Tag Archives: Maestro Marcello Rota

VOLO TOUR 2022: JAPAN by Daniela

In the first days of August, Il Volo flew to Japan, where, after an absence of three years, three concerts were scheduled.
Before the concerts there were some interviews and appearances in programs, moreover our boys like to visit beautiful Japan and therefore Il Volo left in time for Japan.
Here are some beautiful photos of Ignazio , Gianluca and Piero in the beautiful Japanese places.
And here they are during some interviews and participation in radio and TV programs.

KBS TV

Nice interview of Il Volo with Italianity that we translate:
Italianity Web Magazine article – Click Here

It has been more than 10 years since it debuted in its teens and has found success in the American market right from the start. The three young vocalists of Il Volo have become beautiful young people and have returned to Japan for their third performance.

They have already won many fans in Japan and around the world and responded to the interview. At the end of the article, there is a video message from Il Volo to ITALIANITY readers.

On this visit to Japan, in addition to the aforementioned performances in Japan, live footage was recorded at the World Heritage “Kiyomizu Temple” with no audience. Subsequently, the scheme will be turned into a film and will be screened in Japan and other countries around the world.

The first foreign artist in the world to perform in Kiyomizu-dera
ー ー For this visit to Japan, I heard that you will be recording live footage at the World Heritage-listed Kiyomizu-dera Temple. Please tell us what you think about this project.

Gianluca (G): I believe that the musical power of the opera Bel canto allows us to sing in such a historic and wonderful place. Perhaps it is because of the magic of Puccini’s “Nessun dorma”, the music of Maestro Morricone, and our music becomes like the soundtrack of the place. It was like this in 2016 when I performed the Concert Dedicated to the Three Tenors in Piazza Santa Croce in Florence, and when we performed the concert in memory of the great maestro Ennio Morricone at the Verona Arena. We are very honored to be able to return to Japan and do our best in music. We would like to thank everyone who believed in us and we are delighted to be able to play our music in this wonderful country.

Ignazio (I): We are particularly grateful that you have chosen us as the first foreign artists to perform at Kiyomizu-dera. And I am happy that it will be a benefit concert praying for peace and freedom in this world.

This is your third visit to Japan, has your impression of Japan changed compared to the first time?

G: 2017, 2019 and 2022. Compared to when we started, we have grown a lot and to some extent got used to Japan, but I feel that Japan is a wonderful country that always surprises us and amuses us with its differences. Fortunately, we have the ability to absorb everything and even enjoy the differences in places, people, food and culture. I am happy to be with people who share the same experience. We love Japan now.

What do you want to convey to the Japanese audience this time?

I: Sure, I want to convey various things every time. Hoping to give you something different from the last time. It all comes down to our passion for music. And we want you to feel like you are in Italy. We want you to feel the culture and background of Italy at our concerts. I always have that thought in mind.

A group that sings not only the songs of the past but also the new ones
Do you have any special secrets for singing in a trio?

G: I think we have been very lucky. Because they had three different voices. All three have a different charisma. Despite these great differences, everyone had the same passion for music. When we combined three different voices with this passion, it all boiled down to our unique vocal quality.

You held a concert in memory of the great Italian composer Ennio Morricone, who passed away in 2021, and also released a studio recording album. What kind of person is Morricone to you?

I: Ennio Morricone is a true genius. It had the magical power to transcend music in movies and to convey so much more. We are very honored to have the opportunity to cover his songs with beautiful melodies.

Many of your original songs were written by famous Italian artists such as Francesco Boccia, Tommy Esposito, Francesco Renga and Gianna Nannini.

G: For us, singing new original songs alongside singing many historical songs in bel canto is an attitude that we are not just a group singing songs from the past. We are very happy that great artists provide music for a young group like us.

You have a repertoire of many covers, but is there something special about singing original songs?

I: It’s much easier to sing songs from the past. To sing a new song, you have to look for new sensations, new techniques, new feelings and so on. However, when we covered the great master Morricone, he was already dead, so we couldn’t directly ask him to teach us, so it was difficult.

When you were in your teens, you made your debut in the world of music in 2009 when you appeared on the talent show “Ti Lascio Una Canzone” for young people. What are your memories of that period?

G: All three of us were kids, and we were still young, and we just started chasing our dreams and we got our calling. I think I was very lucky. Being able to live with your passion without suffering setbacks. We only believed in our dreams, but it was like a miracle that the three of us were able to catch that dream.

Famous singer and talented producer Tony Renis and another talented producer Michele Torpedine have contributed to your expansion in the American market.

G: Yes, yes. They are the benefactors who worked hard to make our childhood dreams come true. Michele Torpedine was also a talented manager who nurtured artists such as Andrea Bocelli and Zucchero who would later become big names. We weren’t strong enough to sell a group of 15-year-olds singing non-commercial songs. But it was they who found the market for it.

I: I think the exact same thing!

At the end of the interview, please deliver a video message to ITALIANITY readers.

G= Hello everyone, we are Il Volo, there are two of us, Piero will arrive tomorrow. (Piero went to Japan a couple of days after Ignazio and Gianluca, due to his grandfather’s health condition). Piero also greets you. We send a greeting to all the readers of Italianity.

