On Saturday 9 October, Il Volo was interviewed by Andrea Spinelli for Quotidiano Nazionale, in the beautiful Royal Palace of Monza, (near Milan), for the event – “Born again: Behind the Scenes, The Arts Beyond the Emergency” – dedicated to the difficulty of the total reopening after the Covid pandemic.
It’s a beautiful interview, very long with interesting questions and as many honest answers.
It will enrich you a lot to read what has been said.
Here is the video, and the translation.
SPINELLI = Good afternoon, welcome. Welcome to Il Volo, which we will now have here on stage.
With Il Volo we will talk about live music, the sector, at least economically, most damaged by this pandemic, and the one that, we never tire of saying, the first sector that closed, and probably the last that will reopen.
So I would invite Il Volo on stage. (applause)
PIERO = Hi
GIANLUCA = Good evening everyone.
PIERO = Andrea!
GIAN = That is, good afternoon.
SPINELLI = Welcome Piero, welcome Gianluca ….
GIAN = We’re not the only ones excited are we?
SPINELLI = No, no ….. Ignazio, welcome.
IGNAZIO = Thanks, hello.
PIERO = You must know that Andrea Spinelli, for us, is a particular journalist, because we are very fond of Andrea, and every time we do a press conference of a tour, of an album, we always ask for his presence, with the awareness that ……
IGNAZIO = He is the baddest.
PIERO = ….. with the most uncomfortable questions.
So today, for us, to accept this interview it’s really a big challenge, so Andrea, you have a lot of vent with us today!
SPINELLI = Thanks, but we will keep that for the presentation of the album on Morricone at the beginning of November.
Today we are talking about something related to concerts.
IGNAZIO = I can only ask one thing, if you can increase the audio in the microphone, on the stage, in the monitors, on the microphone of Andrea, because I don’t hear you.
SPINELLI = Can you hear me now?
IGNAZIO = Yes.
SPINELLI = Here.
IGNAZIO = Ok better, thanks.
SPINELLI = So, let’s start with a decade, which was to be celebrated in 2020, then 2020 + 1, 2020 + 2. How did you live it?
IGNAZIO = We are reaching 15 years. 😁
SPINELLI = That is?
IGNAZIO = Soon we are celebrating 15 years!
Well, there were two difficult years for everyone, here, more or less, we were was struck by something new to everyone.
Speaking of our sector, we have been at a standstill since 2020, since March 2020, we are not working, and we are more than happy to restart next year from America, which fortunately has started to reopen with full capacities.
So we will start in March 2022, (hesitant to say the year), I have lost the count of the years.
SPINELLI = March 18, 2022, Radio City Music Hall.
IGNAZIO = Yes, March 2022, we will start with a two-month tour of America at full capacity.
It is a fortune, but it is also something that makes us reflect: why in America yes, and in Italy, still today we are unable to have the confirmation of a 100% opening?
PIERO = More than anything else, today we have a great responsibility, because we try to represent all the artists.
Because today we read in the newspapers “100% theaters will open”, theaters, cinemas, but there is a lot of vagueness, because not all artists perform concerts in theaters.
There are artists who do concerts in clubs, there are artists who do concerts in stadiums, so in stadiums, how much percentage of the public can enter ??
We must regain the trust of the public, and give them the certainty of what they are buying, because today, a person is not sure to buy a ticket, because he does not know what he is buying.
In the sports halls nothing is known about the capacity yet. Yes, the theaters ok, for those who perform concerts in theaters, 100% capacity is fine, but there is still too much vagueness.
SPINELLI = Yes.
What does it mean to go on stage?
What is the meaning of music for you, of live music?
PIERO = I have read the biography of a great artist: Beniamino Gigli, a journalist asks him “What is music for him?” and his answer was:
“For me music is the fulfillment of a need, and at the same time, the maximum expression of our deepest joy”.
Today, reopening, returning to the stage, is not only an economic necessity, because many people clearly lack work, but it is a need, a need for those who make music, because they go on stage and sing, but also for those who listen.
I miss concerts, not as an artist, not as a singer, but as a spectator, I miss, going to a concert with friends, and clearly behind us (to those who perform concerts), behind the scenes ….. we have to thank whoever organized, (he refers to who organized this interview to talk about the people behind the scenes), thank you very much indeed it is a very nice event what you are doing …. behind the scenes there is a lot people, many people who do not work for us, but work with us, because behind a concert there is a team of many, many people and in recent months, we have clearly tried to turn on the spotlight for these people who are not seen, but they are human beings, many working families, and what are they doing today?
We must not hide, it is clear that an artist can survive two years without a job, if he has behaved well (if he has saved the money), but there are many people who work concert, for concert, and can only live if they work week by week, so it is no longer possible today not to give certainties.
SPINELLI = Well, I would like to ask you: “You give us an idea of how many people are following you on tour, who are working for you, on the square, because there is a world, behind you three.
IGNAZIO = It is difficult to count them.
For example, with us in March, from Italy, we will bring about ten people with us, even 15 people and in America there will be other people, so it is a group of people with a question mark. But I can tell you that behind a tour there are about 50 people, even 60 people, who work during the tour, before the tour, and in any case there are people who work even months before the tour, to prepare the production, the logistics. So the “behind the scenes” is a way of saying, because they move everything, and then allow us to go on stage on March 18th.
SPINELLI = Sure.
