his shoulder Gianluca in a white long sleeve dress shirt taking a selfie photo

But Gianluca is about emotions too! And many things that happened after Sanremo were emotional for Gianluca! Like Gianluca receiving a prize for bringing Abruzzo around the world. Let’s listen to Gianluca talk about the emotion of winning this prize.
When I talk about emotions that arrived after Sanremo, I cannot forget what it meant to receive a prize like Abruzzese that gives prestige to its region in the world.
Every year on August 5th is celebrated the Day of Abruzzesi in the world, a day set up with a regional law to remember all the emigrants. On that day five ambassadors of Abruzzo are appointed in the world, that is, Abruzzesi who have come out of the regional boundaries for different reasons and give prestige to their region.
For example, they awarded a university lecturer, a cardiologist, the founder of a cultural association, an entrepreneur and a successful executive. The ceremony, which has a different location every year, was held in the Fortress of Civitalla del Tronto, a village that is a jewel of the province of Teramo, right on the border with the Marches.
I, however, am still in Abruzzo and therefore I cannot be appointed ambassador according to regional regulations, I was awarded with a beautiful statuette that replicates the warrior Capestrano, for having brought the name of my land around the world.
I cannot tell you what a feeling it is to receive from the regional Presidency the cultural symbol of my region. The original of the warrior stands in the National Archaeological Museum, more than two meters tall, of limestone, with a large disk helmet that looks like a hat. You see it for sure. And it is one of the things I’m most proud of.
In short, Sanremo was just a dream that brought us many different emotions.
Gianluca has a heart of gold! It’s always about helping others whether through his generosity or his love of his country! That’s just how Gianluca is. He has his hand in everything and reaches it out to those who need it!
But it seems I digressed!

Gianluca holding a microphone singing

So now, let me go back and sum up Gianluca’s musical career! Although Gianluca never studied music he did develop a musical ear and instinct and as a member of the Piccolo Choir of Roses and his performances around Abruzzo, he was discovered by Licia Giunco who brought Gianluca to Rome to audition for Ti Lascio Una Canzone. The rest of the story is history!
And as a result of this, Gianluca Shares His Amazing Voice with people all over the world!
Join me next week as I go back Through the Fields of My Mind and open the door to a new adventure!
If you would like to share a story with me, please email:  susan.flightcrew@yahoo.com
To read more Il Volo stories visit us at www.ilvoloflightcrw.com
*Excerpts from Il Volo, Un’avventura straordinaria, La nostra storia.

 

Credit to owners of all photos and videos.

Italians in America ~ Ann Scavo (Anncruise)

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‘Amore’: Italian-American Singers In The 20th Century

American singer and actor Frank Sinatra sits at the piano. Getty Images
American singer and actor Frank Sinatra sits at the piano.
Getty Images

Apparently, Dean Martin didn’t much like the song “That’s Amore,” but in 1953 it became one of his biggest hits. It’s a song that seems to capture a moment in pop history when nearly every hit was performed by an Italian-American singer. The story of “That’s Amore” and the songs made famous by Frank Sinatra, Perry Como and others is told in a new book called Amore. Weekend All Things Considered host Guy Raz recently spoke with the author, Mark Rotella, about Italian singers in 20th-century America.

“That’s Amore” came from a movie called The Caddy, starring Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis; it’s about an Italian man who plays a golf pro and is followed by a faithful caddy. In the movie, when the two return to Italy and are greeted by their Italian family, they break into this song. When we hear it today, it sounds like a caricature of Italian culture. But, Rotella says, it served as an introduction to Italian culture for many Americans.

“It was one of the more obvious ones,” he says. “There were Italian singers before, but this led to other kitschy songs, like Rosemary Clooney’s ‘Mambo Italiano,’ and so many other songs that came after that were kind of kitschy but were also really pop and kind of fun.”

Rotella’s book isn’t just about Italian-American singers. It’s also about a turning point in 20th-century America when Italian entertainers started to be seen as American entertainers. Rotella says that there was a Golden Age of entertainment that started around 1947.

“This is when second- and third-generation Americans of Italian decent were coming of age,” he says. “This is post-war; it was a time of optimism. This era was basically the end of the big band and the beginning of the solo voice, and this lasted through the ’50s, up until I’d say 1964, with The Beatles.”

This was happening during a period when there was a great deal of discrimination against Italians in America. For example, this excerpt was taken from a profile on Joe DiMaggio from Life Magazine in 1939.

