Tag Archives: Good Morning America

Individuality by Susan

Today I was thinking about Verona and the TV Special, and I was thinking about how magical the guys are. I even wrote a story once about the magic of Il Volo. Yes, they are and always will be magic. But magic is an understatement. Let’s look at what these phenomenal guys have done recently.
Individuality!!! You know that everyone loves Il Volo, but everyone loves his favorite guy, best!  Though I don’t admit it too often, I love all the guys but, I too have a favorite! Think of how many times at a concert you said I wish (my guy) would sing more. You said that not because you don’t like the group but in fact you want to listen to each one individually. Their new concerts are doing exactly that!  It’s giving us the opportunity to look into the heart of our guys through their music. It allows us to see them in a deeper and more personal way.

Some of you have written to me about the new concerts to say, you know I always loved (your guy) but now I’m see some great value in (the other guy). Does that mean your favorite guy is no longer your favorite guy? No, it just means that you appreciate the other guy more than before.
Their idea of “individuality” was not to dissuade you from one or the other. No, in fact, they want you to take a closer look at the other guy. Not to compare but to understand their individuality!
You may have found that some of the music they are singing now you like more than what they were singing or vis versa! It’s called taking a closer look!

The magic of Il Volo is on the stage, in the concert halls, in Arenas and Amphitheaters, on TV, in videos and CD’s but the true magic of Il Volo is in our hearts.
When we leave the concerts, we don’t leave them behind! No, we take them with us! They’re with us in our homes, in cars, on trains and on planes. How many of you out there can say that you ever felt that way about a singer or a group at any other time in your life? I’ll answer for you! Never! Because no other group in history has ever been so open, so sincere and so forthcoming with their fans.
I’m sure there are other singers you listen to. Think about them. Would they take the time to talk to you, to ask about you and your family? And that’s another thing. We all know about their families but think about this. They know about our families too! They ask for them and if you’re at a concert without them they ask where they are! That’s an expression of love and it is very commendable.
So, let’s go back to what I said about individuality. That guy that’s your favorite, is he your favorite solely because he has a phenomenal voice? They all have phenomenal voices. So, what is it that makes him your favorite. I think this is where true individuality comes in. You love who he is and how he represents himself. You love his kindness and his generosity. His compassion. You love how when he sings he makes you feel like he’s singing for you! There’s something about him that makes your life worth living!  So, when I say, the true magic of Il Volo is in your heart, I say it because first and foremost his phenomenal voice has touched your heart! Listening to him sing makes every day perfect. After all, he’s singing just for you!
Now, let’s get back to the concerts for a minute.
Every concert I’ve seen is phenomenal. I feel that the guys are new at every concert. What does that mean. It means that even though they’ve sung those songs before and you’ve heard them a thousand times, when they come out on that stage, they make you feel like they are singing those songs for the first time. It’s called caring about your audience! Not just singing for the audience but wholeheartedly wanting to give the audience the most phenomenal experience of their lives. And that they do at every concert. For someone like me and there are many of you out there like me, we don’t go to just one concert, we go to numerous concerts. Someone might say, “why?” You’ve already seen that concert; you’ve heard those songs! But in fact, the guys are aware that we attend numerous concerts, so they try to mix it up a bit, so we have a new experience each time. But in all sincerity, I’m more than happy to see the same concert over and over again.

So where did the magic begin? For me it was one morning when I was walking to work on the west side of New York. ABC Studios was a few blocks from my office on 47th. On this particular morning there was a large crowd standing outside and in the middle of the group were three teenage boys. I stopped to listen, and I was amazed. Who are they and how do I get to see them perform. Well over the next few days they were everywhere!  On all the day shows! On all the night shows! And then the real magic began when, about six months later, I turned on PBS and there they were! And I fell in LOVE! 

Back to the guys!
Now I’m going to show you where this individuality began.
I refer to my story “Phenomenal” about the concert at the Arena of Verona. How did I describe that amazing event….
What was really happening here? We were watching the transition of Il Volo. When the guys came to the States in 2020, they were our boys and when they stepped on the stage in Verona, they were our guys. They were elegant! They matured! Their voices matured! They came into their own! They were owning their music! During their isolation, they worked apart but close to one another on the Morricone project. This was the beginning of what would be their new idea, their new concept, their “individuality!” Every man stepped up and showed who they were. Not our boys, though for many of you out there they will always be your boys. No, they showed us how they had become independent young men during their isolation. In the quiet of their homes over those long months they each had the opportunity to see and to feel and to understand who they were. In their isolation, they began to think about how their future would be molded. Where they fit in as individuals.
On the stage of the ancient Arena of Verona we witnessed the dawn of Il Volo’s new adventure! We witnessed our guys shaping a new beginning and sharing this amazing moment in time with us.

At that time, I wrote: “If I wrote what I felt, saw, experienced in this concert, I would have to write a book!”  That is just the tip of the iceberg to where we are today!