I put on my glasses because I would like to read some figures, because you reopened the road on June 5 with a great concert at the Verona Arena, and with live television with an amazing figure: 4 million 702 thousand spectators, with a very high share: 25 , 7%, and that means, to be clear, 1 million more than Amadeus did who won the next night (with another show), even better than the WIND (Seat Music Awards), so surely there was a lot of anticipation , for you, and perhaps also for this reopening.
What do you remember of the evening and what it meant in your year, to go back on stage and sing for a real audience, for an audience that was there in the stands.
GIAN = Yes Andrea, let’s say it was a breath of fresh air, we needed it, as Ignazio and Piero said before, as all of us who do concerts need it.
People were there in the Arena, happy to be able to return to the big events after a year and a half of practically silence.
Then on that occasion, we presented a very ambitious project, which is this tribute to the soundtracks of Ennio Morricone, which we will then take on tour from March.
It is clear that, after a year and a half, returning to the Verona Arena, live on RAI1, for us was a moment of great joy and in my opinion, one of the most beautiful concerts we have done, because it was really felt, there was the great thrill of looking the audience in the face, and finally being able to sing for all of them, after all this time.
This is the best thing for us.
SPINELLI = By the way, you have also won the “tyranny of capacity and curfew”.
You submitted a 55-page health protocol, but in the end you won. (Because that very evening for the Arena, the capacity was increased from 3000 to 5000 people and the curfew, moved beyond midnight to give way to who was at the concert to go home)
IGNAZIO = It was a tug-of-war between Salzano …
SPINELLI = Producer (of the concert)
IGNAZIO = Yes, it was a great tug-of-war, but we succeeded.
We often have many meetings with Ferdinando (Salzano) and the main topic is to give confidence to the citizen, because they are the ones who come to concerts, just as we go to other concerts and therefore we must have faith, we must start from something, we cannot always stay with the doubt “will everyone abide by the rules?” . We have to trust.
GIAN = It is clear that people are afraid, they are scared, as we said before, they do not have the certainty of entering a place, both outdoors and indoors, with various gatherings, even if there is a green pass (certification of the double dose of vaccine), and even with all the certainties, let’s call them that, it is a very delicate moment, but we must start again.
Now we have seen that the situation seems to have improved, it’s not like last year, so … let’s be confident.
IGNAZIO = Otherwise the solution could be, instead of writing Il Volo concert, let’s have a political meeting , so there are no problems …. no come on it was just a subtle controversy!
SPINELLI = Another thing, you have done 3 concerts around Europe this summer, I would like to ask you how you found each other, and the difference you found compared to the very, very strict regime that existed in Italy.
GIAN = I don’t know if you can say, but maybe Covid didn’t exist there, I don’t know, maybe it didn’t exist in those countries.
PIERO = We can be honest ….. we did two concerts in Croatia, and one in Bulgaria, and at the beginning we asked for restrictions, and the distance, but maybe it was the bull’s eye that didn’t show me .. ….. but there was no distance. (in fact in Italy there was a full place and an empty one, but, from them, all the places were full).
IGNAZIO = But there is a truth behind it, in those countries, unfortunately, the government does not pass the vaccine to everyone and the vaccine costs a lot of money and not everyone can afford it. This is the great and sad truth of those countries.
GIAN = The amazing thing is that it was a 5000 seat outdoor arena and all of them were ….
PIERO = The gates were opened 5 hours before the concert started, they had to have a proof of a negative nasal swab for COVID, those who did not have it, had a nasal swab at the time, so they found a solution, that’s the key, you have to find a solution, we must not stay there waiting in the vagueness of what to do, we must find a solution and I repeat, the news 100% of the theaters is not enough, and I say this on behalf of those who perform concerts in stadiums.
Why if I were to ask you now: did stadiums reopen them at 60-65%, (for sports competitions) and stadium concerts? Who can answer this question? And the concerts in the sports hall? Who responds to this?
SPINELLI = Reopenings have been indicated, certainly reopening for sport, they are valid for concerts up to a certain point, because clearly the context is different.
PIERO = But even in the outdoor arenas, we for next year in June, it is clear that our Italian tour will be around the summer-autumn of next year, however many of our colleagues have dates in February, January, March , and therefore they must know something.
We will perform concerts at the Ancient Theater of Taormina (in June 2022) and today with Salzano, he did not know how to give us an answer for the people, for how many people can come.
IGNAZIO = I would like to say something to make it clear to those who come to our concerts.
Many think “okay, you will get a little less but do the concerts”, but it is not really like that, because it is all a chain.
The chain consists of: ok the capacity, the cost of the ticket which varies from concert to concert, is given by the sum of production costs and logistics costs. Unfortunately, after Covid, we are realizing now that we are closing the budget for the tour in America, the costs have doubled. The price of the porterage cost that was after the concerts has doubled, so the costs have become double. If we fail to have a full capacity, even in the stadiums, the costs of the stadiums are unimaginable …
SPINELLI = Very tall …
IGNAZIO = If you can’t already make 100% capacity, it means that I have to increase the ticket to cover the costs, right? The problem is that the citizen, the boy, the girl, who comes to a concert, has to pay a ticket 150 euros, 200 euros (it refers to the cost of tickets for a stadium), how does he do it?
