A post published by Maura Pucci made me remember this beautiful feat, made by four very tough women.
Unusual and … amazing aspects of Il Volo’s popularity.
THE NEW SANCTUARIES
We are in 2015.
Four American ladies, from different States, who met on social networks, animated by a great passion for IL VOLO and enthusiastic about the recent victory of the beloved group in Sanremo, decide to join together to undertake a trip to Italy.
Some new Il Volo fans might think: It’s not new! At their concerts in Verona and Taormina there are many fans from abroad and in particular Americans.
Today the Arena of Verona and the ancient theater of Taormina are places of great appeal for the fans of Il Volo from all over the world, who arrive there in droves, both to attend a concert in scenarios such as only Italy can offer, and to meet the virtual friends, frequented on Facebook.
But in the spring of 2015 things were still not exactly like that. And the four ladies embark on an Atlantic flight, for the ONLY purpose of visiting the places of residence of Piero, Ignazio and Gianluca, with the same spirit with which the romantic young people of Northern Europe, three or four centuries ago, left for the Grand Tour at vault of Italy, to be satisfied with beauty and culture, but at the same time with the same religiosity of those who want to embark on the journey of Santiago de Compostela.
Because, let’s face it, when it comes to doing this, it means that the three characters have already risen to the glory of the altars and that their places of life have become three new Sanctuaries, pilgrimage destinations …
Montepagano, Marsala and Naro, three small towns in the Italian province have become places of international resonance.
Okay, I just wanted to joke around.
But there are still many fans, especially Italian, but also foreigners, who go, or dream of going to Montepagano, favored by its proximity to Rome. And some of them even went as far as Naro.
Unfortunately, after five years, the sanctuary of Marsala today is not very frequent because S. Ignazio moved to Bologna.😂😂
When I read the news of this trip in 2015, I fully understood the attractive power of these extraordinary and unique guys.
That trip, was undertaken by Deborah Georgini Beaupre, Joan Brenin, Madeline Vitella and Maria Lagostini Leps.
In Italy, it was an event, it had never been heard that fans came to get to know the countries of their favorites. Also Sanremo had just ended with the victory and therefore, the local newspapers talked about this trip, here are the articles.
FROM AMERICA TO ROSETO, TO SEE THE PLACES OF GIANLUCA GINOBLE
(I translate for you.)
Saturday, May 16, 2015
“I crossed the Atlantic Ocean to see you” is film stuff. Indeed, no?
Because four American ladies have been stronger than exaggerated idioms, making something that even in the best dreams come true: they came from theUnited States of America to Roseto just to see the places whereGianluca Ginoble, a member of Il Volo, grew up, then headed straight to Sicily and do the same in the native places ofPiero Barone andIgnazio Boschetto.
The super fans are Maria Agostini Leps from Pennsylvania, Joan Brenin from Florida, Madeline Vitella from New Jersey and Deborah Georgini Beaupre from Texas, who say: “We met on Facebook in 2014, thanks to an article written by Maria after a concert by Il Volo. Having the same passion, we decided to meet and organize this trip to Italy, to see the places of our three darlings. It was enough for us to have the photo all together with the sign of the name of the three cities, but today a dream has come true.”
The dream was to meet Gianluca Ginoble and it became reality again thanks to Facebook, given that Maria wrote to Ercole, the father of the singer, saying of their presence in Roseto.
And since fate sometimes puts a good word on it, chance has meant that Gianluca was in Roseto in these days, before leaving again for the artistic and promotional commitments of Il Volo.
So, at five in the evening, on the Roseto seafront, the meeting of a thousand hugs and smiles, with selfies, dedications on records and photos.
Deborah shows a photo of the license plate of her car in Texas: “IL VOLO”, saying that after the death of her husband the songs of the group gave her strength.
Maria confesses that she returned to Italy after 50 years (she left at 9) for this. All four have seen many Il Volo concerts and love the three singers.
Gianluca Ginoble says: “It is such a great thing that I can only thank these splendid ladies, because in the face of such demonstrations of affection there is the risk of getting your head up.” (feeling overly important)
FROM AMERICA TO MARSALA, IN THE LAND OF IGNAZIO BOSCHETTO
They came from the USA to make their dream come true: to visit the places where the members of Il Volo, were born and raised.
