Due to the pandemic, numerous concerts were canceled during this period, the arenas are empty, but also the cinemas and theaters. This situation has been going on for more than a year and many show business workers have had big problems for them and their families. I am not speaking only of the great artists, but of the many people who are in the backstage, workers, electricians, editors, audio technicians, etc.
It is really sad for us not to be able to go to the cinema or to the theater or to see a nice outdoor concert, but even more sad for these families to have no income. They are often people with seasonal work and for a year, they have had very little help and have not been able to count on a paid job.
In order to help these people and families, an Italian rapper, Fedez, decided to launch an initiative, creating a Fund to help show business workers.
This beautiful initiative is called “Scena Unita”.
Fedez involved many of his colleagues, and aimed to create a Fund to help show business workers. A concrete, economic commitment, which saw several well-known faces participate, committing themselves at the forefront of putting the idea into practice.
Piero, Ignazio and Gianluca certainly did not remain insensitive to this initiative and they too were part of it. During the press conference for the tribute event to Morricone, a journalist had asked Il Volo about their participation and Ignazio had confirmed.
But we had no doubts about their participation, knowing how much Piero, Gianluca and Ignazio are sensitive to these problems and how big their hearts are.
Fedez a couple of days ago thanked all the artists who participated, publishing the long list of the name, and wrote as follows:
“Every artist present participated in this initiative, donating personally. Thanks to all the artists and brands who have decided to support this cause ….”
The initiative has so far raised about 4 million euros and 1 million 800 thousand have already been distributed.
Guys, as usual, you don’t let us down.
Your altruism knows no bounds.
We are very proud of you.
Thanks from all of us.
What better way to finish, with the words of this beautiful song of yours:
Today is also April 25, an important day for Italy, which commemorates the feast for the liberation.
But on April 25, 2009, 12 years ago, the adventure of three small children began: Piero, Ignazio and Gianluca, they sang a song together for the first time on “Ti Lascio Una Canzone.”
Best wishes guys, that Il Volo is always active and a long road ahead of you, studded with many successes !! ❤❤❤
Today it is exactly seven months to the day, since I was supposed to see Il Voloin the US for the first time. It would have been my third Il Volo concert. As we all know, the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the last three shows of Il Volo’s 10th Anniversary USA tour. The third of the cancelled shows was going to be the grand finale at the Pearl Theater at the Palms Casinoin mid-March.
Since Il Volo was going to perform in Las Vegas, home of all Elvis impersonators, good and terrible, I was looking forward to how many Elvis songs they might do (“Surrender/Sorriento,” “It’s Now or Never/O Sole Mio,” “I Can’t Help Falling in Love with You,” etc.)
Maybe they would even do a little Freddie Mercury, while playing around at soundcheck. I understood a certain high tenor named Boschetto does that sometimes with backup harmony from the others. And, of course, Il Volo appeared with “La Streisand” when she had a residency at one of the clubs on the Vegas Strip 10 years ago. I thought they might do “Smile” as they did with her back then.
Strange as it sounds, I was also looking forward to hearing the guys do the scripted joke routine that they do repeatedly in English on American stages. Even though it may be “old hat” to Americans who have been to multiple Il Volo concerts in this country, the well-rehearsed wisecracks and gimmicks in English would have been new to me.
You see, the only two Il Volo concerts I’ve ever been to were both in Italia. The guys, relaxed and on their home turf there, didn’t do their usual routine, but instead did spontaneous jokes suitable to the locale. For example, at the Lecce concert in 2019, Ignazio admitted he no longer had a fidanzata (girlfriend) and was “available.” As an afterthought, he remarked that maybe he needed to find a nice Salentina girl from among the local Lecce young ladies. (They are very slender and very dark, and as a rule very beautiful.) That caused a predictable response: a flock of young Salentina girls, dressed up for the occasion, tried to rush the stage. Igna didn’t seem to mind at all. He seems to like to cause a disturbance, then take it all in stride, while the other two want to know “Ma cosa sta combinando, ora?” (What is he stirring up now)?
And of course, in Taormina, Sicily, when Ignazio started razzing Piero about his chopped off summer haircut, it was in Sicilian slang (which I won’t repeat here). He was implying, with rude words, that Piero cut it himself. If you know Piero, you know that his usual response to that kind of thing from Ignazio is, “Ma che te ne frega?” So, what do you care? Actually, I thought Piero’s summer haircut looked fine. Check out the picture below from Italy last July. What do you think?