So it’s all a chain and that’s why we have to be able, in one way or another, to find a solution to reopen at concerts and not to make an artist earn, but to ensure that art, art that one person does, you get to more people. To make sure that the normality we had will gradually return, even if it will be difficult because it is all a process of trust. But for me, going to 100% can be the beginning of a return to normalcy and trust above all.
SPINELLI = Well, I’m starting from this, because yesterday on this stage it was said “normality?”, But we don’t want to go back to normality as it was before.
PIERO = Better than before.
SPINELLI = A normality in which we ran, we ran, sometimes without paying too much attention to the direction we were taking. How do you see this thing, what do you think?
PIERO = Objectively, this stoppage that took place allowed us …. we tried to look on the bright side, it was difficult, but we succeeded. We went to the recording studio and made an album, time allowed us to dedicate a lot of time to this, to make a fairly studied selection, in this case for Morricone’s album, so we had more time to work on the details, while before we could not. Before, it was too many concerts and too much work and little time to work on a project.
So when we say: “let’s go back as before”, we can’t wait to go back, but we will be back better than before, because the work has been much more painstaking, so give us the opportunity, just this.
SPINELLI = …. and about running ….
IGNAZIO = I let Piero run, he trains in the morning …. every morning he runs 10 km, I prefer to run in my dreams in the long prairies!
SPINELLI = Running, understood as doing many things ….
GIAN = That, don’t run as a run ….
IGNAZIO = I understood, I was joking !!!😁
GIAN = Ah
SPINELLI = All of you have been running for 12 years …
IGNAZIO = Exactly, we are a group, we are guys who run and we never stopped …
GIAN = …. flying …😁
IGNAZIO = Yes, we are guys who fly. Although, sometimes it took a break, we never took it. Calculate that we did the first 8 years in a row, we never stopped a month, to say, ok, we stop for ourselves. For 8 years we have never stopped. Running is good, it helps you to be active, but I think it is also important to stop. It is a little like Maestro Morricone used to say: “Silences are not a missing part of a music, of a composition, but they are that part that helps you, silence is music”, so it can also be stopping in life of each one, it can be that moment that makes you reflect on what you want from life, on the steps you are going to take, and I can tell you that this year and a half, personally, I do not speak as a group, personally it has served me a lot, as personal growth, how to get to know my family more, to be together with my origins, also made me understand how grateful I am to music, how good music does me, how much company it has made me in these two years. So stopping every now and then is good. We must not get used to stopping, but stopping is good.
SPINELLI = You have also become a producer, therefore, in short, you have also approached music from another side.
IGNAZIO = Yes, I’ve always liked it. Do you think that we, within the group, have our tasks, because if we all three did the same thing, three different ideas ….
SPINELLI = In fact, you are like POOH (another Italian group), everyone has their own role within the group, then maybe you explain them to us.
IGNAZIO = I personally prefer to take care of the studio part. Which means talking to the producers, the work that takes place inside the studio.
Gianluca is very grasped on the choices of the songs, on the ratings, on the intuitions of the songs and Piero does public relations, he is a born PR. (Piero laughs) He breaks the boxes guys, though ….
SPINELLI = I would like to ask another thing to the man of public relations, I would like to focus on your success which is an Italian success exported to the world. I am reminded of Madonna’s birthday (a couple of months ago) made in Salento (Puglia), and in the end they were all English, but she wanted AlBano (singer who presented the night of the Taranta), and AlBano told me that Madonna asked him to sing that Italian song “Caruso”, to understand what is the attachment that there is to our melody, also on the part of great international artists. Two days ago we were in connection from Berlin with the Maneskin (another italian group who won Eurovision this year) who said, obviously jokingly “our success is because we are beautiful, we are good and above all we are Italian”.
Here, how much is Italianness worth?
PIERO = We are aware that the results obtained, these long tours, are the result of patient work …. but our results are thanks to Italy, to the music we sing. We sing bel canto, the songs that are part of our culture.
When we go to America and sing the Nessun Dorma, O Sole Mio, but also Grande Amore, and we sing in Italian, people want to hear us sing in Italian, because already in America there are already those who do rock, rock was born in America, but bel canto was born in Italy, that’s why Italianness is the strength, it is our being, it is what we are, and when people hear Italy, but starting from music, fashion, food , Italy is the icing on the world, everyone dreams of coming to Italy, and we are aware that our strength is the music we sing, as it did in the past for maestro Luciano Pavarotti, as did Andrea Bocelli and continues to do, and we’re trying to follow that trail there.
GIAN = Then it is clear that it depends, we are talking about how Italianness is perceived abroad, because it is clear, if we talk about how Italians perceive Italianness, it is clear that it is different, because I who am, but all of us who are lovers of De Andrè, Guccini or Gaber (they are all Italian songwriters), surely, paradoxically AlBano is better known abroad than they who sing wonderful poems that have made the history of Italian music, is how we are perceived, at the certainly abroad. This is why Italianness is the melody, from this point of view, it is that, as Piero said, bel canto, this great strength that is appreciated by all.
SPINELLI = And that’s why it doesn’t exist, only RCMH on March 18th, but there are 29 more dates …
PIERO = Where?
SPINELLI = In America ….
PIERO = Yes, there are 30 dates in the U.S.
SPINELLI = Well, I mean, there are not only Italians who come, there it means that you have “taken” the American public, and this is the big difference with many other artists, who perform concerts abroad, but do not have the possibility to organize, to plan long and articulated tours like yours.
In Japan, it seems to me that you have something like 20 dates in play ….
