Many pictures have been printed of Piero–of his beautiful face, his remarkably toned torso, and of his athletic prowess, but none of them tell the story like the one shown below.
This is IT—this magic moment—the sweet reward—a moment of triumph and gratitude for all that has come before–the years of study, the arduous tours, the lack of sleep, the endless meetings with fans, time away from home and family, the devotion to his craft all coming together in the culmination of his dream.
This photo captures the very essence of Piero, showing his joy in the fulfillment of his quest to be one with the audience–to give them the experience of being onewith the music. They show their appreciation with applause and standing ovations–he is showing his by the expression of pure joy and gratitudeon his face–opening his arms to receive them in love and thanksfor their overwhelming acceptance of his offering. He is radiant with the joyof having brought the audience to this level of appreciation.
What are Ilvolover’s fondest desires? To see Gianluca, Piero, and Ignazio in concert….yes…to see them face to face and get a hug at a M&G…..absolutely….to have some real time mingling, visiting, touching, looking into thosedark Italian eyes, and watching them interact to our hearts’ content?…..dare we hope?
Well, it happened to Mary and Jane (and a few others) last Sunday. They pledged their contribution to the Public Television Station in St. Paul, Minnesota, and got $120 worth of heavenly time with our favorite guys. We were fortunate enough to arrive at the station a bit early and got a great table in the room where we would have precious time withTHEM. But the best was that we were there to see them come through the door to the lobby with Barbara. Of course Mary had to rush out and greet them….it was the polite thing to do, right? Piero didn’t seem to mind that she immediately enveloped him in a hug (you have to grab those opportunities when they pop up). Mary gave him a poem that she had written for him, knowing full well that finding time to read it was probably not going to happen. Someone from the station came and took them away, paying no attention to Jane and Mary who were saying, “come back, come back.” Oh well, we knew that they would return and we would have our time.
Time for that first hug!
So, back to the meeting room to wait. Other people were arriving, and we were glad that we had grabbed a table when we did. There were lovely appetizers to munch on and wine and soft drinks. We visited a bit with some of the other guests. One couple and their daughter had come from Ohio just for this event. It seems that the daughter had been Piero’s “Maria” in Tennessee when they brought girls up on stage to sing to while doing that song.
TPT Reception Room
Joyce and Bonnie
Anne and Mary (Daughter-Mother)
Jane and Mary
Suzy, Allene and Joyce
Aubrianna, (Tennessee Maria) her father and mother
And then, a hush came over the room as we saw our darlings coming through the door. They were dressed very casually and giving us big smiles as if they were glad to be there in spite of just having come from delightfully tropic Miami to the frozen northland. Ignazio wasn’t feeling well. We know that he suffers the most from jet lag. Barbara told us that he had a touch of the flu, and he left shortly to have a rest before the filming. But Gianluca and Piero were in good spirits and kept us very well entertained. Some people were there who spoke fluent Italian and they had a great time talking to the guys. Jane and Mary wished they had boned up on that language, but as we all know, GG and Piero are well versed in English and we were able to visit with them and stare into those gorgeousdark eyes.
While the line was forming to speak to the guys, Mary and Jane took the opportunity to have a chatwith Barbara. After hearing Jane tell her where she had recently traveled in Italy, Barbara said that she has not even seen some of those places! She said that now she is traveling the world over, but someday when she is through seeing the world she will see the sights in Italy that she has never seen before! When asked if they wake up in the morning at their hotels and wonder what city they are in, she said, yes, indeed that happens. That it is a hard thing to do to travel so much, but they all love it.
A little blurry, but you get the picture!
Autographing snowing in Minneapolis photo for Mary
Joyce, you know who and Mary
Allene in Seventh Heaven! (How adorable is this?)
Audrey with handsome three!
Suzy in the midst of Italian utopia!
Joyce surrounded by Italian charm!
They thought it was humorous as Jane was describing the “narrow roads of Naro!”
