It seems hard to believe that so much has happened over the last two years. We were in quarantine but that didn’t stop the guys from moving forward and making phenomenal strides.
`We watched the guy’s release “Your Love,” on the stage of the Ariston Theater, which was beautifully presented in a bittersweet moment, and with great Gratitude we thank the guys, especially Ignazio, for that performance.
We followed them to the stage of the ancient Arena of Verona where we witnessed the dawn of Il Volo’s new adventure and the magical moments that would shape the new beginning of Il Volo.
In my story “Phenomenal,” about the Tribute to Morricone in Verona I said: “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! The truth is a book could be written about this event. Not only did we witness the guys first Live for TV Concert for Rai1, but it also marked the beginning of a new era in the life of Il Volo.
After the death of Enno Morricone, it made sense that someone would have to step up to the plate and record all his achievements for posterity! Who better to do that than Il Volo!
In their teens, the guys sang with Morricone and their voices were and still are perfect for his music. Morricone has taken his place in the history of music and now Il Volo follows him down that path.
On their own, Il Volo has achieved worldwide fame! Since the first time they stepped on stage they won the hearts of people around the world. Every place they perform at you will find thousands of people waiting for them. Why? Because they deliver the perfect concert every time. It’s always about the delivery. It’s always about giving the fans what they want! Every performance is an event to be written in our minds that we look back on when we hear a certain song or remember a moment when they first touched our hearts! It’s a feeling you get. It’s not just a song, it’s their voices that capture our inner being and draw us to them! Many people will say, about other groups, “isn’t that a wonderful song” but with Il Volo they say what phenomenal voices. Gianluca said when he first heard “Grande Amore,” he didn’t like it, but he said what he should have considered was that “our voices change the song.” It’s not the song that changes, no, it’s their voices that make every song phenomenal! It’s how their voices draw us to them and to our past and important moments in our lives. Yes, all their music, all their songs are amazing but above all it’s the VOICES! And this explains their continued success worldwide! Three absolutely phenomenal voices.
I get messages every day from people who tell me how Il Volo has touched their lives. How they have helped them move on in difficult moments. Why is this? It’s simple! It’s because we are more than just fans to them, and they are more than just performers to us. They let us into their lives, as a part of their families! How did this happen? It happened because we were with them when they needed family and their family couldn’t always be there for them. In the beginning they traveled with their families but when they turned 18 that changed. At a time when young adults turn to their families for guidance, they found themselves away from home with no one to turn to. They learned how to allow their fans, who loved them, to play an important role in their lives. In a sense that we filled the void! They made us all one Il Volo family. That’s why when they lose someone dear to them, we grieve with and for them! That’s what family does! Sounds crazy, doesn’t it! Not as crazy as you think. Even though they may not have reached out to us in their difficult moments, they did know we were always there to support them, and they relied on that support to keep them going!
Let’s go back to the Arena and the Morricone Concert….
When I spoke about the opening of that Concert, I couldn’t help but talk about the intensity of their voices when they sang “The Ecstasy of Gold.” What force! But it doesn’t stop there! Watch how their bodies react to the music! They are in motion. Look at Gianluca! Watch his fist come at you! 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!
Their voices, their expressions, their movements blend into the background becoming a part of the movie behind them. They themselves felt this and they looked back from time to time to absorb what was going on behind them. The movie, the orchestra, the phenomenal lights constantly changing color and reflection! Just intense!
The soundtrack of “the Ecstasy of Gold” from the 1966 Sergio Leone film “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” is considered one of the most influential soundtracks in history. It was so important that it was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. It is one of the most well-known of Morricone’s themes and one of the most iconic pieces of cinematic score in history.
When the major video for the album, “Il Volo Sings Morricone,” needed to be produced we followed the guys to Sardinia for the videoing of “The Ecstasy of Gold” which brought back memories of American cinema in 60’s, 1966 to be exact, the year “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly” was released! Some of the early American Western Films were made in Italy and Spain. Remember Clint Eastwood made many Italian Westerns.
The Morricone project in conjunction with the Storaro film has opened up so many new avenues for our guys!
Going forward, the name Il Volo will always be attached to Ennio Morricone. They will take their place next to one of the greatest composers of our times! They have taken their place in the Musical History of Cinema and will share their music with a music legend!
All of this is a part of our guys lives since the Morricone project began! And now they have found their place in the Golden Age of Cinema.
This concert was a restart to what the guys left behind in 2020 but even more so, it is a concert about a new direction. It’s about taking all that we love about Il Volo including and above all their bel canto and developing a new kind of concert.
On June 5, 2021, the guys had the performance of a lifetime at the ancient Arena of Verona! We will never forget it!