I = He said it all, see you soon in concert. Hello, Arigato Gozaimasu!

*The live recording video shot in Kiyomizu-dera will be streamed on Sunday 19th September. After that, it will be made into a worldwide movie. Details will be announced on the official website of Sony Music “Il Volo”.

And here we are at the three concerts, very few videos that have come to us and then you will also understand why, few even the photos, but something has come.
Here is the list of songs that will be sung by Il Volo. The orchestra will be conducted by Maestro Marcello Rota.

Our friends, Yukio and Kumiko, from Japan, had tickets to Taormina, but due to the closures for Covid, they couldn’t come, and they were delighted that Il Volo was going to Japan, and so not one, but all three concerts were attended.
Here is what they wrote to me:

Impressions of Il Volo’s Japan Tour

In May 2019, Il Volo left a message to Japanese fans, “we would be coming to Japan again in the following year”, but due to the global outbreak of COVID-19, Piero, Ignazio and Gianluca were not able to come to Japan.
This August, we are very happy to see them and listen to their voices after this long-awaited visit to Japan in three years.
We are also very grateful to them for traveling over 20 hours to come to Japan, as they had no choice but to take the southbound route due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
This visit to Japan was marked by the first charity live concert without an audience, as a foreigner, on August 5 at Kiyomizu-dera Temple on Mt. Otowa, wishing for world peace, and following concerts in Tokyo (August 8), Osaka (August 10) and Nagoya (August 12). The Kiyomizu-dera concert will be streamed on September 18.

Concert in Tokyo
The concert in Tokyo was held at the Tokyo International Forum Hall A (about 5000 seats).

After the end of their 10 Years Anniversary, the cancellation of their performances due to COVID-19, and the memorial performance for Ennio Morricone in the meantime, their activities have been introduced on their official website, YouTube, etc. for the past three years. We were excited to listen to and see how much they have grown up over the years.
Since this July, the number of people infected with COVID-19 in Japan has increased dramatically. We thought it might make people a little hesitant to come to the venue, but it was almost full, showing how many fans had been waiting for the concert.
However, due to COVID-19 measures, strict conditions were imposed, such as the wearing of masks, no loud voices, and no gifts, etc. If anyone stood up or held up a penlight, theater attendants would fly in and warn them, giving the venue a different atmosphere.
Piero, Ignazio and Gianluca were probably a little confused by the masked audience and their lack of reactions, as mask-less performances are the norm in Europe.
As the lights dimmed and the stage was lit with a dark red color scheme, Piero, Ignazio, and Gianluca appeared from backstage and began to sing “The Ecstasy of Gold”, a tribute to Ennio Morricone.  When Gianluca started singing, the hall was filled with thunderous applause.
Many of the songs were based on “the best of 10 years”, and were interspersed with songs dedicated to Ennio Morricone, “Se”, “Conradiana”, which was a very good selection, I think.
Between songs, they sang the Japanese song “Shiawase nara te o tatako (If you are happy, clap your hands)”; which they had learned at the previous performance, and talked to the audience, which the audience enjoyed very much. It was a pity that Caruso, which was on the program, was not sung at all the performances.
Piero has been relentlessly challenging himself as an opera singer, and his voice range has widened, giving him a beautiful voice that is balanced and effortless.
Ignazio successfully combined the contrast between the taut tenor voice that overwhelmed the audience and the soft high tones of falsetto.
Gianluca’s velvet voice seems to have changed to a deeper, thicker, more voluminous voice instead of the light sound of the past. I thought it was probably due to his muscular, macho body from his daily gym training, as can be seen from the photos uploaded on social media.
After the final encore piece, Grande Amore, the audience rushed under the stage like a wave even though they had been quiet until then.  The venue staff rushed to stop them, but Piero stopped them with a loud “It’s OK”,  and Piero, Ignazio and Gianluca shook hands with the fans as usual.

Concert in Osaka
The second performance was held one day after in Tokyo at the Festival Hall Osaka, which has a capacity of approximately 3,000 people. Unlike the Tokyo performance, the stage of the Festival Hall Osaka had low steps and a short distance between the audience and the stage, allowing the audience to feel a sense of unity.

The program was the same as Tokyo’s.

Before this concert, there were interview programs with Il Volo on FM broadcast stations in the Kansai area on August 3 and 4 (unfortunately, Piero did not attend). On August 5, they appeared on a TV broadcast in Kyoto, attracting the attention of the audience in the Kansai region.
The audience was in a groove from the beginning of the performance. Because people in Kansai area realized the humorous talks of them, which create a good resonance between their witty conversation and the traditional Kansai sensibility, then their singing was much better than at Tokyo. Their ceaseless talks between songs also had the same feel as Kansai’s, so Michiko-san, translator, had a hard time interpreting.
After the encore, the audience was allowed to take pictures, and after the Grande Amore, they rushed to the stage edge to shake hands with Piero, Ignazio and Gianluca, which was a usual scene at such performances.

Concert In Nagoya
Aichi Arts Center Concert Hall (1,800 seats) Nagoya is located between Tokyo and Osaka, where cultural performances are scarce and audiences often travel to Tokyo or Osaka.

