Tag Archives: Mara Venier

Gianluca Shares His Amazing Voice

Gianluca is very different from Piero and Ignazio. He had a calm and peaceful childhood. He didn’t have the challenges that Ignazio had or the intense classical education that Piero had. No, Gianluca lived a very simple life. Perhaps that explains why Gianluca is a romantic. With him, everything is about passion! Like his passion for Abruzzo which he takes around the world. On tour he always speaks about Abruzzo. He loves his country and, he wants others to love it too! I agree with Gianluca, Abruzzo is an amazing place. My maternal grandparents were from Abruzzo!

A young Gianluca eating a cookie A teenage Gianluca wearing a hat

Gianluca’s life began in the small town of Montepagano where he lived a simple life but, when he emerged, he began a journey that would take him around the world and through his amazing voice would leave his mark in every corner of that world.
Let’s listen to how Gianluca describes the town he grew up in:
To be precise, I grew up, in Montepagano, on a hill two hundred meters as the crow flies and ten minutes by road from the sea, and Roseto degli Abruzzi.
The accents are beautiful, the dialects are beautiful, but I can say that what I prefer is the Abruzzese? I am, very, proud to be from Abruzzo. I love everything about this region. And I like to bring Abruzzo around the world and keep it high.
I am right at the sea. I’m relaxing, I’m calm! There is a sea breeze and nothing else. It’s Thursday and I am practically alone on the beach. I’m fine, from God! I’m fine because I’m home.

Gianluca in sunglasses and a leather jacket

When Gianluca goes home to Abruzzo, he feels like he is on vacation. Montepagano is a very beautiful town. It sits at the top of a hill facing the Adriatic Sea. It is like a picture-perfect postcard!  It’s no wonder Gianluca is at peace here. Montepagano is Gianluca’s paradise.
If you ask Gianluca about this paradise and how he spent his childhood there he will tell you, “My life as a child seems so far away. I remember, very, little of my childhood! It’s like twenty years have passed but, only five have passed. I’m not like Ignazio I was born and raised in Montepagano. I was traveling only with dreams. What made me dream? Music naturally.”
And, so, we come to perhaps Gianluca’s greatest passion, Music! Or let’s say our greatest passion about Gianluca, his music!
As you know, Gianluca’s mother worked, so, he went to after-school session with the nuns. He had a teacher named Gabriella. One afternoon, while Gianluca was doing homework, he suddenly got up and started singing “Time to Say Goodbye.” The teacher was speechless. “What a voice you have, what a wonderful voice,” she told Gianluca. “But do you know Andrea Bocelli?” She could not believe how it was possible for such a small child to have such a voice and to know a singer of that kind. “Of course, I know him,” Gianluca said, “he’s my idol, my favorite singer,” Gianluca said this with a certain pride. “Only I do not have his CD yet.” “I’ll bring it to you tomorrow, I’ll gift it to you” was the teacher’s answer. “I was seven, maybe eight years old and thanks to Gabriella I was able to start listening to Andrea Bocelli as often as I wanted.”
Yes, this was Gianluca’s passion as a young boy to sing Bocelli songs. And he sang them all the time. But it was music itself that motived Gianluca.  In an interview with the “Rosetana Star” Gianluca said: “Music for me is the oxygen of my life.”
And it wasn’t just Bocelli as Gianluca will tell you. “As I grew older, I became more passionate about singing, including the great American classics, first of all Frank Sinatra.”

So, let’s turn to the Voice! Sinatra was known as the Voice. But I think Sinatra would be in awe of Gianluca. Love you Frank but Gianluca’s got this one!
Gianluca is known as the Velvet Voice!
I don’t who coined the phrase but, that is right on. Let’s use our senses to understand what that means. Take a piece of velvet and hold it in your hand. Now take your other hand and gently pass your hand across the velvet. What do you feel? You feel a smooth even surface that is crisp with no breaks in it. The sensation is so good that you automatically go back and do it again. And every time it’s the same. It’s pleasing!
Now take Gianluca’s voice, let the notes pass into your ears, what do you hear? A crisp, smooth, even voice with no breaks in it. The note barely passes into your ear and, you are going back for the next note. It’s always pleasing!
Gianluca is a lyrical baritone. He is exceptional because he can sing from the lowest to the highest note in the baritone range. Most baritones are limited in range. Gianluca’s voice is huge. He has a very rich chest resonance which creates a feeling of depth and drama in his voice.