So where do we go from here?
For one, let’s start with the awards!
We witnessed the events of the Venice Film Festival and cheered for our guys when they won a Film Italy Movie Award.
And we arrived at the Seat Music Awards where they won a DIVA Award for the tribute project to Ennio Morricone.
The guys received an award from the Italian Red Cross, which was presented to them by Sarah Fergusson, in recognition of their commitment and awareness carried out and addressed to the public and to the new generation to whom they have dedicated positive messages and hope during the hardest period of their country.
This story wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t include this!
Looking at the picture of Ignazio holding the Red Cross Award, I was struck by something very funny. I remembered the story in their book about Ignazio and his friend Nicholas. It seemed Nicholas was the mischievous one and Ignazio followed him doing a good share of his own mischief. Let me let Ignazio tell you this story.…
In the official classification of the class, I was the second most mischievous. Nicolas was in the first place. But ours was an open challenge, a race to the last red cross. Now the question arises, what are the red crosses? The teachers invented this billboard on which they had written all the names of the students in alphabetical order and, they marked each student, according to their behavior in the classroom and their academic performance. There were two types of crosses: If you got good marks in the task in class or if you behaved well, if you did not run, did not shout, did not disturb during lessons and a whole series of “NOT” you got a blue cross.
However, if you got a bad grade or if you behaved badly, then you got a red cross. And evil was everywhere! Nicolas and I were the most popular! Our billboard line was a red fire specimen.
Ignazio did you ever think the day would come when you would want a Red Cross?
Congratulations guys on these and all the wonderful awards you won!
Just a few words about the album “Il Volo Sings Morricone” before I move on! After its release, I wrote….
This album is the genius of Il Volo combined with the genius of Morricone. It’s a leap forward and a throwback to the 50’s and 60’s. A time when musical theme songs and scores from movies where produced. When life was simple and, you put the kids to bed on a Saturday night and had a romantic dinner with your husband while listening to beautiful music on the record player. It was date night for parents! Such a romantic time in our American history! Today so much has changed but not romance. These very romantic songs will be shared between lovers but in a very different way, in a very different world.
These are melodies that are familiar to everyone but with a new energy. When I listen to these songs, I remember that night in Verona when they stepped out on that stage to present the first song of the evening, “The Ecstasy of Gold.” This song will go before them on their world tour leading the way to an exciting new experience for all of us. It will resonate around the world! Their presentation was the best presentation by far of any song of cinema, EVER! It vibrated and resonated throughout the world! And it will be talked about for many years to come!
This reawakening of Morricone’s music is truly amazing. What was missing from Morricone’s music was beautiful voices! Each song brings to life the genius of the composer, writer and singer. Unlike any other album made today this album will stand out because it presents a new and different idea! The songs are phenomenal. They’re romantic! And exciting! This truly is a leap in a new direction for our guys. Not a movement away from their music but a movement forward, combining all that makes Il Volo superstars!
Going forward, the name Il Volo will always be attached to Ennio Morricone. They will take their place next to one of the greatest composers of our times!
All that said, the music and the words are nothing without the voices!
This milestone in the life of our guys was realized at an important time in our history! Being forced indoors for so many months provided the opportunity to look to the future and see where their careers were going.
There have been so many stages in their lives. We’ve watched teenagers become young men and now we see men who have taken hold of their careers and catapulted it in a new and interesting direction.
I would like to remember another event that took place, in fact the first event which took place, during COVID. The Seat Music awards.
When they returned to the stage at the Seat Music Awards, they “Turned on the Lights! And Hit the Restart Button,” making way for the industry to reopen and entertainers to go back on stage.
That evening Piero, Ignazio and Gianluca had this to say about the restart of the music industry.
Ignazio: 2020 will be remembered as the year where the world would be constrained to be turned off.
Gianluca: For the music employees the verb turn off means the end of the show, when the curtains close and it is the waiting moment for the next show, but this time the waiting lasted more than expected, the silence was unavoidable.
Piero: Now, the world is getting ready to start again! Now the moment has arrived to raise the curtain! Now, we will turn on the music!”
This beautiful statement was followed by the performance of the evening. Their choice of “Nessun Dorma” sent an even stronger message. It’s saying we may have to perform under these new world conditions, but we don’t have to change who we are or why we’re here. In this ancient Arena we look to the past while following the path to the future. From their first note the whole arena lit up. Their voices were clean and crisp. Their presence was illuminating. Their notes rose above the Arena into the night sky to let the world know music is back! The final note of their song sent the final statement. All three voices rose in unison and their voices sent forth a note that took our breaths away! It said We Have Returned! “Turn on the Lights.”