In Marsala, in the city of Ignazio Boschetto, the first stop of the four American ladies was the visit to the representative office of the municipal administration which appointed the singer Ignazio “ambassador of Marsala in the world”.
The American ladies will leave tomorrow for Naro, the birthplace of Piero Barone; while in recent days they had already visited Roseto degli Abruzzi, the land of Gianluca Ginoble.
He, Piero and ours Ignazio, meanwhile, are already in Austria to participate in the Eurovision Song Contest in Vienna, where Il Volo is finalist by right with the winning song of Sanremo “Grande Amore”.
FROM AMERICA TO NARO, ON THE TRAIL OF PIERO BARONE FROM IL VOLO
The last stop on the Italian – Sicilian journey was Naro, the city of Piero Barone. Here too the reception of the girls from “Il Volo Naro Fan Club” was warm.
In the town hall the solemn ceremony with the mayor Lillo Cremona, the vice-mayor Lidia Mirabile and the mother of Piero, Eleonora Ognibene. Then a tour to discover the baroque of Naro and its monuments: the Castle, the old C athedral.
The Sicilian tour will end with a visit to the city of Agrigento and then to Taormina. Then the return to Rome for the US.
Admirable. They were the first, but then many others came.
I don’t think I would have had their courage, but I’m happy that they got what they wanted.
I bet that many of us would like to make this nice trip, and maybe be so lucky to be able to meet Piero, Ignazio and Gianluca ……… but sometimes dreams come true!
We all know that Maura Pucci loves Il Volo and also that she has a special affection for Gianluca.
Three years ago, she wrote on the occasion of Gianluca’s birthday, a beautiful letter that I am now translating for all of you with pleasure.
I must give you a premise, when Maura wrote this, she was a little worried, because she read everywhere that Gianluca was praised, but the beautiful words were almost always about, his appearance , and for Maura, this fact seemed really very reductive, because “her” Gianluca , he also had something better to offer.
Enjoy the reading!!
I fell in love with him in 2009, when I was disconcerted, but enchanted, by his voice from the deep register, an adult voice that came from a boy, from the face of an angel.
The years have passed and his voice, gradually, has taken on all the nuances that age, still immature, does not allow.
Today I am able to talk about its versatility, because he has many voices, different, but all recognizable.
We can start from his surprising FILO DI VOCE, (wire of voice) with which he concludes the first verse of “Notte Stellata”, SOFT and SUBTLE, like a sigh, as well as all the whispered parts of the same song and many others, to reach its opposite, that is the DRAMATIC and THEATRICAL voice of baritone in “Aranjuez”.
Moving on from the voice CARESSING and LIGHT, with which he faces the beginning of many songs, from the SOFT and SENSUAL voice of the true crooner, from the AGGRESSIVE voice of “Delilah”, to the POWERFUL but LIGHT voice of “La Danza”, which becomes POWERFUL and TRIUMPHAL in his “Vincerò” of Nessun Dorma, to culminate in the DEEP and SOLEMN voice of the Christmas songs and / or religious, to which he gives a touch of sacredness.
There is also the one, used off the stage, full of RHYTHM and SWING, for particular interpretations, accompanied by him by the snapping of the fingers ……
So many voices for a chameleon singer, as it has been defined:
“Gianluca has a PERFECT VOCALITY, his voice is an INSTRUMENT.”
These are not my words, but of an American expert, a vocal coach, Gianluca does not sing, he INTERPRETS.
Because he sings with all of himself, with his eyes, with his facial expression, with his hand movements, even with his body posture. Look at it well in “Bridge Over Troubled Water”.
When he sings a song, he does not perform part of his work, but “brings out” the passion for music that he has in himself, to transfer it to those who listen him: he is fulfilling a mission.
……. because he “feels” the music, to the maximum degree.
I saw him with a entranced expression, listening with closed eyes, the splendid voice of Piero, who sang beside him, “O Holy Night” ……. are things that move me and are not forgotten.