A baritone’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 his being and yours. His interpretation of “Surrender” is electrifying. But, when Gianluca sings, “She’s Always a Woman”, he takes your breath away. The highs, the lows, the emotion, the expression. His voice expands like nothing I ever heard before. He has total command of the song. You walk away with your senses lifted to another level.
So, let’s turn to how Gianluca got to where he is today! To do this I need to introduce you to the Zecchino d’oro .
Why the Zecchino d’oro or perhaps you’re saying what is the Zecchino d’oro?
I was first introduced to the Zecchino d’oro last November when an article came out saying the Zecchino d’oro will be postponed due to Covid 19. The presenters of the year would be Mara Venier and Carlo Conti.
When I read this article, I immediately thought of Gianluca.  So, what is the Zecchino d’oro and what does it have to do with Gianluca?
The Zecchino d’oro is an Italian tradition. It is an event for kids, and it is dedicated to them and to all the adults who still feel like kids.
This show is presented every year between late November and the beginning of December.
In Italy there are magical days, when it starts to get cold, and children stay in their warm homes. It’s not Christmas, but the period that precedes it when the famous Zecchino d’oro TV show is broadcast. It has been broadcast every year, for decades. It was established in 1959 by Cino Tortorella who was the good presenter who introduced the children on stage, disguised as Mago Zurlì. He was so loved by all children.

Black and white photo of Cino Tortorella talking to a little girl on the show Black and white photo of the Zecchino d’oro TV show

The Zecchino d’oro is the festival of the little ones. In fact, if the Sanremo Festival is aimed at adult audiences and the songs are interpreted by adults, the Zecchino d’oro is made for children, with songs tailored for children.
The songs may seem like simple songs but, they are actually much more. Special attention is given to the songs’ texts. The themes are about tolerance and peace. And this is confirmed by the expression of the event: “In this contest, the winner is not the child who sings, but the song that is sung!”
Black and white photo fo Mariele Ventre teaching children Father Berardo Rossi, one of the founders, discovered by chance, a girl who used to teach the children of his parish and organize events. Mariele Ventre, who was 22 years old, had just graduated from the Verdi Conservatory in Milan and was on her way to a promising concert career. She said yes to Fr. Rossi’s proposal and the adventure began.
Mariele liked the name Zecchino because it refers to the gold coin in the field of miracles of Collodi’s Pinocchio and thus it was called Zecchino d’oro. She founded the Piccolo Coro two years later, an institution that she would direct passionately for thirty years, until the last day before she died on December 16, 1995. Upon her death the Piccolo Coro dell’Antoniano, was renamed Piccolo Coro for Mariele.
Zecchino d’oro, however, is not only music and entertainment, but it has also been carrying out voluntary initiatives by raising funds to build schools, hospitals, orphanages, with projects all over the world, to help the less fortunate live better lives.
In 2008, the Zecchino d’oro received an amazing recognition from UNESCO, becoming a world heritage for a culture of peace: the first TV show in the world to receive such a prestigious award.
This year the images were to be reassuring to Italy. The country had the strength to bet on good feelings and a strong idea of safeguarding children.

Topo Gigio

Though you may not know this show in America, we can relate to one of the characters, Topo Gigio, the puppet created by Maria Perego. Topo Gigio landed in America many years ago on the legendary Ed Sullivan Show. For those of you who are not old enough to remember Topo Gigio, let me say we waited every week for his appearance on the show. For us kids and the adults he became a household name. Seems hard to believe that this little mouse stole the hearts of the American people.
So where does Gianluca fit into all of this? If it wasn’t for the Piccolo Choir of Roses which was inspired by the Zecchino d’oro, Gianluca may not have been discovered.

