Tag Archives: Marzia Roncacci

Through The Fields of My Mind….

The Whirlwind!

How do you begin to tell a story, more like a fairy tale, about three teenage boys who conquered the music industry?
They came from Italy from very different regions, very different families, very different backgrounds but, they had one thing in common, the ability to capture audiences with their amazingly, beautiful, voices.
Thinking back over the years, I realize they have put so much energy into such a short period of time. Twelve years of a lifetime but, in reality, they did it in five years! How is it possible that these three men could do, in such a short period of time, what most men cannot do in a lifetime? The secret is in the voices!
Going back to the beginning, I remember what Gianluca said, “I thought there were three hundred thousand boys singing like me, and instead that night I discovered that there are only two: Ignazio and Piero.” Of course, Gianluca was referring to the night they sang together for the first time on Ti Lascio Una Canzone.  So, let’s begin there!
When they came together as contestants on Ti Lasacio una Canzone, they never dreamt that they would walk off the stage as stars! Individually, they sang with some very famous Italian singers, Al Bano, Massimo Ranieri, Fausto Leali, Adamo, Piero Mazzoccheti and, they were singing their songs and these men were in absolute awe of these teenagers.

From the first note that came out of their mouths, everyone recognized how unique their voices were. Roberto Cenci the artistic director and director of Ti Lascio una Canzone recognized the importance of these three voices. He recognized that the voices were different but alike in their uniqueness. Cenci understood if you put the voices together, they will blend beautifully and, they will be very appealing.  How right he was! An experiment that turned into stardom.

Left to right: A young Piero, Ignazio, Gianluca and Michele Torpedine

And how did Michele Torpedine put it? “The three casually put together to sing a song of the program possess an incredible vocality for their age.” Watching them on TV Michele is thinking these guys are good and again repeats it to himself, they’re good! He thinks, “What if I try to put them together seriously?” Michele and everyone else felt they were incredible!
But it needed much more than just a feeling and it went beyond incredible. It needed something to come to life. It needed a new idea. It needed to be different because they were different. So how do you make it different? Bel Canto!
Bel canto is Italian for “beautiful singing.” From the mid-18th century through the early 19th century, Italian opera developed what is now known as a bel canto style. Composers began to write long, sustained vocal lines intended to show off the beauty of the voice.
Well, that works! They certainly have beautiful voices!
If you start with the premise that bel canto can make the difference, then you need to find the best way to present it! First, have them sing all the Italian classics. If you look at the music industry at the time you have to say “it won’t work” but, it did. Why? It worked because their voices were unique, the presenters were teenagers, and the world was waiting for something different. The difference was they needed to go back to what was and present in a different light. A unique  idea. A little risky for sure but, a lot of very talented people in the industry felt it could work. And it did!
Bel canto for sure! But those voices that embody bel canto needed to go beyond and so where do you go? In their concerts they sing beautiful arias because they have beautiful operatic voices but, they will tell you, they do not sing opera. So, they reinvented the idea of opera. Just as bel canto reinvented opera, so did they reinvent it with their Operatic Pop. Always light, free flowing, ethereal!  They took away the rigidness and left the beauty of the words which they present in their special ways with their special voices!
A few days after I finished this article, Michele Torpedine appeared on the Marzia Roncacci show. During the interview Marzia surprised everyone with an appearance by Piero. She asked one very important question, that is the question I just presented. So, I would like you to hear it in Piero’s own words.
Marzia: Listen, Piero, and also Michele, how do you explain this great success of yours, of three young people, because you are now very well established, even abroad, it is not so easy, there are only a few who are known and, they can be counted on your fingertips.
Piero: Our success is the echo! It is the resonance of the music we sing. As Pavarotti did in the past, bel canto is the winning weapon. Bel canto is the most popular Italian music in the world, and it is nice to hear in any theater or arena in the world, even in Japan, when the public hear these melodies, written right here in Italy, they go into ecstasy. Our voices also contribute, it is clear, and to hear young people with these voices …. but it is clear that if we didn’t sing this kind of music, it would be much more difficult.
Piero is very modest! Their voices are very important. They brought bel canto back to life in a unique way! Bravo!
So, let’s move on! Where do you begin?

America!

Left to right: A young Gianluca, Piero and Ignazio singing

Their first stop was Miami. It was like stepping into a dream for them. Everything in America was different from Italy. The streets, the houses, the cars, everything was different. But above all, they really could not comprehend all that was happening to them. After Miami they went to Los Angeles.

Left to right: Ignazio, Gianluca and Piero in front of a We Are The World sign

In Los Angeles, they were invited to participant in the charity event “We Are the World 25 for Haiti”.
They took Los Angeles by storm. This is truly the beginning of IL VOLO!