In their opening song, “The Ecstasy of Gold,” I said, “Listen to the intensity of their voices! What force! Watch their motions. Look at Gianluca! Watch his body react to the music! The fist that comes at you saying this is the punch, just the beginning. 
Listen to Ignazio ride the note that guides us into the story! Now we’re sailing on the wind! 
Piero intensifies the moment with his powerful voice that says the journey has begun! Follow us in this new adventure!
Let’s move on to another song in the program ~ “Here’s to You.”
As you know the guys make decisions about where and how a song is presented. Their decision to do “Here’s to You,” in the audience had a lot of significance. We are used to having the guys in and out of the audience, interacting with the fans but, because of the RAI filming, this was not possible at this concert.  But the guys made sure the audience would feel their presence, so they chose a very sincere, very personal song to share their time with the fans. They showed in their presentation how intelligent they are and how much they are a part of the American culture. In this song they reached out to the American fans and showed them how grateful they are for their acceptance and support over the years.

To explain this, let me start by presenting the meaning of the song. From Marco Gallini’s explanation before the song, you know Sacco and Vanzietti were executed for a crime that many believed they did not commit. But what you don’t know is why they were accused of this crime. To understand this, we have to go back to America at the turn of the 20th century. Each group of immigrants that came to America experienced prejudice by the former immigrants. Therefore, the Irish were prejudiced against the Italians and the Germans against Irish before them and so on back to the beginning of immigration.
After a few hours’ deliberation, the jury convicted Sacco and Vanzetti of first-degree murder.  Anti-Italianism, anti-immigrant, and anti-Anarchist bias were suspected as having heavily influenced the verdict.
Back to the guys and where all this fits into their story.
By performing this song in the audience, the guys were first and foremost toasting Nicola and Bart but more so, they were three links which represented the people who stood in defense of Nicola and Bart. They told them they would not be forgotten and the crowd, the audience, stood with them.
Now the irony of it all!
This song was composed by an Italian composer for an American movie and, it was written in the English language.
The song was sung, in English, by three phenomenal Italian men who came to America and immediately became a success. The American people embraced them and called them their own. We feel they are a part of us and a part of our culture. You have to see the irony in this!
Before I leave this concert and go on to the six Milan concerts, I need to turn to the solos. Or should I say the showstoppers. Before they sang their solo each guy said what it was and why they chose it! Individuality in the works!
First up, Gianluca!

Gianluca remarks: It’s hard to be alone after twelve years together on stage. I guess like all of us in times of difficulty, in moments of happiness, I take refuge in music. This is something I’ve done since I was little. I had headphones, I walked, I also went to the park to listen to music. Even at school I was distracted. In short it was my biggest distraction. Let’s say the music I feel this evening is a celebration of a great genius of music Maestro Ennio Morricone.  But I want to talk about other geniuses who changed my life. Artist like Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra but also the great Elton John. Tonight, I will sing for you one of the most beautiful songs written in fifty years and I want to dedicate it to my mother.
Elton Johns’ lyrics to “Your Song” expresses the romantic thoughts of an innocent person. Gianluca brings the song to another dimension. He is very romantic and everything he sings turns into a love song. His warm beautiful voice expresses the thoughts behind Elton John’s  words.
The beautiful words of this song certainly express Gianluca’s feelings for his mother, Eleonora, who has been at his side throughout his career.
His beautiful rendition of this song would make Elton John praise his performance. Gianluca got a well-deserved standing ovation! Just phenomenal!’
Next up Piero!

Piero said: I always had a great desire to be accompanied by a great musician, a great flautist. I’ve always watched his videos while playing alongside Maestro Pavarotti, Sting and many other artists. This evening, he did me the great honor of accepting my invitation. The Master Andrea Grimmenelli.
What can I say about Piero singing “No Puede Ser?” It’s my favorite aria that Piero sings. He takes my breath away. No one, and I have heard many tenors sing “No Puede Ser,” no one sings it like Piero.
Always a showstopper, always a highlight, a splendid moment in the concert. I wait for you at La Scala!  A Phenomenal performance!
And last but not least Ignazio!