Gianluca as a member of the Piccolo Choir of Roses

Gianluca was a member of the Piccolo Choir of Roses which is one of the local branches of this choir. The Mago Zurlì, who was the presenter of the event when Gianluca was in the Choir, was Gianluca’s father, Ercole Ginoble.
But, let me let Gianluca tell you how this all came to be….
When I sing, I don’t forget instinct.  What does that mean? As I said, I have never studied singing. I learned to “use” my voice only thanks to my musical ear. I listened to the music and, it transmits everything I know. And I especially thank the Little Choir of Roses.
When I was about eight or nine, all those who knew my voice gave me the same advice: go sing in a choir. In Roseto there was the Piccolo Choir of Roses directed by the master Susy Paola Rizzo. They sang the songs of the “Zecchino d’oro” or other famous songs with arrangements in that style, with music for children. The Mago Zurlì, that was the presenter of the event, was my father. He had been for a couple of seasons.
This is where I started. It was nice because we studied the songs throughout the winter season, not the technique of singing, the songs. It was different, because we did not study the notes and how to do them, rather we studied instinctively, following what the teacher said and what our ear heard.
Then, in the summer, we demonstrated our work in the Municipality of Roseto. We sang in the squares during the local festivals, in the lidos, in the bathing establishments, around the whole of Abruzzo, all these tiny villages.

During the performances with the choir, besides the repertoire of the Zecchino d’oro, we sang the songs of Bocelli: Misere, Il Mare Calmo Della Sera, La Voce Del SilenzIo.

Left to right: Gianluca, Ignazio and Piero in front of a Sanremo 2015 sign Gianluca, Ignazio and Piero

Of course, the greatest achievement for Gianluca and the guys was winning Sanremo! We know that it was Gianluca who convinced the guys to go to Sanremo! Or rather Gianluca convinced Piero who convinced Ignazio. And, in the end, Gianluca sums up Sanremo and the events that follow in this way!
The truth is that I was right from the beginning and, no one has ever listened to me, ever. I believed it so much that, if you notice, maybe I’m the one with the least surprised look when Carlo Conti announces the winner. Then, of those moments, one remembers little, there is great confusion, emotion. It was a dream to be able to shout, “Thank you, Italy!” from that stage. I looked at Sanremo as a child, when there was Pippo Baudo, and I was there and have won because people were on our side and it was a dream, I repeat even if I have already said. The emotion was only when my grandfather told me almost in tears: ‘Who would have told me that in my life I would see Modugno win at the Festival and then I see you win.’
On Sunday evening, when I returned to Montepagano, I found th whole village in a party, not just my grandfather: my countrymen were waiting for me from the morning to celebrate. There really was everyone, including the mayor. And then, the journalists, the local TV and a crowd of people who we could not count.
Another of the beautiful things that came after San Remo was the chance to meet the children of the Agbe, the Association of Parents of the Emopatic Children, of Pescara.
It is a reality born in 2000 from the idea of a group of parents, in fact, with children from the hemopaths treated at the Santo Spirito hospital in the city. The purpose of the association is to give support in every way to the children and families during and after the period of treatment. An initiative that, for those like me and very sensitive to the problems of health of children, and really beautiful.
The thing that honors me a lot and that, inspired by my story with Ti Lascio Una Canzone, they thought to have the children dedicate to singing, so they organize a Christmas show every year that keeps them very busy and also a lot of fun. But at Agbe they would never have thought we would meet.
Instead, after the Festival I went to see them, all young patients from 4 to 15 years, and I invited them to our concert of Il Volo Live 2015 in Chieti because I knew that Piero and Ignazio would have been happy to meet them. And, so, it was: they came, they had fun and we spent time together taking pictures and signing autographs.

Gianluca in a brown jacket looking over his shoulder Gianluca in a white long sleeve dress shirt taking a selfie photo

But Gianluca is about emotions too! And many things that happened after Sanremo were emotional for Gianluca! Like Gianluca receiving a prize for bringing Abruzzo around the world. Let’s listen to Gianluca talk about the emotion of winning this prize.
When I talk about emotions that arrived after Sanremo, I cannot forget what it meant to receive a prize like Abruzzese that gives prestige to its region in the world.
Every year on August 5th is celebrated the Day of Abruzzesi in the world, a day set up with a regional law to remember all the emigrants. On that day five ambassadors of Abruzzo are appointed in the world, that is, Abruzzesi who have come out of the regional boundaries for different reasons and give prestige to their region.
For example, they awarded a university lecturer, a cardiologist, the founder of a cultural association, an entrepreneur and a successful executive. The ceremony, which has a different location every year, was held in the Fortress of Civitalla del Tronto, a village that is a jewel of the province of Teramo, right on the border with the Marches.
I, however, am still in Abruzzo and therefore I cannot be appointed ambassador according to regional regulations, I was awarded with a beautiful statuette that replicates the warrior Capestrano, for having brought the name of my land around the world.
I cannot tell you what a feeling it is to receive from the regional Presidency the cultural symbol of my region. The original of the warrior stands in the National Archaeological Museum, more than two meters tall, of limestone, with a large disk helmet that looks like a hat. You see it for sure. And it is one of the things I’m most proud of.
In short, Sanremo was just a dream that brought us many different emotions.
Gianluca has a heart of gold! It’s always about helping others whether through his generosity or his love of his country! That’s just how Gianluca is. He has his hand in everything and reaches it out to those who need it!
But it seems I digressed!