By now, they were in a whirlwind!

Piero recalls, “We were fifteen and sixteen when we found ourselves in this American dream. We had signed a contract with a record company that includes famous artists like Beyonce and many others. We were invited by the record company to a party. We turned and saw, Quincy Jones; we turn around and we saw Rihanna; we turned and shook hands with Lady Gaga. We talked with them, some singers who were idols for us and for our peers.”
In fact, the guys only began to understand that something was changing when their first record came out. The boys had met all the big names and performed with them in We Are the World, but reality had not yet set in. Let’s hear what Ignazio had to say about this….
“It was already in May 2010 and the Il Volo album was about to come out all over the world. Maybe I was too small and naive, but I did not feel the anxiety of the job like today. The first major television show we appeared in, in America, was American Idol, the world’s most famous music talent show.”

And what a performance that was. They sang “ ‘O Sole Mio” and in that moment, they captured the hearts of thirty million people. Not to mention Ignazio giving five to Steven Tyler. But that’s another story!
During the last three episodes of American Idol’s tenth season, they performed and promoted their first album, Il Volo. The international edition of the album was released on April 12, 2011.
In its first week, the album reached the tenth spot of Billboard 200 and topped the Classical Albums chart. The album also entered the top ten in other countries, including Belgium, France, Germany, New Zealand and the Netherlands, and it peaked at number one on the Austria Albums Chart. It would later be certified platinum by the Federation of the Italian Music Industry.
Back in Italy, in their hometowns, the people were ecstatic. These three teenagers had achieved what only a few Italian artists had achieved, success in America!
By now, every program in America wanted them. The phone was ringing off the hook! They appeared on The Tonight Show, Good Morning America, The Ellen DeGeneres Show and The Early ShowThere was no stopping them. The people of America had spoken and what they were calling for was, Il Volo. And slowly, the rest of the world also recognized their achievements.
The chatter began about these three teenagers with voices like “angels!” But what’s most important is what happened to the boys! These boys who came to America thinking, “who will know us there,” were now becoming a household name. And how did that happen, a little thing called PBS…

IL VOLO album cover for IL VOLO Takes Flight

Next week we follow the guys to Detroit where they stepped on the stage at the Detroit Opera House and sealed their fate!
We continue to follow their footsteps Through the Fields of My Mind….
If you would like to share a story with me, please email susan.flightcrew@yahoo.com
NOTE: I would like to thank Daniela for the wonderful translation of the interview with Michele and Piero. If you haven’t read it yet, go to www.ilvoloflightcrw.com to read it!

 

Credit to owners of all photos and videos.

How the Good Singers are Born by Daniela

Sometimes whole days go by without anything new happening in our “Il Volo universe”, then suddenly in three days three news and videos that I cannot leave out.
I have already given you the news of the opening at the Arena on June 5th, now there are two beautiful new videos that I intend to translate for you, here is the first.
Michele Torpedine was interviewed this morning April 09, by Marzia Roncacci from TG 2 ITALIA. The title of the special program  is “How the Good Singers are Born”.
MR = Here we are ready, good morning welcome back to TG2 Italia.
Today is Friday, we are closing the week, so we are all a little happier. We will keep you company until 11:00 am, today we have a really rich episode “piatto ricco, mi ci ficco”. (Italian way of saying that means:  rich dish, I take it).
We want to talk about these characters, who may not often appear, who are behind the scenes, who are however discoverers of great talent, talented people, such as, if I tell you Bocelli, Giorgia, Zucchero, but also the guys from Il Volo:  “The talent of Il Volo,” behind all these great characters, who make the history of Italian music, who is there?
There is Michele Torpedine, good morning.

Michele Torpedine and Marzia Roncacci on stage with photo of him and IL VOLO on the screen

MT = Good morning, Marzia.
MR = So: musician, Michele, right?
MT = Yes, it’s a big word, but it’s okay.
MR = How is a big word? You are very modest, come on.
MT = I’ve been playing for many years, but by musician, I mean something else, but it’s okay.
MR = Do you like it then: talent scout?
MT = Yes, very lucky, but I like it.
MR = I said these names of singers, which would seem almost impossible, instead you are the one who discovered them ….
MT = Because to see me, it doesn’t seem, in fact.
MR = It wouldn’t seem (they both laugh)
MT = Thank you, many are amazed when they see me and think “that’s all?”
MR = They say “Is that all here, Michele Torpedine?”
MT = One imagines that who knows what comes in, a huge, tall, double-breasted man …. and then in the end, I’m all here!

