In my story today I am taking you back to the very beginning! I want to tell you a little something about the guys in their early years. I will be using excerpt from the book the guys wrote and various interviews they did about the book. This is just a small piece of each man’s story.
We begin by journeying back to Naro, Bologna and Montepagano where it all began, to meet, our guys as little children.
The stories are very sweet and sometimes very sensitive. I found myself in tears reading the beautiful accounts of their special lives. In one of the stories, I had to stop reading and take a breath because it was like I was reading my own story. I had experienced the same thing in my life and I understood where he was coming from and I felt his pain in my heart with every word he spoke! I’ve been there!
In some way I have a connection to each of these guys. In Gianluca’s case we are connected by country, my maternal grandparents where from Abruzzi but the beach we visited when we were in Abruzzi was Pescara. My connection with Piero is his family. He came from the same kind of family I did. Dinners with the entire family and summers in the countryside. As for Ignazio I have an emotional attachment to him. Ignazio sings with passion and, I write with passion. Many people have said when I write about Ignazio I write with the same passion as he has when he sings. I think this is because we are both very sensitive and we are alike in many ways. We have many of the same traits!
Let me begin by saying each one of the guys is unique in how he presents his story. Piero and Gianluca dictated their stories but, Ignazio chose to write his story. He has a writing technique very similar to mine. When he writes he speaks directly to the reader! He comes in and out of the story speaking to the reader and asking questions. He is an excellent writer.
Piero is a great storyteller! In his stories he recalls every detail. He makes you feel like you’re a part of his story. When the story is over you know the event as it happened and there is nothing more for you to know. He’s told it all! He is very serious and emotional when he speaks about his childhood and his family.
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.
So, without further ado, let’s begin with….
All of what is said here was said by Ignazio in his story. I did not change the thoughts or feelings of Ignazio or any of the guys in any of their stories. All the Italics are their own words. You might say I’m relating the story as seen through my eyes. Ignazio as the narrator gives you the facts and I follow him by giving you information that is important to the story.
This is a very, sensitive and sincere story!
“If a life is a story and, if every story needs someone to tell it, here I am to tell you mine, all of it from the beginning.” ~ Ignazio Boschetto
My story is not a fictional story even if it seems to be one of those dreams that you never want to wake up from. My story is sincere. It is the story of my life just as I experienced it before Il Volo and inside Il Volo.
My flight (every reference is purely coincidental) starts with a Christmas Letter.
It seems Ignazio’s mother, Caterina, and his father, Vito, were thinking about expanding their family. It is Christmas time 1993. Ignazio’s sister Antonia, who everyone calls Nina, is at school and the children are told to write a letter to Santa and the Baby Jesus. What Nina writes is a miracle and the beginning of one of the most beautiful and sincere relationships between a brother and sister. Nina, 7 years old, writes:
Dear Santa and Baby Jesus,
I do not want any presents for Christmas. Give my gifts to poor children. I want a baby brother for Christmas.
Ignazio continues, Said and done!
Shortly after New Year’s Caterina discovers she is pregnant. When Nina is told she wants to confirm that her wish has come true. Nina asks her mother if she can join her for her ultrasound. During the checkup, Nina asks the doctor, “May I know what it is?”
“What do you want, honey?” the doctor asks.
“I want a little brother.”
“Then come, I’ll show you the string bean.”
Nina’s first wish is granted but her second wish, not exactly! Nina wants her brother to be born on October 1st, her birthday. It seems Ignazio had another idea.
My name is Ignazio Boschetto. I was born on October 4th, 1994 in Bologna, Italy.
No, I didn’t make it for Nina’s birthday. I was wrong. What can I tell you? When they brought me home, I was better than any doll to Nina. Everyone was happy but soon, there are some worries. During the first visit, the doctor found that I had a strange kidney malfunction. After several checkups, they found I was born with a single kidney, but the one kidney I had was larger than normal and it works as if it were two kidneys.
And, as if that wasn’t enough, I was born with the squint of Venus, but I was fine, a Bolognese, brand new. The truth is, I could have been born Sicilian – Sienese. How would you see me with a Tuscan accent?
Ignazio continues his story always keeping in mind that his life is possible because of the sacrifices of his parents.
Is it the same if the images that I will never forget are … the memories of my parents? It’s not that I’m crazy or strange, it’s right that my story would never have existed without my parents.
In 1990, Ignazio’s parents made the decision to leave Marsala. They left with the hope of a better life for their family. As Ignazio says, “The family they had only begun to create.” Within a few years they managed to achieve economic stability and were able move into a house. Ignazio says, “The house was very small, but it was my first house, the one in which I was born.”
Of all the houses I lived in, one particular address remains in my mind: Via Marconi 94 in Molinella. It was a big and very beautiful house. We moved there just before I started elementary school. I do not remember the first day of school, but I certainly did not take long to get noticed. If you’re thinking of scenes of me being put in the middle of the class to sing, forget it. I had a passion for music but, I had an even greater passion for pranks. I tell you, since I started talking and walking, mine was an escalation of agitation. But it was official I was not the most mischievous in class that would be my friend Nicholas. I was second.
Now I would not want you to get the wrong idea of me as a child. A saint I was not, mind you, but thinking about it now if I was mischievous at school, maybe there was a reason.