Gianluca holding a microphone singing

So now, let me go back and sum up Gianluca’s musical career! Although Gianluca never studied music he did develop a musical ear and instinct and as a member of the Piccolo Choir of Roses and his performances around Abruzzo, he was discovered by Licia Giunco who brought Gianluca to Rome to audition for Ti Lascio Una Canzone. The rest of the story is history!
And as a result of this, Gianluca Shares His Amazing Voice with people all over the world!
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
*Excerpts from Il Volo, Un’avventura straordinaria, La nostra storia.

 

Credit to owners of all photos and videos.

VERONA: TESTS OF THE CONCERT by Daniela

The date of the Morricone tribute concert is approaching and Ignazio, Piero and Gianluca were in Verona Arena, where preparations of the concert were underway.
As I had anticipated, Il Volo,  live from Verona,  was a guest in the transmission of DOMENICA IN, presented by Mara Venier.
Here is the video of the broadcast that I translated for you.
Click the photo below to watch the interview.

Screen shot of Mara on the right interviewing IL VOLO in Verona Arena

MARA = And now there is this video from Verona, where the guys from Il Volo are ready for a beautiful connection, let’s see the video.
(the video of the promotion starts).

Screen shot of Gianluca, Ignazio and Piero singing for the Verona promotion

Here it is, now I will go in connection with these wonderful guys who are having  crazy success abroad, now we will see some images that also make us Italians go crazy (in the sense that they make us proud).
Here they are, hello Piero, hello Ignazio, hello Gianluca, can you hear me, can you see me?
GIAN = Loud and clear.
MARA = I don’t hear today, maybe I have sudden deafness.
GIAN = We hear you loud and clear, Mara here we are!
MARA = You, but not me. I feel you are very far away.
IGNAZIO = And we are far away ….
MARA = Here, now I hear you, so guys how beautiful this image is from my Verona (Mara is from the Veneto region, where Verona is).
What a beautiful Arena.
Meanwhile, I want to give you this video and then you tell me everything.
(a short video of Sanremo 2021 starts).
MARA = This is a beautiful moment of the Sanremo festival, but you, on Saturday 5th June, on RAI 1, will make a tribute to the great Ennio Morricone from the wonderful Arena of Verona, right guys?
GIAN = Yes Mara, we are here to celebrate the one who was the representation of absolute genius. From silence he could create works of art that made many generations fall in love. The maestro certainly does not need any introduction, but we humbly want to make this contribution to bring his music to the new generations of the youngest and therefore, for us it is first of all a great honor and also a great responsibility, because singing the columns sound of the great maestro Morricone, it is not easy, but it is something in which we will put “heart and soul”.
MARA = It is right what you said, you reach your audience who are young but you also have people from other generations, because your talent is immense, you are demonstrating it in recent years, taking Italy around the world . But you are also three guys, and I believe that with great emotion, as you said, you re-propose the music of the great Ennio Morricone, of the great films, which will remain in the history of cinema, wonderful soundtracks. I really think the emotion starts with you three.
Piero, Ignazio and Gianluca, then a very strong emotion for you who are very young to bring the music, the compositions of the great Morricone.