By the way, Piero does occasionally cut his own hair. During the period when he was in voluntary quarantine after first returning to Italy this March, I saw him video-chatting with Gianluca. He proudly announced that he cut his hair himself, then lifted some of it with his fingers and showed the shorn part of the side of his head, where he nearly scalped himself bald with the razor. Gianluca responded that he would never consider cutting his own hair. His own hair has to be done expertly, because it’s so curly and unmanageable. He said this with a completely straight face. I couldn’t tell if he was serious. With these guys, you never know.
But I digress. As I said, I had never heard Il Volo do their scherzi (stage jokes) in English, and the Pearl Concert Theater in Las Vegas was going to be the place. Of course, as we know, it didn’t happen.
I was excited about Las Vegas because I thought I was going to have three opportunities to see the guys up close and maybe visit for a minute or two. As it was: 1) My ticket included something called a Meet & Greet. At first I didn’t even know what that was. 2) I was signed up for access to the soundcheck before the show. 3) I was signed up for the Fan Faire get-together with the guys which is hosted in Las Vegas by Myron Heaton and Jeanette Giglio at the lucky Penny Café at the Palms Casino Resort, where the theater is, and where I was staying. Three for three. I thought I had hit the Trifecta.
I had already met Jana VandeLaare, of Flight Crew fame, by phone when we decided to share my apartment in the Palms Place for a few days around the show. She kept me informed by text as soon as she started hearing murmurs that the boys might need to cancel this show and go right home due to COVID-19-related travel issues. I was on board my flight from Denver and taxiing out to the runway, when I got her text that it was likely cancelled! My mouth fell open as I squirmed with disappointment in my seat belt. It was too late to do anything except go on to Las Vegas.
Yes, the heartbreak was final after I got to the Palms Casino. Jana, who had cancelled her trip, asked me to go and confirm the cancellation at the theater box office as soon as I got there. When I did, it seems that the theater people, God bless them, had no idea what was going on and did not have the inside info that Jana already had. When I asked them about the show, the young desk agent I spoke to told me something like:
“The band is OK with it and it’s still on.”
He was wrong on three counts out of three. Il Volo is not a “band;” they were not “OK with it” (performing in a close crowd during a viral epidemic); and it was not “still on.”
The theater’s delayed reaction to the facts had one nice side effect. The staff was unable to remove the Il Volo concert advertisements all over the casino, theatre, hotel hallways, in-room televisions, and outdoor marquee. Everywhere I turned for the next several days, including all night on my apartment TV, I saw this:
Although two out of three events were now gone, at least the Fan Faire people chose to have their get-together anyway. It would be a good way for the fans still in town to get to visit with each other, even though there would be no Il Volo guys this time.
Until then, I had two days to myself in Las Vegas, but I don’t know how to gamble. I’m an engineering geek, so I just had to visit the Atomic Testing Museum, and I’m a Sicilian Jew from “New Joisey,” so of course I had to visit the Mob Museum. That place was so “familiar” to me it was almost funny. More than once, while looking at some of the old photos of Sicilian-American and Jewish-American mobsters, I did a double-take, thinking I recognized one of my old relatives.
I used the time to talk to all the young people working at these places to promote Il Volo, and was surprised to find out how many kids were interested in opera and bel canto music. That was a pleasant surprise, and not what I expected from hardened Las Vegas natives.
On Sunday before the Fan Faire I just had to do something Italian. I jogged up to the Venetian Casino on the north end of the Strip, past Caesar’s Palace. As kitschy and artificial as the place is, it still made me homesick for the “old country” as we used to call it.
I came across this singing toy dog who does “O Sole Mio” in alternating Italian and English (“It’s Now or Never”). Do you suppose that was copied from you-know-who? It was cute, but the tenor voice they recorded in the singing dog was not that great. Jana later said the dog reminds her of Ignazio’s mustache. Have a look.
The singing gondoliers rowing guests all over the indoor canal were iffy, except for the older baritone. He was impressive – a mature voice, dark and smooth.
This authentic Venetian gondola below is there for display only, and is not used in the faux canals. The black paint job is traditional, and became law in the 15th or 16th century, to stop wealthier Venetians outdoing each other with their outlandish, gaudily-painted, plush luxury vehicles. The seven arms on the white mast represent seven of the main islands of Venice. The one arm facing backwards represents the Jewish quarter on Cannaregio.