Joyce showed the guys a picture of her little dog named “The Queen ofNaro.” Ignazio says, “why not Queen of Marsala?’ Joyce said she would work on that and has since posted a photo on Facebook saying in December her little dog would now be called the Queen of Marsala with surprises coming in January!
What was so totally unique about this evening was that there were only 30 guests there. That’s it…30 of us… with 8 of the total, representing the Minnesota Flight Crew ,with the guys all to ourselves. Never have the odds been so GOOD and never have we been to an event where everything was so relaxed and not rush-rush! When the guys finished getting photos with each guest they (excluding Ignazio) hung around, snacked on the goodies and mingled with us even more! We kept looking at each other saying, “Idon’t believe this!”
Of course when that part of the program was over ( all too soon), they left us blissfully satisfied by what we had been given. The guys were taken into another room for the filming of the program that was to be shown live in the Twin Cities area. The station had provided a huge screen in the visitor’s room so that those of us who wanted to stay could watch the 1 1/2 hour program. Of course we wanted to stay and stay we did until we were the last ones left and the station people were cleaning up around us.
The Minnesota ladies staying until the final moment!
To say that it was a wonderful evening would be an understatement . To have that much time close to the ones that we admire and adore was Nirvana. And now we still have the concert in March to look forward to….our “cup runneth over.”
Many fans have written that they always start their day with Il Volo. It’s what gets them going in the morning. The joythat comes through the guys’ voices is so contagious that you can’t help but feelinspiredto begin the day with good feelings and a big smile.
An after lunch treat ……
Lunch is over….the dishes are done, and now is the time to sit down in the recliner, put your feet up, and treat yourself to some more Il Volo. You’ve got time for a DVD—housework can wait. One look at those handsome guys and you will no doubtfeel a warmglowcome on. Justrelax and take a trip to Ilvololand. Escape to that magical place. Focus on the beauty of the three young men who are there in your living room just to entertain you. Let the harmonyof their blended voices envelope you. Yes, it’s over too soon, and it’s time to get to the laundry. But never mind; they will come again whenever you callthem.
You’ve made it through to 4:00, and it’s perfectly all right to take another Il Volo break. What will it be…..wine or chocolate? Make your choice and get comfortable
with one of your favorite CD’s. Stop thinking about what to make for dinner and loseyourself in the beauty of the music. Just focus on the sound and take it all in. Think about how lucky you are to have found these amazing guys who are there in your living room at the click of a button whenever you need them….and it has become a need, hasn’t it? Would you call it an obsession? Maybe, but it’s a good one. Sometimes you feel overloaded and need the soothing lift you get fromjust letting the magic of the musictakeover. Ahh, that’s better. Now you feel like you can get back to the real world.
And so to bed……
You’ve come to the end of your day. You don’t want to carry the minor problems that have come up to bed with you. You need Il Volo. So you get comfy and turn on the CD player that is always handy on your bedside table, and when THE VOICES come on, you are transported to a place of such harmony and beauty that any worries and cares immediately fade away. Everything seems right again. You take a deep breath and say, “goodnight, Piero, goodnight, Gianluca,goodnight, Ignazio, my sweet boys. I’ll see you again tomorrow.”
Yes, it was a magical night for me, in spite of the disappointments as Jana has written. Magical just by virtue of even being there, which was a miracle in itself. When we first got the letter announcing the event, my granddaughter, Kate, said that she would like to take me as my present for my birthday and Christmas.
So we planned our strategy for hitting the computer button at just the right time to get the tickets. She, being the most techno-savyand quick with the finger, was designated to do the job. The tickets were to go on sale at 10 o’clock. I called her in the morning to remind her to be ready. Then at five minutes to nine, our time, it suddenly hit me that ten in Detroit was nine here. I quickly called her at work to tell her to get on it NOW,but she was in a meeting, and couldn’t be disturbed. She was able to call me back ten minutes later and got through right away and get our tickets-–just in time. Jana was right, they were sold out in twenty minutes. So getting them was in itself a small miracle….thanks to theguardian angel that whispered in my ear “time difference”at the very last minute.