Ignazio said: I want to say that tonight is extremely exciting and, we all know in this year that we have experienced shortcomings. Especially shortcomings!
Many had great losses but many who had great satisfaction economically modify this concert. To all the people who have not made it through the whole year, our thoughts go up there to them.
I feel a little alone, but I will not be alone. I have a big but small surprise that is great because it is a crazy talent.  It is really a great talent. Gentlemen and ladies, ladies and gentlemen my comparative accompaniment in this my performance – Julian.
Ignazio sings Beyonce’s beautiful song “Listen.” It’s a song that expresses how many people are feeling.
You are right Ignazio, it’s time to find our own voices. Ignazio knocks it out of the box with this song. His voice goes to unreal heights.  Not only does he express how we are all feeling but he gives us a beautiful version of the song that fills our souls with emotion. And, little Julian adds to the moment with his phenomenal saxophone accompaniment. As I said before, guys, Julian is all of you at 8 years old. Now you know how people felt when they experienced your voices at such a young age!
Ignazio we always ‘listen’ to you and, and we can feel what you feel in our hearts!
And that brings us back to where I began! You feel your guy in your heart!
So now we’ve seen where the guys began to think about this new idea, this new concept, so let’s go back to the last six concerts in Milan.
The idea of six concerts in a theater namely, the Arcimboldi Theater, one of the most prestigious theaters in Italy seems outrageous. The guys have never performed in a theater in Italy! But the guys are always ready to try something new.
In an interview with Andrea Spinelli from IL GIORNO the guys talked about this idea.
Gianluca: We built the repertoire of the show with the idea of consolidating our musical evolution: three child prodigies, who have become three interpreters of character, each with his own personality. That’s why the innovation ofTutti per uno’ (All for one) is precisely that it clearly outlines the characteristics of each one, in addition to that of the group that everyone already knows.
Ignazio: Because the Arcimboldi theater is one of the most significant modern theaters we have in Italy and because bringing an arena performance into such a setting ends up making it necessarily resonate with a different intimacy.
Piero:  And then in the two TV episodes we sang 60 songs, while in the theater we sang half of them: the best of.
Gianluca went on to say…having never performed in Italian theatres, we are curious to see the audience’s reaction in such a different setting. As happened on TV, to give vent to our personalities there will be solo moments. Five each. Piero will sing his opera arias; I will pay homage to Elvis and Ignazio the great female pop voices. And, speaking of Elvis, the show begins with the Straussian ‘Thus Spoke Zarathustra’ also used by him in his shows in Las Vegas. An idea of Ignazio.
So, yes it is very different in the theater because there are not as many songs, but the best of the repertoire is delivered in a very intimate setting where each man can show you who they really are and what they have in their hearts.
If you take into consideration the fact that they were child prodigies, you have to realize that they have been storing these feelings and emotions in their hearts for many years. When they joined together almost fifteen years ago, they combined those feelings to give us some very emotional experiences. Up until this last year or two, definitely, after their isolation, they are finally coming to terms with those feelings. During the period of isolation, they became in touch with their feelings in a new way and knew it was time to release them. All these years they sang with such beautiful emotion, and they gave us some very phenomenal experiences but now they have opened up and showed us where all those emotions and phenomenal feelings came from. It came from their hearts!
So, let’s go to Milan and look at some of those emotions!

While I’m writing this I’m listening to the final concert in Milan. They just opened with Hallelujah.
This new arrangement blew my mind! This is the never-ending magic of Il Volo! It’s the same song but it’s new.

After that amazingly beautiful opening the guys greeted everyone!
Ignazio: Good evening, welcome, we are finally back in concert.
In the theatre, our first theatre, it had never occurred to us to sing in the theater in Italy, but as a first impression everything is already much more intimate. We are much closer; we don’t have the risk of rain like in Verona.
Thank you all so much for being here tonight, thank you.
Gianluca: I would say that after a break…..we are particularly excited, because after a break of almost 3-4 months, after a summer of vacation and relaxation, now we can start again, we need to warm up properly, but as Ignazio said, it is the first time in the theatre.
Finally, we can have our Italian audience so close, in a more intimate concert, where we can perhaps best express our emotions, singing like never before.
Piero: The need for the theater arose from the two television evenings that I hope at least many of you saw, from the Verona Arena concert ALL FOR ONE, to demonstrate to those who know us and those who don’t, our three personalities. Our deepest personalities and vocal characteristics and so tonight will be a musical journey across almost every genre.
Ladies and gentlemen, good evening.

And with that the six nights of magic began in Milan!
Every song was amazing in the Milan concerts, but I chose one song for each guy that I called his moment!

Let me begin with Piero. As you know I’ve been writing a lot about Piero over the last year. His voice has blossomed. I love opera and when I listen to Piero sing he always captures my heart! When he was in isolation he took opera lessons every day and his voice is showing the results of those lessons. Piero was always a showstopper but now he is a true opera singer. Every aria is amazing! Piero you are so ready to step on the stage of any opera house in the world.

So now you might wonder why I chose for Piero’s individual moment the song Marechiare. I chose it because Piero is now acting like an opera singer. If you remember a while back I wrote, every opera singer after Caruso sang arias and Neapolitan songs. So like Caruso, in Milan, Piero sang his arias and then sang a Neapolitan song!  The song I chose for his moment was Marechaire a beautiful Neapolitan song and one of my favorite Neapolitan songs! I’m sure many of you older fans will remember this song. Among others Dean Martin and Louis Prima sang this song! But I have to honestly say Piero sings it better than anyone I’ve ever heard sing it!

Next up Gianluca….

