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TO TALK ABOUT OUR GUYS: IL VOLO by Susan

Reading, here and there on the various sites and fan pages, I found this beautiful article written by Susan De Bartoli. Several fan pages have recognized the goodness of this beautiful article by publishing it. Since maybe not all of you who follow Flight Crew may have read it, I thought I’d post it here too, and I asked Susan for her confirmation to do so. Here’s what she wrote.

Rejoice by reading: Daniela

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Over the last few days, I’ve been thinking about how our lives have changed in just two weeks. It’s surreal! I try to distract myself but it’s difficult to get away from it all. So, I decided to focus on something else. I can usually get lost in my writing. You know before I started my business in 1990, I worked in the motion picture industry. I used to critique films. It was a good job but, I decided I wanted to do more with my life so, I quit my job and I spent two years writing. The best years of my life. So, where am I going with all of this?

Like most of you, right now, I spend a good deal of my day listening to those three amazing guys sing and I said maybe I should do a review of what’s been going on in their lives for the last 10 years. I think, over the last few days, I must have watched hundreds of video clips including interviews and some full concerts and now I’m ready to talk about our guys.

Let me start off by saying these three young men are extraordinary! They are remarkable, exceptional, persons. And, they have revolutionized the music industry. Let’s take a look at each one.

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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 voice is very romantic, very pleasing to listen to and is always inviting. Most songs are written for baritones. Gianluca starts, almost, every song. Why? In order for a song to be received well you must draw your audience into it. Gianluca’s voice draws you in in a romantic way and you hang on to every note. He can mesmerize you with songs like “Mi Mancherai” where he reaches into the depth of your being. His interpretation of “Surrender” is electrifying. 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.

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Let’s talk about Ignazio, who I call the bridge. He is a lyrical tenor. He, like Gianluca, is exceptional because he can sing from the lowest to the highest note in the tenor range. And, God knows he can, easily, hit the high C. Waiting for it and knowing it’s going to happen is so exciting! He brings so much to the production and I’ll talk more about that later!

A lyrical tenor has a warm graceful voice which is bright and strong but not heavy and it can be heard over an orchestra. Ignazio’s voice is smooth, clean and clear, with an acute extension. His voice has the ability to increase the baritone voice of Gianluca while softening the spinto tenor voice of Piero. Ignazio has many faces. He is very whimsical in his songs as in “Libiamo ne’ lieti calici”  from La Traviata.

In the aria “Una Furtiva Lagrima” from L’elisir D’amore, Ignazio makes you feel the innocents of Nemorino’s love for Adina. In his dedication to Pino Daniele you hear an interpretation that is emotional and a delivery that is so amazing that you get the sense that Daniele wrote his songs for Ignazio.

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And finally, Piero. Piero is a spinto (meaning pushed) tenor. A spinto tenor has the brightness and height of a lyric tenor, but with a heavier vocal weight enabling the voice to be “pushed” to dramatic climaxes with less strain than his lighter-voice counterparts. His voice is warm, graceful, bright, and can be heard over an orchestra. Piero has a powerful voice that easily reaches the higher notes. Every note that comes out of his mouth reaches us with such intensity and remains with us for a long time. It’s the voice that reaches out to you and demands your attention. Think of him singing “E Lucevan le Stele” from Tosca. Or singing the beautiful Spanish aria “No Puede Ser”  from A Tabernera del Puerto. From the first note Piero pierces your soul! His passion comes through in his music. Arias are very dramatic and, Piero brings all the drama of the aria into his performance. Always a showstopper!

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Now let’s put the voices together. Gianluca starts most songs because he is a baritone and most songs are written for baritones. As I mentioned he draws you into the song. Gianluca will sing (in most cases) to Ignazio and Ignazio to Piero. This is how the three voices become one. Select one of their songs. Now close your eyes and listen to them sing. What can you say about this song? You can say, that is Gianluca or Ignazio or Piero singing. In the progression of the song you hear the voices blend to form a symphony for your ears. Their voices are very distinct.

