Tag Archives: PBS Detroit

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.

FINAL UPDATE! Who’s Going to Verona in September? / Someone needs a ticket…

verona4

A week from today, I plan to be on a plane… 🙂

Below is the list from a few weeks ago.  Was there anyone else that planned to attend?

  1. me – Jana VandeLaare – Michigan – soundcheck

  2. Lorna Ste Marie – Michigan – soundcheck

  3. Betty Young – Louisiana – soundcheck

  4. Jeannette Giglio – Michigan

  5. Daniela Perani – Italy – soundcheck

  6. Rose Marie P. – Ohio – soundcheck

  7. Bill T Kathy Nelson (Facebook)

  8. Claudine D’haene (Facebook)

  9. Marie Yome (Facebook)

  10. Marlisse Porras (Facebook)

  11. Eliso Veziropoulou (Facebook)

  12. Alicja Leszczynska – Poland – soundcheck

  13. Susan Tafanelli – soundcheck

  14. Ann Marie Prior – Massachussetts – soundcheck

  15. Janet Dong and her husband – soundcheck

  16. JUDITH GRASSIAN – found her on a comment from the book post 🙂

I think we agreed that we should meet after the sound check – somewhere in the arena.

Per a comment from Daniela, the presentation of the book still has not been confirmed.  It’s literally 10 days away, so I hope they can finalize it soon.  🙂

If you will be in Verona, you can purchase the book from the Feltrinelli book store in the Porta Nuova train station.  Daniela said she is taking names and they will set aside a book for you. Contact Daniela on this post, or the book post from a few days ago.  Many are hoping it’s published in English.  She said if you go to their website and request it, and they get enough response, they may publish it in English as well.

 

NEED A TICKET!

SOS!  I know of someone that thought they had a ticket, but the site they thought they purchased it from, must have oversold and now she does not have a ticket to Verona!  If anyone knows of an available ticket, please contact me at jvandela524@gmail.com.  However, due to vision issues, she really needs a ticket in orchestra pit or very close in the first section.  Grazie Mille!!

 

Jana

 

 

P.S. all picture credits go to me – lol 🙂  

Who’s Going to Verona in September? / PBS Detroit Labor Day… Update!

verona4

(Just a word about our Facebook page… we love that you are able to comment there and chat with the other Flight Crew members, however, if you’d like to comment specifically on one of our blog posts, we’d really like for you to comment on the blog post itself, and not in the Facebook comments.  We regret that we do not always have time to read Facebook and things get buried very quickly on there.  We thank everyone for their comments and all are important to us, so we don’t want to miss anyone’s thoughts!  Thank you, Flight Crew Admins)

Ok, the Verona concert is just about 3 weeks away now, but the guys will be visiting Mexico this next week!  So close, and yet so far….

Thank you to all of you that responded with comments and well wishes for everyone’s trips.  I loved hearing from everyone!

So, on that note, let’s see who’s going to Verona, soundcheck, and concert! (if you want the soundcheck passes, you need to be a member of the Il Volo fan club.  Membership is either about $20 or so for just digital, or it comes to about $32 if you want the membership card, including shipping – all benefits are the same.)

  1. me – Jana VandeLaare – Michigan – soundcheck

  2. Lorna Ste Marie – Michigan – soundcheck

  3. Betty Young – Louisiana – soundcheck

  4. Jeannette Giglio – Michigan

  5. Daniela Perani – Italy – soundcheck

  6. Rose Marie P. – Ohio – soundcheck

  7. Bill T Kathy Nelson (Facebook)

  8. Claudine D’haene (Facebook)

  9. Marie Yome (Facebook)

  10. Marlisse Porras (Facebook)

  11. Eliso Veziropoulou (Facebook)

  12. Alicja Leszczynska – Poland – soundcheck

  13. Susan Tafanelli – soundcheck

  14. Ann Marie Prior – Massachussetts – soundcheck

  15. Janet Dong and her husband – soundcheck

  16. Did I miss anyone?  🙂

Ok, as far as a meeting place, was discussing with Daniela and she could not think of anything.  I had heard of this before, but apparently we are trapped in the arena after the soundcheck!  Daniela expects the soundcheck to be around 5:30p.  I doubt it lasts longer than an hour (anyone have any idea?), concert is not until 9p, so we will have at least 2 -3 hours to kill.  Since it looks like a good majority of us will be at the soundcheck, I think that is our best option to meet.  How does that sound?  Perhaps we can decide on a meeting place, near one of the entrances or something?  I’ve already decided I am not going to have time to eat prior to the soundcheck, but I was assured there should be snack areas as well as beverage areas.  My question is, when and will they be open?

Our personal schedule will be very tight, as our train does not get into Verona until 1:37pm.  I thought we would have plenty of time until the 9p concert, not expecting the soundcheck to be so early, etc.  We also have to meet my other friend for the concert tickets, because I am sure we will not be able to get in the soundcheck without them!

One other thing I found out… were any of you contacted by Patrizia for contributing to the book that will be given to the guys?  If so, per Daniela, they will be presenting it to them in a special meeting sometime early afternoon before the soundcheck.  Rose Marie and I, along with Daniela are in the book.  If you are in the book, you get to attend!  🙂  So, I will be running all over Verona.  I hope it is right before the soundcheck and close to the arena.

Daniela also said the book will be available for sale at some area bookstores in Verona, as well as at one of the train stations.  I guess you can get it on Amazon.it, but shipping is more than the book!  I plan to get a few copies while I am over there.  🙂  Book is 18 euros. 