For me this was Gianluca’s shining moment!  He chose three Beatles songs that have a lot of feeling and express that can cause many different emotions. This is his heartfelt moment! Think about these three songs. “Long and Winding Road” talks about the past and the girl who left him there. “Yesterday” talks about a love that left him standing and never opened the door! But “Hey Jude” talks about a girl who got under his skin and makes him feel better. There’s a lot of feeling and emotions in these songs. And Gianluca has the perfect voice for these songs! He delivers them with such feeling! The romantic baritone!
Having said all that, is there another reason why Gianluca chose this medley? Could it be that he’s saying all the girls in the past meant nothing but the girl in his life has gotten under his skin!
Gianluca some advice, “Remember to let her into your heart. Then you can start to make it better.”

And last but not least Ignazio…

This one was difficult for me because every song Ignazio sings is from his heart! I chose the song “Una ragione di più” (One More Reason) because there are so many beautiful expressions in this song. To sing it properly you have to sing it with feeling, emotion and heart. All of which Ignazio has. There’s a sadness and joy in his voice when he sings it. Even not knowing what the words mean you can enjoy it because you’re listening to a song from the heart! It’s one of those tear jerkers! Beautiful delivery Ignazio! This song wasn’t just your special moment, Ignazio, it was a moment that we all shared with you and felt in our hearts. You have a tendency to do that when you sing!
Now that we’ve looked at some special moments with the guys, let’s look at some beautiful moments in the concerts.
I absolutely have to start with Gianluca and his beautiful Elenora. This has to be the sweetest moment in the history of concerts! Gianluca I got such a beautiful feeling listening to you tell your beautiful lady how much she meant to you! It was like love had taken over the concert hall. There was a majestic calm that surrounded both of you and there was harmony throughout the theater.

I had to share Piero’s beautiful moment with Ignazio. Their rendition of Miserere is absolutely beautiful! Absolutely phenomenal! Absolutely blew me away! I have heard many singers including Pavarotti and Zucchero and Bocelli and Pavarotti sing “Miserere.” They don’t even come close to Piero and Ignazio! An absolute showstopper!
Finally, Ignazio….
Mr. Personality only you can have numerous special moments because you have such love in your heart. You share everything with everyone.
In Milan Ignazio shared his stage with two very talented people. One of them you all know very well because I’ve written about him on many occasions. Our own Nico Arezzo.  Well, many of you have been asking where is Nico? Now we know he’s shared a stage with his mentor Ignazio! And what a performance it was! You guys both shine!
So, you would think Ignazio sopped there, no he invited another friend to join him on stage. The beautiful Elenora Montagnana. Elenora is a phenomenal violinist! She is known throughout Europe! Talking about emotions in a post, she said, “The greatest was definitely to share this wonderful piece of #tuttiperuno with me on the Arcomboldi Stage in the context of the concert with @Ignazioboschetto. Thank you, Igni, for this unforgettable gift born as an invitation to play among friends.”
Does it surprise you that Ignazio had a third beautiful moment. When Ignazio was singing “A Natural Woman,” he looked out into the audience and waved to Saturnino Celani and asked him to join him on stage. This is just a short video of that performance, but it is an amazing video of two amazing entertainers!
The following day Saturnino was doing a Live on Instagram and I told him his performance with Ignazio was fantastic. He told me, “Ignazio is incredible. And those guys are so    F…ing Good!” He got that right!

How about a cute moment!
At one point when the guys were getting ready to sing Gianluca told Ignazio it was hot. Well watch the video to see what Ignazio did for him!

And no show would be complete without Nessun Dorma!
This is where all the personalities come together and the three become one phenomenal voice that rises and spreads its joy throughout the Theaters, the Arenas, the Amphitheaters and Concert Halls around the world! This the one the only Il Volo!