This was Il Volo’s first time to perform in this area, and although I had heard that tickets were not selling well, the venue was more than 80% full by the time the performance began. Unlike other venues, there were audience seats in the back of the stage, and the acoustics were very good compared to others, allowing the audience to enjoy the voices of each Il Volo member.
The small size of the venue also made it easy to convey the audience’s sensibilities, making it the second-best performance following the Osaka concert.
During the encore at the end of the show, as in Osaka, photographs were allowed and the usual offstage contact with the audience took place.
It was a great pleasure to hear the three singers up close and in tune with each other. Many thanks to Piero, Ignazio and Gianluca.
Love from Japan.
Kumi and Yukio
Now, Kumico explains to us the importance of Kiyomizu-Dera Temple, where Il Volo recorded a concert that will be broadcast via streaming in favor of world peace.
Here is a brief introduction to Kiyomizu-Dera Temple, excerpted from what is described on the temple’s website in Japanese.
Kiyomizu-Dera Temple Website – Click Here
The temple was built about 1,250 years ago, and was registered as one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites “Cultural Properties of Ancient Kyoto” in 1994.
Kiyomizu-dera Temple is famous for its “stage” which extends out from the main hall and is approximately 13 meters high. The current stage was rebuilt in 1633.
There is a Japanese proverb, “Jump off the stage at Kiyomizu”. It is a phrase that expresses the seriousness and determination required to jump off the stage of the main hall of Kiyomizu-dera Temple, which is perched on a sheer cliff.
The fact that this performance started at Kiyomizu-dera Temple may mean that they started the performance with a serious determination.
Beautiful experience of the Il Volo concerts in Japan.
The Japanese public, despite the limitations and impositions, was very numerous and loving, even challenging the strict rules imposed in order to see, adopt and interact with Ignazio, Gianluca and Piero.
Thanks Japan and thanks to Yukio and Kumico for the nice description of the concerts.
Daniela 

 

Unfortunately, the return of our young men was marred by the sad news of the death of Piero’s grandfather, the one who has always supported our tenor, who has been very ill for a long time.
Courage Piero, our hearts are with you, condolences to the whole family!
Credit to owners of all photos and videos.

Their Amazing Voices by Susan

So, the first album is done, the guys have a name, and they are on their way to America! But wait a minute, we talk about Their Amazing Voices, but we haven’t said what each voice is and how they work together. So, let’s listen to how the voices work.

I could go back to 2010 when they recorded their first album but for this story, I want to go back to March 2020 when the guys cancelled their last three concerts and went home. We were all locked in our houses! One world united in lockdown!
Think about how our lives have changed over the last two years. It’s surreal! During this time, many of us found a pleasant distraction by listening to our guy’s music. And the endless videos! Many of you told me that you got to know the guys better over these last year’s especially the first months when we were all in lockdown.
Remember how the guys would come on Instagram and Facebook and would invite us to listen to their conversations with their friends. And the funny videos of Piero and Ignazio.

In this video Piero is asking Ignazio to do an interview for him and Ignazio says he should ask Gianluca because he is very busy. Piero says Gianluca is not available to do it. Ignazio is surprised because he obviously knows Gianluca is not busy. Then Ignazio notices Piero’s very sunburned face. Ignazio asks did you use cream.  Piero says, “no oil.” The video is really self-explanatory, and, in the end, we realize it is all a joke. The look on Ignazio’s face when he realizes this was a joke is priceless! 
Ignazio, I have one question for you….

Where’s the payback?

It’s been a long time coming! Time to get even! It’s not like you to not payback!
Moving on….
Let’s not forget all the beautiful songs they sang for us. Especially their songs of prayer when things were really bad. They were with us every step of the way.
Piero’s “Ave Maria”

Ignazio’s “Hallelujah”

Gianluca’s “You Raise Me Up”

During the lockdown, I spent a good part of my days listening to these three amazing young men sing and at one point I said maybe I should do a review of what’s been going on in their lives over the last 10 years. After watching all the video clips including interviews and some full concerts, I was ready to talk about our guys.
But before I begin, let me say, since we are approaching the New World Tour starting in Barcelona on May 15th, this is a good time to revisit the story I wrote on March 29, 2020. A number of the fan pages picked up on the story and some have even used it on their Facebook pages to describe the voices of the guys. One person who read the story was Daniela Perani from Il Volo Flight Crew. After reading it she contacted me and asked if they could post my story on Flight Crew. The story was so popular that Flight Crew invited me to write for them. Now, I write the column Through the Fields of My Mind (www.ilvoloflightcrw.com) which explores the lives of Piero, Ignazio and Gianluca, our guys ~ Il Volo.