Ok, Labor Day and the Guys on PBS….

I did not watch too many of the clips from the Matera concert, so I will be surprised.  🙂

Chris and I are looking forward to being in the same room with the guys, even if we only see them from behind.  🙂  The phones sometimes tend to go crazy and it’s hard to hear in the room and we often miss a lot of what they are saying – those blasted donors lol!  But I’m sure their presence will fill the room with Il Volo joy and laughter.  It appeared that Il Volo Music was making posts on Instagram and Twitter about them appearing on PBS on Labor Day, which only confused many fans. We had several comments on this site as well, as people commenting on  the Twitter/Instagram sites.  I posted on a few Instagram sites that this taping was for Detroit only and that afterwards, it would be sent to the various PBS stations across the country and likely shown at their next major pledge drives.  I also found out that they decided to limit the tickets to 30, instead of the original 50.  I’m sorry about that, I know one of you emailed me with your disappointment.  Maybe they will get a whole 2 minutes with them!  🙂  That would make it just about an hour or so for their meet/greet time.

HURRICANE DORIAN

We can’t let this post go without a mention of our friends and loved ones in Florida and those on the eastern coast of the United States.  Was nearly 3 years ago that the last hurricane hit, very close to this same time.  Luckily, the west coast of Florida will seem to be spared, as the storm is making the north eastern turn, however, there are still many folks in the new path of the storm, including our beloved Marie, with her sister, in Myrtle Beach. I have not been in contact with her since the storm was predicted.  I will likely text her today.  I read they had orders to evacuate…  Our thoughts and prayers go out to the many affected fans, and those with friends and loved ones that will be affected by this storm.

PLEASE HAVE A SAFE, HAPPY, AND VIGILANT LABOR DAY!

 

Jana

 

 

P.S. all picture credits go to me – lol 🙂  (except PBS one…)

Who’s Going to Verona in September? / PBS Detroit Labor Day…

verona4

Can you believe it?  Just 4 weeks away now for those of us lucky enough to visit Verona again!  I have to say, I really didn’t think I’d be able to go back again.  As many of you know, it’s been a really rough past year and a half for me for many reasons, but I am feeling much better and finally looking forward to going to Italy again to see the guys. 🙂

I am lucky again to go with my dear friend Lorna.  We will also be joined by Rose Marie from Ohio, and Betty from New Orleans!   Our itinerary includes Roma this time, in fact, verona 1we will eat our way through Roma, after the Vatican, of course.  Lol!  We also plan to visit Lake Garda for a day, after the Verona concert, then back to Roma, and home.  Will be a quick trip, but hopefully a more relaxing one than last time.

So, who’s going to Verona??  Each day, I find that there is another person that will be joining the many hundreds of fans at their last official concert in Italy – at the Arena di verona5Verona!  Alas, we don’t have front row, but do have meet/greets.  Front row will have to wait for Detroit, and hopefully Chicago.

In the comments, please let me know who is going to Verona, for starters, it will be myself, Lorna, Betty, Rose Marie, Daniela P (of course 🙂 ), a few others I am aware of from the States, as well.  Also, my other friend Veronica from Italy, and her friends.

I know many do not like to “join the throngs of the crowd” and that’s ok, but if anyone would like to join our group for a pre-concert gathering somewhere near the arena, please note it in the comments.  If you’d like, you can email me directly at:

jvandela524@gmail.com 

We also have our tickets to the soundcheck!  Yay!  Maybe we could plan something before or after that?  Lorna, Rose Marie and I are staying at DiMoras House – about a 10-minute walk or so to the arena.  We are taking the train from Roma to Verona that morning of the 24th.

I look forward to your comments and suggestions!  🙂

 

On another note…. I’m sure many of you have seen (and cringed) at the PBS announcement of the guys being in Detroit again on Labor Day September 2.  Looks like pbs guysthey’ve really outpriced themselves this time as it was initially a “big secret” – now they are having trouble selling the tickets.  I believe I heard there were 50 tickets and as of this writing, they still have some left.  Tickets are $500 for meet/greet & Wine/Dine.  Here is the link, if anyone is still interested in going… https://www.pledgecart.org/pledgeCart3/?campaign=38B55A20-6C5C-4849-B794-175DAF95CB7A&source=#/home?cmpgn=DPTVExp2

 

P.S. all picture credits go to me – lol 🙂  (except PBS one…)

Il Volo – Groundhog’s Day??

Hello folks, i just thought I’d share my evening with you tonight….

Chris and I dutifully volunteered tonight for Il Volo night at PBS.

Nine-thirty came and we anxiously awaited the start of our guys.  I was finishing up a pledge, so did not realize the Nessun Dorma they were playing was at the END of the concert, until the credits started to roll!

What was happening??  We did not have a clue!

So, they tried to fix it, but it was like on continuous repeat of the last few songs.

I clapped briefly to libiamo and enjoyed it again, and again,  and again… I think like 6 times, at least?

We eventually went just totally live, and they were just talking.  They must have been doing something right, people were still calling and ordering our guys!

It was also freezing cold in here tonight!

I even told the one person how to say Ignazio’s name and she repeated it well, however, she was a smart girl and said she would not attempt it on air.  Unfortunately,  not so for the other speaker, Fred.  🙁

Anyhow,  an interesting night it is.

Writing to you, LIVE, from Wixom, Michigan, Detroit PBS!

 

Jana