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Most groups sing and you hear just a song but with Il Volo you are surrounded by voices. And, the individuality of their voices entices you and it stays with you. “Musica che Resta”. (Music that Remains)  Think of what Piero says when he introduces one of the solos, “After we were together a while, we realized we had three different voices.” He wasn’t saying that they suddenly found out they had different voices he was saying we are three voices and one song and, we need to show you those voices individually.

Let’s look at how they described one another when they first started out. I think Ignazio said Gianluca was the serious one, and Piero was the Intelligent one and Gianluca and Piero said Ignazio was the funny one. So, let’s take a look at that.

Gianluca, in most cases, is the spokesman for the group. I’m not sure if this is by chance or choice. He seems to always take the lead when they are in interviews. And, he is constantly monitoring the conversation. A good example is the video that was going around recently. It’s the one with the story about the shrimps. The boys were appearing on a Spanish show and Piero was telling the story about Gianluca and Ignazio’s food fight, when they were teenagers and he mistakenly used the Spanish word cama (bed) instead of the Spanish word cara (face) which turns the story from them throwing shrimps into one another’s face into throwing shrimps at each other in bed. Gianluca picked up on this and immediately corrected the mistake while Ignazio and Piero got hysterical laughing.

Piero is the intelligent one perhaps because he thinks everything through. In interviews he thinks before he speaks, and his answers are always intelligent. He’s very serious and you can tell he thought out the answer before he spoke. And I’m sure that’s what makes his performance so great!

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And, Ignazio, the funny one. And that he is! But, is it really about the joke? Or is it more about the production. Let’s turn to the production.

The stage is simple. One sign that says it all – Il Volo. There’s the orchestra. Guitars, drum, piano, violins and whatever other instruments are needed for the performance. I want you to stop and think about the performance. We know these guys have three amazing voices but, what if they got on the stage and for two hours, they did nothing but sing. I don’t think it would work. A performance needs the ability to move on. There’s no change of scenery and no intermission so how do you move the performance along? Ignazio!!! The joking he brings into the performance provides the levity to relive the seriousness of the performance. He brings a certain ease and suspense to the performance. The audience is always wondering, what will he do next. But is it always about joking? I want you to think about what I’m saying. Ignazio is constantly moving around the stage. He’s dancing and keeping the rhythm. He’s swinging the microphone around and constantly nodding towards the orchestra, Gianluca and Piero. Is that the lead up to a joke? I don’t think so. Let me tell you what you are looking at. Ignazio is following every note that is sung or played on that stage. His mind is in motion. He is sensitive and passionate with the music. He has the ability to see the music as it is happening. He knows where every instrument should come in and out. That’s why you notice little things like him smiling, nodding, pointing towards the musicians, Gianluca or Piero. He also grabs the baton from the conductor, sometimes to joke but more often to conduct. Think about him conducting the Asti Symphony Orchestra while Marcello Rota sang his tenor part. He wasn’t joking, he was conducting. And, that’s why everyone was watching him in amazement. And when it was over, they were speechless. Look at Michele Torpedine go across the stage to embrace him. He is in awe of this young man. Ignazio is music! You call him funny I call him brilliant! I am going to make a prediction here! Remember you heard it here first. Ignazio will compose a great opera and will probably also write the libretto for it.

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Let’s go to the beginning. When these three young men started out, they were 15 and 16 years old. Think of being 15 or 16 years old and you have a dream, and someone tells you that that dream, needs to be shared. To fulfill that dream you have to leave your family, your friends, your home, you have to go to another country and you have to share this journey with two people who you really know nothing about except that they had the same dream you did. You have to trust that the decision that was made by you and your family, was the right decision. If not, it’s back to square one! You’re going to be lonely and you have to learn to survive without the people you love. So, you learn to lean on one another. That dependence turns into a friendship and that friendship into a brotherhood. It enabled them to trust enough to collaborate and perfect something truly amazing. Something that revolutionized the music industry. Let me go further by showing you a collaboration by these three amazing, very, very talented, young men that is so unreal that it boggles your mind. This is a collaboration of love. Stop and listen to this performance of “Por Una Cabeza”.