So, let’s begin with the story that over two years ago started my collaboration with Flight Crew and my interpretation of the life story of our guys! An Extraordinary Adventure as seen through my eyes!
Let me start off by saying these three young men are extraordinary! They are remarkable, exceptional, men! 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 know 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 ears, 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’s 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. And 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 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, but I’ll talk more about the production 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 is very whimsical in songs like “Libiamo ne’ lieti calici” from La Traviata. In an aria like “Una Furtiva Lagrima” from L’elisir D’amore it is necessary to have a voice that is flawless. Not only is Ignazio’s voice flawless but he has perfect intonation and diction. He can be very dynamic. He has absolute breath control, and he has elegance, agility and dramatic expression.
He’s an exceptional tenor whose voice explodes and expands in unusual ways. You glide along every note to arrive at another dimension in his voice. His articulation is exceptional! Every word is clear and crisp! Listen to the note extensions that form the complex sounds of his voice. Just beautiful!
To address only one side of Ignazio’s voice would be incomplete!  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.

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 him 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 as I said, most songs are written for baritones. 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.

The first time Tony Renis heard the guys sing he said “I could not believe that these three young kids could sing like men of 45 years old. Their voices were huge! I realized they had great potential.” Renis called his producer friend Humberto Gatica and said “…if you are available, I would like to collaborate with you to produce these kids.” When Gatica heard them sing, he couldn’t believe their voices, he thought it was a fake, “They can’t possibly be teenagers.” Renis believed these kids would appeal to kids, mothers, fathers, everybody. He was right! They were the first Italian artists in history to sign a contract with a major American music label. Universal Music signed them immediately.
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. 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 “three voices and one soul” and, we also 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, seemed to be 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.
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, 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 relive 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!

Let’s go 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!

So, we listened to Their Amazing Voices, and we find ourselves waiting for the next song or the next album.
We will take a look at all those albums in a future story but for now the guys have just released “You Are My Everything” the English version of Grande Amore. The guys will sing it for the first time at Eurovision on May 12thAvailable on Spotify, Apple Music and Amazon Music

This is the gift the guys gave us yesterday! It brought me to tears! They’ve done it again! Phenomenal!  

Did you notice something unusual in this video? Pay close attention to the video itself. I was enjoying the song so much that I didn’t notice it at first.
Join me next week as I go back Through the Fields of My Mind and open the door to a new adventure!
If you would like to share a story with me, please email:  susan.flightcrew@yahoo.com
To read more Il Volo stories visit us at www.ilvoloflightcrw.com
Credit to owners of all photos and videos.

THIRTEEN AMAZING YEARS BY SUSAN

Looking back over the last thirteen years, I see many changes along the way but never a departure from their style. They may sing different songs, but they never depart from their operatic pop. They introduce new music, but they never depart from where they started. They present the old with the new.
Their music is Operatic pop or popera. What is this movement? It’s singing Opera in a more classical style. While opera is very strict and regimented, popera is more ethereal it has a lighter feeling, and it moves freely. It takes away the hard edges of opera and replaces it with a more ethereal feel while still presenting the drama and the high notes of the opera. 
This along with the classical Neapolitan songs became a big draw. Why did it work? One reason, three amazing voices! If the voices weren’t there, it wasn’t going to sell.

So, let’s begin this Musical Journey….
I’ve been writing about the lives of Piero, Ignazio and Gianluca from the day they were born to the present day. 
As I wrote each story, there were certain highlights in some stories that I thought should be put aside and revisited in another article. These were, what I consider, moments to remember.

Of course, before I begin, I have to mention the fourth episode of Ti Lascio Una Canzone and the boys singing, “O Sole Mio.” They walked out on the stage, sang “O Sole Mio” and walked off stars!  
The rest is history!
Their musical journey begins in Los Angeles….

February 12, 2010 “We Are the World for Haiti”
I’m sure many of you have never seen the official video of We Are the World 25 For Haiti. It’s amazing! Look at our guys singing with some great American singers! Legends! Just the beginning of their journey but the guys would become legends in their own right!
In 2010 shortly after arriving in America, the guys were invited by Quincy Jones to join “We Are the World for Haiti,” together with 80 international artists such as Celine Dion, Bono, Lady Gaga, Carlos Santana, Barbra Streisand, Enrique Iglesias, Usher, Natalie Cole to name a few. Il Volo were the only Italian artists to be invited. The three voices from the background caused such a sensation. “Who was that?” Everyone present couldn’t believe what they were hearing but, “Who were they?” Soon they would find out!

May 2011, Il Volo, American Idol 
By far the performance that set them on the road to success! There was no turning back after this! They stole the heart of America!

October 25, 2011, the recording of “Tous le visages de l’ amour”
For me, this is one of those moments that you don’t forget. Look at these amazing teenagers. They are singing in French perhaps for the first time. Look at how professional they are. This is only two years after they met! Each one is developing his part and by the end of the recording they bring their three amazing voices together.

2012 “Back to Brooklyn Tour” with Barbara Streisand

In 2012 Barbra Streisand invited the guys to be an integral part of her “Back to Brooklyn” tour. They performed with her in America and Canada. They were not an opening act, no, they shared the stage with Barbara. To the guys this was a dream come true!