So, I come to the close of a story that showed us where the turning point was in their career. It also tells us how their isolation brought them closer and gave them a new realization of where they were going. It led them to take a good look at how their future would be molded and how each would after almost fifteen years together come to the realization that the road to the future would be lined with new ideas and ideals. All of which are an expression of their personalities and Individuality!
Before I close today, I want to tell you about something that’s been going on for the last two weeks.
As you know, I write my story for Flight Crew (We are not on Facebook) and then I post my story on the individual fan pages on Facebook. I have been doing this for almost four years. There are approximately 75 fan pages. There may be more, but these are the ones I know about, and I post my story to.
When I was posting two weeks ago suddenly when I tried to post the story, it wouldn’t post. Next thing I know, I was Blocked from Facebook??? Why? I had no idea. I sent a message and got a response that they didn’t know why but probably I violated the rules. So, I say what rules. They said probably someone reported you for a bad post. I said, “not possible” because what I was posting was a story that they wanted and look forward to every week. So, they said, how many posts do you do. I said anywhere from 50 – 75 a week. And they asked how many people read those posts. I said I think those fan pages and newspapers combined have about 10 million people. They said then you’re blocked for too many post. I said, I don’t post to the 10 million people, just pages. So, they said it’s too many posts and that’s it you can’t post for six days. My hands were tied!
I thought Facebook was a social media where we go to post stories. What’s wrong with writing a story about three beautiful young men who have truly been put on this earth by God to give us joy! Tell me what newspaper writes beautiful stories every day? There’s something wrong with this picture!
The next day on Instagram I saw that one of the Il Volo Fan pages was reporting that they were blocked on Facebook, and they were giving us a temporary site until they were unblocked. Why? So, I wrote to all the fan pages and asked if anyone else was blocked. Seven fan pages came back to say they were blocked. Luckily, Instagram was not affected and so we were able to get the message out to the fans that we would be back soon.
So, they are blocking me for writing stories about three beautiful men and they are blocking the fan pages for writing stories or posting picture about three beautiful young men. What’s going on? Why are they targeting Il Volo?
Someone suggested that they think I am paid for this and so they want their cut. Let me make it perfectly clear. I do not get paid to write these stories: I write them because 15 years ago I fell in love with three amazing teenagers. They stole my heart! And when I write about them I write from my heart!
As to the fan pages, they don’t get paid to administrate!
So, I want you to know if you didn’t get or in future if you don’t get my story it’s because I was not able to post it.
And to guys I have to say you know how much I love you and I am saddened by the fact that they have chosen to block me and your fan pages from Facebook.  No one should be cutoff without a reason. If I broke a rule I need to know what that rule was! No explanation!
You can turn me off, but you can’t close me down! My love for this wonderful group gives me the strength to wait 6 days if I have to, to tell the fans how truly amazing these men are! You know the place you hold in my heart!
If I ever get blocked again, remember you can read my story every Wednesday morning at http://www.ilvoloflightcrw.com.
On a brighter note, we are all back on Facebook and we hope we won’t be blocked again!
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.
Credit to owners of all photos and videos.



Let the Concerts Begin

In the beginning the guys were called “awesome opera singers!” That’s how they described them. No, not in Italy! Here in America!
I love looking back at the beginning of their career and watching how they grew! One of the nice things about living in New York is you get all the interviews and promos firsthand!
In the late summer of 2011, the guys were getting ready for their first North American Tour. This involved a lot of preparation and a lot of appearances on TV talk shows to pave the way! I remember watching them on “Good Morning America” and thinking this is going to be an amazing journey for them. They have so much going for them but above all they had their youth which was an asset! Their voices were enticing and, they were adorable! Every teenage girl was going to fall in love with them. So would their mothers, and above all the grandmothers! It was the beginning of a journey that was going to take them to every corner of the earth. They would steal the hearts of all who came into contact with them. And, given their age, we could count on their music being around for a long time. That was the thing about their music, it came from the past and fit right into the present and would go well into the future. Everyone would come to love it! Yes, there were others who sang the same songs but, they were not Il Volo! Only Il Volo could pierce our hearts with their beautiful voices and leave us memories that would grow with age and expand with every new song!

During the last days of summer in September of 2011, the guys were taping the “Today” show. They were teenagers and they were belting out their favorite song “O Sole Mio” in front of projections of stained-glass windows. Their appearance capped a few months that brought them from “American Idol” to the morning talk shows to the final episode of “Entourage.” The idea was carefully designed to expose them to both mothers and daughters, before their first North American tour, which included theaters like the Beacon Theater in Manhattan.

In the NBC studio at Rockefeller Center, a sleepy-eyed Gianluca, 16, crooned the opening verse, and Piero, 18, and Ignazio, who was turning 17 the following Tuesday, released ringing high notes. Hoda Kotb, “Today’s” co-host, put her hand on her heart and smiled wistfully behind the cameras.
“We are Il Volo,” Ignazio said at the end with a heavy accent and a dimpled grin. “It means ‘flight.’ Thank you for flying with us!
After the taping Hoda said, “Believe me, everyone’s going to come running. They’re going to beat down the door.” How right she was!
The theory, Arias for teenagers, the crossover dream was being masterminded by some of the most savvy executives in the music business: Jimmy Iovine, who helped turn Eminem and Lady Gaga into superstars; Ron Fair, who nurtured the careers of Christina Aguilera and the Black Eyed Peas; and Steve Leber, a management legend who worked with the Rolling Stones, Aerosmith and AC/DC and has come out of pop retirement to try to make Il Volo explode. And explode they did!
The group was introducing the same Italian pop standards and power ballads that performers like Bocelli used to rocket to superstardom. The difference, of course, is age: theirs, and that of their potential audience.

“In the beginning all of us thought that because of their kind of music, the audience would be from 35 and up,” said producer Tony Renis. “But now we realize that they can conquer the kids. The younger generation all over the world. The kids are used to rap but they never had the chance to listen to this kind of music. But now Il Volo is spreading a new kind of feeling. They are conquering every age.”
The group caught Mr. Renis’s eye in the spring of 2009, when the three boys were competing individually on “Ti Lascio una Canzone,” an Italian version of “American Idol.” A shrewd producer on the show, Roberto Cenci, suggested they combine forces, and their renditions of modern classics were hits.
“These kids were singing ‘O Sole Mio,’ and I heard such amazing, beautiful voices that I didn’t believe it,” Mr. Renis said. “I thought it was fake. They were singing with such mature voices, like men of 50 or 60 years.”