“Although he learned Italian first, Joe now speaks English without an accent. … Instead of olive oil or smelly bear grease, he keeps his hair slicked with water. He never reeks of garlic and prefers chicken chow mein to spaghetti.”

These kinds of comments were acceptable in mainstream dialogue, and yet a few years later, Italian singers would dominate the pop charts.

“This is the time when so many singers were now seen on TV,” Rotella says. “They were good-looking. They had a certain sensibility, a certain attitude that was open and charming.”

Rotella says that nearly every singer he interviewed named Enrico Caruso as an influence. Caruso was the first pop artist to sell a million copies of his music, offering his recordings on flat discs for the RCA Victor Vitrolas of the time. Rotella says that this shaped the way music was sold for years to come.

“They sold so much, this really defined how music was recorded and on what medium,” Rotella says. “It was going to be Victor on the flat plastic records.”

One of the singers Rotella includes in his book is none other than the king of the golden age of Italian-American music, Frank Sinatra. Rotella calls Sinatra’s song “Fly Me to the Moon” a metaphor for all of the breakthroughs that Italian singers achieved.

“When you hear the song, it’s optimistic,” he says. “It’s kind of dreamy, forward-thinking, but it’s tough. He says, ‘fly me to the moon,’ but it’s almost as if he’s there already. This is coming at a time when music was going to change. It’s the tail-end of the success of the Rat Pack. It was at this time that almost total assimilation of Italians had happened. In ways, I feel like after this [song], there were so many Italians that followed him. Not necessarily performing Italian music; we wouldn’t necessarily know them as Italians today. This song of reaching the moon seemed to me to be every immigrant’s dream of assimilating.

(Note:  videos were added to this article ~Marie)

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Descendants from Sicilian village keep their heritage alive in America

People from Sciacca, Agrigento congregating outside the local church before leaving for America.
People from Sciacca, Agrigento congregating outside the local church before leaving for America.

Between 1880 and 1920 over four million Italians were recorded as entering the United States.  About three-fourths of these immigrants went through the Ellis Island immigration station with the majority being males between the ages of 24 and 45.

The island of Sicily and the region around Naples, both in the south, accounted for over half the Italians who moved to the U.S. looking for a better life.

According to manifest documents from the ships, so many Sicilians reported ‘Sciacca in Agrigento’ as their home village that immigration inspectors used “ditto” marks to record this information.

Many of these Italians settled in Little Italy neighborhoods all over the country, the most famous being in New York.

Discrimination between Italians in Little Italy was rampant.

Being fiercely provincial and proud of their own regions, the Italians from Naples, Calabria and Bari looked down on Sicilians, particularly those from Sciacca.

Given their humble beginnings, their descendants were taught to be proud of their Sicilian heritage.

Baseball legend Mike Piazza’s father’s family comes from Sciacca, and though he doesn’t speak Italian, the former Mets catcher is fiercely proud of his roots.

“I feel a strong tie to Sicily, since my heritage is there. My grandfather Rosario came from Sciacca, to the United States and my father grew me up following the Italian tradition. I think it’s in our DNA to strive to work hard and persevere,” Piazza said.

“One thing that was present in me was my father’s distinct love of his Italian heritage and Sicilian ancestry.

I can’t tell you how many times my father would say “Amuni a monjare, beddu”, and “mezza mortu”.

He would also take a strong stand against negative Italian American stereotypes saying that they “don’t represent the real Italians”.

Piazza also said he travels to Sciacca regularly. “It’s something I have great pride in knowing how proud my father and grandfather would be if they could see me here.”

Mike Piazza: A proud descendent of Sciacca.
Mike Piazza: A proud descendent of Sciacca.

Musician Jon Bon Jovi is another who is descended from emigrants from Siacca. In 2013, Bongiovi Sr. gladly shared his family’s pasta sauces – the recipes for which originated in Sciacca and were passed down through three generations.

Cartoon artist, director and producer Joseph Barbera, who formed Hanna-Barbera with William Hanna, is another who is descended from emigrants from Sciacca. Both his parents were born in Sciacca and he grew up speaking Italian.

Alicia Keys is another who has found out about her large extended Italian family. Her great-grandfather Michiele was from Sciacca.

Mike Marino, most famous for his hilarious segment about an Italian president from New Jersey, is another who is descended from emigrants from Sciacca.