2014 Latin Billboard Music Awards 

In 2013, “Más Que Amor” was certified “Gold” in Mexico and Argentina. And this catapulted the guys into the Latin market. From that day on they took the Latin market by storm. 
In February 2014, at the Latin Billboard Music Awards they receive two nominations “Top Latin Albums Artist of the Year, Duo or Group” and “Latin Pop Albums Artist of the Year, Duo or Group.” At the awards show they were awarded as “Best Group of the Year in the Latin Pop Album” category and they also won the “El Pulso Social Award,” as the artist who dominated interactions on social networking sites during the Billboard Awards. This is unheard of! Three Italian kids taking over the Latin market! What a win!

December 21, 2014, The Christmas Concert at the Italian Senate
Ignazio wrote in their book: “We want to talk about the thrill of singing in front of the highest offices of state! What twenty-year-old boy has something like that happen? It happened to us, and it seems to me a beautiful result, an honor. You cannot imagine the emotional feeling to be called “guests of honor” inside the Senate. We were accompanied by the, fantastic, Filarmonia Orchestra Veneta conducted by Diego Basso. Half the beauty of the song is in the orchestra.
The most exciting moments? Everyone! But the hymn of Mameli was the heart-pounding one, the first song, singing in that place, with everyone singing along with us, including Giorgio Napolitano, (President) and Pietro Grasso (President of the Senate). It is one thing that I cannot explain.
And then, of course, the pleasure of shaking hands with the President of the Republic and of feeling that he knows Marsala, he has been there.
I have to say that when the guys sang ‘O Sole Mio with the children signing in the background, I got very choked up. It was very emotional for me! And the whole Senate seemed to be emotional too! An absolutely beautiful moment!

2015 Sanremo Music Festival
On February 14, 2015, the guys participated in and won the Sanremo Music Festival with “Grande Amore.” This is the top award in the Music Industry in Italy. With this win the guys really came home. They were finally recognized by the Italian people. This win also gave them the opportunity to represent Italy at the Eurovision Song Contest 2015. 

2015 Eurovision
As Italy is a member of the Big Five, Il Volo went straight into the Grand Final of the Eurovision Song Contest, which was held in Vienna on May 23, 2015. Grande Amore came in 3rd with 292 points but, they won the televote with 366 points and won the Marcel Bezencon Press Award, as best song according to the collective voting of the accredited press.
The extended play Sanremo Grande Amore was released in Italy on February 20, 2015, and it was certified triple platinum by FIMI. The people speak!

July 1, 2016 “Notte Magica” Piazza Santa Croce in Florence

2016-2017 were the years dedicated to the “Notte Magica” project, the tribute to the 1990 event where the Three Tenors, Josè Carreras, Placido Domingo and Luciano Pavarotti, enchanted the whole world from the stage of the Baths of Caracalla.
On July 1st in Piazza Santa Croce in Florence Il Volo presented on stage “Notte Magica – A Tribute to the Three Tenors,” which was broadcast in prime time on Canale 5.  The guys were joined by Placido Domingo who conducted the orchestra. This marked the beginning of the world tour of “Notte Magica – A Tribute to The Three Tenors” which debuted on March 4, 2017 at the Radio City Music Hall in New York. The show was sold out. After 15 stops in the United States, all sold out, the tour is extended to Europe from May 5, 2017, for 29 performances and from September it extended to Latin America. The concert “Notte Magica – Tribute to the Three Tenors” was filmed and broadcast in the United States by the national television network PBS, and in Italy by Canale 5 and, starting in June, it was broadcast in over 500 cinemas in Italy and around the world.

Jul 5, 2017, Ignazio Conducts the Asti Symphony Orchestra 
During the rehearsals of the last date of the Notte Magica Tour in Naples, Ignazio stepped  in as conductor of the Symphonic Orchestra of Asti while Maestro Marcello Rota sang Ignazio’s tenor part! They sang “Libiam ne lieti calici.” Ignazio had everyone in awe of his performance as a conductor. The guys enjoyed singing with Marcello who usually conducts for their Concerts. Gianluca enjoyed it so much that he hugged Marcella in the middle of the song! All good sports! They all had lots of fun! A unique performance!

Jan 27, 2019  World Youth Day 
If you ask the guys after winning Sanremo, which truly brought them home, “What was your greatest performance,” they would probably answer, singing for the Holy Father at World Youth Day. I know for Piero it was one of the most amazing events in his life!

June 5, 2021, The Tribute to Ennio Morricone
When I wrote about this event I said, “I’m going to use the word phenomenal a lot in this article.” Let’s relieve the opening of this fantastic concert!
I can write at least five pages just on the opening of the concert. If I wrote what I felt, saw, experienced in this concert, I would have to write a book!