Left to right: A young Piero, Gianluca and Ignazio walking through an airport

Mr. Iovine and Mr. Fair signed the guys to Geffen Records after hearing a clip that Mr. Renis played for them. Their debut album, “Il Volo,” a mélange of songs in Italian, English and Spanish calibrated for the widest possible appeal, was assembled over the next year and released in Italy in November 2010.
The label’s connections landed the guys a spot on “American Idol.” They also did a cameo on the final episode of “Entourage,” with their song “Un Amore Così Grande.”
Meanwhile, when Anthony Rugiero heard Il Volo sing, he was struck by the group’s similarity to both opera’s The Three Tenors and the pop music world’s Jonas Brothers.
“I was amazed,” said Rugiero. “It was, like wow! They are treating these kids like the Jonas Brothers in Italy and they’re singing opera, like The Three Tenors. You look at them and it’s like, these guys have it all. It’s too good to be true.”
Rugiero, who heard the group sing in Italy, knew Il Volo could help his charitable endeavors. He had been looking for a way to raise funds for Boys’ Town of Italy, Italian Language Inter-Cultural Alliance and the Volterra-Detroit.
“I was thinking, how can I get a group together that’s big enough that it would reach all age levels? I thought about singing groups and was trying to think of who I could get, when I see these young kids in Italy,” Rugiero recalled. “They take classical music and put a little something into it. These kids are wonderful.”
Rugiero, who also is a board member of the Detroit Opera House, was determined to bring the group to Detroit as a fundraiser for three organizations and began working on a plan to produce the concert himself. After Live Nation bought the group’s North American concert tour, Rugiero suggested a benefit dinner that would be held in conjunction with the show on Sunday, October 16. Concert promoters liked the idea.
This video is the best example of how they were able to steal the hearts of the American people. The video shows them on a simple stage with limit musicians and their voices shine!

“I purchased the first 20 rows, center section, all premium seats,” Rugiero said, describing seats at the Fox Theatre. “We hope to have a great evening.”
Fiat was the sponsor of the event, along with several Italian-American business leaders including Tom Celani and Anthony Soave.
The Volterra-Detroit Foundation supports The University of Detroit Mercy School of Architecture and Comune di Volterra, which had formed a partnership to provide a new educational opportunity in the City of Volterra, Italy, for students in metro Detroit. Through the partnership, U.S. students can study in Italy for no additional fee, after paying their regular college tuition.
“I love programs that bridge the gap between Italy and the U.S.,” Rugiero said.
Rugiero didn’t get to produce the concert but he was able to use it as a fundraiser for three worthy organizations.
Back in New York, the “Today Show” was not their only talk-show appearance. They were on “The Tonight Show,” “Good Morning America,” “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” and CBS’s “Early Show” in May, when their album was released in the United States. And they were preparing for a PBS special.
In the meantime, their album made its debut on the Billboard 100 chart at No. 10. The Italian and American management teams butted heads about where, when and how to spend the boys’ time. Should they stay in America a full year and play smallish clubs? Make one-off appearances all over the world? Play theaters seating 1,000 or 3,000?
“No one had a real game plan,” said Mr. Leber, who persuaded the families to bring him and his son, Jordan, on to help manage the group as it rolled out. “They need to tour, tour, tour, tour. The kids and the parents were nervous about going on the road. But the most important thing was to go on the road.”

Left to right: A young Piero, Gianluca and Ignazio singing on stage

So, on the road they were. Each of the boys was accompanied by one parent, a substantial sacrifice, since all three left their jobs to join their sons, and none are wealthy: Piero’s father is an auto-body mechanic, Gianluca’s a truck driver, and Ignazio’s mother owned a pizzeria that her 25-year-old daughter was running in her absence. None of the three spoke English.
The group had already been to Singapore, New Zealand, Sydney, Miami, jumping on the red carpet at the Venice Film Festival. With the upcoming North American Tour, it was necessary to get a new wardrobe. The guys were taken to Dolce & Gabbana on Madison Avenue to shop for a tour wardrobe. When they arrived at the store, Barbara Vitali told the sales associate, “We have to balance the repertory they are performing with the teenagers that they are.”
The scene in D & G was confusing! A series of slim blazers failed to fit Ignazio, who has lost more than 30 pounds but remains wide in the shoulders. Ignazio sang “All Nylon” to the tune of “All Night Long.” Gianluca emerged from the dressing room in tight black velvet pants and a shiny black blazer. Piero ended up with boots spattered Pollock style.
“They’re very, very different from one another,” Mr. Fair said. “Gianluca’s like a young Tony Curtis or a Mario Lanza, almost a Presley character, handsome and dark and Italian with fabulous hair. Ignazio is a crowd pleaser and a people person, adorable and funny. Piero is more studious, very serious.”
Three hours and well into five figures’ worth of clothing later, the group headed to the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City, site of the tour’s first performance of the guys first full concert ever. They allotted two days for preparation.