As his grandfather once said: “YOU MAY LEAVE SICILY – BUT SICILY NEVER LEAVES YOU.”

 

How Sciacca looks today
How Sciacca looks today

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Four Presidents, a Mountain and an Italian Chief Carver: the Long Forgotten History of Luigi del Bianco

by FRANCESCA BEZZONE

Luigi del Bianco working at Mount Rushmore
Luigi del Bianco working at Mount Rushmore
Everyone knows Mount Rushmore, with its iconic representations of four of the most important presidents of US history: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, F.D. Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln. As a child, I remember being fascinated by their stoney, gigantic faces and I often wondered how someone could have made them look so perfect and lifelike; as you would expect from a  5 year old, I thought a single sculptor spent his entire life carving the mountain on his own,  with his scalpel in one hand and a hammer in the other, failing to understand that a project of such  a magnitude had very likely involved hundreds of people through a number of years.
Even if I had known that then, I certainly would not have been aware of the essential role of Italy in the creation of the Mount Rushmore Memorial, because its recognition came only in very recent times, when a previously unknown Friuli Venezia-Giulia migrant, Luigi del Bianco, was recognised as chief carver of the monument.
Bringing justice to Luigi
History tells us that, between the 4th of October 1927 and the 31st of October 1941, 400 people worked on the sculpting and carving of Mount Rushmore. They were led by Gutzon Borglum and his son, sculptors and artists of Danish descent.
Among those 400 workers, in 1935 made his appearance Luigi del Bianco, from Meduno, in the north eastern region of Friuli Venezia Giulia, who had studied carving in Venice and Vienna before trying his luck on the other side of the ocean and emigrating to the United States.  Del Bianco’s name became known among historians and specialists of Mount Rushmore when his own grandson, Lou del Bianco, and his late uncle Caesar, began a strenuous campaign to have the role of their own ancestor in the making of the Mount Rushmore Memorial recognised.
It was the Italian Luigi del Bianco the artist who gave to America's timeless stone presidents their life-like features and immortal gaze.
It was the Italian Luigi del Bianco the artist who gave to America’s timeless stone presidents their life-like features and immortal gaze.
Because Caesar and Lou both believed Luigi had been more than a simple worker at the site, they set on a quest: demonstrating it to the world. It was Caesar, son of Luigi, who started the amazing adventure in the late 1980s, when Rex Allen Smith published “The Carving of Mount Rushmore:” here, the name of his father never appeared. Caesar was gutted.
More than 20 years later D.J. Gladstone, the author of the ultimate work on del Bianco, “Carving a Niche for Himself” (2014), would say that talking about Mount Rushmore without mentioning Luigi del Bianco was the equivalent of talking about the Yankees without mentioning Joe DiMaggio: but how much research, work and perseverance was behind such a statement. The research, work  and perseverance of Caesar and his nephew  Lou, who explored libraries, unearthed documents and campaigned for recognition, refusing to let their relative fall into oblivion.
After Caesar’s death in 2009, Lou took up his mission in full and it’s also thanks to his relentless  efforts that Cameron Sholly, current director of the Midwest region for the National Park Services, accepted to reassess Luigi del Bianco’s role in the inception and creation of Mount Rushmore. Shelley came to the conclusion that  del Bianco’s grandson was right: Luigi had been, indeed, the main carver at the site, the artist who gave to America’s timeless stone presidents their life-like features and immortal gaze.
Who was Luigi del Bianco?
Chief carver at Mount Rushmore, of course, but his life held much more than that. He was born in 1892 aboard a ship near Le Havre, in France, while his parents had been returning to Italy from the United States. The family, as said, settled in the North East of Italy and it’s there that 11 year old Luigi started studying carving and understood how talented he was. Still an adolescent, he had travelled to the US for the first time and settled with relatives in Vermont: there, he became known as a skilful carver. After returning to Italy to serve his country during the First World War, he was in Vermont once more and then settled in Port Chester, where his family still resides today.
While in Port Chester, del Bianco met Borglum, with whom he began to work: it was the beginning of the collaboration who was to bring him to South Dakota and to Mount Rushmore where, as chief carver, he became responsible of refining the presidents’ facial expressions. According to The Times, he spent a particularly long time sculpting Lincoln’s face and his eyes, whose pupils were made more vibrant by inserting wedges of granite in them. He worked at Mount Rushmore from 1935 to 1941, when he returned to Port Chester. Here he died in 1969, at the age of 78, because of silicosis, a disease caused, tragically, by the same thing that gave him so much joy in life: stone.
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Watch it!