Let’s set the scene!
The first note and we immediately know it’s “The Ecstasy of Gold.” The whistle of the wind!
The setting is gold! Then white! Then gold! Look at the gold flecks that come in and out! The orchestra vibrates! Each note intensifies our senses. We’re drawn to the back of the stage. To a tunnel where we know our guys will appear! The focus is always rear center stage! The lights change to intense red and now we are looking at the stage from the back of the arena. We are coming forward. The shadow of Il Volo turns into a force that is coming towards us! The theme of the concert is set!
Listen to the intensity of their voices! What force! Watch their motions. Look at Gianluca! Watch his body react to the music! The fist that comes at you saying this is the punch, just the beginning.  Listen to how Ignazio rides 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!
The scenery is in motion again. In the background, the movie comes into view and blends with the voices! Everything on the stage comes to life! We’re now inside the film. Even the guys are taken by the movement around them. They look around and they are feeling the moment! Andrea Morricone steps up the music and we step back and look, in amazement at what is before us!
What exactly is before us? A work of art! A Titian painting. In Venice there is a very magnificent painting by Titian called the Assumption. It is a painting in motion! Believe me, when I tell you what you are looking at on that stage is a Titian painting. Titian was known for his movement in painting! Titian was 24 years old when he painted the Assumption. Our guys are in their mid-twenties and they have painted the scene before you. If you don’t know the renaissance artist Titian, Google him! You’ll understand what is going on here!
Now let me explain what is before you. Movement. Lots of movement.
Take a look at the stage! You the audience are the spectators! You’re being drawn to the stage. You watch the guys’ approach and, you are in awe of their presence. You feel the intensity of the music, you and the guys are pulled into the movie. The music is all around you!  Their voices are a force in your head. You look up in amazement! You are a part of the scenery! You are a part of the orchestra! You are a part of the movie! You are a part of ~ Il Volo!  You have arrived and you are ready to follow the guys no matter where this journey leads you! It’s only the beginning! Fasten your seat belts. Phenomenal! 

You will note this is out of order. Let’s backtrack…. I want to show you what has happened with these guys over the years. As I said in the beginning, they were with all these legends in the music industry. Now they have become legends! But what I want you to see is in the beginning they worked with many people to start on this amazing road. Now they have moved to another place. A place where they present themselves. A place where they bring all the magic together! We see this in The Tribute to Morricone, but this started long before then. Let’s go to Luna Park October 2019.  Here you will see a magical moment!
October 30, 2019, Il Volo at Luna Park Buenos Aires Por Una Cabeza
I will end by going back to the beginning. This last moment tells me how far the guys have come and how the strangers became brothers.
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. You will notice that the whole Orchestra is in awe and Giampiero Grani can’t stop smiling. 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 faces lit up in joy and their embrace says it all! They are brothers who love one another! This is truly a moment to remember!
It’s ironic that when I started this story, I was randomly choosing moments in their lives that were very memorable. There are so many memorable moments, but I had to limit how many I could use.  I had no idea when I started this musical journey that I would end up with thirteen events. How appropriate! One for every one of the Thirteen Amazing Years they’ve been together!
Join me next week as I go back Through the Fields of My Mind and open the door to a new adventure!
If you would like to share a story with me, please email:  susan.flightcrew@yahoo.com
To read more Il Volo stories visit us at www.ilvoloflightcrw.com
Credit to owners of all photos and videos

 

REVIEWS TO MORRICONE’S TRIBUTE by Daniela

Many of you, in the comments after the various articles on the Verona concert, asked me for the opinion of the press.
I have not forgotten about this and therefore here I am giving you my opinion.
I want it to be clear, that it is only my personal opinion, maybe I am too protective, towards Piero, Ignazio and Gianluca, or maybe, like a mother, I want the best for them, because I think they deserve it, and therefore also this time, I was disappointed with the reviews in the press, or rather, I was half satisfied, but I certainly expected more.

Left to right: Piero, Gianluca and Ignazio in white t-shirts before a concert

Let’s start from the fact, that the concert was magnificent and you have all been able to see it.
The television ratings have absolutely rewarded the concert, they had the maximum ratings of the evening, therefore a real success.
The next day, it was Sunday, but I expected that the newspapers and television news, at least those of RAI, would write or say a few words of congratulations.
Those few newspapers that reported the news, did it purely as a news item, “Il Volo had the best ratings”, no compliments to the three boys.
On the Sunday after the concert, I watched the RAI news and also all the entertainment shows that also report the news of the various shows.
NOTHING, no one has talked about it, nor in the news, not even in the gossip broadcasts.
BIG DISAPPOINTMENT.

Left to right: Gianluca, Ignazio and Piero in sport coats and ready for their concert

Here are some of the articles, of which I will translate the best parts.
ALL MUSIC ITALIA:
All Music Italia Article – Click Here
The music has restarted and it has done so in a big way with a show that is not only musical. Starring Ignazio Boschetto, Piero Barone and Gianluca Ginoble who, in the unprecedented role also of conductors of the evening, led the spectators and viewers of Rai 1 in an evening dedicated to sharing. Il Volo, Tribute to Ennio Morricone had the merit of turning the lights back on to music.