Look at how they smile at one another during the performance. A smile that says yes that’s it! Their faces are ablaze! Their expressions let one another know that it works. And, finally, when it’s over, they are so excited they can hardly contain themselves. Look at their smiles, their faces are lit up in joy and their embrace says it all! They are brothers who love one another! So, in the beginning I said they were three voices and one song. I can now say they are three voices and one Love! We Are Love!  ❤️❤️❤️

Susan De Bartoli

 

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Susan, I really have to thank you for your nice words, you hit the mark in the description of Gianluca, Ignazio and Piero.

Thanks also for allowing the publication.
We will be happy to have your other posts if you wish.

A hug from the whole Flight Crew family.

Our Guys 10

 

Credit to owners of all photos and video.

Introducing Flight Crew’s New Contributor: Jo Ann!

Ciao!

I had the pleasure of discovering Jo Ann, when she answered my plea and so graciously offered her room to share at The Palms in Vegas!  We were so excited to meet each other after several long phone calls.  Unfortunately, I didn’t make it to Vegas, but she did, which she will tell us about in a future post.  🙂   Of course I am always on the hunt for new recruits, so I asked if she’d be interested, and she said yes!  She speaks, Italian and Sicilian, as well as English and hales from the Denver area.  She will be working with Daniela in sharing some of the workload on the various translations, etc.  So, Igna and Piero, you have no more secrets!  Now, if she could pick up some Abruzese, well, the guys would have no secrets at all!  🙂  Welcome aboard to the crazy Flight Crew, Jo Ann!  Without further ado, here she is!


By Giovanna

Ciao a tutti!  Since this is my first time writing for the Flight Crew, let me introduce myself.  I grew up as Giovanna Singer di Marchione in New Jersey.  I answer to Giovanna, Yochanah, or Jo Ann, depending on what country I’m in. 

Guarigione a Distanza: Long-Distance Healing

Nine or so years ago, my mother and son, watching a film clip on television, shouted across the house for me to come out of my office and hear something.  I know my mother was really affected by it, because she was joking with me in Sicilian dialect Giovanna, veni ca, e tale!”  (“Jo Ann, come here and look!”).  My mother hadn’t spoken Sicilian in 25 years, due to depressive illness and traumatic memories, and I despaired of my son ever hearing her speak it with me.  I ran into the room in time to hear one of three boys, ‘nu ragazzinu (a young guy) with eyeglasses stretching “ma na-a-a-a-a-tu sole” into an 8-beat measure.  I was dumbstruck at the smooth richness in such a young voice, in a teen my son’s age.  I also couldn’t believe the “cioccolato fondente” (molten dark chocolate) baritone coming out of the smallest one, or the powerful vibrato from the tall one. 

Up to that moment I was frustrated that Mama had abandoned her past.  This was a woman who grew up singing with Tommy DeVito and Frankie Vallie (of the 4 Seasons), whose own mother sang in the chorus at La Scala in Milano.  Her cousin, Lou Monte, sang Italian fun songs on the Ed Sullivan Show, after he re-recorded “Hello Dolly” silly-style with Louis Armstrong, where even Satchmo did a verse in Italiano.  (I can tell what generation any reader is if they used to watch the Ed Sullivan show, or remember Louis as “Satchmo”).  I don’t remember what was the TV show or clip where Mama saw and heard Il Volo.  I only know that it triggered something good in Mama’s memory.   For the last years of my mother’s life, we read Sicilian joke books, spoke and sang Sicilian and Italian, and immersed my son in the pride of where we came from.  I have Piero, Gianluca, and Ignazio to thank for that, although we’ve never met and I didn’t even know who they were yet. 