IGNAZIO = We have often talked about this, we have also talked about it this morning and you know my thoughts well.
For me the Italianness, this word, is on a razor’s edge, on the one hand you fall from the chic (elegant) ….. sorry kich (tacky) and on the other you are cool, the Italianness famous all over the world .
Unfortunately, this obstacle is put up by people. I try to give you an example: if Italy wins the Europeans (football), we are all cool we are all proud, if Italy is “out” from the World Cup qualifiers, we have something to say.
I think that Italianness is something you feel, and I can tell you the truth, I discovered it when we participated in Eurovision. I have learned to love our flag, there hasn’t been a moment where I was more proud of being Italian, and I tell you sincerely.
The experience of Eurovision is a competition, and you are there to give prestige to your country, because in the end you are talking about Italy, you are representing Italy, and this Italianness is often mistaken for “pizza and mandolin” and singers who they sing Italian brigades, and there is nothing wrong, in the end, because if I think of all the greatest Italian immigrants in America, I feel like saying Dean Martin, I feel like saying Frank Sinatra, I feel like saying Perry Como, and Tony Bennet, so so be it !!
We are very fond of Italy and we will always be proud to sing the Italian repertoire, we will do it, now anyway with Morricone, we are proud to be Italian, because Morricone is an Italian and he is the greatest, and everyone knows him, in cinema he is a crazy thing. We also had the opportunity to meet at the film festival (Venice), Antonio Banderas, Tom Hanks passed by and when you talk about Morricone … and also recently we have collaborated with the maestro Storaro ….. they are names that: how do you don’t be proud of being Italian?
SPINELLI = Even to make you proud, to be Italian, just think of Eurovision, I still remember, arrived at the airport, in the taxi, while I was coming to the State Hall (Vienna 2015, Il Volo was in the race), the driver tells me:
“You are italian? “,
“are you coming for Eurovision?”,
“this year you win” (ie Il Volo), because it was clear that in any case, that was the feeling.
You collided with the prejudice of the juries (they gave low marks to Il Volo), which happened a little this year too, a little less than you, in fact we saw the result (the Maneskin won).
I mean this, the prejudice, there has always been, because in any case the winner creates some stomach ache, we have seen it in sport, we have seen it in music … the Maneskin win and take drugs (he refers to the fact that on the evening of the Maneskin victory, the foreign newspapers said they were addicted, the usual negative press), Jacobs wins and gets doped (Italian athlete first in the 100 meters Olympics and the press wrote that he was doped, always bad press ).
This also happened with you, when you went to America for the first time, if I’m not mistaken, everyone said: “Yes ok, this is the record, but then they won’t be able to keep that level”, and then you, on the other hand, during the various television broadcasts, you kept it.
IGNAZIO = Just a little thing, the answers are given with time and with facts, and we, as a group, have always tried to keep quiet about provocations and demonstrate, and we did it from the first Sanremo up to …. .before, from the beginning, then Sanremo and until today.
This is a thought that all three of us have, and thank you that we have this common thought, the desire to work, head down, and prove with facts. And then, frankly, when one is fine, with what he does and is satisfied, but we never stop, but we are satisfied, proud of what we are able to do together, the criticisms, people talk, but they will always talk, of everything.
PIERO = An artist, if he decides to do this profession, renounces his own “comfort zone” directly, so he puts himself on display and clearly, the others give an opinion.
Participation in Sanremo in 2015, we were a little doubtful, hesitant, and we have to thank Bruno Vespa, during a dinner he said: “Sorry guys, why do you have the doubt of participating in the Sanremo festival? You are not famous in Italy” … because we sang only abroad and in Italy everyone had forgotten our name …. “you have nothing to lose . If you finish last, you haven’t lost anything, you can only gain something. “ We are grateful to Bruno Vespa for his great advice.
SPINELLI = I would like to ask you something, if I can, if you like, could you give a hint to what you were doing in broadcasting in America, to show that in fact you were really harmonizers, people who knew what they were doing and those songs were truly made without artifice.
PIERO = Also because in America you can’t lip-sync, so you should know that in America, the “morning show” is fashionable, people wake up early in the morning, and the morning show is at 6 in the morning, the soundcheck at 5.30, you don’t wake up and go singing, you also have to warm up your voice. So my next door neighbor at 3.30am in New York, when I started vocalizing, 8 times out of 10, he would hit the wall saying “shut up, shut up” 😁😁😁 and I kept warming up my voice!
But in the morning shows, if you want to go back to your request, what do you want …..
IGNAZIO = What are you asking us? Sing or …..
SPINELLI = A harmony.
PIERO = Usually there are three of us. What is harmony? They may be wondering what harmony is ?? ….
GIAN = Everyone knows!
PIERO = Not everyone knows … (to the audience) do you know what harmony is?
IGNAZIO = When we are well together there is harmony.
PIERO = That’s right, that’s the one there. We have three voices, two tenors and a baritone. One makes the melodic line, the one everyone knows, the other makes the upper harmony and the other the lower one.
(turning to Ignazio and Gian) Can I make the melody ?? OK !
(Ignazio begins to sing the refrain of Il Mondo) ❤ (applause)
IGNAZIO = This isn’t just what we did on TV shows. I have memories, crazy images at the beginning, in the vans, which took us from the hotel to the television stations, in Germany, rather than in Holland. Do you remember? (he turns to Piero and Gian) we were doing the harmonies on Christmas songs, we were little ones and we were arguing “No, you have to do that, I have to do this” (he laughs), they are good memories.