How is the artist Gianluca on stage?
He brings to the stage all the behavioral and character characteristics that distinguish him in his private life.
Always in search of perfection, he is PROFESSIONAL to the maximum degree; GENTLEMANLY attitudes, CHEERFUL and SMILING, sometimes even LIVELY, but never too EXUBERANT. WITTY, but with measure; RESERVED, but no longer shy as in the past; ROMANTIC, TENDER, helpful, full of affection for fans, just as he is towards family members, friends, children, the disabled.
I want to add a quality, which with the presence on stage, perhaps not involved, is also sincerely MODEST and not “arrogant” as many insinuate.
Some time ago, he said something that struck me, and now I try to summarize: “I still find it hard to realize that I, who have had idols since I was a child and still have them today, may in turn have become an idol for many people.”
This is “my” Gianluca, as I see him, and, according to my personal tastes, I have found in him all the qualities that make him a son, a brother, an ideal nephew. ❤️
In fact, I consider him a virtual “grandchild” ……….😘
We are at the conclusion and until now, I never said, that he is also beautiful? Yes, because I wonder how much it costs for a show artist to be BEAUTIFUL too?
It depends. Being beautiful counts a lot for a movie star, how many beautiful actors have been successful without being able to act!
But a singer is asked …… a beautiful voice, that he knows how to use and that enchants those who listen to him.
Like Gianluca’s voice, a healthy bearer of strong and contagious emotions.
If then, the lucky singer is also pleasant in appearance, that is just a plus that does not hurt. 😁😁
I fully agree with what Maura wrote, it’s true, Gianluca’s beauty is evident and immediately striking, but when he plays a song, his skill in modulating his splendid voice and in interpreting the song is evident.
What to say about this splendid “MI MANCHERAI”, how much transport, how much emotion.
I only knew Il Volo after the victory of Sanremo 2015, so the idea I had of Gianluca was that he started the songs because he had the lowest tones.
I was at the NOTTE MAGICA concert in Florence and I was able to attend the great skill of Il Volo, but the one of the three that surprised me the most was Gianluca, I never imagined how much power he could have in his voice.
And here, Maura did not wait long with the second part of her publication.
Very well Maura, I think this will start a nice debate.
Why do you like Il Volo so much?
The answer is found in a video on Youtube: “Il Volo. The ten ingredients of global success” published by Trishia on 9 January 2017.
Who is Trishia? It is the pseudonym of Patrizia Ciava: a flagship for the Il Volo fandom. Graduated in philosophy, writer and winner of literary awards, teacher, lived in various countries of the world, a career of the highest level in the Public Administration. Among her institutional tasks is the promotion of Italian “excellence”, of the Italian language and culture.
Here are the elements that make up the success of the group, identified by her:
1) Three prodigious voices
2) The ability to excite
3) Spontaneity and sympathy combined with talent
4) Empathy with the public
5) The ability to joke and to create a friendly atmosphere
6) Collaboration with other artists
7) Friendship and team spirit
8) Charm and elegance
9) Availability towards fans and simplicity
10) Love for family and for Italy.
I could only add that their knowledge of English and Spanish helps to maximize the possibility of interacting with the public in every part of the world.
That said, let’s see if the definitions of “popular” offered by the vocabulary of the DEVOTO (vocabulary name) fit the music of our group.
Popular is what “represents the continuity and importance of an unbroken tradition, as opposed to what is innovative.”
Here I would like to make a “distinction”.
The definition is general. Wanting to refer it to music, in regards the first part it adapts to the music of Il Volo: “represents the continuity and importance of an unbroken tradition”.
Then popular music, understood here as traditional, should be “opposite” to what is innovative, and this, in my opinion, is a commonplace, a convention, it’s only another genre of music.
Music is a universal category in which all genres, ancient and modern, born before or born after, have found their place with equal dignity, joining, rather than opposing, each other and satisfying every taste and need.
I think I also interpret the thoughts of the components of Il Volo, who have always respected all types of music and all the singers, not “opposing” nor considering “against” anything or anyone.
It is popular, those who “enjoy sympathy and favor in a remarkable way”.