Eventually I figured it out, but it took a few years.  I was running around the world on engineering projects, and they don’t have much bel canto music in Zambia, Zimbabwe, the mining towns of Slovakia, or the mine camps of upper Saskatchewan. 

Il Volo Parte:  The Flight Takes Off

A birthday hiking trip in Toscana, Italia in late 2015 started changing things.  Stepping out of my hotel the first morning in Firenze, I noticed a poster with the name “Il Volo,” (which was probably an ad for a CD or something).  The name struck me funny, since I was standing outside the Santa Maria Novella train station, not the airport!   I took a good look, and recognized one of the young men in the photo, the one in the eyeglasses, which were no longer red.  The tallest one now had a

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Chiesa Santa Croce. The Notte Magica concert was held on the piazza in front of this beautiful façade.

striking young man’s face and an earring, and lost his round cheeks.  The youngest one was starting to look like a matinee idol.  My second thought was, “They had spectacular voices even as young teens.  I wonder what they sound like now?”  My first thought was “Italian boys really grow up well, don’t they?”  The answer to what they sound like came quickly.  The guys had won San Remo earlier that year, so the radios in some of the negozi in Firenza, Pienza, Volterra, and Volpaia, played “Grande Amore,” occasionally.  That was my Benvenuti in Toscana: my Welcome to Tuscany, Il Volo style. 

Ecco Che Arrive Il Bello (Here Comes the Funny Part)

Back in Colorado the following autumn, I got irritated at a friend who kept calling me to turn on the TV and watch PBS while I was trying to take a nap after a long workout.  I finally gave in.  There were the three faces from the poster, now in tuxedoes with even more stellar voices, shaking the Piazza di Santa Croce with Maestro Placido Domingo.  That did it!  No mistaking who they were now.  This time I got irritated that I had been in that piazza six months too soon.

But I already derived great pleasure from Il Volo’s music even before I ever went to my first concert.  These three boys always seem to be associated with good things happening in my family.  I will always keep the warm memory of my son (a

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Tempio Maggiore Synagogue of Florence.  Almost a next door neighbor to Santa Croce.  It’s home to some of the best cantorial in Europe.

drummer and baritone) and his sweetheart Anya (a soprano), eating dinner Italian style al fresco on my deck, announcing their engagement to me to the background music of Il Volo’s recording of “L’Amore Si Muove.” 

When I took my third or fourth trip to Italy, my first to Sicily, in 2018 I was frustrated that due to the needs of one of our group, we scheduled the trip so we reached Taormina just a few days after the Il Volo concert there was over.  It was

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The Teatro Antico in Taormina with the beautiful backdrop of Mt. Aetna, which becomes the stage for Andrea Bocelli, Il Volo, and others.

obvious, though, that Il Volo’s presence in the Italian press had expanded since 2015, mostly for the better.  They were on covers and center spreads in magazines in many of the edicole (newsstands), on the coffee table magazines in my hotel, the CD displays in the music store.  Buon per loro! (Good for them!)

Next time:  Finalmente!  At long last, I attend my first Il Volo concert.  I decided my first should, of course, be in Italy, where the guys harass each other in Italian and everyone knows all the lyrics . . .

 

 

 

 

 

 

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This is what happens when everyone knows all the words to every verse.

Giovanna

 

 


Grazie Mille, Giovanna!  What a lovely intro and such celebrities that reign in your family!  We can’t wait to hear about your first concert with the guys in Italia!  🙂

I was also able to find this video, along with many others of Lou Monte!  https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=Lou+Monte+Lazy+Mary&&view=detail&mid=F80461EBE13A2BC3E508F80461EBE13A2BC3E508&&FORM=VRDGAR&ru=%2Fvideos%2Fsearch%3Fq%3DLou%2BMonte%2BLazy%2BMary%26FORM%3DVDMHRS

Along with several movie clips with the beautiful Sophia Loren!

Jana