For a few days already, the various Facebook fan pages had announced a seminar in which Piero would participate.
This is a meeting with the students of the KORE University of Enna (Sicilian city) on the topic: THE PSYCHOLOGY OF THE ARTIST AND THE ABILITY OF “KNOWING HOW TO BE”…
I propose to you the complete video of the event, published by Kore University.
I will translate briefly.
After Piero Barone’s university room entry, the speaker, Professor lacolino, explains the title of the seminar, that is, being at the center of visibility but at the same time guaranteeing the essential values of life. He says that he knows Piero and his family because they live in the same town: Naro. He says that he has always followed Piero’s career and one thing that has always amazed him is the simplicity and humility of his being, which is not something to be taken for granted for those who have achieved success. The topic was considered very valid to give motivation to those students who want professional success at all costs and Piero is taken as an example, for the possibility of succeeding, but also of maintaining the fundamental principles, which are not always linked to the economic aspect, which is important, but not as much as the family, emotional, relational and love values that will accompany us throughout our existence.
He also explains that success is ephemeral, because there are often people at the top who then fall into oblivion. Then he thanks Piero and asks the principal to say a few words.
The principal thanks Piero and says that it is their most important seminar.
In such an important moment in the world an artist brings his culture and his message to the world which never more than in this case must be a bringer of peace.
Then he wishes everyone a good listen.
Below Prof. lacolino reads a formal thank you to the entire university and to Piero for having accepted the invitation and for making this event special.
Piero greets everyone and sits down with these words:
“Good morning guys, hello everyone. For this event I have decided not to prepare anything, because I want to be spontaneous and transparent, I talk to guys my age, I will answer all your questions and I want to be the most sincere and talk about the deepest part of myself.”
He goes on to say that his greatest fortune was to have people next to him who always encouraged him, and this is also the task of teachers, to encourage students, because often during the journey there are dark moments and you have to have the right people next to you, who maybe are also the people you have at home. In his case, the family and their advice play a fundamental role, which he considers the cornerstones of his career.
At this point there is one intervention by a teacher who explains the context of the seminar. (She delves into the aspect of the artist in the theme of psychology.)
Before giving the floor to Piero, another teacher reads a tribute that covers all the stages of Il Volo’s career.
At the end of the tribute to Il Volo, Piero thanks her saying that here in University they are very well prepared on Il Volo topic, and that he had many things forgotten also.
Prof. lacolino says that what was read is Piero’s artistic life and now they want to listen to his most hidden life. And now he himself asks a question:
“Who is Piero Barone in life?”
Piero replies that he is a person who questions himself every day, because if you stop questioning yourself, you stop learning. Doubt is the stimulus that keeps you going.
His and his colleagues’ strength is the fact that they always think about the future and do not sleep on the past, however beautiful it may have been. Growth brings different thoughts, different points of view, social, personal, professional.
The most important thing is to recognize your identity and defend it. Maturity brings new consciences and it is important to have good people around you.
Professor lacolino asks Piero what is the hook which allows him to overcome a moment of crisis.
Piero replies that it is as if he lived two separate lives, the Piero of Il Volo who is a public life and the Piero of Naro, where he was born and raised and Naro and his loved ones are his safe haven, in a moment of crisis and doubts and problems, he returns to his “safe haven” with the right people, and in a few days every problem has a solution. For Piero, family and the type of education received are very important, as is respect for grandparents who represent a testimony of life lived. Piero states that his grandparents passed on education to him through demonstration, with small gestures and moments that Piero assimilated, nothing was imposed. This strong identity allows him to travel safely around the world, in contact with different ethnic groups, different traditions, but always having a clear understanding of who he is.
At this point Prof. lacolino greets Gaetano Barone (Piero’s father) and his sister MariaGrazia, confirming the affection that binds this family.
Piero confirms that his results obtained are due to the presence of his family, to the firmness of his father and then talks about the importance of his brother and sister who were “the fundamental and predominant part of my life”, because he explains that in the first years of Il Volo, Francesco and MariaGrazia understood, without jealousy, that the family’s attention was entirely for Piero and he recognizes that if he was able to have success he owes it to them too.
Piero says that when it’s Christmas and gifts are given, he doesn’t want anything from his parents because they have already given him the best gifts, his brother and sister.
The students’ questions begin.
In the first question Piero is asked how the idea of forming Il Volo was born and Piero responds by explaining all the randomness of TI LASCIO UNA CANZONE and then ends by saying that Torpedine is the fourth Volo and that in April they will celebrate 15 years of their career. He also explains that they right away signed a contract and moved to America and he didn’t know anything about English, they learned quickly. He also talks about meeting a woman in an elevator in Nashville who recognized him and told him “Piero remember, being successful is luck, maintaining it is a job.”
In the second question a girl asked what moments he experienced with Il Volo were to remember and Piero replies that one of the moments was having sung in Kyoto at the inauguration of the renovation of the Kiyomizu Dera temple, another moment was the tour with Barbra Streisand and then the more emotional last year on family day singing in front of the pope, because he had promised his mother, who is a very believer, that one day he would bring her in front of the pope and that day, not only was he there with the whole family but he was singing in front of the pope and his mom, a moment that will be difficult for him to forget.
In the third question Piero is asked, “If in a day is Piero’s simple part more dominant or does the artistic part prevail?
He replies that when he leaves home it’s as if he activates a change, he enters the more artistic mode within him. Piero confesses that for him music and Il Volo are his world and that he is giving up many things in his private life for them.