Left to right: Gianluca, Ignazio and Piero in Verona Arena

PIERO = Mara, celebrating Maestro Morricone, for us, is a great honor but equally a great responsibility. From this idea a recording project was born and we would like to say that we are really anxious and excited for next Saturday evening, 5 June, because it will be our first live concert live on RAI 1. But the thing that reassures us is the support of Ennio Morricone’s family, because on stage with us there will be his son Andrea Morricone to direct the orchestra and many other guests.
But the biggest guest will be the audience, because we will finally do a concert with the audience here at the Verona Arena and finally it will be a thrill to see our audience again (applause).
MARA = Here an applause started from the few present, as you know we are always few here (due to Covid), but an applause started from the whole group, from the whole team, precisely because you somehow represent all your colleagues (singers), that is, there is a restart, we start again, we have a desire to hear singing live and I think you have a crazy desire to perform. How much have you missed all of this in this long period?
Ignazio you answer me, love of aunt (Mara is usually called aunt), how are you?
IGNAZIO = I’m fine, I’m fine.
This afternoon we start rehearsals, and we can’t wait, because it’s been months, a year, a year and a half that we haven’t performed in front of an audience and surely starting from the Arena is something that makes us even happier, because like we know, the Arena is one of those places where every Italian artist aspires to perform and make our first and only concert of this year right here, with the reopening of the public, a positive message, a message of hope for all artists. For all the famous artists and for all the artists who want to resume playing, it is a message of hope that soon we will all be back again to perform in front of an audience and this will be in the near future.
MARA = Ignazio, this is a question I ask all three, how have you spent these long months?
IGNAZIO = At home with the mask, I also slept, with the mask at one point, I was so fond of the mask that I slept with it too.
GIAN = Mara, certainly for us, for all of us it was a difficult moment and we must have a spirit of adaptation in these cases, because when life, unfortunately, puts us to the test, it is in that moment that we must try not to live the passive life. For example, I learned to play the piano, I didn’t know how to play it, I started reading more, which I didn’t do before, but the important thing is to improve yourself, have a personal growth that allows you to be a better person.

Left to right: Gianluca, Ignazio and Piero in Verona Arena

MARA = Now I want to send a video, because I asked you how much you missed the live performance, but the public has never stopped following you, and in this video, I want to show these three guys, within 10 years, what they managed to do. We see it together and then I want to hear a comment from you.
(start of a short video of the successes of Il Volo)
So, various moments, what do you remember? I imagine the emotion with Pope Francis, but also with Barbra Streisand. What do you remember, come on, tell me something, some anecdotes.
IGNAZIO = We remember everything. I remember that the first time we sang with Barbra Streisand was on my birthday, October 4th two thousand and …… help me (he says to Piero and Gian).
GIAN = 2012, remember everything I see !!
IGNAZIO = I don’t just remember the year, it’s not like I can remember everything !!
MARA = And how did you feel Ignazio, how were you?
IGNAZIO = I was fine, the pressure was fine !! ( Ignazio, the usual joker).😁
MARA = But you had Barbra Streisand close …
PIERO = Mara, the thing that worries me most on Saturday night, will be the conduct and presentation of the program of the three of us, but above all, that of Ignazio (laughter)😁
GIAN = You can’t hold him back, you have to expect everything from Ignazio.

Left to right: Gianluca, Ignazio and Piero in Verona Arena

IGNAZIO = You must know that it will be the first time, first of all that we do a live concert, but above all that …..
PIERO = Above all that there will be many guests, there will be: Riccardo Cocciante (Italian singer-songwriter who wrote the music for Notre Dame de Paris), Laura Chiatti (Italian actress) Stefano Bollani (composer and pianist) Andrea Griminelli (flutist), Marco Giallini (actor).
IGNAZIO = This is how it will end, that while I am speaking he (Piero) will interrupt me, because it always ends like this.
GIAN = And I look at you, always, because I let you do it.
PIERO = It will be difficult to start, but when we fuel …..
MARA = Guys, now in hand, your victory in Sanremo and then we say goodbye and we are waiting for you on Saturday 5th June RAI1, finally the live concert of Il Volo. Let’s see 2015 SANREMO. (starts the video of the victory of Sanremo 2015)
Here it is.

Left to right: Gianluca, Ignazio and Piero in Verona Arena

IGNAZIO = It’s always exciting to see this, you know?
MARA = I think it is also for the people, a good moment for you.
IGNAZIO = Yes, very much.
PIERO = Mara, I want to say something really important, this concert, it will not be the concert of Il Volo only, on RAI1 live on Saturday night, but it will be everyone’s concert, you see: orchestral, show operators, technicians , all these people working around us, is the greatest victory, and the famous “we will make it”, it means that it is happening now. (applause)
MARA = I think so too, it is for all of us, even for those who are not there, because it means that we start again, we leave again guys and we really hope to have overcome this moment, these months so bad, so terrible.
Will you get the vaccine? Because now comes the turn of the young, I sponsor a lot of the vaccine, kids you have to do it, please.
I + G + P = Absolutely.