In 1998, when Ignazio was four years old his mom was diagnosed with facial cancer. For a child of Ignazio’s age, it was hard to understand what was happening.
Mom did something she always did with us, for as long as I can remember, she explained the situation to us, speaking openly. This is a great merit that I must acknowledge about my family, but perhaps a little more to mom, because the fact of speaking clearly with us children and telling us the truth about things that affected our family and life in general taught us to face up to early adult conversations.
Now, I’m going to step out of the story because there are no words that I can say that will express the emotion and the sensitivity of Ignazio words.
I do not even have to tell you that since my mother’s conversation, my life has changed. I was small, but I could not afford to think like the other children of my age. As for my sister the situation was even more complicated because since 1998, the year of our mother’s first hospitalization, until 2003, the year when all the bad story is over, my mother has become Nina. For the first two years of elementary school, I have not often seen mom, a little because I went to school, a little because she had to return frequently to the hospital and stay there for long periods. Dad worked and my sister, despite her twelve years, had to be a housewife. She has become my biggest reference point. We had to grow both of us very quickly, without thinking about toys and different entertainment, and not so to speak, but really. The truth is that we were not interested in anything that usually affects two children of that age, because the only thing we wanted was to have mom at home.
It is difficult to say what was the worst moment because her absence was always felt. For sure, however, I was particularly impressed by a quarrel with my sister. I was four and she was twelve and I was playing with a toy, she was fed up because I made noise, she took the toy and, we had a fight. After responding badly to her, I immediately repented. For me Nina was very important, really like a mother. In the end I did not sleep for a week. But I never told her, at least until now.
After five surgeries and one hundred and fifty points in the face, mom has returned home. Too bad they did not leave me much time to enjoy her. I wanted to sit her on the sofa and, I wanted all the kisses, hugs and everything I haven’t had in those years. Mom is mine and woe to those who touch her! And instead, a few years earlier, mom had started working in a pizzeria and, not even the time to leave the hospital, she rightly started working again. What could I do?
Let’s move on to Montepagano!
With Gianluca, everything is about passion! Actually, four passions! Family, Country, Music, Soccer! Not necessarily in that order! He takes his passion for Abruzzo around the world. On tour he always speaks about Abruzzo. He loves his country and, he wants others to love it too!
My name is Gianluca Ginoble. I was born on February 11th, 1995 at the Atri hospital.
“I am from the town of Montepagano, Abruzzo. 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.” ~ Gianluca Ginoble
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.
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.
Dad, Ercole and mom, Eleanora realized that I had something special in my voice when I started to sing at the age of three or four years. They tell me, when I was three years old, I sang ‘O Sole Mio’ in the town square in front of all the elderly gentlemen friends of my grandfather who were sitting around in the square.
This was Gianluca’s first audience but, of course he doesn’t remember it.
Because Eleanora worked, Gianluca 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.
Are you wondering why I suddenly sang ‘Time to Say Goodbye?’ The answer is simple: because it made me feel good. Usually, I would sing at home or in situations where I felt protected as if I were at home. I did not care to make myself heard by others. It also happened that at school the teacher knew my particular voice and she would make me sing in the classroom. “Gianluca, let us hear your voice, guys, let’s listen to Gianluca sing.” Do you know how I reacted? I sang, of course, because it was the teacher who asked, but first I went to hide behind the blackboard and put myself face to the wall. I was ashamed to die. I still remember that feeling of being hidden, while I sang, without seeing anyone. Also, because I was already singing with this voice that tended to the baritone, it was really special. I understood that it was a beautiful thing, which everyone liked, but I was still ashamed. Dad says I also did it at home to turn my face to the wall while I was singing. What could I do? I was very shy and a little insecure.
But now, the shyness is over. Gianluca considered this a defect when he was a child but now, he has overcome the shyness. What hasn’t changed is the constant need for confirmation. On social networks, you see his selfies and people think he is vain, but in reality, he needs constant fan approval. He needs to know that they support him. Gianluca has been this way since he was a child. He always needed reassurances. If he only knew how much his fans love him, he would need no reassurances!
Time to move on to Naro.
Let’s join Piero in the courtyard of the town square of Naro.
The heat of the day has passed, the time of rest is over and it’s time for people to come out into the square. On the bench nearby are old men. Piero is playing soccer with his friends. They are playing with his SUPER TELE (a plastic football). The ball flies off in the direction of the old men and they shout, “Slow with the ball or we will cut it.” The old men frighten Piero with their threat.
My name is Piero Barone. I was born on June 24th, 1993 in the Sicilian city of Naro.
(Francesco and Piero Barone)
What can I tell you about Naro? For me, it is the most beautiful city in the world! There are dozens of baroque churches and above the city the Chiaramonte castle. Below the castle is the beautiful Valle del Paradiso with its green pastures and the green sea that separates Naro from the real sea… and there’s the Spring Festival Narese!
I would gather with my friends in the afternoon and usually we played until ten in the evening but there was always the fear that the old men would pierce the ball.
Five or six years have passed since the old men scared me. The old men are still on the bench but now when they see me, they come to meet me, to greet me. Before, they scared me, and now they hug me and have that look of being proud and moved. It’s too strong for me! Yet, I still can’t explain why I become ‘weak inside’ when I see them.