He says that it is difficult to do something personal among his many commitments and that his presence in this seminar was confirmed only 15 days before, instead Prof. lacolino had already requested two years ago. He admits that he doesn’t feel like an “artist” he is just Piero, and he is making his passion his daily life, he states that he has never worked (in the true sense of work) because for him music is a passion.
For Piero, passion, responsibility, identity, are the things that distinguish an artist and he says that Il Volo focuses on identity and spontaneity, proposing a genre that is a little outside the box of the musical genres that are fashionable today, and finally he also remembers that last Saturday Il Volo was supposed to hold a concert in Tel Aviv.
In the fourth question, Piero is asked what the preparation is like before the concerts. Piero replies that there are two preparations, the vocal one and the physical one and they are both important.
Physical preparation serves to increase breathing and endurance to face long journeys. He confirms his stubbornness in pursuing sports and also talks about his physical preparation for the New York marathon.
As regards vocal preparation, Piero says that during the Covid period he discovered that he can do lessons remotely and thanks his teacher Fulvio Massa for his constant availability at any time due to the differences in time zones. Piero has daily singing lessons, and confirms that it is important to discover every day that you can always do better, never set yourself a limit and therefore never stop studying.
He also confirms that a good psychological preparation is needed, because when Il Volo is on tour, there are crowds waiting for them and it is certainly beautiful, everything is exhilarating, you are praised every day, then you arrive home and you are alone, the first years it was difficult, and even now, sometimes you are on the other side of the world, you need to hear someone and you can’t because of different hours they are sleeping at home, so you are alone with yourself and therefore you have to recognize the limits of the moment. When you are on stage you have to learn to enjoy those moments because you have to understand that you are on that stage not because you are omnipotent, but because those people have paid for a ticket, they have left home to come and see you and listen to you so you have to be grateful to them.
Another important thing for Piero is to listen to people and at this point he introduces a woman, Nora (whom he greeted and hugged as soon as he entered the room). They met by chance years ago while they were both waiting in Frankfurt for the flight to Sicily which was heavily delayed. They started talking and continued for hours, since then a beautiful friendship was born with Nora who is 80 years old, speaks five languages and has traveled all over the world, she only understood that Piero was a member of Il Volo upon arriving in Catania. Since then, every now and then, they call each other to have a nice chat. Piero says that dialogue and listening to people is a great fortune that must be exploited.
Piero also talks about the importance that his grandfather had for him, not only for having discovered his voice, but also and above all for having passed on to him this great love for music.
Piero says that as a child he spent summers in the countryside with his grandparents and there was a neighbor in the countryside who had purchased one of the first small cameras with a door. Every evening he came and filmed something, but they were children and didn’t understand what it was. After this man’s death, his house was sold and the one who bought it went to Piero one evening and brought him a CD and told him to watch it. It was the summary of all those videos that he made in the countryside and Piero states that it is the only visual document of his childhood and in those videos, there is not a moment in which his grandfather stops singing, and this is the love for music that his grandfather passed on to him.
Remembering his grandfather, Piero says that his grandfather’s importance was, is and will be fundamental.
In the meantime, the president of the Enna Kore University has arrived and is invited to go on stage.
The president thanks Piero for his availability, knowing how difficult it is to be present given Il Volo’s busy calendar.
He appreciates the fact that Piero said that Il Volo is successful even if the most widespread musical genre is different and this is because when there is quality, when the artistic level is high, and there is determination, as well as the various coincidences of path, you can be successful in life. He says there is only one from Il Volo and the example they are bringing us is also that of friendship, in them there are many positive examples for young people and for this he wants to thank them, and he says Il Volo’s message can be summarized as follows: “if I want I can do it”.
Piero concludes by saying that his greatest goal is to respect his own code of ethics. He has some personal commandments that he always tries to observe and they are important for himself: “To be grateful, to be loyal, but above all to be serious about everything you do.”
The president says that these words must be respected and nothing must be added.
At this point the university seal is given to Piero, followed by final thanks to Piero for his availability. Piero also compliments Prof. lacolino. The president exits.
Prof. lacolino compliments Piero because although personal questions were also asked, he responded with feeling.
Piero replies that if you lose your feeling, for anything, you have finished living.
Then he says that they often ask him to give advice to young people and he says that he is no one to give advice, but he wishes young people to always go in search of their own vocation.
Piero is given the Kore university sweatshirt and then prof. lacolino says that significant things were said and thanks Piero for being a person of substance and not just appearance and wishes all the kids present to find their personal success.
Piero is happy with the discussion he had in the evening and concludes by saying this:
“Do cherry picking, always try to get the best from every person, from every place and from every culture. Talk and ask questions, always be curious. In the end we are the result of what we live and the encounters we have.”
Final applause and greetings from all the young people present.
The day after this meeting at Kore University, Piero published this comment:
“I would like to express my gratitude to the entire academic staff of the Kore University of Enna for the warm welcome given to me. It was a unique experience of its kind. The reflection on the artistic role between psychology and society exposed me to a dialectical comparison and constructiveness with the students. I thank every single person for the questions, curiosities and considerations expressed. I will keep this day among my memories.”
I have no words for what has been said, a very serious topic to which our Piero responded with transparency and great wisdom and which I hope to have translated clearly to you.
I really liked the compliment paid to Piero which confirms that he is a man of substance and not just appearance.
Really very good Piero!!!
You are a great artist, but also a great man and gentleman. ❤️
Credit to owners of all photos and videos.