Mara on the right interviewing IL VOLO in Verona Arena

IGNAZIO = It is a very personal choice, that of the vaccine, but it is certainly what will help us to live more peacefully.
We must trust science, because we do not live in a normal era, it is not a disease that we know of, and therefore we must trust the scientists, we must trust the research that goes on and surely, personally I will trust and I will.
MARA = Bravo Ignazio, this is very important, on your part to give this message and give your opinion to all the young people who follow you and all your fans, for which it is very important, thank you very much.
IGNAZIO = An opinion remains, then everyone can do what they want.
MARA = Yes, everyone can do what they want, but better do it, can I say it?
IGNAZIO = Absolutely
GIAN = Greetings to everyone in the studio.
PIERO = Bye Mara . . . to Saturday.
MARA = Thanks to Il Volo and good work.
Click on photo below to show the concert promotion.Screen shot of Verona Arena with concert information
Meanwhile, the rehearsals for the concert continue in Verona, together with the orchestras.

Gianluca selfie with Ignazio and Piero at rehearsal

Wide shot of the rehearsal hall with musicians

Master Grani also posted this message:

WE HAVE STARTED AGAIN, HURRY !!

Rehearsal hall with the words "WE HAVE STARTED AGAIN, HURRY !!"

There is also another good news, Sony has sent Gianluca, Ignazio and Piero, a nice certification that attests that with their CD, IL VOLO Best 10 years, they have obtained the gold record. Certainly it is a nice milestone, as real sales are now extremely difficult, and the awards are now counted on the streamed listeners and not just on the actual sales made.  Good, guys!!
In the photo we see the personal certification issued by Sony to Gianluca, it will be a nice trophy to add to the homes of our young men.

One of the Gold CD's sent to each IL VOLO member

Another good news, I told you that Italy won Eurovision, this means that next year Italy will host Eurovision, this important European singing competition.
From the moment of victory, the candidacy for who will present Eurovision has begun. Whoever does it will need to be a skilled presenter and know several languages. Well the organization, among the various names has also listed Il Volo. In my opinion they would be perfect for this role, what do you think?
Here is ESCTODAY’s instagram message:
Would you like @ilvolomusic to host @ eurovision2022 in Italy next year?

Left to right: Gianluca, Ignazio and Piero in black coat and pants with white shirts

And now a beautiful message from Gianluca to the children of the fifth grade (10/11 years).
Gianluca you are truly unbeatable.
Hello everyone, I really wanted to send a greeting to all the little fans of the classes, fifth A and fifth B, of the primary school of Pagliare (municipality of Abruzzo).
I really thank you for thinking of me as the musical excellence of our region, regarding your virtual journey “I invite you to Abruzzo”.
I hope you will really appreciate the wonders of our territory, together with your teachers who will be the tour guides.
I also invite you to always be good students, in the continuation of your school career, so that you can realize your greatest aspirations, because with passion, commitment and even a little luck, the most beautiful dreams we want can come true. in life. See you soon.
A hug.

Closeup of a serious Gianluca

And finally … HERE THEY ARE, my beautiful tickets for the concert in the Arena have arrived today.

Daniela's two tickets to the June 5 IL VOLO concert in Verona Arena

Well, after all this good news, I want to finish with the words of my friend Luce Blu, after she saw Il Volo on DOMENICA IN.
See you soon: Daniela 🤗

The evening comes with such a sweet and serene rhythm, the perfect moment to stop and think for a while, and I’m thinking that as always it was a great pleasure to see and listen to you … as well as indisputable and extraordinary talents, you are beautiful thoughts and hearts.
Just a few minutes and we feel between clouds and stars thanks to our wonderful trio. 
– 6 and counting……. so still incredulous we wait.

Left to right: Gianluca, Ignazio and Piero in Verona Arena

 

Credit to owners of all photos and videos.

ZECCHINO D’ORO MUSIC IS TURNED OFF BY COVID by SUSAN

An announcement was made this week that the 63rd edition of the Zecchino d’oro will be postponed due to Covid 19. The presenters of the event this year Mara Venier and Carlo Conti will have to wait until May 2021 for the show to be broadcast on Rai 1.