Michele Torpedine smiling

MR = Dear Michele, obviously we are joking, playing, because what we want to do and say today is also with a little irony. But Michele Torpedine really also has a great and beautiful story. In short, you come a little out of nowhere, Michele, you are born in Puglia and when very young you go to Bologna. A modest family and then you at some point you put the gear.
MT = You are very kind and modest …… you exaggerated! But we did it anyway. It is clear that it was hard at the beginning, like all families who come from the south and need to work immediately, maybe you miss school, study, you miss many things, and me and my brothers at 8/10 years we were already at work.
MR = The famous workforce, Michele, especially in the south.
MT = Workforce made up of children and families, however….
MR = But then we will see some photos of you that make us understand that when a person gives his all, and with your determination Michele ….
MT = The important thing is that they are not photos in a bathing suit, then everything is fine.
MR = But no, we don’t show the photos in a bathing suit, but we put the photos next to the President of the United States.
Listen Michele, great surprise for our audience, we talked about the three wonderful guys from Il Volo, here you are we see you embraced with them (in the photo) and we have one of the three with us, here he is ready . . . Piero Barone!
Good Morning!

Piero Barone via remote connection

MT= Good Morning Piero
Piero = Good morning, hello Marzia, hello Michele.
MR = Piero, I was now telling Michele that you are the man of surprises, did you give us this nice surprise this morning, did we get you out of bed?
MT = No, he is an early riser.
Piero = No, absolutely. Today you describe me as the man of surprises, but it is a program dedicated to Michele and it is right to make dedications to Michele. It is he who has been the biggest surprise of our life.
MR = Really, how nice! Listen  Piero, one thing about dedications, if you wanted to make a quick dedication to our great Michele Torpedine, what would you say, in a nutshell?
MT = And here I want you, Piero!

Michele and Marzia in studio looking at Piero talking on screen

Piero = Michele, to friends and people who do not know him personally, I always describe him as a skilled chess player, he knows how to wait and make the right move at the right time.
His greatest virtue is that of knowing how to teach his trade. But what many don’t know is that Michele is actually the real artist. He in us, makes his dreams come true.
MR = Mamma mia, how beautiful, what Piero says makes us reflect a lot.
MT = Piero is actually right, in fact, maybe I am a failed artist.
MR = But Piero said something wonderful, it is a little like a transposition, from Michele, everything he feels, that he dreams, his state of mind, he transmits, in this case to Il Volo, these three guys wonderful that on this, on their dreams, we go to see Il Volo in Sanremo, with GRANDE AMORE, how beautiful !! Let’s watch. (start of a short video of the first evening of Sanremo 2015).

PIero watching him and Gianluca and Ignazio sing on screen at Sanremo 2015

MR = Piero Barone, what a thrill, this is a great victory you had on the stage of Sanremo, you, so international, what effect does it make you see yourself again?
Piero = I always have the chills to see that performance again and I remember those moments, as if it happened last night, because we had been traveling since 2009, we had concerts everywhere, except in Italy and this thing made us suffer a lot.
Now, thanks to Sanremo in 2015, we did the concerts here in Italy and this was a great victory.
MR = Listen, Piero, I remember a wonderful concert, where I had the opportunity to be the only journalist, the one in Florence. Michele Torpedine, you were there. You invited me, and I had the opportunity to get to know all three guys from Il Volo very well and they are very funny, needless to tell you what we have been able to do!
Having said that, in Florence, I remember, people in tears. Piero, how is it possible that you make people cry when you sing? However, yours is also a particular music, isn’t it Michele?
MT = Bel canto and opera win over everything else, always. You also win with whoever is doing piano bar at that moment there. The opera has its own charm, not surprisingly it has lasted for 300/400 years.
MR = You are right. Piero, what are your memories of Florence? I remember the stage was set up like an opera house, with large red curtains, even though it was outdoors. Stupendous.

Michele Watching IL VOLO sing on screen

Piero = Firenze was a tribute to the three tenors, with the participation of Maestro Placido Domingo, on stage to direct the orchestra and then to sing with us, and also the support of the Pavarotti foundation.
I want to say, but many know it, that the tribute to the three tenors, this event dedicated to the three tenors, is an idea born from Michele Torpedine.
We were in Taormina at the pool in 2015, actually a year earlier, and he came at 8:00 am, for breakfast, to tell us this idea.
MR = Exactly, at breakfast Michele you presented yourself with your idea that was born in the night, I imagine.
MT = I don’t remember the time, but I had prepared myself first because I didn’t want to make a bad impression, and then I didn’t know their reaction, I couldn’t imagine. To do such a repertoire, you have to be up to it, at least to be credible, and they did it in a month.
MR = Incredible, how nice that concert was.
Listen, Michele, what anecdotes you have linked to Piero, to the boys of Il Volo, I imagine so many, in so many years that you collaborate together.

