Back in 2021 we were all in our homes and hoping that soon we would get back to normal. It took a log time coming but it finally did happen.
Of course, as in everything the guys took the lead. When they left their houses, they restarted their magic and created Magical Moments for us!. They told us they had many surprises for us and right out of the box, they kept their promise.
In September 2021, the guys gave us a week of magical moments. I talked about them in one of my stories. Sometimes a story just hits you in an amazing way. I know I wrote this story, but the guys lived it and that is what made it so amazing, so magical!
So, let me go back to one of my favorite stories. Even writers have favorite stories! In this story we follow the guys from Melpignano to Verona and beyond! Be ready to be amazed all over again!
It is September 15th, 2021, and the guys have just finished one of the most amazing weeks of their lives. I asked the question, “How often over the last year have we said we missed the guys?” Well, this week made up for all of 2020 and 2021 and sealed their future. In 2020 they went home and closed their doors and came back out a whole new Il Volo. One spectacular event after another.
So, let’s start in the beautiful region of Apulia, Italy.
“La Notte della Taranta”, is one of the largest Festivals in Italy and one of the most significant manifestations of popular culture in Europe. The final concert of La Notte della Taranta, has had as many as one hundred and fifty thousand spectators in the past. It takes place in Salento, in the municipality of Melpignano, at the esplanade of the former Augustinian Convent specifically for the rediscovery and the enhancement of traditional Salento music. It is not limited to traditional music. It also allows for rock, jazz and symphonic music. This year’s host was Albano.
Listen to the voices of our guys coming alive backstage! It’s a calling! “Who sells olives.”
Meanwhile Albano awaits their arrival on stage. He tells us about the song. It is from the region of Apulia, the region where he was born. He says, “It reminds me of the autumn song. It is the November song.”
November is the time of the olive harvest, and a man would always pass with a cart of olives to sell to the people. Albano and Ignazio sing a phrase in the Apulian dialect (“Who has olives, I have to buy them.”) Albano said when Modugno sang in the Apulian dialect he was very proud of him. Ignazio said, “So let’s hope, with this next song we will sing, to make you even more proud of your land.”
Albano (tells the guys): You know that I am proud to have you here beside me.
Gianluca: And we are happy.
Albano (continues) …Simply because I baptized these two.
Albano is referring to Ignazio and Piero who he performed with on Ti Lascio Una Canzone. I remember those performances and that Albano was in awe of both of them. Then Albano continues about Gianluca who he didn’t perform with at Ti Lascio una Canzone.
Albano: And to you, (Gianluca) you I baptize this evening.
Gianluca: One day, sooner or later, we will sing together. But it is nice, I can say, that these events make it possible to spread a musical culture like this of the Taranta, and it is right that young people are attached to the roots of these great events. We must not lose this desire to carry on traditions, we too, as young people, are proud to be here tonight.
When the music begins our guys sing the National Anthem of the region in Griko which is a mixture of Italian and Greek. Another language to add to their list!
Griko is unique to this region but there are other regions, in Italy, that speak languages other than Italian. In many Arberesh villages where the people are Italian, Albanian and Greek they have their own languages. My grandfathers’ town Vaccarizzo Albanese (Calabria) is an Aberesh town, and they have retained the archaic features of both Gheg and Tosk dialects. Many of the words they spoke at the festival, I understood. It was a beautiful experience for me.
The guy’s performance was magnificent. From the first larilò larilò lallero to the last, the whole stage was alive with their voices and a rhythm and beat that I can’t get out of mind! You could see how much the guys were enjoying it. Their interpretation of this beautiful song was awesome! Festivals are at the heart of the Italian people. They love them! This song is so full of joy and happiness.
The dancers were wonderful! Through the dance, they told the story of the people, of their labors and, their joys. The hardship of life and the happiness of home and family! Their singing and the dancing were very uplifting. And the guys’ interaction with the dancers and musicians on stage brought the whole story together. They brought the audience into the song and together they presented the history and culture of the people. This was very unique, and the guys helped us to see another culture within their Italian culture. A magnificent delivery of the beautiful Anthem of the Griko people! Truly an amazing event!
Gianluca, Ignazio and Piero were interviewed by the official page of La Notte della Taranta.
Woman: Let’s start from the basics, how do you say goodnight in Greek?
Woman: And then, how does this song go on? (Gianluca, Ignazio and Piero sing a verse from the song)
Woman: Quite right!