PIERO = In 12 years, it’s amazing how our relationship has strengthened, day after day, you know, usually in groups, there are those who want to be the leader, those who want to be the first woman, in our group, this thing doesn’t exists.
As with any team, there is always a commander. We must say that our greatest fortune in life, the most beautiful, greatest thing my parents taught me, is to be grateful. We are grateful to a person who follows us from the first day we met, until a minute ago, at lunch, is our greatest advisor, our backbone. We often say this in interviews, but we will never stop thanking him, because he is the fourth member of Il Volo, he is the fourth artist and he is Michele Torpedine. (applause)
(Piero turns to Michele) I wanted to thank you in public, ….. we wanted, in the name of all three, to thank you in public.
IGNAZIO = Well, only he thanks you, not us, that is, let’s be clear …. (but then Piero corrected himself).
GIAN = I apologize if I speak little, but I have a headache that is breaking out. I apologize that maybe, I seem unpleasant, but I wanted to say it …..
IGNAZIO = It’s not like you look … we know … (he jokes)
GIAN = ….. I wanted to say this, because I don’t want to seem what I am not.
SPINELLI = No, Gianluca!
IGNAZIO = In fact, he first got out of tune, I don’t know if you noticed. (laughs)
SPINELLI = Another thing, in 10 years, thanks to this success, American success, you have met many people, here, I would like to ask you what were your encounters with extraordinary men that you have found along the way, famous and less famous. I would like a memory each.
IGNAZIO = I have an indelible memory, perhaps the greatest birthday present, I’ve ever had, and it was the first sound rehearsals with Barbra Streisand, when we toured with her. I want to tell you something, I don’t know if it can be told, but I always make a fool of myself, so I tell it.
When we were contacted to tour with her, we signed a contract, where we couldn’t look her in the eye, get too close, all these things here, these safety things.
In the end we didn’t respect anything, but not because we didn’t respect it, but it was she who didn’t respect it, she was the one who came up on stage and said: “Guys I cut my hair, you should too, cut a little here “, then we were talking about bra straps, do you understand? We talked about a lot of things, it’s incredible how, we so young, we knew by name Barbra Streisand, but in that period we documented ourselves on everything she did, as an actress, as a singer, as a director, we informed ourselves, we “discovered” her.
Touring with her, knowing who she was, who she is, and who she will be, because she will remain in history, you look at her differently on stage, and it is something that will always remain in our hearts, in our minds, all performances, all the time spent together, the rehearsals, the concerts, her saying “shut your mouth”, when maybe we were doing a high pitch, (he refers to their phrase during the tour), are things that I personally will not forget.
GIAN = But then we were little, and then we went through the most delicate period which is adolescence, the period of youth bewilderment, of kids who may not know what role they will play in life or what they will do. We recognized this vocation, which is the passion for singing that made us feel good. The support of our parents, who have always encouraged us to pursue this goal, which then came naturally, that of singing, because it made us feel good.
And then the luck of having met on a television program, in the same year, in the same edition, and then a series of lucky events, which then led us to reach these goals, with a great team, as Piero said, and therefore we are also privileged because we take nothing for granted, and this great privilege, as I said, is this of bringing this great musical cultural heritage that is bel canto, following in the footsteps of great idols like Andrea Bocelli, like Mario Lanza, that it all began at the time of del Monaco, it is a music that can certainly be said, an eternal music, and now we demonstrate, with this project with the music of Morricone, that we may pass from O Sole Mio, to the first sung version of The Ecstasy of Gold, with the music of The Good, the Bad, the Ugly, so this is also an artistic upgrade, which we try to have every time, project after project. And so we work hard for that too.
IGNAZIO = Beautiful …… but the question was: “Who is left to you ……”😁
GIAN = Yes, I wanted to get there ….
SPINELLI = (answering to Ignazio) I would have done it again later (the question)
GIAN = …… I also wanted to connect to your speech, which is also nice that we have this great relationship, and we have this passion in common …..
IGNAZIO = This was the preface ….😁
GIAN = One of my best experiences, I can say that is the one where I celebrated my 16th birthday with Paul Anka and we sang together “Put Your Head on My Shoulder” in Los Angeles, you realize, with the great Paul Anka, we were there in a restaurant in Los Angeles, who was friends with Michele and the whole team from the first album, so we were sixteen, we were little, actually I didn’t even know who he was, (Paul Anka), then oh well, they explained to me …. (laughter) …. but today I can tell you it was Paul Anka!
SPINELLI = Damn!
GIAN = And then, a memorable thing, when we were all three, we were singing in Panama, I get up, because at a certain point we were having lunch with the Pope: “Can we take a selfie like young people do?”, And the Pope : “Sure, yes yes, with pleasure, let’s take a selfie” (Gian imitates the voice of Pope Francis). So we can say that we also took a selfie with the Pope two years ago.
IGNAZIO = But I did the worst one, actually I should be ashamed, I called Woody Allen a saxophonist (laughter).
GIAN = This happens, you understand (addressed to the audience), when you pick up three children from school desks and put them on the other side of the world, rightly, from Marsala you ask yourself: “Who is Woody Allen?”
