Three years ago, after learning that the guys were going home because of COVID, I started checking the fans pages to see what I could find out. What I found out was people were very concerned that the guys were going into the COVID zone, Italy. Little did we know that we would follow them.
The guys did what they had to do. They left to be with their families.
I was not a person who went on fan pages. I was always too busy to stop and read all that people had to say. But suddenly, I wasn’t busy. In fact, I was completely shut down. No business, nothing! That’s what led me to start reading the fan pages. After a few days I realized that the fans were making themselves crazy over the guys going back to Italy so, I decided to write an article about it. I posted the article on Facebook and some of the administrators of the Il Volo fan groups started to message me. Can we post your article? Then they followed up with can you write another article. Well, I had nothing to do so I said yes!
At one point I received a message from Daniela Perani who asked if she could post my article on Il Volo Flight Crew! I said yes, and three years later I have my own column (every Wednesday) and the rest is history!
So, today, three years later, I am posting the original article which Daniela posted. I’ve included her remarks so you can get a feel for how this all went down! So here I am Talking About Our Guys ~ Three Years Later.
Reading, here and there on the various sites and fan pages, I found this beautiful article written by Susan De Bartoli. Several fan pages have recognized the goodness of this beautiful article by publishing it. Since maybe not all of you who follow Flight Crew may have read it, I thought I’d post it here too, and I asked Susan for her confirmation to do so. Here’s what she wrote.
Over the last few days, I’ve been thinking about how our lives have changed in just two weeks. It’s surreal! I try to distract myself but it’s difficult to get away from it all. So, I decided to focus on something else. I can usually get lost in my writing. You know before I started my travel business in 1990, I worked in the motion picture industry. I used to critique films. It was a good job but, I decided I wanted to do more with my life so, I quit my job and I spent two years writing. The best years of my life. So, where am I going with all of this?
Like most of you, right now, I spend a good deal of my day listening to those three amazing guys sing and I said maybe I should do a review of what’s been going on in their lives for the last 10 years. I think, over the last few days, I must have watched hundreds of video clips including interviews and some full concerts and now I’m ready to Talk About Our Guys.
Let me start off by saying these three young men are extraordinary! They are remarkable, exceptional, persons. And, they have revolutionized the music industry. Let’s take a look at each 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 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 your being. 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.
Let’s talk about Ignazio, who I call the bridge. He is a lyrical tenor. He, like Gianluca, is exceptional because he can sing from the lowest to the highest note in the tenor range. And God knows he can, easily, hit the high C. Waiting for it and knowing it’s going to happen is so exciting! He brings so much to the production, and I’ll talk more about that later!
A lyrical tenor has a warm graceful voice which is bright and strong but not heavy and it can be heard over an orchestra. Ignazio’s voice is smooth, clean and clear, with an acute extension. His voice has the ability to increase the baritone voice of Gianluca while softening the spinto tenor voice of Piero.
Ignazio has many faces. He is very whimsical in his songs as in “Libiamo ne’ lieti calici” from La Traviata. In the aria “Una Furtiva Lagrima” from L’elisir D’amore, Ignazio makes you feel the innocents of Nemorino’s love for Adina.
In his dedication to Pino Daniele you hear an interpretation that is emotional and a delivery that is so amazing that you get the sense that Daniele wrote his songs for Ignazio.
Ignazio’s voice is the one that brings it all together!
I certainly look for every excuse to include one of my favorite songs. Nobody else can sing it like Ignazio! Just thrilling! “Quando l’amore diventa poesia.”
And finally, Piero. Piero is a spinto (meaning pushed) tenor. A spinto tenor has the brightness and height of a lyric tenor, but with a heavier vocal weight enabling the voice to be “pushed” to dramatic climaxes with less strain than his lighter-voice counterparts. His voice is warm, graceful, bright, and can be heard over an orchestra.
Piero has a powerful voice that easily reaches the higher notes. Every note that comes out of his mouth reaches us with such intensity and remains with us for a long time. It’s the voice that reaches out to you and demands your attention.
Think of Piero singing “E Lucevan le Stele” from Tosca. Or singing the beautiful Spanish aria “No Puede Ser” from A Tabernera del Puerto. From the first note Piero pierces your soul! His passion comes through in his music. Arias are very dramatic and, Piero brings all the drama of the aria into his performance. Always a showstopper!
Now let’s put the voices together. Gianluca starts most songs because he is a baritone, and most songs are written for baritones. As I mentioned he draws you into the song. Gianluca will sing (in most cases) to Ignazio and Ignazio to Piero. This is how the three voices become one. Select one of their songs. Now close your eyes and listen to them sing. What can you say about this song? You can say, that is Gianluca or Ignazio or Piero singing. In the progression of the song, you hear the voices blend to form a symphony for your ears. Their voices are very distinct.
Most groups sing and you hear just a song but with Il Volo you are surrounded by voices. And the individuality of their voices entices you and it stays with you. “Musica che Resta”. (Music that Remains) Think of what Piero says when he introduces one of the solos, “After we were together a while, we realized we had three different voices.” He wasn’t saying that they suddenly found out they had different voices he was saying we are Tres Voces un Alma (three voices and one soul) and, we need to show you those voices individually.
Let’s look at how they described one another when they first started out. I think Ignazio said Gianluca was the serious one, and Piero was the Intelligent one and Gianluca and Piero said Ignazio was the funny one. So, let’s take a look at that.