Left to right: Gianluca, Piero and Ignazio sitting on a sofa during an interview

The following morning’s rehearsal began well. The boys sounded fresh as they warmed up; the echo of one of Ignazio’s high notes stayed in the ice-cold air of the theater for five full seconds. But Gianluca missed an entrance — he had, as usual, been on his cellphone with his girlfriend — and things quickly dissolved into backstage shouting.
The next day was the opening show, and the boys had still not run a single song all the way through. Mr. Leber arrived, doling out hugs. “This is not music,” he said. “This is a happening. This is an event.”
And it was. It got off to a rough start. The lighting careened from darkness to glare. The sound mix, including the vocal track augmenting some of the group’s harmonies, was murky; the video projections — a mixture of slow-motion Italian film clips and animations — were distracting. The boys seemed unsure of exactly where to stand and how to move.
Then they opened their mouths. The first song was “Il Mondo,” a sweeping heart tugger. Like many of the numbers in Il Volo’s playbook, it started quietly, with a verse from Gianluca. It built and built, until Ignazio, oozing delight at being onstage, let loose a startlingly full and mature high note.
A girl literally screamed with delight!
Gianluca glanced at Piero with relief in his eyes. The audience gave standing ovation after standing ovation.
Next stop, Toronto. In contrast to the Borgata show — which, like much of the tour, was organized by the American concert-promotion monolith Live Nation — the Toronto appearance was the work of a local promoter, Mimmo Pellegrino. It was at Roy Thomson Hall, where the Toronto Symphony Orchestra plays and, which is about three times the size of the Borgata theater.
The Borgata show had, as Mr. Leber had predicted, the feel of an event – sold out, electric. In Toronto about a quarter of the seats remained empty. Some odd scenic elements had been added, like three enormous white masks that were revealed at the end to be swivel chairs. The audience response was warm, but it was hard for even the loudest of the recorded string arrangements to fill the big space.
The audience at both shows was mostly older, but there were the seeds of what could become a classic boy-band phenomenon: that girl screaming in the audience at the Borgata, high-pitched shrieks of “We love you!” in Toronto, a high school senior who asked Piero to be her date for homecoming. (He said yes.) And maybe, just maybe, they will inspire young people to try “real” opera. The thought was, if Il Volo can persuade teenagers to notice and care about vocal production in a classical — or at least classic — style, who knows?

“By January they could sell 1.5 million records around the world,” predicted Mr. Fair, who arrived at the theater in Toronto just as the boys were exiting the stage. “Everyone will know who Il Volo is. It’s going to be a gigantic live act. Tickets are going to sell like crazy. And then a song will come along, like a Coldplay-type song, a pop record that’s introspective and beautiful, and everyone on the more pop end of things will know them.”
But before everyone knew them there was a degree of fame and it was pleasant and inviting. There was some discussion after the Borgata show about whether the boys should exit through a back door. They decided instead to greet the public, and as they walked into the lobby, what can only be called a polite mob ensued, just the right size and just the right amount of enthusiasm. The boys thanked everyone graciously as they signed autographs and posed for photos.
Earlier in the day Ignazio was doing a sound check onstage with the band. Steve Leber watched from the seats. As if on cue, Ignazio hit one of his shining high notes. Mr. Leber smiled. “Our game plan is working,” he said.
And it certainly worked well. The crowds grew and, the enthusiasm grew and, it has never stopped working since then. The 2011 North American Tour was just the beginning of their success in America. A success that ten years later continues not just in North American but around the world.
And over the last year the call from our guys and the world was Let the Concerts Begin.
2022 should prove to be the best year yet! Welcome Back guys! You have really given us great pleasure with your Tribute to Ennio Morricone and we look forward to its arrival in North America and around the world!

Left to right: Piero, Gianluca and Ignazio singing on the Verona Arenastage

Join me next week as I go back Through the Fields of My Mind and open the door to a new adventure!
Excerpts from an article in the New York Times by Zachary Woolfe on Sept. 29, 2011
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