The dinner at Antonio’s was great–seeing old friends, Chris, Jana, and Ginny, and meeting new ones, Sharon, Donna, Emelia and more. But on to the main event at the PBS studio. First, the diningroom--tables beautifully set with several bottles of wine included. My daughter, granddaughter, and Allene were in our party and others at our table that I got acquainted with, including Jo Longstreth and Kerri Buchanan.
Our table went first to the Meet and Greet. As Jana said, it was even more rushed than usual. We requested that I have a picture alone with the guys and then a three generation one. He, (the photographer) said that it wouldn’t be possible, so we opted for the group. As we were disassembling from that, someone, I wish I knew who, said, “let the birthday girl have her own picture.”They had already been told that it was my birthday. So back I went for that…..just the first of many kindnesses shown to me on that magic night.
After the Meet and Greet it was back to the dining room for coffee and dessert and she raffle. Michelle, the PBS hostess of the event, told everyone that it was my birthday, and all sang Happy Birthday,and there was a cupcake with candles. Kerri Buchcanan, a new friend, won the raffle prize, a huge poster of the guys mounted on a thick backing and autographed that night. Everyone was so impressed with it. Kerri brought it back to the table where we oohed and aahed over it, and the next thing I knew she was standing next to me and saying that she wanted to give it to me for my birthday!! I absolutely couldn’t believe it–who could give that prize away? It was just the mostgenerous gesture ever. Another great kindness that I was blessed to be shown on that magical night.
Going into the studio for the filming, a woman in a wheelchair and Allene and I, who had our walkers, were put at the head of the line, which meant that we had front rowseats and an excellent view of the guys,who were sitting at a high table. Piero was sitting at the end of the table closest to us, and throughout the evening he would look over ourwayand smile and say something. I think he was trying to compensate for the fact that they weren’t coming down during breaks to mingle with the people as they did the year before. It was a grueling taping with many retakes, and must have been hard for the guys considering how exhausted they were.
When the time was up, they filed out of the room, going right by the front row seating. When I saw Piero coming toward me I threw all caution to the winds, jumped up andgrabbed him, saying “I need another hug” and threw my arms around him, and yes, Iadmit it, planted akiss right on his delicious neck. Friends, before you censure me for being so aggressive let me say in my own defense–after all I’m 87 and it was my birthday--I couldn’t help myself take advantage of the situation. He gave me a real hug, too--not just an arm slung across the shoulder, and then he looked me right in the eyes and said, “Happy birthday.” What a guy! Amazing, isn’t it, what that can mean to an old gal? (another major act of kindness on this magical night)
I have to mention Gianluca’sdisplay of his ever sweet and caring nature as shown when the guys were filing out. When he came to the woman sitting next to me, she took his hand and started telling him something that seemed important to her. It was a long story and she was speaking in Italian. She held on tightly to him, and although the security guy was telling her in no uncertain terms that Gian had to move on, she didn’t stop. Darling GG never took his eyes off of her face–he kept smiling sweetly and ignoringsecurity. He was going to let her have her say. When she let him go and he moved over to me he smiled and touched my arm and then kept moving…..by then security was about ready to pick him up and move him bodily.
So that was the end of the PBS event and the next day I had to decide what to do about the poster. It was too big to take on the plane, so I opted for sending it by UPS. The cost was $75, but I didn’t think twice…..worth every penny. The boys arrived yesterday,and theyaresmiling at me now from across the living room. So it was a “magical night” for me, filled with many blessings. Just wish all of you Flight Crew friends could have been there, too.
Added note: I think we have to commend and thank the Detroit Public Broadcastingsystem for what they have done for the boys by producing the DVD’s over the past few years. They have brought Il Volo to the attention of the American public. And I thankthem also for putting on the studio event allowing some fans the opportunity to be aparty to theunveiling of the new DVD and have a close encounter with the boys.
Photo credits to:
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