The opening on the notes of Ecstasy of Gold, the main piece of the soundtrack of Once Upon a Time in the West, was exciting.
Two and a half hours of music, memories and emotions in a journey not only linked to the figure of the Maestro, but which fits perfectly with the musical journey undertaken over the years by the three boys, increasingly careful to bring excellence around the world of our country.
Ignazio, Piero and Gianluca then retraced their 12-year career, with significant images and with the performance on the notes of ‘O Sole Mio, a song they sang as children, and Grande Amore, the piece with which they triumphed at the Festival of Sanremo 2015.
Music is sharing and it certainly cannot save the world, but it certainly has the merit of making it more enjoyable. Especially after the terrible year and a half in which we changed our perspective on the present and the future.
Left to right: Gianluca, Ignazio and Piero sitting on the edge of the stage during a concert
RECENSIAMO MUSICA:
RECENSIAMO MUSICA Article – Click Here
After a long season without concerts, live music officially resumes thanks to the concert held this evening, Saturday 5 June, in the splendid setting of the Verona Arena. Protagonists Gianluca Ginoble, Ignazio Boschetto and Piero Barone, the three souls and the three voices of Il Volo. Two and a half hours of beautiful music, a concert-tribute to the romantic and visionary genius of Ennio Morricone.
Broadcast live on Rai Uno, the event certainly did not disappoint expectations.
In the lineup some of the most beautiful songs already interpreted in the past by the trio ….. Inevitable some of the themes composed by Ennio Morricone for the cinema … national pop scene …. Finally, from the very first listening, the unpublished “I Colori dell’amore” (The Colors of Love), signed for the occasion by Maestro Andrea Morricone, a particularly suggestive piece, crowning an unforgettable evening. We start again … we start again in a great way.

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

SKY TG24:
SKY TG24 Article – Click Here
People, as many people as they have not seen in the same place for a long time. With the masks, the right distances ……. the music has started again, the Verona Arena has been granted to a few thousand people who have been excited for almost three hours together with Il Volo which paid homage to the teacher Ennio Morricone. A perfect evening for climate, program and joy, to the point of (almost) forgetting the waiting time “justified” by television times ….. an evening that will go down in history.
Gianluca, Piero and Ignazio start with Ecstasy of Gold, the theme of The Good, the Ugy and the Bad by Sergio Leone. Then a few words, presented Andrea Morricone ………. who will conduct the orchestra in some pieces during the evening. One is Your Love …….. the three artists remember when, in 2016, they participated in the tribute evening to the three tenors Pavarotti-Domingo-Carreras. The composition cannot be anything but the Nessun Dorma and the execution is thrilling; the orchestra, directed by Maestro Marcello Rota, and the choir the latter arranged as tradition dictates in front of the stage, immense …………… The colors of love is the piece created for Il Volo by Andrea Morricone followed, for the last standing ovation, by Libiamo ne ‘lieti calici, aria from La Traviata by Giuseppe Verdi and the reprise of Estasi Dell’Oro. With a dedication to the people that Covid has taken away and a thought to Vito, Ignazio Boschetto’s father who died last March, the circle closes, the music remains in the air. And, I’m sure, people are finally smiling under the masks.

Left to right: Gianluca, Ignazio and Piero singing on the tribute stage

SPETTACOLO.EU:
SPETTACOLO.EU Article – Click Here
Il Volo-Tribute to Ennio Morricone: success for the concert that bewitched the audience.
… aired on Rai1 last night live from the Verona Arena, it won the prime time with a 25% share, winning 4,702,000 viewers.
…… The exclusive concert-event of the international trio Il Volo, in honor of Maestro Ennio Morricone, saw Piero, Ignazio and Gianluca alternate conducting, accompanied by Marco Giallini and Laura Chiatti. The Filarmonia Veneta Regional Orchestra was conducted by Maestro Marcello Rota, with special participation in some pieces by Maestro Andrea Morricone.
The event, which also marked the reopening of the Verona Arena’s musical season, lasted over two hours, winning one standing ovation after another from the audience present at the Arena.

 

Certainly these are all positive articles, but they are few and moreover from minor newspapers, certainly not those that, after Notte Magica, have really said very badly about them.

Left to right: Gianluca, Piero and Ignazio smiling

But one yes, I had a great satisfaction reading IL FATTO QUOTIDIANO.
This newspaper had written very badly after Notte Magica, using titles like this: ”Il Volo on Canale 5, the great opera scam: we hope that people will keep them abroad, so, at least for a while, we get rid of them”.
IL FATTO QUOTIDIANO:
IL FATTO QUOTIDIANO Article – Click Here
The three tenors have returned to live music for the only concert scheduled for this year. The Verona Arena was sold out with a Covid capacity of 6 thousand people to applaud the most famous arias of Maestro Morricone and the many guests on stage. Emotion for a special dedication to Ignazio’s father that Piero Barone made at the end of the show.
The challenge was twofold. The great return to prime time live on Rai Uno and all three alone to conduct, without any intermediary. The result of “Il Volo – Tribute to Ennio Morricone”? In front of the screen last night there were 4,702,000 viewers and 25.8% share. Excellent listening that rewarded an evening that was indeed the celebration of the great Maestro but also the story of Piero Barone, Ignazio Boschetto and Gianluca Ginoble, their story between anecdotes and songs from their repertoire included in the lineup. The event was organized in full compliance with anti Covid-19 guidelines and protocols.
……………Excited, the three tenors dedicated the event “to the people who didn’t make it. Our thoughts go up there to them.” Piero then added: “This concert is dedicated to Vito who we miss so much and is watching us from up there.” That is, Ignazio’s father who died of an illness on February 28th. The concert will be broadcast in the United States by the PBS network. Il Volo will return to America next year for a series of concerts, while the Morricone tribute album will be released later this year and will be sold all over the world.
But the journalists who had written so badly about Il Volo after Notte Magica, where did they go?
What happened to them??? This time they didn’t write anything bad, but not only that, they didn’t write anything at all, as if the event hadn’t happened.
And then the articles that I first translated are beautiful, but there is no direct compliment to the boys, nothing that says about their personal growth, artistic maturation, praise to their voices.