At least the rock and pop music outside on the piazza was in Italian. As I picnic lunched there, I recognized some of the modern Italian music I heard in espresso bars and on cab drivers’ radios the last two years in Sicily and Puglia, and also some Italian hip hop thing that I knew the words to. I had heard Ernie and Gianluca singing it once when they were goofing around on Instagram. Have you ever heard Ernie sing? His voice is as deep as Gianluca’s baritone.
I ate below this bridge facing Las Vegas Boulevard. It’s supposed to be a reduced-scale model of the Ponte di Rialto across the Grand Canal in Venice. Except this one has a Walgreen’s Drugstore and fast-food chain next door.
Do you remember this view from below the Ponte di Rialto, half a career ago? It was posted on the Flight Crew page some years back. It’s the “same bridge” I photographed, but it has a better view in the foreground.
Here’s an update of the foreground – Venice has been undergoing restoration.
This view from the bridge isn’t bad either. Las Vegas’ Venetian Rialto didn’t have anything like this.
The Fan Faire people turned out to be superb and sweet. Thank you to Myron and Jeannette for having the dinner. Myron, Jeanette, Linda, Diane, (and I’m sure I missed several others) all told me Il Volo stories. I like Myron’s story best. He had sent flowers to Italy when the Boschetto’s grandpa died. Assuming Il Volo was back on tour, he telephoned Nina Boschetto’s pizzeria, to ask her if the flowers had gotten there in time for the funeral. When Nina couldn’t understand him very well, she asked him to wait until she could find someone in the pizzeria who understood English. Guess who came to the phone to interpret for Nina?
The Fan Faire bunch took this group photo before we left. I’m the Sicilian runt, the one whose head barely reaches above the sign.
The Las Vegas that didn’t happen was valuable despite Il Volo’s cancellation. Without it, I would not have met Jana and Pat, the Fan Faire folks, and Daniela and the rest of the Flight Crew, and I would not have started writing to all of you.
I also came home all cranked up about helping in some way. I understood we need to develop something akin to Fan Faire for when Il Volo next comes to Denver, whenever that will be. It’s been several years since they’ve been here, so I’m hopeful that when touring eventually resumes Denver will be back on the schedule. More importantly, I have heard the guys often say that their favorite concert events are where there are lots of young people. We really need the next generation to catch their fire. I repeatedly hear the guys say they want to and need to get in front of kids. And we need to make their next trip to the mountains better than the last time. Piero had an attack of cold-induced asthma on one trip, and Denver Airport nearly lost one of his suitcases (with his eyeglass collection) on another.
I’ve been learning my way around the music community here in Denver to create settings to get Il Volo in front of kids to give them more publicity among their own generation. Folks that I know are involved in the University of Denver’s opera school, and their youth vocal program, who would love to hold something Italian and interactive between their vocal students, or their children’s chorale, and Il Volo. I even started visiting with managers of Italian restaurants in downtown Denver, and found one who would love to host a Fan Faire-type event at their place near the Pepsi Center or the Opera House. The Dante Alighieri Society (Italian language, food, and culture society) would probably spoil the Il Volo guys, feed them (knowing their allergies and special diets), and throw an Italian open sing-along complete with accordion and mandolin. I can picture Ignazio, whom Gianluca calls “Il Canta-Cuoco” (the singing chef), taking over the Saint Anne’s parish kitchen.
I’m in the process of calling/emailing Barbara Vitale to ask her to put this in front of Piero, Gianluca, and Ignazio early enough for future planning, long before they confirm a new tour schedule. Touring has to wait until post-COVID of course, but planning early won’t hurt.
If you are from any large city in the US, you probably have been to and have experience with Il Volo receptions and such. We Denver folks can learn from you. If you are from the Colorado Front Range, or even if you’re not but want to help, get in touch with me. Email me comments with ideas, contacts. If you are from the old Denver Il Volo on-line fan club, tell me. When the touring resumes, let’s don’t wait for an Il Volo event to appear. Let’s create one.
Oh, by the way, Denver has already started doing something for Il Volo. As of now, we have two synagogues praying for Alessandro Quarta’s complete recovery.Che Dio sia misericordioso e che la sua guarigione sia rapida! May God be merciful and may his healing be quick.
Three months have passed since Piero, Ignazio and Gianluca, due to the pandemic, unfortunately had to stop their beautiful concert tour in the US.
ACCORDING TO OUR LATEST PRESS RELEASE IL VOLO FORCED TO CANCEL FINAL CONCERTS OF 2020 NORTH AMERICAN TOUR DUE TO THE COVID-19 GLOBAL PANDEMIC.