“The truth is, I’m still that kid with his SUPER TELE.” ~ Piero Barone
For Piero life is all about Naro and the family and his fondest memories are of his childhood and his family….
I think it is an effort to remember when we were young. We were young the day before yesterday. In fact, all three of us, feel that time has run too fast. Yesterday we were children, and, in a moment, we found ourselves grown up with a great job to carry on. It’s the most beautiful job in the world, what we dreamed and desired, but the truth is that none of us really imagined what would happen.
I remember in detail the years from one to fourteen…. I recall for a few months, during the summer, when I was nine years old, I went to work in my father’s body shop but because I had bad allergies and asthma I was not able to deal with the paints and powders so, the decision was made that I would go to work in my uncle Angelo’s (my mother’s brother) mechanic shop which was just in front of my father’s shop. I clearly recall, at half past ten, on time, my uncle gave me two euros and I went to buy a sandwich at the supermarket. The sandwich was ham and provolone. ‘How good was that sandwich!’
What I’ve done in the last five or six years, I tend to forget. Not because I’m not happy to have done it, on the contrary, I am, very, happy. It’s to have the life I have and have a dream come true: living with music was all I wanted.
When I was a child, I visited my father’s body shop. The shop was, very, big and was full of cars and lots of noise. This was my “first stage.” I was not yet four years old, and I was starting to sing. My father lifted me up and placed me on the hood of a car that was jacked up and I immediately began to sing. The people in front of the shop looked out. Slowly one after another, they came out. I remember them, they stood there listening to me, their heads popping out of the door and, I sang and, it was the most natural thing in the world for me!
But what remains in Piero’s heart is what he calls the “campaign” of his grandparents.
How do I explain this campaign? I think “campaign” and I think “family” a couple that cannot be divided.
Piero compares this campaign to his mother, Elenora, and his father, Gaetano. He sees their marriage as an example of love that he hopes to one day share with someone. Piero says,
I want someone with whom I can carry on that love that is so great even in times of difficulty.
And part of that love, Piero explains, comes from the closeness of his family.
I am proud to say mine is a real Sicilian family, one of those that on Sundays reunites at the grand house, the grandparents’ house. Together we are mom and dad with me and my brother and my sister, my grandfather, my grandmother and my uncle, my great-grandmother, my grandmother’s sister, her husband and their three children, who are the same age as us and for me they are like another brother and two other sisters.And there were great lunches from the first to the sweets, things so good that you cannot even imagine them. And the saga continues, when summer arrives and, everyone moves to the countryside.
Piero’s fondly remembers a family tradition…
I could not wait for it to be Saturday morning when we lit the wood burning oven. I went to collect wood around the ground, I helped to light the fire, and I helped to take out the pizza. In addition to pizza, we did “u pani impurnatu”, which is bread baked in the oven. How good it was! It kept that good taste all week. The week passed and the next Saturday we started over again. The bread was beautiful, warm and fragrant. We also made the “impanate”, which are rolls of pizza dough with vegetables inside, a typical dish of my area. In short, I ate a lot of good things and, it was visible (I was really fat).
We have now met the guys at the very beginning of their lives. What have we learned from each boy? We learned they come from very simple, very humble families. Hard working families. Not unlike the other children they grew up with. Their days were spent playing, being mischievous and singing on impulse. The one thing everyone comes back to in their story is their music. Piero tells us living with music was all he wanted. Ignazio tells us between the mischief, there was always the passion for music. And Gianluca says he sang because it made him feel good.
It seems for these young men not much has changed over the years. In the Beginning There was Music and not much has changed over the years except that now they share it with us!
Join me next week as I go back Through the Fields of My Mind and open the door to a new adventure!
Six years after the guys were put together on Ti Lascio una Canzone, they wrote a book,Il Volo, Un’avventura Straordinaria, La nostra Storia,(An Extraordinary Adventure, Our History) and what an extraordinary adventure it was.
In their many interviews, they talked about the book and their lives in the beginning of their career and we begin to see how they interact with one another to form a powerful team. From a very young age they were very intelligent and, they were always courteous. They always had the right answer at the right time! This is a big achievement for such young boys who were thrown together into an adults’ world without any way of knowing what to expect. This says a lot about their integrity. In this story we meet three amazing young men who achieved in their teenage years what most adults could not achieve in a lifetime!
Reading through the stories, I can see how the boys begin to bond with one another. We all have our good days and our bad days but, at the end of the day they have what’s most important, “each other.”
What we also see in their story is how they begin to bond with the American people. From their first performance on TV on American Idol, they took America by storm. Every TV Show wanted them as guests. After the show they hit the top 10 on the “Billboard” charts. They were on the ride of their lives and, they didn’t even know it! So, let’s join Piero now as he tells us what it was like for him after six years with the guys.
“But can you think about how far we’ve come? We did not even know each other and now we have been working together for six years, we toast together, we cry together. By now Gianluca and Ignazio, but let’s not let them know, they are a part of me, I do not know how I could do without them.