Let’s say that the music of Il Volo and its performers are … very, very popular.
Popular is “something that opposes aristocratic choices and discrimination”.
POP is only an abbreviation of POPOLARE. Pop music is what was once called “light music”, that is songs. Vasco, Pausini, Ramazzotti, Ferro etc. (Italian singers) sing pop music and they are pop singers, and they are Italian … Their music is therefore national-popular.
And journalists and music critics should know that.
Instead, the giornalist, uses the expression “national-popular” in the derogatory sense, identified precisely as to define the music of Il Volo, praising the new genres imported from the United States (rap, trap indie).
These journalists, many of them with white hair, are only intent on tickling the tastes of teenagers, discriminating, not between beautiful and bad music, as they should, but based on the date of birth of that music, in a momentum of “youthfulness”, to appear fashionable and in step with the times.
Il Volo, predominantly interprets the ITALIAN classical musical tradition, with SONGS in the Neapolitan language and dialect, and this justifies, as already said, its nature as a national-popular. But we cannot forget that their repertoire also contains songs of the classical tradition of the Spanish language (Cielito lindo, Historia de un amor and others), and English (Smile, My Way and others).
How about coining a less restrictive and more appropriate neologism for their music? This: INTERNATIONAL-POPOLAR.
All of the above considerations are strictly personal opinions. If you want, and as always, the debate is open.
My dear friend Maura Pucci, whom you all have already known, wrote a nice post that I will translate with great pleasure, knowing that you will surely appreciate it.
Maura, please don’t keep us waiting too long for the second episode !!😉
Today, I will answer two questions I asked myself.
The first is: “Who is the audience of Il Volo?”
It is necessary to start from two irrefutable statements:
1)Il Volo is an internationally successful musical group. 2)Their audience is mainly female.
Like all the artists who have had great international success, Il Volo is not aimed at an elite group of connoisseurs, but at a vast and heterogeneous audience, both from a socio-cultural point of view and from the point of view of age. As far as the latter is concerned, internationality constitutes the discriminating element, since age varies according to … longitudes and latitudes.
For example :
~ in Europe and the United States the public is on average more adult, but no less passionate;
~ in Mexico, Central America and South America a young audience prevails, made up in particular of chicas, which are unleashed like fans of rockstars;
~ a more composed audience of all ages is found in Asia, where classical music is a true cult (many oriental youths come to study in our conservatories) and, during the concerts, we witness the individual performances of the pieces in religious silence until the final ovation.
I take this opportunity to add here, incidentally and for the avoidance of the usual misunderstandings, that, in their repertoire of about two hundred songs, we find only four arias taken from lyrical works (two by Puccini, one by Verdi, one by Donizetti) a tarantella by Rossini and a romance by Leoncavallo …..
The fact that the public in general (fans in particular) is a large female majority is an element common to many if not all the fandoms of famous singers.
But in the case of the Il Volo boys the difference consists in the fact that in Italy and in the United States in particular, they were known when they were almost children, and the sentimental and romantic women, enchanted by their voices, became tender and affectionate. They saw them grow and from teenagers to become young men. They followed their physical transformations, and the maturation of their voices, establishing a particular relationship with them.
Ultimately the audience of Il Volo can be divided into the following groups:
A) The real fans, active on social networks, connected by a dense network of fan pages or fan clubs, in the number of about four thousand. They “adopted” the three boys, creating an intense relationship with them, I dare say visceral. Depending on the age, they are considered older brothers, object of desire, children, grandchildren. These fans follow Il Volo daily through news, photos, videos, interviews. They participate in numerous concerts, including moving from region to country and continent.
B) The most consistent band is represented by the television audience. In Italy, it is the one that contributes to procuring the famous “listening peaks” of Auditel for Il Volo and to make their concerts sold out. The same can be said for the United States where the PBS network has recorded some concerts since 2012 and broadcasts them, I believe periodically, through over 300 television stations that it represents.