When I read this, I immediately thought of Gianluca.  So, what is the Zecchino d’oro and what does it have to do with Gianluca?
The Zecchino d’oro is an Italian tradition. It is an event for kids, and it is dedicated to them and to all the adults who still feel like kids.
This show is presented every year between late November and the beginning of December.
In Italy there are magical days, when it starts to get cold, and children stay in their warm homes. It’s not Christmas, but the period that precedes it when the famous Zecchino d’oro TV show is broadcast. It has been broadcast every year, for decades. It was established in 1959 by Cino Tortorella who was the good presenter who introduced the children on stage, disguised as Mago Zurlì. He was so loved by all children.

The Zecchino d’oro is the festival of the little ones. In fact, if the Sanremo Festival is aimed at adult audiences and the songs are interpreted by adults, the Zecchino d’oro is made for children, with songs tailored for children.
The songs may seem like simple songs but, they are actually much more. Special attention is given to the songs’ texts. The themes are about tolerance and peace. And this is confirmed by the expression of the event: “In this contest, the winner is not the child who sings, but the song that is sung!”
Father Berardo Rossi, one of the founders, discovered by chance, a girl who used to teach the children of his parish and organize events. Mariele Ventre, who was 22 years old, had just graduated from the Verdi Conservatory in Milan and was on her way to a promising concert career. She said yes to Fr. Rossi’s proposal and the adventure began. Mariele liked the name Zecchino because it refers to the gold coin in the field of miracles of Collodi’s Pinocchio and thus it was called Zecchino d’oro. She founded the Piccolo Coro two years later, an institution that she would direct passionately for thirty years, until the last day before she died on December 16, 1995. Upon her death the Piccolo Coro dell’Antoniano, was renamed Piccolo Coro for Mariele.

Zecchino d’oro, however, is not only music and entertainment, it has been carrying out voluntary initiatives by raising funds to build schools, hospitals, orphanages, with projects all over the world, to help the less fortunate live better lives.
In 2008, the Zecchino d’oro received an amazing recognition from UNESCO, becoming a world heritage for a culture of peace: the first TV show in the world to receive such a prestigious award.
This year the images were to be reassuring to Italy. The country had the strength to bet on good feelings and a strong idea of safeguarding children.
Though you may not know this show in America, we can relate one of the characters, Topo Gigio, the puppet created by Maria Perego. Topo Gigio landed in America many years ago on the legendary Ed Sullivan Show. For those of you who are not old enough to remember Topo Gigio, let me say we waited every week for his appearance on the show. For us kids and the adults he became a household name. Seems hard to believe that this little mouse stole the hearts of the American people.

So where does Gianluca fit into all of this? If it wasn’t for the Piccolo Choir of Roses and the Zecchino d’oro, Gianluca may not have been discovered.
Gianluca was a member of the Piccolo Choir of Roses which is one of the local branches of this choir. The Mago Zurlì, who was the presenter of the event when Gianluca was in the Choir, was Gianluca’s father, Ercole Ginoble.
But, let me let Gianluca tell you how this all came to be….
When I sing, I don’t forget instinct.  What does that mean? As I said, I have never studied singing. I learned to “use” my voice only thanks to my musical ear. I listened to the music and it transmits everything I know. And I especially thank the Little Choir of Roses.

When I was about eight or nine, all those who knew my voice gave me the same advice: go sing in a choir. In Roseto there was the Piccolo Choir of Roses directed by the master Susy Paola Rizzo. They sang the songs of the “Zecchino d’oro” or other famous songs with arrangements in that style, with music for children. The Mago Zurlì, that was the presenter of the event, was my father. He had been for a couple of seasons.
This is where I started. It was nice because we studied the songs throughout the winter season, not the technique of singing, the songs. It was different, because we did not study the notes and how to do them, rather we studied instinctively, following what the teacher said and what our ear heard.
Then, in the summer, we demonstrated our work in the Municipality of Roseto. We sang in the squares during the local festivals, in the lidos, in the bathing establishments, around the whole of Abruzzo, all these tiny villages.
During the performances with the choir, besides the repertoire of the Zecchino d’oro, we sang the songs of Bocelli: Misere, Il Mare Calmo Della Sera, La Voce Del SilenzIo.

So, although Gianluca never studied music he did develop a musical ear and instinct and as a member of the Piccolo Choir of Roses and his performances around Abruzzo he was discovered by Licia Giunco who brought Gianluca to Rome to audition for Ti Lascio Una Canzone. The rest is history!
And as a result of this, Gianluca shares his amazing voice with people all over the world!

 

Credit to owners of all photos and video.