I’ll make you understand one thing: when I’m on stage singing my solo, as soon as I finish, I cannot wait for the other two to come because I feel their moral, psychological and even physical support. If I feel bad, I know that there are two of them that can help me, we can help each other, and this is fundamental for me, to feel that we support each other, that we are always together.”
Ignazio picks up the story…
“It was the beginning of 2010, our first time overseas. Destination Miami! What charm America! Everything was so different from Italy: the cars were different, the streets, the houses. I felt like I was in another world.
Immediately after Miami we went to Los Angeles. My first word? ‘Wow!’ Which was also what I said when I entered my room in one of the best hotels in the city, the InterContinental of Century City.
We were only three kids accompanied by our parents. We still did not know each other well. At the beginning I immediately started to connect with Piero. Perhaps because he is Sicilian like me and maybe because we always found the opportunity to make jokes and have fun. We especially enjoyed ourselves when we tried to make ourselves understood by people, since we spoke few words of English.
But what were we doing in Los Angeles? We stayed there a week during which we were lucky enough to be part of the ‘We Are the World 25 for Haiti’ with eighty of the most famous music stars in the world including Celine Dion, Lionel Richie, Santana and many others. After 25 years we all gathered together for ‘We Are the World 25 for Haiti’ to collect funds for the earthquake victims of January 12th, 2010.
It was the first week of February 2010, Quincy Jones had invited us, the myth Quincy Jones, the one who worked with Ray Charles, one of the artists who made history through international music. In short, that was our first truly, great, exciting experience: who could ever imagine that one day I could find myself among those people in such a context.
After the week and back to Italy. The difference between Italy and the United States we saw immediately: they were more advanced, more ahead!”
Piero recalls their meeting with Quincy Jones…
“I remember meeting with Quincy Jones when he came to ‘We Are the World 25 for Haiti:’ an eighty-year-old crazy character in Converse.
That time we just showed up, but three years later he came to one of our concerts and we had the chance to talk. Okay, you imagine being with Quincy Jones, the Quincy Jones who worked with Count Basie, Ray Charles, Dizzy Gillespie and Michael Jackson. Here, what are you talking about? Music?
We were fifteen to sixteen when we found ourselves in this American dream. We had signed a contract with a record company that includes famous artists like Beyoncé and many others. We were invited by the record company to the party. We turned and saw, again, Quincy Jones; we turn around and we saw Rihanna; we turned and shook hands with Lady Gaga. We talked with them, some singers who were idols for us and for our peers.
I never forget the meeting with Puff Daddy, he shook my hand and told me: ‘Guys, welcome to our family.’ You see, now that I’m telling you, I’m shivering because I never said it, but Puff Daddy says ‘Guys, welcome to our family.’ Then I sent a message to my friends in Naro, ‘Today I was with Beyoncé, today I met Puff Daddy.’ And they did not even believe it. They only believed a little bit if we sent the photos. But they did not really understand what was happening in our lives.
In fact, we only began to understand that something was changing when our first record came out.”
So, the guys have met all the big names and performed with them in We Are the World, but reality has not yet set in. Let’s hear what Ignazio has to say about this….
“It was already May 2010 and the Il Volo album was about to come out all over the world. Maybe I was too small and naive but I did not feel the anxiety of the job, unlike today. The first major television show we appeared in, in America, was American Idol, the world’s most famous music talent show. There, yes that….…”
“American Idol? I remember the first fitting we did with the clothes, the dress rehearsal, in short. We found ourselves in the dressing rooms with all these clothes, we did not know where to look, glasses, bracelets, we touched everything, the stylists all around you. We still have those clothes. I personally will never throw them away.”
Gianluca interrupts Piero….
“Then they say I am the vain one! Yes, I remember the clothes, the stylists, it was the first time, a crazy feeling. But most of all I remember the face of Jennifer Lopez when Steven Tyler gave five to Ignazio, live with thirty million viewers. Oh not, Igna?”
Ignazio recalls that crazy moment….
“I had a crazy fright in front of Jennifer Lopez, Steven Tyler and Randy Jackson and millions of Americans watching us from home. We sang ‘O Sole Mio,’ live and, while singing, I do not know how it came to me: I casually approached and gave five to Steven Tyler in the studio and took a delirium, all standing!
And a few days later we realized that people at home were ecstatic: The week after the broadcast we were listed in the top 10 of “Billboard” the most important internationally recognized music reviewer. A goal that only a few Italian artists have achieved. Not bad for boys of only sixteen. After that great success, all the American television networks wanted us on their show. And slowly also in many other countries in the world.
In a few months I found myself having traveled the world, from Europe to the Americas, from Asia to Oceania. From 2010 to 2013 we traveled like crazy, without ever stopping. In three years, I have not been home for five months. So much so that the rest of my family were upset. Sometimes I traveled with my mother, sometimes with my father, and I never saw my sister. The first discussions had begun for those who were to accompany me, not because they wanted to travel the world, but because my mother did not want to stay away from her son, who until a few months before had an almost normal life, apart from the thousand daily whims.
The release of the album, the pre-sales of the American, Latin American and European tour, were good but not Italy because the Italian promoters were not very enthusiastic about our work. We were very sorry but, we conspired with the fact that Michele, our manager, had lived the exact same thing with Andrea Bocelli and said: ‘Wait, boys, one day they will notice.’