Our guys did anything and everything to try to keep the industry alive. Their concern for their crew was foremost in their minds. Their people needed to work and through their persistence, the crew was back on stage in June 2021 at the Tribute to Ennio Morricone.
And finally, a great interview!
You know how I love to include interviews in my stories. There was an interview that stood out in my mind during this time. So, I will include excerpts from “4 chiacchiere con il volo” (4 chats with Il Volo) with Marco Montemagno.
What I liked in this interview was the guys talked a lot about their relationship. They talk about how they’ve grown. What their priorities are and how they got to where they are. This is only a small part of the interview but, I think you will enjoy it.
Piero said there have been moments of tension and quarreling in the past, but since they have matured, this attitude has disappeared.
Indeed, he says, that if he thinks of the last time they disagreed, he must go far back, because lately they no longer argue.
A meeting point and a compromise to move forward, clearly as a group, caused them to create three roles. Each has his own role and, there are those who commit themselves to some other things. It is a fact that all three are a little good, bad and ugly but these days they are happy and, they have become three mature guys who above all have a lot of understanding of each other.
It is clear, they were three soloists put together and when one is small you notice the various facets. They are more instinctive now. The fear of being judged is no longer there. Between them today they get along because they have learned to know you cannot expect to change another person or at least think that you think the same way so, you change so as not to offend the sensitivity of others. They say the most important thing in their relationship is “Us Three.”
The fundamental thing all three have learned in these years is gratitude. Gratitude and being grateful to someone and, also grateful to oneself. This is what is important! It is important to recognize what others do for you. This is the thing that made them grow.
Of course, the guys always go back to 2015 when they felt this need to do something in their country because they feel the most beautiful thing for an artist is when you walk down the street and people recognize you. They don’t need to ask for an autograph. You know that look, that smile, they know who you are and, they congratulate you and that look is the most beautiful thing that can happen.
So, all this started from “Grande Amore.” As a results, Italy has joined the world tour. The guys always wanted to have some concerts in Italy. After Sanremo they began!
For the guys preparing for the tour is as important as the tour itself! When they start to prepare, they look at the deadline and they say in the last tour you were here, I was there and so now they better understand each other. So, they decide, what is a better way to work. How do you best express the movements?
Everything is based on experience. They know each other now and it is beautiful to share movements. They have a dynamic on stage and clearly there is an artistic director there. They talked about a meeting to plan and define the production for the American tour. The whole lineup with the conductor. It takes a lot of patience to arrange everything.
Marco asked the guys, “How do you do a tour and every evening bring it to a level of a fresh performance?” The answer….
Every night you must come to the level that one expects so you must love what you do and prioritize it!
They have an understanding between them and with a look they can say they are okay. If one feels bad, he can look at the other two and they will know how to help.
The guys explained, what they do is difficult. It takes a lot of perseverance.
The one thing they know for sure is, they have truly faithful audiences that have been following them for 13 years. They grew up with their audiences and it was really a new thing in the world to see three children as a bit reminiscent of the three tenors with the slightly big voices who sang the Neapolitan songs as well as singing Elvis.
They also joked with one another. Remember when Ignazio showed up with that bandage on his left eye. Ignazio pointed out the scar. It seems when they were playing one of their famous ping pong games, they were playing two against two. Gianluca shot a right, incredible, at a certain point he was standing next to Ignazio and Gianluca hit him. It looked like a crime scene in Turkey. Gianluca said he felt so bad watching Ignazio sleeping on the plane.
What I truly loved about the interview was it was very open and very truthful. The guys have truly grown in these last thirteen years. They have presented a united front, a true unity between brothers who love their music and love one another!
I would like to think that somewhere in the back of their minds our guys knew that someday they would be famous but, no that wasn’t the case they never knew that their love of music would bring them around the world and make them superstars!
Now we find them on a path to their 15th Anniversary together. I’m sure the guys are already talking about an album and a magnificent grand tour to mark the milestone. Whatever it is I’m sure it will be magnificent!
Every song they sing they sing with love! They have a passion for music which drives them to create and recreate themselves time and again. We never know what project is waiting around the corner and what surprises they have in store! Every song they sing they sing for our pleasure. Not a note will advance unless they feel it will please us! And they will continue to work their magic for years to come because to them it isn’t all about any one person, no, it’s always about, the three and their Gratitude for all their fans who are out their supporting them at every concert.
If you haven’t already booked one of the concerts, now’s the time to do it. We are less than three weeks away from the beginning of the American Tour. I will be at Radio City Music Hall in New York and the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles. I hope to see you there!
Join me next week as I go back Through the Fields of My Mind and open the door to a new adventure!
For your listening pleasure I have included the Complete concert at Verona in Tribute to Morricone.
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