Today I would like to share a letter with you from a lady named Marilyn Andrews in Seattle.
In 2020, at the height of the covid pandemic, my husband passed away from a long illness. I had been caring for him for several years prior to his passing. I loved him so deeply, but yet, after many months, I had been unable to grieve for him. Let me describe my husband, and you may be able to make an association with someone else:
Professional singer; glorious baritone voice; a repertoire of thousands of songs; offered a chance at fame on national TV (but turned it down over concerns for impact on the family); opened a show for Tony Bennett; musically inspired by Tony Bennett, Frank Sinatra, Perry Como, Mario Lanza, the Three Tenors, etc.; private in nature but a consummate perfectionist in public performance; intelligent, serious, articulate, a philosopher of the mind; handsome, part time model with a stunning smile; fit and athletic runner and weight lifter; self taught in many things, including guitar and piano; a lover of beautiful clothes (Armani in particular); a lover of all things Italian – culture, art, history, wine. Above all, lover of family.  The list could go on….
In the fall of 2020, I happened to hear a televised concert of Il Volo on TV. I loved the music and began to follow the group online and joined the fan club – my first and only one ever. As I read more about Piero, Ignazio and Gianluca individually, I was startled by the many things Gianluca and, my husband had in common. “How odd”, I thought. The more I learned, the more things I found they had in common, the stranger it became, and so the more I followed.
Sometime in the winter of 2020, I viewed and heard Gianluca’s performance of “Mi Mancherai” in Rome on YouTube. At that time, I knew virtually no Italian words, and so had no idea of the song’s meaning. But upon hearing it, something inside me just broke. It was such a jolt that I actually felt it physically. The timbre of the song, the sadness and the passion with which it was delivered instantly touched my soul at such a deep level that I cannot even describe it. I wept, and wept and wept, and realized that I was finally, finally grieving for my lost husband. Two days later, I searched online for an English translation of the song. And the tears came all over again, as I learned that the song is about losing someone so very close to you that you are overwhelmed with the “missing” and the sense of loss. It was quite literally a musical expression of grief – my grief. Without realizing it, I had been led, seemingly step by step, to the music of Il Volo, then to the character of Gianluca, then to his song, then to the expression of my grief. How could this even be possible – that a complete stranger helped me begin to overcome my deepest loss? I have no idea. But I somehow need to thank Il Volo and specifically Gianluca for the gift that he gave me, even without his knowledge of it.
Over time, I am healing. And I have begun the process of reinventing myself. Hesse says that “the true profession of man is finding his way to himself.” That is what I am doing. With my previous background in international business, I am learning Italian, working remotely here in Seattle for an Italian company in Vicenza, and planning a different life for myself. I may not stay in the U.S.; it is possible I may choose – Italy? Spain? Portugal?  All of these changes involve a great deal of new thinking, new learning, and a lot of courage, but as I heal, I am becoming a true lioness!
Today the music of Il Volo brings me no tears, only incomparable joy. I have never had the opportunity or pleasure of seeing and hearing Il Volo in concert, but I hope to do so in the future, in Italy or somewhere in the world. It is highly unlikely that I will ever meet Gianluca in person. But if I did, I would shake his hand, thank him, and let him know that he has helped me more than he will ever know. “All things are possible.”

Credit to owners of all photos and videos.

EDIT: Il Volo Professional ~~ April10, 2014

Hey, Everyone!

Want to go to the Greek Theater on June 7?

You may be in luck!  Latin Pop radio station, K-Love 107.5, is featuring a contest in which the prize is free tickets to the show!  klovelogoThe contest was announced on their website,

here —> http://iloveklove.univision.com/blogs/article/2014-04-08/gana-boletos-por-il-volo

Translated according to Bing, the announcement reads:

“Win tickets to Il Volo in concert! Saturday, June 7 at The Greek Theatre in Griffith Park!Sign up here…”

Thanks to All About Il Volo for the link, and Good Luck!


Edit: Hey Miami Fans!



Il Volo Mundial provided this information for you guys.  It appears that Il Volo will be appearing on the Sabado Gigante Television show at some point.  It’s unclear to us if they will be appearing live for all of the listed dates, or not.

The full Facebook Post is translated by Bing to say: Special announcement of Sábado Gigante on Twitter! This month in Sabado Gigante: GLORIA TREVI, RICARDO MONTANER, LARRY HERNANDEZ, JESSE and JOY, IL VOLO and many more! The dates of recording of SABADO GIGANTE in April will be: 16, 17, 22, 23 and 26. Make your reservation 305-471-8262. Free tickets! Thanks to @solepicero and our correspondent   Giulia Giana report…

To find out more about the show, check out their Wikipedia page

here —> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gigantic_Saturday , and if you would like to see the guys, call that number and find out the deets!

Throwback Thursday

The Guys have been tweeting about working more in the last few days.  Piero tweeted that they are recording in Bologna; Gianluca mentioned that he is working hard for us (well, he actually used the word, “y’all”, which cracked me straight up!  Speaking my language; I love it! 😀 ); and it looks like they were all in Milan (what could they be up to?).

outline question

With the US and Canadian tour coming up (not soon enough for most of us), seeing them perform with another great musician, striking out and talking about original music and their fame growing throughout the world, I think it is an exciting time to be an Il Volo fan.  So, on this Trowback Thursday, I’d like to go back to when they took North America by storm–just to remember how it all began.  Enjoy!

From imryanmac

From snpacia

From umusicNZ


And for more viewing pleasure at your finger tips, please check out additional videos on our “Becoming Il Volo ~~ Audiovisual Style”  page under Biographies on the left side of your screen.  🙂


~~ Kelly