IGNAZIO = But wait, a sensational gaffe, but I didn’t tell him, I asked: “Is that the saxophonist?”, but no, but he plays the clarinet very well …
GIAN = No, the sax, so you got confused …
IGNAZIO = So I wasn’t very wrong.
SPINELLI = Now I ask the question to him (to Piero), but first about gaffe (he turns to Gianluca), “kid don’t worry …..”
GIAN = Ah, yes, that’s nice, because in 2011, we were working on the first record, and there was also a Morricone medley, made by Once Upon a Time in America and Malena, the medley is called “E più ti penso”.
We had to sing in Piazza del Popolo (Rome), with the Sinfonietta, the great orchestra of Maestro Morricone, there were rehearsals the day before and we arrive at this hotel, in this giant room, there were all the orchestra elements , with maestro Morricone who welcomes us.
You, imagine, we sixteen, fifteen, we arrive, with short legs, which then remained so ….
IGNAZIO = I’ve never had short legs! 😁
GIAN = ….. mine, I talk about me, not about you (laughs) at some point we arrive, the song starts with a note mmmmm, the double basses, and I was supposed to start “and the more I think of you .. . “and I don’t start, so the teacher does this, he gives the attack to the orchestra and I don’t start. I look at it and say “Ah, but you give me the attack?” (laughs). The first violin like this (imitates the surprised face). He (Morricone) turns and says: “Don’t worry kid, I’ll take care of it, I’ll give you the attack”.
This will remain in the annals …..
PIERO = If this is the effect that his headache has on him ….. I hope you have a headache every day.
GIAN = I have recovered, I have recovered, just take a look.
PIERO = I have two memories.
IGNAZIO = The first is Barbara D’Urso !! (Italian presenter)
PIERO = No, the first memory is in 2010 We Are The Word for Haiti, after 25 years they remake Michael Jackson’s We Are The Word, produced by Quincy Jones and Lionel Ritchie.
They chose many artists, including Barbra Streisand, Celin Dion, there were all, and as Italians, only us in the midst of the choir.
It was nice that day, because we found ourselves with many artists, you consider that we started from three small towns, two Sicilians and one from Abruzzo, catapulted in front of Quincy Jones ….. we had Barbara Vitali, where is (and points to her in the room) she is, I don’t know, who you are to us ….
IGNAZIO = Shadow.
PIERO = … has been with us for 12 years ….
GIAN = She is our shadow.
PIERO = She is with us every day.
Have you seen “The Devil Wears Prada” (film), when the manager walks alongside and points, this does what … she (Barbara Vitali) does this to us, she did this, because today, perhaps, we learned a little bit. However that day she pointed out to us: “That’s Barbra Streisand, that’s Quincy Jones, that Lionel Ritchie,” … and so on.
The second memory, the experience, for me, was the collaboration with Maestro Placido Domingo, in 2016.
SPINELLI = In Florence.
PIERO = (nods) The fact that he agreed to direct the orchestra on stage, and duet with us, was a great gesture, a gesture of trust on the part of Maestro Plácido Domingo and the beautiful relationship that was born with all his family.
And I, that project, I link it to a great meeting, which I had in my life, meeting with a great person that we will all carry (he puts his hand on his heart), who has a comfortable place in our heart. (applause).
SPINELLI = Question: How do you see yourself in 10 years.
IGNAZIO = Gianluca certainly hopes to see himself taller. I thinner…
GIAN = No, oh well !!
However, as we said before, we are three simple guys, from this point of view, we also try to give an example of responsible people, who have a certain lifestyle, who love what they do, are 100% dedicated to work, that have goals.
It is clear that today the “bad boys” has more effect, it comes more immediately, let’s say.
Many young people, even our age, get lost, because they do not give priority to study and many other things, but they give priority to easy things, which do not require sacrifices.
IGNAZIO = Or they are satisfied with the “citizenship income”, unfortunately.
GIAN = We want to give this example of guys who, thanks to perseverance and great ambition, we were able to obtain ….. also thanks to our team and especially to the family, to have the support of a large family, we are happy with education that they have given us, since we were little, and we always try to give this great example, of responsibility, of humility, we hope to be, and even in 10 years, we want to try to remain what we are, what we were also from children, and to always reach the goals and to always carry the name of our music, through our voices, our culture.
SPINELLI = We are in the pipeline, I would like to ask you another question: “Would you have sung in Sanremo without an audience, like the one celebrated in March?”
PIERO = This year, the fact that we were hosted in Sanremo was particular, unpublished to all of us, but I want to say one important thing, this year we sang in Sanremo without an audience….
SPINELLI = Singing yes, but being in the race is another thing ….
PIERO = But it’s the same thing ….
GIAN = There is the awareness of millions of home viewers …..
PIERO = In the events, it is clear that the public makes the difference, it gives you more energy, there is more adrenaline, but it was not lacking, and this year I must tell you that, it was a Sanremo without an audience, but it made us understand how strong Ignazio is, because this year was a special year for him, and he stayed on stage with us singing, despite the great loss…
GIAN = The audience was there, there was a special person who was there with us that evening.
PIERO = And this does us, does you (looks at Ignazio), great honor. (appaluse) ❤
SPINELLI = This is professionalism, this is a reason to be on stage to honor it, in any situation, even the most difficult.