So, the concerts are approaching around the world, but who had ever done one? I had only an experience on June 24th, 2009, on returning home from Ti Lascio Una Canzone I had a concert in Marsala, fifteen thousand people were waiting for me in the square, I will not tell you the fear I had, so much that I sang the wrong words to the first song! But now I was not alone for a single evening but, there were many concerts to divide spaces, remember movements and various choreographies. Luckily there was Luca Tommasini, a dancer and choreographer who was part of Madonna’s dance group, Michael Jackson, Diana Ross. Prince, Whitney Houston, just to name a few. He was a great help and we had fun around the Americas and Europe.
The concerts were fine, many were sold out. We started on that first tour in 2010 in spaces from one thousand five hundred to two thousand seats to the maximum until arriving in 2013 from five thousand to ten thousand places. The girls shouting at all the concerts, the hotels, the airports always full of fans, we walked with bodyguards.
The record was going well, and many people in the show were noticing us. One day Michele calls us: ‘Barbra Streisand’s manager called me.’”
Piero, who was in charge of recording all the dates and events and signing contracts, recalls…
“We were in Atlantic City, in my suite, and who comes in our American partner, Michael’s right-hand man, with a contract.
‘What is that?’ I ask him.
‘The contract to sign with Barbara.’
I knew that there was a project with her, but being on tour, I could not keep in touch every day with Torpedine, so I did not know that the thing had come to past. And it was a really big thing: Barbra Streisand wanted us on tour with her, not as an opening, but as an integral part of the show.
The tour, which was called Back to Brooklyn, was the first that Streisand made between the United States and Canada since 1994. It opened on, October 4th, 2012, in Philadelphia and closed on November 11th in Los Angeles, passing through New York, Montreal, Ottawa, Vancouver, La Vegas, Chicago. Can you imagine what it meant? And we sing with her!
So, I signed the contract, but the most anticipated thing was the meeting with her. Because Barbra is a diva, all speak of Barbra with so much desire. And to find yourself face to face with a person who has made history of international music, known all over the world, who is seventy years old and still has twenty thousand people every single evening, is incredible!
And the meeting was surreal because it is absurd to find yourself talking to her about your hair, where you go to cut your hair and trivial things, it does not seem possible!
The fact is, however, that I am not one who dreams so much, I do not live above the clouds. I may not seem modest, but yes, I did a duet with Barbra Streisand, but when I finished the show, I called Torpedine and I said, ‘What are we doing tomorrow?’ ”
“How much do you run, Piero! I’m still at Michele’s first call and you’ve already finished the tour?
When our manager gave us confirmation of our participation in the tour after a few days of negotiation, we did not know what to say or what to do. Personally, I knew of Barbara Streisand, but I wanted to know more, so I watched Funny Girl, the first film she shot and with which she won the Oscar for the best actress in 1969. After watching that musical-film I was fascinated and excited a thousand times more to be part of the tour of the artist who had made me dream only through a screen. I did not even want to imagine what it would feel like the day I would find myself on the same stage as her.
The first concert with her was in Philadelphia on October 4th, 2012, the day of my birthday, so you can imagine what a birthday I would have. It was nice and exciting to hear her singing close to me.
When I arrived at the sound check, before the concert, I do not know what happened but, I started thinking about everything we had done in the years before, how much gratitude the boys and I had for Michele who had never left us since the first day. We were sharing the stage with one of the greatest living legends.
They are difficult emotions to explain!”
Gianluca throughout the book and his interviews is led by his passions and emotions, much as he is in his everyday life where family, music, country and soccer, are his greatest passions. Here Gianluca picks up on Ignazio’s emotions and continues the story….
“In my case, if possible, it is even more difficult because the thrill of singing with Barbra Streisand has added to the excitement of singing in front of my grandfather. Imagine the Barclays Center in New York, a huge sports arena full, bursting of people. The capacity is around fifteen thousand places, but that evening was so full of people it seemed to me to be twenty-five thousand. The darkness all around and then the lights suddenly, the audience roar, the music, the concert.
And what did I see in all this? I saw only my grandfather in the middle of the Barclays Center who greeted me by hand. It was the best image of that tour, for me, a kind of film, yes, in a film it would have been really good!
I did not believe it, the more I looked at it and the less I believed it. It was weird, my grandfather at one of my concerts with Barbra Streisand in New York. I have always seen him in the square in the village, it seemed a mirage to see him there.
He made me like this with his hand (a wave) and he was crying. And I was just looking at him, singing ‘Smile’ and watching only him.
Worse was when I just moved my gaze and I saw my father sitting next to him. And he cried too.
That time on stage I could not let myself go, but then I ‘recovered’ during our first European tour, the year after.
My grandfather worked in Switzerland for many years, in fact my father was born there in the sixties, so he could not wait to go back to northern Europe. So, what did he do? He came to Frankfurt with my mother on the plane.
We land, we go out of the baggage area, I turn the corner and open a door. There is a video that is made of me, I have a face. Behind that door was my grandfather waiting for me. Yes, I started crying. And so, for me, the grandfather is the grandfather, woe to those who touch him. And it is love, not affection.