Michele and Marzia with Piero smiling on screen

MT = Remember … after almost 12 years, Piero help me, we could tell many things.
Piero = Michele, the first meeting.
MR = The first meeting, come on what happened?
MT = We can’t tell you some things, but the first meeting was wonderful, because we were in the RAI dressing rooms, during the Miss Italy in the world program, it seems to me, in Iesolo (beautiful seaside town).
I arrived there in this place, they were 13/14 years old, almost children, they destroyed a dressing room for the joy of meeting us, they were crazy, you don’t know how they left their RAI studios. A disaster, but it was a wonderful emotion to meet them.
MR = Piero, have you destroyed a dressing room? What behavior is this !!
Piero = We were very happy, the first experiences Michele was there, we saw him as a person on the covers of magazines and in the dedications of many singers.

Michele speaking with Piero on screen

MT = The great thing was seeing them after years, on stage with the myth of music that is Barbra Streisand. Seeing them with her, doing a 12 concert tour with her, was one thing …..
MR = Of course, I can say Michele that you, these guys, and other names that we will then obviously also talk about them, are truly a source of pride for our Italy all over the world.
Now you said …. seeing them very young, beautiful, good, even this very clean image of guys who have achieved this with commitment, is important. Seeing them with Barbra Streisand singing together doesn’t just happen every day.
MT = But then a duet with her, because it’s a different thing than opening concerts. They were guests on the show and she introduced them, which is wonderful.
MR = Beautiful, here they are. Piero, speaking of international experiences, Michele now remembered you with Barbra Streisand, who have duet with her, which is different than opening a concert, they are always emotions that make you fly, indeed, that make us fly, just like your name says, no?

Michele looking at Piero smiling on screen

Piero = These are relationships that are born and built along the way. Clearly if you show yourself what you really are, these characters, these legends, then they appreciate you. The tours are beautiful, even the performances made together, but the relationship that remains even afterwards with these artists is beautiful.
MR = Listen, Piero, and also Michele, how do you explain this great success of yours, of three young people, because you are now very well established, even abroad, it is not so easy, there are few known ones and they can be counted on tips of the fingers.
Piero = Our success is the echo, it is the resonance of the music we sing. As Pavarotti did in the past, bel canto is the winning weapon. Bel canto is the most popular Italian music in the world, and it is nice to see in any theater or arena in the world, even in Japan, when the public hears these melodies, written right here in Italy, they go into ecstasy. Our voices also contribute, it is clear, and to hear young people with these voices …. but it is clear that if we didn’t sing this kind of music, it would be much more difficult.

Piero speaking and IL VOLO singing side-by-side on screen

MR = How nice, Piero, I want to thank you very much for being with us at TG2 Italia, I hope to have you here soon, also with the other two colleagues of course maybe also with Michele.
MT = I think Piero should tell you what will happen in June.
MR = Piero, what will happen in June? Verona? I will be there, I will have a double mask, Piero what will happen in June?
MT = Let’s have Piero say it.

Piero speaking on screen with a photo of IL VOLO to his right

Piero = This lockdown helped us to reflect and work on the next project. We are recording and finalizing the voices of the new album that we will present on June 5th at the Verona Arena. It will be a tribute to the Oscar-winning master Ennio Morricone. We will sing the repertoire of master Morricone, with all the written melodies, among other things of songs that we did not know had already been written by the master. We are very excited about this project that fills us with so much responsibility, but responsibility is perfectly associated with adrenaline and we can’t wait to get on that stage.
MR = How beautiful, how beautiful, we can’t wait. Piero Barone, thank you! June 5th we said Verona!
MT = It will be live on RAI 1.
MR = Live on Rai 1 with the music of Morricone and with these wonderful singers, the three from Il Volo, who are truly a preciousness for the world and for our Italy. Thanks Piero, good job, really thanks.
MT = Bye Piero
MR = Bye Piero
Piero = Bye everyone, bye Michele, bye Marzia.

It was a good interview.

Piero said very nice things about Torpedine and full of gratitude.

Then confirmed by the words of Piero and Torpedine that on June 5 at the Arena, the tribute to Morricone.

Soon we will know something about the admitted audience.

There is a little agitation, but a lot of emotion, in just under two months we start “singing” again !!!

Finally “everything will be fine!”

Daniela

Piero on screen with a photo of Michele and IL VOLO to the right

 

Credit to owners of all photos and video.