IGNAZIO = If I can afford to say one thing. Often … we think about the people we no longer have, and unfortunately one thing, when it happens, you cannot control it, but I have learned in recent months that it is better not to have a person physically and feel them, than to have them and not feel them. Sure it will always be missing, but I feel it every day, it is with me every day and so, that’s okay. ❤
PIERO = To conclude, we thank you for having turned on the spotlight again for those who work in the field of entertainment, on behalf of all our colleagues.
We hope that everything will be resolved soon. Thanks.
SPINELLI = Thanks to Il Volo, thanks. (applause)
And finally, Il Volo has released this little video-clip from IL GIORNO.
And here is the translation:
PIERO = We read in the news, 100% open.
It seems that the world is back to the way it was before and instead it is not, because not everyone sings in theaters. We are here today to represent our colleagues, all the artists who perform concerts in stadiums, in sports halls, in clubs.
So we seek and demand a clearer answer.
IGNAZIO = We can’t wait to try again that emotion that only some spaces can give, and to finally return to being able to have fun, to be able to spend a carefree evening, without problems, without work.
GIAN = But we are confident optimists by nature.
Clear that the situation is improving and we are realizing it.
IGNAZIO = But, I’m a bit more controversial. We hope to have some answers as soon as possible, not only for us, but also on behalf of all the people who work alongside us and behind us.
PIERO = And also for the people who buy tickets, because we have to regain people’s trust, give certainty to what they are buying.
After such a long but articulated interview, where very beautiful things and very profound concepts were expressed, what can I say ….. I have the impression that journalists have understood that, when they want to have interesting interlocutors, never banal , deep and sincere, if they call Il Volo, they know they will get all this.
Gianluca, Ignazio, Piero, I am deeply proud to be a fan of yours, not only from an artistic point of view, but also from a human one.
Thank you for being who you are!
And now, to finish, this beautiful video. ❤️
Credit to owners of all photos and videos.
Credit to owners of all photos and videos.
Today, we need to understand what it was like for the guys to come together, become Il Volo and start to understand the reality of stardom! But before we begin, let’s take a look at how the guys came to be called Il Volo.
In the beginning the idea of being one in three was something that the guys needed to learn about. They had to learn how to sing together. It was no longer this is your song, learn it and sing it. No, now it was, this is your part, your take, your phrase, learn it and sing it. They began to understand how music and recording actually worked. They were starting to learn about being three in the form of one. Sharing! And, if that wasn’t enough, they had to learn something even harder, how to get along with one another.
I’ve told you, in some of my stories, about the problems, the disagreements. These may seem unusual but in reality, they were not. You show me three teenage boys who can be thrown together and just immediately like one another and totally agree with one another. No, that won’t happen.
Ignazio said: “We were only three kids accompanied by our parents. We still did not know each other well. At the beginning I immediately started to connect with Piero. Perhaps because he is Sicilian like me and maybe because we always found the opportunity to make jokes and have fun.”
Gianluca said; “I was very shy and a little insecure but also a little immature and too instinctive
In quarrels, for example, maybe it happened that I also answered in an annoying way because I was the one, I felt at that time, and I could not wait until then. Piero, for example, took some good kicks from me. I threw a pizza, at Ignazio, in front of the Universal Canadian official in a restaurant in Montreal. The shrimp flew off the pizza and hit the official of Universal, I mean really.”
These were some of the obstacles. Some would easily be resolved and, some would take a long time and a lot of trust to overcome.
In 2009 – 2010 during the recording of their first album, the guys still did not have a “real” name. After Ti Lascio una Canzone, they were given the name Tre Tenorini, because they resembled Luciano Pavarotti (Ignazio, for the waistline). Jose Carreras (Gianluca, for the elegance, says Torpedine) and Plácido Domingo (Piero, for the tenor voice).
Tre Tenorini, no, that was never going to work. First off, they aren’t three tenors. As you know they are a baritone, a lyrical tenor and a spinto tenor. So, a new name would have to be found. Easy, no not at all. Let’s listen to what guys had to say about choosing a name.
Piero begins: “Sometimes finding a name is much more complicated than it may seem. We did not even believe that we would continue to sing, imagine if we thought we needed a name. Do you know that at one point they wanted to call us La Scala?”
Ignazio continues: “At that time when we were looking for a name and we couldn’t find one, we were recording We Are the World 25 for Haiti. It was the beginning of February 2010, and we called ourselves The Tryo, which we then used as guests at the second evening of the Sanremo Festival. A week later, we sang in front of Queen Rania of Jordan, and that is when we translated it to, Il Trio.
Gianluca said: “The problem of the name? It was one of those impossible marketing missions: it had to be short and easy to pronounce in practically all the world. For example, there is a group called Il Divo, and they also sing a genre similar to ours, and Il Divo was just the kind of name we wanted: short, easy to pronounce and also very international, because it has a clear meaning to everyone.
And that’s why the name La Scala came out. Elettra Morini, the wife of Tony Renis, had proposed it. Elettra, who was a dancer there, told her husband: ‘Why do you not call them La Scala? Surely everyone in the world knows La Scala.’
Ignazio interrupts: “And then, there was the question that they called us the Lyric, La Scala, La Scala. We chewed on it a little but, it did not convince us.”
Piero tells us that everyone was involved in this project….
“But who was looking for the name? All of us: the three of us, Michele, our parents, whoever belonged to our family or, our working group said a name, two or three, and it was written on a list. That list had become worse than a telephone list: we got to more than five hundred proposals.