However, of the tour with Streisand, I also recollect the amazement that took us every night after the concert. Why? Because she received crazy visits in the dressing room! In Los Angeles, just to give you an idea, they came to greet her – and we met them! – Sting and Tom Hanks.
What a fantastic tour it was!”
Can you imagine these three young guys living this adventure? I get chills listening to them talk about it. They are so innocent they don’t even know how to react at times.
Piero is so humbled by coming face to face with a person who has made history in international music.
Ignazio is speechless he can’t even express his emotions!
And Gianluca is so astonished by the event at the Barclay theater he can only focus on what is closest to his heart, his family, and the fact that he is sharing this experience with them.
You know what I love most about this story? The fact that they are so in awe of the entertainers around them. Kind of like we are in awe when we are in their company! That is emotional for me! What these people did to them, the emotions they felt, is so like our emotions for them, our feeling that we walk with great people. Our wonderful guys!
In the story they speak like they want to reach out and touch the people around them but, they can’t even wrap their heads around what’s going on! Who could imagine that these three young boys who stepped off the stage of Ti Lascio una Canzone would travel around the world, join renowned singers and, immediately become a part of an industry which, in reality, is so hard to break into? Yes, it was La Forza del Destino (The Force of Destiny) that led them to America.
They were in the first steps of their career and, they were already Conquering America!What an amazing achievement!
Join me next week as I go back Through the Fields of My Mind and open the door to a new adventure!
Friendship, the true one, can move seas and mountains, and is recognized in times of need.
Piero and Gianluca are two true friends and right now they are demonstrating this. Ignazio, since his father’s funeral, has remained in Sicily, perhaps he did not want to leave his mother and sister alone and he needed a moment of rest.
But there is a project to be completed, the tribute for Morricone, time passes and the date, which for now remains confirmed, is approaching.
So, a couple of days ago Gianluca published a photo of him at the Rome airport, leaving, for where?
We all thought about a return to Bologna, to continue the registration for the tribute.
But it wasn’t like that, the three friends got together, but not in Bologna, but in Sicily, it was all planned ….. I don’t think so. I think that the events, which prompted Ignazio to return to Marsala and to take a rest period, made Piero and Gianluca decide to return with their friend, to support him and also be able to continue their projects.
This is a true friendship. ❤❤❤ And here they are, beautiful and united.
Can I interpret the feelings of all of us fans, seeing Ignazio Piero and Gianluca together again? A feeling of great affection invaded me on seeing their beautiful faces gathered together. So much gratitude to Piero and Gianluca who preferred to go back to their friend and companion of many moments, Ignazio.
But the works have to resume, and so here they are intent on rehearsing the songs, they nicely let us peek, small moments, some chords ……. to make us understand that everything is proceeding.
I glimpse between them Lello Analfino, the one who had written beautiful words for Piero and Ignazio, now he has also met Gianluca, it looks like a recording studio, perhaps Analfino is giving them advice, and they know how to listen to the advice of people who have experience!
Surely, the Sicilian landscape outside is gorgeous, by the admission of the guys themselves ….. “the best way to record music” …..
And then we go out together, as friends, return by car and…
….. to end the evening, a nice dinner all together, while watching a football match, good times with friends, to end the evening, after a day of rehearsals.
And tomorrow we start again, but always together, always united.
Because this is the meaning of friendship.
The friendship that makes Ignazio write a beautiful theme for a television drama, Màkari, but which he shares with his old friends: Piero and Gianluca.
(this photo is the fragment of Màkari’s opening theme where Ignazio and IL VOLO are credited for the song)
And in the recording studio MCN STUDIO 17, in Palermo, they work, record, but there are also satisfactions.
These beautiful words had just been published by the studio itself.
Days of friendship and a special love that only music can give, thanks Il Volo, because in addition to music you bring with you that healthy joy of life that makes every moment madly beautiful, after all, art is to transform into happiness, and to live every moment of what some commonly call work, in a light way and full of ideas to improve by improving, you have brought this into our studios.
PS: Silvio Schembri (Piero’s friend) brought the “cassata” (delicious Sicilian dessert) and isn’t that happiness too ??? 🤡
To the most demanding, rightly, we remind you that the people portrayed in the photo are all “buffered” (they performed the test for the virus), see the following photo, and despite this, during the working hours all the positions were maintained and used precautions to avoid contact.
The photo without masks is a need that concerns the affection you feel with friends, and also a desire to exorcise the moment with the hope of being able to return soon to hug and kiss without fear, because hugs and kisses are that code of body language that makes us men and women free to love each other, and we want for these young talents a good that goes beyond imagination.
A couple of days ago, the page of Il Volo gave the official news of Vito’s passing with these beautiful and moving words.
A few years ago we titled one of our concerts “An Extraordinary Adventure”.
Well, all adventures contain moments of happiness and moments of sadness, the key thing is to face each of these moments together.
Ciao Vito, we will miss you.
Better words could not be chosen, Vito will never be forgotten.
Always united, in happy and sad times, because that’s how true friendship works.
And what about the nice words used to our guys by the recording studio
What a joy to be able to see Gianluca, Piero and Ignazio, at work, rehearsing and recording, because they want the next event to be “perfect”, they want everyone to like it and be a worthy tribute to a “great composer”.