Watch for these winners on your PBS Channel.  These dates are From Detroit PBS.  Search or call your local station.

Frank Sinatra

Celebrate Ol’ Blue Eyes’ 100th Birthday with Italian Favorites 

On Saturday, Dec 12, we honor Sinatra’s 100th birthday with special Frank Sinatra: The Voice of Our Time at8pm ET. The night also features Italian-themed programming from Il Volo, Luciano Pavarotti, & Giada Valenti.

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Also scheduled for Detroit PBS and hopefully soon in your area.

Il Volo: Buon Natale Il Volo: Buon Natale Saturday, 12/12 at 6:30pm ET. Il Volo perform holiday songs in this concert featuring Panis Angelicus;Jingle Bell Rock; Let It Snow; It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year medley; and more.

 

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LynnK found this video from “Access Hollywood”

IL Volo: ‘Grande Amore’ Our Best Release Yet

December 6, 2015 

Italian pop trio IL Volo tells Access why “Grande Amore,” is the best work they’ve ever recorded.

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Video  Here ⇒ http://link.brightcove.com/services/player/bcpid1318783750001?bckey=AQ~~,AAABAY6g5IE~,g0_gr83Y4h1-VWYH1Kd03vYHLYmpEkg0&bctid=4645371887001

 

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I had to throw this video in, Gina I don’t know where you find these things!  Prepare to boogie ’cause you’re gonna love this guy!

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~Marie

 

 

DID YOU KNOW????????

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Hi Everyone,

Here we are again with almost no news of Il Volo. We do know they are enjoying being home. Piero is doing the Disco scene. Ignazio seems to be here and there with his friends, it does look like he’s having a good time. We’re grateful this year that he is tweeting and sending photos, Last year we heard almost nothing from him during this time. Gianluca was in Rome for a day or so, Had his hair straightend and apparently did some shopping and was interviewed for a magazine article, otherwise he seems to be staying around home with his friends. His daily tweets are always welcome!

Here we go on another “Did You Know“. Remember, if you have any tidbits of your own, let us know!

DID YOU KNOW??

Gianluca was so shy as a child he looked at the floor or wall when he sang?

Piero sang at weddings when he was young, to help pay for his music lessons. His family was willing to pay, but he wanted to help pay too?

Ignazio used to bother the neighbors, playing his drums constantly in his room?

Here are some Did You Know’s on some other Italian singers.

Did you know that Jerry Vale was born Gennaro Luigi Vitaliano in the Bronx, NY? Did you know that he shined shoes in a barbershop in NYC for extra money? He sang while he worked and his boss was so taken with his singing that he paid for his music lessons?

Jerry Vale

Do you remember some of his hits? “Al de La”, “Arrivederci Roma” and my favorite “You don’t Know Me”? You can still hear and see him on YouTube. He pesently lives with his wife in California.

Did you know Frank Sinatra was born an only child in Hoboken, NJ? Did you know he was expelled from High School in 1938 for his rowdy behavior? Did you know his father was a lightweight boxer who fought under the name of Marty O’Brien?

sinatra 2

It’s too hard to put all his hits here. My favorite has always been “My Way” written by Paul Anka!

Did you know that Mario Lanza was born Alfred Arnold Cocazza? He changed his name in 1942, his mother’s maiden name was Maria Lanza.

Mario Lanza

Some of his hits were “Drink Drink Drink” “I’ll Walk With God” and “Be My Love” He passed away at the young age of 38.

All of these great artists can still be seen and  heard on YouTube.

Did you know that The Appian Way (Via Appia) Remains of Appian Way near Quarto Miglio was built by the Romans in the mid 4th century BC?  It was the earliest and strategically the most important road in the ancient empire. It was used to transport military supplies and troops. At right is a portion of the Via Appia near Quarto Miglio.

Some news sent to us from Flight Crew member, Chris. Ignazio will be a guest singer at the concert of his friend Roberto Amade, a jazz musician on February 2nd in Marsala.  ignazio-1Thank you, Chris for the heads up!!

Before you send me letters (lol) I will be covering my favorite singer, Perry Como in my next column!!

Thanks everyone for your feedback, Enjoy!