Gianluca: So, you (inhabitants of Puglia) all speak Grico?
Woman: In Greece-Salento yes!
Ignazio (explains to Piero): When the Greeks come here on vacation, the local elders understand them, because the older ones still speak the Grico dialect.
Woman: What do you think of La Notte della Taranta?
Ignazio: It is certainly one of the most important cultural events in Italy, and most welcome, because I always say that Italy is a nation full of different cultures and traditions and certainly these events give space to make known their own traditions and culture, and therefore we are honored to be part of it, alongside Albano, an Apulian DOC, which has never forgotten its origins and there is also Madame (young singer) who is a young woman, like us. Hence the importance of carrying the roots, ALWAYS, in any situation, in any place.
Woman: It will be a rock Calinitta, according to Melozzi (the orchestra master)
Gianluca: It is a symphonic rock, which is also the secret of Queen (rock group), if we want to talk also musically about the history of the great artists who have always brought symphonic rock all over the world.
Ignazio: Calinitta Queeniana.
Gianluca: Melozzi is a great musician, moreover from Abruzzo, I am also from Abruzzo, I always speak of my land, sorry, and therefore it is nice that there is also a little of Abruzzo in this Taranta and I am proud of it.
Piero: Ah, Calinitta ciao everyone!
Next stop Venezia! Talk about an exciting event!
Where do I begin…
In the afternoon the guys attended the award presentations where they were presented as winners of the 78th Film Italy Movie Awards. Upon exiting the building, they were interviewed by an unknown man…
Man: This is not Sanremo, this is the cinema exhibition!
Piero: But it seems a little like Sanremo, we meet, all familiar faces.
Gianluca: We are preparing a very ambitious recording project which is a tribute to maestro Ennio Morricone. We had the opportunity to collaborate with Vittorio Storaro in a music video, so we are here in the company of a great master of cinema, Vittorio Storaro.
Ignazio: He chose our voices for a tribute of the video of “Your Love,” which is shot in the Frasassi Caves, and therefore it is beautiful, this is not the first time we come here. It is always a beautiful atmosphere. Venice is a place that is stupendous.
Later in the day, the guys appeared in their transport to Lido. What do we see here? We see three elegant young men who are on the brink of a new direction in their lives. Not leaving all that they are and all they always will be, we know they will never leave the concert stage, but taking the next step on their road to greatness!
What we’ve been watching these last few months, every time we see the video of the Frasassi Caves, is the guy’s embarkation on a new and wonderful experience in their lives. They are the stars of this Short Film. They are what makes this film possible. Vittorio Storaro’s genius and the presence and voice of Il Volo have made this movie an award-winning production.
To help you understand this better let me tell you what Storaro had to say about this…
The idea actually comes from what we have been through all this last year, the disgrace that has happened to us from the pandemic, which has closed all the arts a little. But then there was an idea which came from Pirandello, who said: One, Nobody, One Hundred Thousand (the title of a Pirandello novel), and in this case becomes a Once Upon a Time, as the project of Il Volo and the music of Ennio Morricone, start from Once Upon a Time in the West, directed by a great director, Sergio Leone, with the music of Morricone, the subject of Bernardo Bertolucci and Dario Argento, so there is a whole series of characters that carry some new message.
A message that also becomes a hope, not only in the present, but also in the future, because if before, once upon a time there was Nobody, where art enters, in this case Music and Singing, which is represented by Il Volo, the song with the music of Ennio Morricone “Your Love,” brings a new energy, energy that practically becomes: Once upon a time there was no one, and now Il Volo ~ over and over!
So, we will see that Gianluca, Piero and Ignazio multiply.
When they descend from that blessed rope where the first boys went down here in the caves many years ago (50 years ago), it is a little like entering a seed into mother earth and thus forming a new generation, which is the generation of the future.
Il Volo, in this case becomes a symbol, as, not only does it enter the womb of the earth, it first regenerates the energy of life, but it can do it in all the squares, in all the theaters, in all the places of the world, and that, certainly is what music is, nevertheless it carries a great message of love.
Storaro was so right that carrying their music around the world will revive the music industry through this project. Through it the music will be alive again.
So that also sums up where our guys are headed! A part of their new direction. Presenting this movie throughout the world. It is our guys bringing a message to the world. A message of hope and love for all people and all nations!
So, let’s rejoin the guys on the red carpet.
Along with the Storaro family we find Storaro’s newly adopted family Il Volo.