They will succeed, we are sure, and we will contribute to their success, with our affection and with our support.
Land of Sages and Fools ~ Made of Devils and Saints!
Sometimes I feel like I spend every day of my life writing about Ignazio! In the last year I wrote over fifty stories about the guys and, it seems as if half of them were about Ignazio’s projects. Because of all his projects I sometimes write two and three stories a week about him, wearing many different hats. Entertainer, Lyricist, Manager, Entrepreneur! The amazing thing about it is, I can’t get enough of him! Ignazio lives in mind. I have an emotional attachment to him. I guess it comes from writing all those stories. With fictional characters, the writer develops the character but, when you’re writing about real people, you come to a point where you are in their minds and, you feel their passions and emotions!
As usual, it was Daniela who made me aware that something new was going on. She sent me a video that said Màkari and I wondered what is this about? And then I clicked on it and heard Ignazio’s beautiful voice and I thought when did Ignazio record this? That’s when I realized it was a new series on Rai1 and Il Volo will be singing the theme song. And if that wasn’t enough, I learned Ignazio wrote the song. Ignazio, do you ever sleep?
Ignazio, last year, you told us you had many surprises for us. This obviously was the collaboration with Rai1 you were talking about. Unless we have another surprise in store! We can only hope!
Truthfully, who better to write a song about Sicily and the region of Trapani than a native child! No, Ignazio wasn’t born in Sicily but, for Italians, who your parents are is who you are so, in fact, Ignazio is Sicilian.
It amazes me that the young boy who went to Sicily kicking and screaming when he was ten, became the spokesman for Marsala, around the world, and now for the region of Trapani. Ignazio came to embrace the land of his parents and he loves all the wonders of Sicily.
Sicily is different than Italy. Yes, I know Sicily is Italy but, how the Sicilians live and, who they are is very different. Ignazio’s song invites us to take a better look at this other land in the south. It speaks of “a land of sages and a land of fools, made from devils and saints.” Yes, that’s what Sicily is! They honor their saints while keeping their superstitions!
Ignazio invites you to live a new reality through his eyes. He invites us to see a different side of Sicily through his beautiful theme song, Màkari.
Ignazio begins his video by explaining to us his experience of Sicily as seen through his eyes. “It is a Sicily as told by a twenty-five year old who lived Sicily through stories, through images!”
This song speaks volumes! Where did the words of this song come from? Ignazio’s heart! There is something very mysterious about the song. Besides the fact that it speaks of a land of sages and fools made from devils and saints. It also speaks of truth! The truth as seen through Ignazio’s eyes.
Ignazio’s words allow us to see Sicily through tradition, home and love!
In the video, Ignazio talks about the summers he spent in S. Vito Capo in the landscape of Màkari. What is it that draws him back year after year? Is it the “silence” of the land that screams for you to open your eyes and look around at the wonder of the landscape or, the traditions of the land that go deep into your soul? It seems to Ignazio, Màkari is joy and love and so he will never forget it! And what does that say! Simple! This is Ignazio’s story!!! His story of Sicily, the land he left to pursue his dream and the land he is drawn back to time and again.
Think about the words of the song! Is Ignazio talking about the writer who leaves his home and returns after a long period of time or the entertainer who travels the world? The similarities in his life and the life of the writer are striking, that’s why he was able to write such an emotional song! I feel like Ignazio wrote the song and then they made the show. His words are very enticing, they pull you into the story. They tell all there is to know and, Ignazio tells us a story, through the imagery of his words!
The mystery of it all is the relationship Ignazio has with this land! Having become a part of this land at the age of ten, it is amazing to me that Ignazio developed this great bond with Sicily. Yes, Bologna is his home but, Sicily is the place he comes home to!!!
Ignazio says, “it is an honor to talk about my Sicily through a fiction that tells the truth of this Sicily.” Ignazio loves that through all the mysteries and mystique of the program, the show speaks of love, which is something that he loves and, he loves that that love is combined with yellow (mysteries)!
Sicily is amazing for Ignazio because it’s different for him every time. He sees a Sicily that is always offering something new while being a part of something old. Always remembering what was while looking forward to what will be! This speaks to Ignazio’s soul!
Ignazio’s thoughts and emotions are everywhere in this song. In an interview on Sunday, with Inga and Claudio Gioè, the actor from Màkari, Ignazio reminds us of his words, in the song, about His Sicily. “Whoever comes to Sicily, cries twice,” (once when you arrive and, once when you leave). I think that sums up Ignazio’s feelings for Sicily.” I think the words of this song will be on the lips of everyone for many years to come! A Classic!
The final verse of the song is sung by Ignazio with a few beautiful words in Sicilian and he is accompanied by a classical guitar. “Sing louder but do it in silence because here no one hears us, sees us. This is a story a little curious, a little grumpy, it speaks to me of love. For traditions, for my roots, Màkari is home and my heart sings for you!” These are emotional words, very touching!