Linda

Music Notes ~~ by Meheaton ~~ The North American Concert Tour ~ A Look Back

Il Volo Flight Crew  ~ We Are Love September  29, 2013 Music Notes   –    Myron Heaton

NORTH AMERICAN CONCERT TOUR  –    A Look Back

Tonight, September 29 in Wallingford, CT, marks the final concert of  Il Volo’s North American Concert Tour.   Borrowing from experiences of our friends who attended each of the concerts and my own experiences at several others, I thought I would review the whole adventure.

Venues

The concert venues ranged from classic theaters like the Chicago Theater, Heinz Concert Hall, Fox Theater and Radio City Music Hall  to large arena-style or open-air set-ups like Concorde or Toronto.   In terms of acoustics and environment, I would probably place the Chicago and Radio City Music Hall at the top of my list for choice places to perform for Il Volo.  RCMH has the added extra incredible history in New York that makes it extra special.   Earlier in the tour, my favorite place was the Comerica in Phoenix.

Technical Aspects

Il Volo brings its own sound equipment,  lighting equipment,  staging equipment (platforms, stairs, large screens and LED light curtain) and other decorations for the stage.  The sound system was very good quality, although sometimes balance between instrumental and singers needed some attention.  That can depend on the venue.

General lighting and special effects lighting was very good and very interesting most of the time.  Sometimes the follow spots were not “following” correctly, but they are local people who run those usually, not someone familiar with the blocking of the program.

I found the staging to be much more effective this year than last season.  The premise of three screens and stairs was still there but use of the round platform in the center and curved stairs really helped add class.  Beautiful stage work.  Also, the staging of the boys was much better this year with better usage of the stage space and more interaction with the audience as well as between themselves.  In most venues they were able to come out into the audience which is always exciting.

Artistic aspects

In regards to the music repertoire, I think we all agree that this is where Il Volo has no peer in this business.  They start with 200 hundred songs and narrow down to 40 of the best  and then refine to the 26 they actually use.  The boys choose, and all three must agree on each song.  They pick beautifully written, well crafted songs with beautiful melodies, great harmony and sweeping lyrical lines; songs with strong texts that say something. These songs receive great treatment with wonderful arrangements and beautiful orchestrations.  Humberto Gatica and Tony Renis oversee this part of the work, and they are very good at it.

This year’s North American tour saw some of the best of last year added to the best of this year:  this year’s “Luna Nascosta” with last year’s “Tous les Visages de l’Amour”,  and this year’s “Il Canto” along with “E Pie Ti Penso.”  And of course, the wonderful comparison/translation of “O Sole Mio” becoming “It’s Now or Never”  and  “Torna a Surriento” becoming “Surrender.”  The “accidental song”,  “El Triste,” was a great addition along with the great  “Il Mondo.”

The classic solos were so superb, displaying the power of Piero’s “No Puede Ser,” the emotion of Ignazio’s, “Caruso,” and the raw passion of Gianluca’s, “En Aranjuez con tu Amor.”   The new pop song solo this year, “Night and Day,” gave us Ginaluca’s taste of the great Cole Porter channeled through Frank Sinatra, and it was wonderful.

For the next tour starting in Guadalajara, the music will change a little bit. Some songs will be dropped and some that are in English or Italian will be in Spanish.

In singing and performance, this is another place where Piero, Ignazio and Gianluca have no peer.  They are called young men, but no; I’m going to make this point and say, ” teenage boys.”  In terms of maturity of the human voice  (35 years),  they are still teen voices to a certain degree, but that is what makes them so incredible.   They are not 35 year olds, but they sound like they are at least 25 or 30.  Such rich, full sound, great tonal control and fantastic breath support.  I cannot say enough about the wonderful singers and really fine musicians these guys are.

It is so wonderful that they have real talent.  They do not need “autotune” to sing in tune.  They can actually read music, not just guitar chords.  They can sing a capella and rule the day.  There is nothing fake about these gentlemen.  Then you add that to the wonderful personality and unique character each of them is and, oh my god!

This North American tour should have gone to some other Midwestern cities (that we have all discussed) during this tour because this series helped raise the standards of popular music in this country even to certain degree.  It really is hard to go back to listening to other groups of the current scene.

If I am pressed to make a choice, I would say that the Radio City Music Hall concert was their best and certainly the climax of this tour.

I will be anxious to hear from the concerts in Latin America.

Thanks, Myron! 

As always, everyone ask questions and discuss! 🙂

Kelly