These guys certainly lit up the red carpet. Elegant in their Dolce & Gabbana tuxedos there was no lack of interest in their presence.
How did the guys feel in this moment? Perhaps the words of Ignazio in a Rappler interview sums it up. “It was amazing working with Maestro Vittorio Storaro, remembering all the most beautiful moments that he spent with the Maestro Morricone… It is our dream. The three of us will be on the red carpet with Vittorio Storaro.”
Of course, Ignazio was referring to, Vittorio Storaro, their director, the veteran director who won three Oscars, including one for Francis Ford Coppola’s masterpiece, Apocalypse Now, which he and the director shot in the Philippines.
The new short, dedicated by Storaro to the master composer, Morricone, who passed away in 2020. A clip of the movie was premiered at the fourth edition of Filming Italy Best Movie Award on the occasion of the 78th Venice Film Festival. And as you know Storaro won a Best Italian Film award and so did our guys for their starring role and their song “Your Love.”
Next the cocktail party…
Did you notice where all the women flocked to? Our guys! Who could resist these gorgeous guys. They grace the room with their presence. When they enter a room it lights up.
Italy what have you to say about your guys now. You have got to be so proud of them. Look at how they shine in the world! But there was never a problem in recognition. We in America have always been proud of them and called them our own. I hope this project will allow them to spend more time in the US! Maybe at the Academy Awards. Although we will only see the film for the first time on September 25th at the premier at the Frasassi Caves we already know how important this project is and how beautiful this film is.
Let them loose on the red carpet again! Our red carpet in America!!!
From this project we can see so many more projects like this on the horizon.
We are so proud of the award they won at the 78th Venice Film Festival, but that was only the beginning!
Next stop Verona…
Do you ever feel when they’re in Verona, they are home? I certainly do. To me they own the Verona Arena. Every performance there is phenomenal!
They returned to the Seat Music Awards to sing their beautiful song, “Your Love” and to pick up their second award for the week!
While writing this I remembered a year ago when they were at the SMA. It was to restart the music industry.
I’m going to go back to the story I wrote about the event last year. “Turn on the Lights”
I know we will never forget the night before the performance when the guys went to the Arena to check out the lights. It was beautiful and funny at the same time. Let’s pop in to listen to the guy’s conversation:
Ignazio to Piero: What are you doing?
Piero: What are you looking at?
Ignazio: The light that is there.
Gianluca: It’s Beautiful.
Ignazio: The gorgeous light. Gorgeous! Gorgeous!
Of course, Piero pulled out his phone and started to video.
But what was it about the lights that got Ignazio’s attention? Well, they were as Ignazio said, “La Luce Stupenda!” (The lights were gorgeous), but I think he was thinking about the last lights that he saw on stage. When they turned off the lights at their last performance in the US and went home to a country in pain from a pandemic!
When the guys arrived on stage, they had a message for the world and all people in the industry:
Ignazio: 2020 will be remembered as the year where the world would be constrained to be turned off.
Gianluca: For the music employees the verb “turn off’ means the end of the show, when the curtains close and it is the waiting moment for the next show, but this time the waiting lasted more than expected, the silence was unavoidable.
Piero: Now, the world is getting ready to start again! Now the moment has arrived to raise the curtain! Now, we will turn on the music!”
This beautiful statement was followed by the performance of the evening. Their choice of “Nessun Dorma” sent an even stronger message. It’s says we may have to perform under these new world conditions, but we don’t have to change who we are or why we’re here. In this ancient Arena we look to the past while following the path to the future.
From their first note the whole arena lit up. Their voices were clean and crisp. Their presence was illuminating. Their notes rose above the Arena into the night sky to let the world know music is back! The final note of their song sent the final statement. All three voices rose in unison and their voices sent forth a note that took our breaths away! It said We Have Returned! Turn on the Lights.
Isn’t it ironic that one year later they win an award for the short film Frasassi Caves for which they are represented as regenerating the energy of life? Music is their energy!
They so deserve this award.
So let’s get back to this week’s performance at the Arena.
Prior to the guy’s performance, the stage was set up with multi color lights but when the guys arrived on stage, I think they were even surprised. The stage was lit as it was for last year’s performance. Very simple, very plain but what was going on in the audience was a totally different story. All phones were lit up. It was magic.
They stepped on stage in their beautiful but informal all black attire. Elegant in its simplicity!
As they come face to face with the audience, I could see the emotion in their faces.
Look at how these people love them and how they love their fans!
And then it begins. …