IL VOLO at the piano with Maestro Grani during the concert

The only really beautiful article, no ifs and buts, is the one published by VANITY FAIR, really well written, you understand that whoever wrote it was really present and experienced the emotions of that concert.
VANITY FAIR:
VANITY FAIR Article – Click Here
The Arena di Verona reopens its doors to music starting from Il Volo with a show in honor of Ennio Morricone, live on Rai Uno. We stayed with them in Verona.
Months of closed doors, silence. The Verona Arena turns the lights back on and lets the music play, starting with Il Volo – Tribute to Ennio Morricone, a concert event, in honor of the great Maestro. Broadcast live on Saturday 5th June on Rai Uno, it marks the great restart of the summer season of one of the most important places for Italian music.
It is a special evening. The three boys appear excited, after days of rehearsals, which ended at two in the morning the night before.
A show prepared in detail, where for the first time the two tenors and the baritone also play the role of television hosts but choose not to read the hunchback, in order to be more free to be themselves. The difference can be seen, after a somewhat rigid start in the spoken parts, when they finally break up joking with each other. It is their beauty. Serious and composed as they sing, they appear much more fun (and entertained) if they let themselves go to their dynamics of colleagues (and especially friends) who have been working together for the past 12 years. Instead, no hesitation in the sung parts, from the first note of Your Love, the song that opens the concert, among the images of the film Once upon a time in the west. They show once again, in this first concert after a year and a half of stoppage which for them is also the first live television broadcast, that they are professionals able to fill the sky of Verona with three powerful voices that fit together perfectly and excite an audience that stands up many times, in continuous standing ovations, demonstrating great participation and emotion to the three protagonists.
“These have been difficult days for us. We’ve been thinking about doing a live broadcast for a long time, but we’ve always wanted to wait, we didn’t think we were ready. Today we want to send a message to young people. Never give up on your dreams. Because we didn’t do it,” says Ignatius, just as one of their dreams comes true.
…………It is their only 2021 concert in Italy and is also broadcast in the United States by the PBS network. “The best thing is to see so many people working on this event,” they say. And with them there are also the dancers, as if to emphasize that the art that must start again also passes through dance.
………….What you don’t see on TV are the ladies in the front rows waving to greet them or the people outside the Arena listening. The greetings of the three, when they are not framed and the words during the advertising blacks. There are also many foreigners who have come from abroad to attend the show. “We have experienced shortcomings and distances. There are those who have had great losses and those who have great satisfaction. We are dedicating this concert to people who have not made it. Our thoughts go up there to them,” says Ignatius. And among them there is also his father Vito, who died suddenly in March. “This concert is dedicated to Vito who we miss so much and is watching us from up there,” says Piero at the end, in a moment that becomes very emotional but which again leaves room for the professionalism of three friends who support each other. And so, while Ignazio sings perhaps at his best, the hands of Gianluca, visibly moved, look for his, to support him, in the most difficult, but also the most exciting, moment of the whole show.
They show their nuances, especially when they go on stage alone. Gianluca sings Your Song by Elton John showing his more pop side, dedicating the song to his mother, sitting in the front row. Piero, with Andrea Griminelli on flute, No puede ser nueva and Ignazio Listen accompanied by an eight and a half year old boy, Julian Iorio, on saxophone.
The tribute to the maestro therefore also goes through great songs such as Volare, My Way, O sole mio. And there is also Grande Amore, the song with which they won in 2015 at the Sanremo Festival. At the end they thank them, they dedicate an encore to the cameras off to the standing audience, they hope they enjoyed the show «We were very anxious. But we gave everything .
In their future there is now a period of rest. One more day in Verona and then everyone at home, waiting to be able to leave for a tour in 2022 that they hope will keep them busy for at least two years. Before then, however, a new disc for Sony Music, which will be this tribute to the maestro and which will arrive after the summer. “After a year and a half you gave us oxygen,” they tell the audience. And the public too, it is evident, has breathed this evening.
Left to right: Gianluca, Ignazio and Piero sitting and singing on stage
Of course, other newspapers have reported good comments, but they are publications linked to them by friendship, such as Il Resto Del Carlino (newspaper of Bologna) or the newspapers of Abruzzo and Sicily, even the newspaper of the Arena, but there was no doubt that they wrote well of Il Volo.
Mute scene, however on the part of all the television programs, nobody talked about it.
In short, I was satisfied because there were no obvious “attacks” on our boys, but I’m not thrilled with what was written.
I repeat, maybe it is my feeling, but I would have liked more, for so much work, so much art, so much beauty, which Piero, Ignazio and Gianluca have certainly been able to give us.
Let me know your thoughts.
Daniela

Left to right: Gianluca, Piero and Ignazio sitting and singing on the stage steps

 

Credit to owners of all photos and videos.