The North American Tour has begun! We knew there would be many surprises but….
So, let’s take a look at how this is working. Let’s begin with Ignazio’s comments….
Today I look like a white salami….and…. if you want an ice cream just feel free to ask me!
Let me respond in this way…. As to the white salami, I’m not touching that comment. I’m in enough trouble already. So, let’s go to the ice cream….
If this was your ice cream man, I think the kids would be in trouble because you ladies would be knocking the kids over to get in line first.
This is not your ice cream man.
Ignazio this picture is drop dead gorgeous….
So is this….
So, at first, I was not entirely on board with the white suits. Let’s say it’s my mentality. I remember a long time ago I did an interview with a local TV station and the one thing they told me was not to show up in white. It creates a problem for the cameramen. Well, the guys weren’t doing a special for TV so, No cameras! No problem!
Then, there are the comments that some wrote about not wearing white after Labor Day! They’re Italian!!! It doesn’t count! Not in my book! I’m sure they don’t even know what that means!
So, in the end the pictures said it all. They are Drop Dead Gorgeous! You can put potato sacks on these guys, and they would look gorgeous!!!
Moving on…. Or rather moving back…. Back to the beginning when they first came to America.
It was a Whirlwind!
This is a story 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. Thirteen years of a lifetime but, in reality, they did it all 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. 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.
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 it 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!
Today the guys still sing bel canto, but they have expanded their horizons and added new music. Beautiful melodies from the past. They’ve taken their beautiful Neapolitan songs which we love so much and added this new playlist of themes from many wonderful movies of the past. Together with their operatic pop it works so well!
Their voices embodied bel canto but they felt a need to go beyond and so we arrive at the new concerts.
How did this all happen? In their concerts, they sing beautiful arias because they have beautiful operatic voices. Just as bel canto reinvented opera, so they reinvented 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!
In an interview with Michele Torpedine, Marzia Roncacci, surprised Michele when Piero joined in. She asked Piero and Michele, “How do you explain this great success of yours? Of three young people who are very well established, even abroad. This is not easy to do. There are only a few who are known and, they can be counted on your fingertips.”
Piero replied: 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! To America!
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.
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 a story for another day!
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 Show. There 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…
NOTE: These two videos about their beginnings on PBS are hidden treasure that surface every now and then. This video is in two parts. Glad to share it with you.
This past week we followed the guys to Detroit where they stepped on the stage at the Fox Theater and of course, it brought back great memories of the first time they stepped on stage at Detroit Opera House and sealed their fate!
After their concert on PBS, they took America by storm!
Going back and looking at the changes in their lives I can’t help but stop at a moment, six years later, in Miami.
My mind wonders off to 2018 when the guys departed for the moment from their bel canto and recorded one of my favorite albums ~ Amame!
This was the moment when the guys were crossing over, making some very interesting moves and beginning to come into their own. They were making a statement! They were very successful and, they were very comfortable in their performances. All was so right! The albums keep coming! The success keeps coming, the tours in North and South America keep selling out and the boys have grown into fine attractive young men. And now they were ready for a new experience. The music evolves and they are ready to crossover.
In 2018 they released one of the most exciting Latin albums to come out in years. I would go so far as to say Amame is the most exciting Latin album that was ever produced. It’s opera, it’s rock, it’s classical, it’s pop and it never stops giving. The rhythm in songs like “Noche Sin Dia” is amazing. You have to move with the music. You can’t sit still.
I love this album. With this album, the guys spread their wings! It is a departure from their usual style. They have shown their skill with Spanish music and with this album, they leave you wishing for more.
A song like “Maldito Amor” is a phenomenal experience for your ears. The delivery is smooth. It pulls away from the traditional Latin music and it delivers a sound that is very intense. Different! Very Different! The sound is pure and clean and, their voices are spot on! It’s one of those songs that stays with you forever.
Gloria Estefan and the guys really nailed it with Ay Ay Ay Amor! It screams for your attention! And it certainly keeps it!
If you like modern Latin music and Il Volo, then you will like this album. When I thought about this album, I thought about how I would write about it. All I can say is these three amazing guys absolutely floored me. They are multitalented. They can sing every genre. To be able to take opera, rock, classical, pop and Latin and create an album like this is amazing. The beat is so intense and, they are spot on. I think they knocked it out of the box with “Noche Sin Dia.” With Latin music you don’t just sing it, you feel it, and if you don’t feel it, you don’t cut it. This album cuts it! Good move!
This to me was a unique moment! Like nothing you would expect but it worked as everything they record works!
Then they follow up with Musica!This is the album that proved that great can get greater. This album is representative of where these young men are now. It’s beautiful, it’s sensitive, it’s romantic. It’s about love. It’s about them being ready for love. It comes from deep within them. All the sweetness and humility of these guys is in this album. It moves your senses. What I am saying is they have evolved and, their voices have evolved. They’ve grown into their voices. Their voices are mature and have expanded in such an amazing way. There’s an intriguing balance in their voices. To experience this amazing evolution in voice and song you need go no further than “Be My Love.”
Gianluca’svoice vibrates and expands to realms I’ve never heard before.
Ignaziomakes your heart stop as you journey along his notes which lead to absolute ecstasy.
Piero fills all your sense and brings you to such heights that you have to stop and breathe.
So, let’s move forward to my kind of town ~ Chicago! Tonight, the guys will be performing at the Chicago Theater. We don’t know if they will wear White or Black, but we do know whatever they wear, they will be Drop Dead Gorgeous!
Let me add a quick note here!In the next few weeks, I will be travelling through Italy with my pilgrimage group, and I will be promoting my book along the way. On September 23rd, Padre Pio’s Feast Day, I will be doing an interview with Sacred Heart Radio in Cincinnati, Ohio. The interview will be at 4:05 PM ET. Listen to my interview online at sacredheartradio.com.
I will continue to publish my stories while I am in Italy so….
Join me next week as I go back Through the Fields of My Mind and open the door to a new adventure!
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