A nod to a category of people that I do not consider “audience” but who have a positive relationship with Il Volo. It can be consideration, appreciation, affection, friendship, collaboration. Which does not automatically and in any case entail the liking of their music. I speak of VIPs, characters known in every field. They are too many and I don’t list them. I will only mention two names of “men of power” characters: Pope Francis and Kim, the leader of North Korea, namely the devil and holy water! …
I refer you to the next episode, again for an interlocutory answer. (Why does Il Volo like it?) And finally for my conclusions.
You all certainly know NOTTE STELLATA, the beautiful song on music by Saint-Saens, and that is part of the CD, BUON NATALE.
My dear friend, Maura Pucci, wrote her impressions on her first listening, I translate them for you, they are very beautiful.
I want to share with you the emotion I felt when I first heard NOTTE STELLATA (Starry Night). I immediately rushed to pour my feelings, my impressions, onto a piece of paper. I saved that sheet. I realize now, rereading it, that it is not a great example of good Italian style. It was my “outburst” and was not intended for the reading of others. I cover it as such, imperfect but genuine!
I look for IL VOLO on you tube and I come across a video screen with the same title: Notte Stellata. I do not know this song and I never heard of it. I try with the first video and, from the first notes, I immediately recognize the famous motif of Saint-Saëns. Evidently, I think, someone composed a text for this wonderful melody. I do not see the guys that are singing but only moving images.
Although disappointed, I still listen, already fascinated by the first notes of the orchestra. I listened to the song for the first time, then a second one wearing the headphones to catch every detail of the music and the voices of the boys. The musical arrangement, where strings and piano are the masters, is of an incredible sweetness.
It is a song of great lyricism, evoking dream landscapes (night, lake, stars, moon) whose text the “experts” of Sanremo would not hesitate to define trivial. It is narrated, the story of a love in progress: at the beginning love is hidden and therefore it is ignored. Then, love is declared …. This phase is without words, but it is understood from the context, because, in the end, there is the awareness of mutual love. The words of the text are not thrown at random. The author wanted to highlight the “before” and the “after”, with a studied exchange of contrasting terms: you do not know / now you know it; you in my thoughts / I in your thoughts.
The boys offer a masterly interpretation. Gianluca opens: “ Guarda che lago, che luna c’è, le stelle in cielo brillano per …………” and then, in a breath “…. noi!”.
Well, here I stopped breathing, I felt a dip in my heart and I exclaimed aloud, even being alone: “Mamma mia!”.
I wondered: that fabulous “noi”, is it really Gianluca? How could he pull out of his register, deep, virile, that line of voice soft and thin as a sigh?
Piero enters. Starting from low notes, unusual for him, but faced with skill, his voice unfolds upward, word by word, or rather syllable after syllable: “la mia serenata canterò per …” until it culminates in a clear, acute “te!”, powerful but sweet at the same time, so as not to disturb the idyllic tone of the songs.The voice of Piero arrives in fact gradually and with the utmost naturalness.
Ignazio continues that, pronouncing his words of love (and, knowing him I imagine it with his eyes closed ..) he manages to transfer his emotion to those who are listening. His voice is so rich in nuances that it allows him to transform his high and high-pitched tone into a very sweet confidential whisper: “quanto ti amo ora lo sai …”
Then their voices come together. First low, then in a “crescendo” shivering, alternating with Gianluca (which in the last stanza, fades to the utmost tone, still “sighing” the words of the happy ending “io ti amo sai, …. tu mi ami ..) and all together “già”, so quiet as to seem a single voice. And the orchestra follows them ending “very slowly”, musically speaking, the arrangement and the orchestra that accompanies, without ever overwhelming them, their voices In particular I have in mind the violin that follows “ti cercherò tra la gente” of Piero, and the ringing notes of the piano that accompany Ignazio’s second stanza.
I realize that almost all their other songs can be of greater impact on the general public. They are the ones that end up with the guys who sing together to their full potential, with the orchestra at full capacity, those with an overwhelming finale. NOTTE STELLATA is of another kind, an intimate, atmospheric song! I do not get tired of listening to it.
I have nothing to add, Maura has well described her feelings with even technical details.
I would very much like to read Myron’s opinion on this long comment, and of course also all your thoughts.
Credit to owners of photo and videos.
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