Gianluca, in most cases, is the spokesman for the group. I’m not sure if this is by chance or choice. He seems to always take the lead when they are in interviews. And he is constantly monitoring the conversation. A good example is the video that was going around recently. It’s the one with the story about the shrimps. The boys were appearing on a Spanish show and Piero was telling the story about Gianluca and Ignazio’s food fight, when they were teenagers, and he mistakenly used the Spanish word cama (bed) instead of the Spanish word cara (face) which turns the story from them throwing shrimps into one another’s face into throwing shrimps at each other in bed. Gianluca picked up on this and immediately corrected the mistake while Ignazio and Piero got hysterical laughing.
Piero is the intelligent one perhaps because he thinks everything through. In interviews he thinks before he speaks, and his answers are always intelligent. He’s very serious and you can tell he thought out the answer before he spoke. And I’m sure that’s what makes his performance so great!
And, Ignazio, the funny one. And that he is! But is it really about the joke? Or is it more about the production. Let’s turn to the production.
The stage is simple. One sign that says it all – Il Volo. There’s the orchestra. Guitars, drum, piano, violins and whatever other instruments are needed for the performance. I want you to stop and think about the performance. We know these guys have three amazing voices but, what if they got on the stage and for two hours, they did nothing but sing. I don’t think it would work. A performance needs the ability to move on. There’s no change of scenery and no intermission so how do you move the performance along? Ignazio!!! The joking he brings into the performance provides the levity to relieve the seriousness of the performance. He brings a certain ease and suspense to the performance. The audience is always wondering, what will he do next. But is it always about joking? I want you to think about what I’m saying. Ignazio is constantly moving around the stage. He’s dancing and keeping the rhythm. He’s swinging the microphone around and constantly nodding towards the orchestra, Gianluca and Piero. Is that the lead up to a joke? I don’t think so. Let me tell you what you are looking at. Ignazio is following every note that is sung or played on that stage. His mind is in motion. He is sensitive and passionate with the music. He has the ability to see the music as it is happening. He knows where every instrument should come in and out. That’s why you notice little things like him smiling, nodding, pointing towards the musicians, Gianluca or Piero. He also grabs the baton from the conductor, sometimes to joke but more often to conduct.
Think about Ignazio conducting the Asti Symphony Orchestra while Marcello Rota sang his tenor part. He wasn’t joking, he was conducting. And that’s why everyone was watching him in amazement. And when it was over, they were speechless. Look at Michele Torpedine go across the stage to embrace him. He is in awe of this young man. Ignazio is music! You call him funny I call him brilliant! I am going to make a prediction here! Remember you heard it here first. Ignazio will compose a great opera and will probably also write the libretto for it.
An early interview. Talking from the heart! Very sincere!
Let’s go back to the beginning. When these three young men started out, they were 15 and 16 years old. Think of being 15 or 16 years old and you have a dream, and someone tells you that that dream, needs to be shared. To fulfill that dream you have to leave your family, your friends, your home, you have to go to another country, and you have to share this journey with two people who you really know nothing about except that they had the same dream you did. You have to trust that the decision that was made by you and your family, was the right decision. If not, it’s back to square one! You’re going to be lonely, and you have to learn to survive without the people you love. So, you learn to lean on one another. That dependence turns into a friendship and that friendship into a brotherhood. It enabled them to trust enough to collaborate and perfect something truly amazing. Something that revolutionized the music industry. Let me go further by showing you a collaboration by these three amazing, very, very talented, young men that is so unreal that it boggles your mind. This is a collaboration of love. Stop and listen to this performance of “Por Una Cabeza”.
Look at how they smile at one another during the performance. A smile that says yes that’s it! Their faces are ablaze! Their expressions let one another know that it works. And, finally, when it’s over, they are so excited they can hardly contain themselves. Look at their smiles, their faces are lit up in joy and their embrace says it all! They are brothers who love one another!
Daniela’s final comment:
Susan, I really have to thank you for your nice words, you hit the mark in the description of Gianluca, Ignazio and Piero.
Thanks also for allowing the publication.
We will be happy to have your other posts if you wish.
A hug from the whole Flight Crew family.
Well, obviously, I continued to write for Flight Crew!
How do I see things now. I see the guys more mature with voices that are more amazing each day! The sweetness is still there, and they still share their lives with the fans.
Sometimes it’s difficult writing about the guys because they’ve lived a lifetime and experienced things that most entertainers only experience late in their careers. They are so young and have truly lived a lifetime of dreams. Since the column is called Through the Fields of My Mind, I must talk about the past. Sometimes I think, how many ways can I tell the same story and then, I read your comments and I realize it’s new every time and there is always someone who has never heard the story before. All in all, I still enjoy Talking About Our Guys ~ Three Years Later.
Just a final note, I will be leaving for South America next week. I will be away for three weeks. Since I don’t know what the internet will be like in South America, I decided to bring you three individual stories about the guys. They go back to the beginning before they were Il Volo! You can continue to message and email me but I’m not sure when I will see the messages.
While I am away, I would suggest you read my weekly story on www.ilvoloflightcrw.com because I don’t know if I will be able to post to the individual fan pages. You can go on Flight Crew and sign up for email and the story will be automatically emailed to you when it is published. While you’re there, visit the Archives and read all the old stories!
Now for you listening pleasure The Concert in Verona 2015