On their return to Italy, they found a great change. Empty airports, empty cities, quarantine imposed on the whole nation, to avoid further spread of virus infection.
The boys themselves were unable to embrace their loved ones, but to stay in quarantine to guarantee their relatives that they had no active contagion.
In this period, where contacts were only online, the boys have been very active, and have accustomed us to a presence in programs, directly from their homes.
It was pleasant for us to be able to hear and see them in the intimacy of their personal places.
Il Volo joined fundraisers for many charity works.
Many television programs have re-transmitted old concerts, and broadcasts, which we have reviewed with great pleasure.
The concerts scheduled for this summer in Europe and Italy have unfortunately been moved to next year.
It is still too early here for the concerts, even the cinemas have not yet reopened, but we hope that the November concerts in Milan, Rome and Turin will be maintained.
The quarantine period is also over and we were able to see the first outings of Gian, Piero and Ignazio’s house, wearing the obligatory masks.
Now things have improved here and in some regions, especially in the south, masks are no longer mandatory, but use is required for places such as shops or during outdoor gatherings, where, however, distance is always a must .
It’s summer, it’s very hot, and it’s really difficult to keep your distance and wear masks, but we have to do it, to guarantee ourselves and others.
Ignazio Piero and Gianluca, now, are much more difficult to be found, they are less present on social networks, they have resumed their normal post-quarantine life.
Gianluca met his twin friends.😁
Piero has turned 27. AUGURI!!❤️
Ignazio dedicates himself to new interests with Floki Production and Nico Arezzo.😉
In the last few days, a film music great Ennio Morricone has passed away. Il Volo remembered Morricone, who was a great composer of film music, with this video and this beautiful dedication.
Music today has suffered a great loss.
Thanks for everything, Master.
In last few days, our boys met after three months, on the occasion of the Dolce & Gabbana fashion show.
I would say that Piero, Ignazio and Gianluca are really in excellent shape.
What about the fantastic presentation video of the Dolce & Gabbana collection?
Beautiful clothes, beautiful environment and fantastic music !!
Ignazio, Piero and Gianluca said during the forced quarantine that they were working on various projects and that they were in constant contact with each other to develop beautiful ideas.
We really hope that all this time and all the concerts postponed, will bring us beautiful and interesting things for the future of Il Volo.
So things here in Italy seem to improve, but every day we receive truly alarming news of the contagion in the US.
We understand very well what you are all going through and we are close to you.
In the US the numbers are terrible, how many dead, how many infected, certainly everything is relative as regards the numbers, but they are really thousands of lives and we still don’t know how to stop this devious pandemic.
Time will pass, before we can breathe a sigh of relief, time will pass, before returning to talk only about good concerts.
A few days ago we received a nice little email from Sheryl Anderson, sharing her “addiction” with us…. I thought I’d share it with you, with her permission….
Dear Kelly, Pat, Daniela, Jana, Jo Ann,
I just wanted to express my appreciation for all your website efforts to promote IL VOLO. I am in St. Augustine, FL, USA (oldest city in US). Since January, I have become “addicted” to watching their concerts, interviews, etc. With the Pandemic keeping me at home, they are the “light” of each day. If there is any way that you could get a message to them, please do.
My first overseas journey was to the northern part of Italy in May, 2019.
I simply fell in love with Italian history and values. These three young men do such a good job of representing everything Italian–from their self-assured “humbleness”, to their Italian good looks, to the Catholic religion, landscapes, small cars, and not least, the closeness to their families. For me, my brain chemistry is affected by watching the “best possible” for human connection.
I know they must have relationship challenges at times, but they have the foundation of trust in self and trust in the other….Indeed, they are a blessing to me and to the world and I look forward to following their career.
Thank you, Sheryl, for your warm thoughts and thanks, it is much appreciated! We keep this site going for you, ours, and Il Volo’s fans. I always say though, we couldn’t have this site without you fans and all of your wonderful comments, etc.!
I did have to tell her we do not have any direct contact with the guys, but we are told a few of their friends and relatives read this site, so maybe word will be passed along… 🙂
The guys, as well as their extended friends and family, like Alessandro, Giampiero, Eleonora with her beautiful Instagram posts, and Fabio; are certainly doing their best to keep their fans entertained and as happy as possible during this pandemic nightmare. We all hope it will be contained soon, not sure if it will ever be truly over… but I know many of the US fans, myself included, are awaiting the green light to fly back to Italy again… 🙂
Ciao – Jana
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