In the video, Gianluca and Piero expressed their feelings about the project. Gianluca said, I have anxiety waiting for this moment, so I renew my congratulations to everyone for this great project and we are delighted to be part of it. We, also, learned something very interesting in this video. We now know what everyone’s plans are for the future! Gianluca says, he would love to be an actor. I always thought he would be a model. He certainly has the body and looks for it! But who knows maybe he will show up in one of the episodes of Màkari? And Piero the sweetheart that he is, told us how proud he is of Ignazio and how happy he is to be a part of this project! Piero, all of us are very happy that all of you are embarking on this new adventure together!
One final thought! Ignazio’s words in the song call out to, many, people expressing his feelings on many matters! I would like to go back to those last words of the song so that you can listen very carefully to Ignazio words! “Sing louder but do it in silence because here no one hears, sees us.” Think about it!
Màkari we’ve been waiting for you!
What an amazing song! Ignazio as usual you took my breath away, not just with your voice but, with your beautiful words. No doubt they were from the heart. They truly hit home! They so speak of where you heart is! And from the bottom of my heart I say, thank you for the song and thank you guys for the beautiful delivery!
You know how many times I’d like to leave from this land of devils and saints but Màkari is home, it’s joy and pain this is my land.
Land of Wise Men and Land of Fools of people who take heart, take it and give it! Whoever comes to Sicily, cries twice! Màkari is my home.
This is a story a little curious, a little grumpy, it speaks to me of love. For traditions, for my roots, but Màkari is home, and the heart sings for you.
Sing louder, but do it in silence, because here no one hears us, sees us, but Makari is home, it is joy and pain, Màkari I do not forget, I forget no more.
This is a story a little curious, a little grumpy, it speaks to me of love. For traditions, for my roots, but Màkari is home and the heart sings for you.
Life is like a book, there are beautiful pages and less beautiful pages, and now we turn the page on the events that have just passed and we hope to always find positive pages.
In fact good news is coming and it’s called MÀKARI.
On the evening of Sanremo I was waiting impatiently for the arrival of Il Volo on TV, advertising promos were passing and one concerned an upcoming 4-episode television miniseries. I was not paying attention, but something immediately attracted me ….. the beautiful and unmistakable voice of Ignazio !!!
Immediately on the web, the rumors of other fans circulated who had the same thought and here it is, it is him, Ignazio.
But what is Màkari? Is the fiction in 4 episodes, deals with the works of Gaetano Savatteri(Sicilian writer) set between the Zingaro Nature Reserve and Baia Santa Margherita, (Trapani area)
Plot: The series of 4 yellow novels, stars Saverio Lamanna, writer by vocation and detective by chance. During the four evenings, Saverio engages in investigations into murders, disappearances and mysteries that bloody his land.
But here’s the promo that aired just before their performance in Sanremo.
And here is the explanation of MÀKARI from the voice of Il Volo, yes because the theme song will be sung by Il Volo, but the song is written by Ignazio.
This is the video of the remote press conference of Il Volo on the Màkari project.
IGNAZIO = Let’s say it is a Sicily told by a twenty-five year old who lived Sicily, through stories, through images. Màkari is a landscape that I experience every summer, because I have many friends in S. Vito lo Capo and every summer I take the opportunity to return to this land.
It is a song that tells about my Sicily, land of sages, land of fools, made of devils and saints, but I have also seen some images from the series and this series is also about love, which is something that I love, love combined with yellow (they are detective stories).
It is a song linked to traditions, from how it speaks, and for us, at least for me who wrote it, it is an honor to tell about my Sicily through a fiction that tells the truth of this Sicily.
In days it will be available on all platforms, for those who want to listen to it. Sony is working to make it available on all platforms.
GIANLUCA = I also have a great passion for acting, so, hoping one day to undertake this journey as well, I wanted to congratulate all the actors.
We got to see some small parts, so I was also happy to be able to preview some parts of this fiction that we will all watch. We can’t wait, I have anxiety waiting for this moment, so I renew my congratulations to everyone for this great project and we are delighted to be part of it.
PIERO = I am very happy, but all three of us are, to have married this project. In fact, Gianluca and I are very proud of Ignazio, of the work he did in this song, and it was exciting to record a song by Ignazio in the recording studio, to hear it in the commercial, every time it is exciting.
We wanted to thank Carlo degli Esposti, Marco Cingoli and Luigi Pinto for choosing us, it’s not something to be taken for granted. (a little taste of the fiction and the beautiful song follows,)
In the final piece of the video there is a small verse of the song, which is accompanied by a classical guitar. Ignazio sings.
The text is in Italian with a few words in Sicilian, here’s what it says:
“Sing louder but do it in silence, because no one here hears and sees us, but Makari is home is joy is love. I don’t forget Màkari anymore.
Chista è na storia nu pocu curiosa nu pocu scuntrusa mi parla di amuri (Sicilian dialect = This is the story a little curious, a little grumpy, it speaks to me of love.)
For the traditions, for my roots, Màkari is home and the heart sings for you.”
in the photo the two protagonists of Màkari
One more thing to be very proud of these guys.
A nice surprise, no one expected this gift.
Ignazio, you are fantastic, your talent as a composer has finally found the right launch, and it can be heard and tasted by many people, who will surely love it.
Once again I am very proud of you, once again you have shown that you are united and great.
Your talent knows no bounds.
I look forward to hearing the whole beautiful song.
Credit to owners of all photos and videos.
Come in and share the love of life, friends and Il Volo!