This thing of the name was becoming a joke. We were going to record the album, make a meeting, or engage in anything else and, we ended up talking about this name, but we never got the right idea. In the end, one day out of the blue, a gentleman working from Michele, Stefano, says: ‘Il Volo.’”
Ignazio says, “IL VOLO? What about IL VOLO? IL VOLO? It began to turn in the air (ha ha) and so the birth of Il Volo.”
And just when it seemed the decision was made to choose Il Volo, another problem arose.
“But then we discovered that there had already been a group by this name in 1974, composed of Mario Lavezzi, Vince Tempera, Alberto Radius, Bob Callero, Gabriele Lorenzi and Gianni Dall’Aglio. It was a collaboration that lasted a year and a half and had gathered all of the best musicians. But now we liked the name, so we decided to keep it. Also, because it immediately seemed to us a good omen to fly, to take flight, get up in the air.
But we risked a little.
Think if this project did not start, if we were not really able to ‘take off,’ do you imagine how they would have made fun of us? ‘The Flight takes off? No, Il Volo has crashed!’ At that point, we had the CD, the name also and we left for the States.”
After a week in the States visiting Miami and Los Angeles, they returned to Italy. By May 2010, things began to change.
Piero recalls: “We too began to understand that something was only changing when our first record came out.”
Ignazio remembers: “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 in which the guys appeared in America was American Idol, the world’s most famous music talent show.
The guys certainly took America by storm and slowly also many other countries in the world.
Ignazio begins to explain the reality of it…
“In a few months I found myself having traveled the world, from Europe to the Americas, from Asia to Oceania. From 2010 to 2013 we traveled like crazy, without ever stopping. In three years, I have not been home for five months.
In 2013 at the end of the American tour the guys found themselves at the door of Latin America and their South American Tour.
First stop Guadalajara, Mexico. And what better way to begin than on October 4, 2013, Ignazio’s 19th birthday!
Here Come the Fans
Gianluca recalls how the South American Tour began…
“In five years, we have done a lot of concerts, we have been in a lot of places and, I absolutely agree with Piero when he says that it is difficult to remember everything, that things have followed so quickly that they seem confused, sometimes I almost forget. However, if I stop and think about it there are flashes that come to mind, for example the 2013 tour in South America.
One of the first things I remember is Ignazio’s birthday in Messio, on the evening of the first concert of the tour.
We arrived at the hotel that was a bit in the middle of nowhere, in Guadalajara. Here we met for the first time our drummer, Salvatore Corazza. There was a huge garden and we started playing soccer.
The most special thing about Ignazio’s birthday was that we celebrated with fans. And speaking of fans, there I lost my password for Instagram and, I started to go crazy because it is very important to keep in touch with the Volovers.
“At the beginning, in South America, we realized we were really famous only when we arrived and, the fans were in front of the hotel waiting for us. But it happened slowly, slowly. Slowly, relatively slowly, month after month. Because two months before we were in Argentina and there were twenty fans, the next one there were a hundred, the one after there were three hundred, and then a thousand, two thousand. Now the situation is unbelievable if you have not experienced it, you will not believe it because we are with bodyguards twenty-four hours a day. It’s another world.
I remember in Peru, in Lima, we land, we get off the plane and there were already bodyguards at the baggage claim. Usually, they are waiting for us after the baggage claim, two of them come to the entrance and two of them come to the exit to escort us.
Here seven, eight bodyguards arrive directly at the baggage claim. I did not understand. Why, for us? I thought of the fans, but it was the first time we went to Peru, it was really impossible that it was. Now imagine a glazed sliding door, at the airport and you cannot see the other side. Imagine that you have just picked up your baggage, you approach the door, the bodyguard puts you next to the door and the door opens and … you find yourself in front of a wall, a wall of girls, all one above the other screaming, a single scream, something that stuns.
We were in our cars and, they followed us with taxis. The taxi drivers overcame us like crazy, with the girls hanging out of the windows that sounded trumpets, waving flags. We spent three months of our year this way.”
“And, instead, do you remember Cuernavaca? It was 2013, I remember that we went in the room of Jerry di Pirro, who was our tour manager, to listen to Sade’s music. I remember the white curtains and a terrible heat, in the evening, the pool …”
“… the insects! In that hotel I remember that I entered the room, we were in the middle of the forest and the white ceiling was completely covered with insects. My father and I spent half the evening crushing mosquitoes and other little animals with slippers.
Then I remember my father talking to the Mexicans while he cooked me pasta. Because before singing, three hours before, I always eat a hundred grams of tomato and basil spaghetti. I love that moment.
He comes in the dressing room, brings me the spaghetti made by him (we bring the packages from home). And that year he started explaining to the Mexicans how spaghetti tomato and basil was cooked.
It was a tour de force, from one day to the other air travel throughout South America, but dad was always with me. One morning I woke up in Guatemala, I look at my dad and say: ‘Dad, what should we do today?’
‘We have to leave for another city.’
‘When is the concert? Tomorrow?’
‘No, tonight! And go! Let’s start.’
That is the real passion: come without force but go forward. Only passion kept me standing.”
“Now I do not know, maybe we would not do it this way anymore.”
“However, Gianlu’ this year in July we have gone thirty hours on flights for appearances on TV in the United States. I went back to Detroit with that heat and the album to finish and the tour to do.”
Ignazio recalls opening his mouth and, nothing comes out…
“I tried to sing and, my voice does not come out, there is nothing to do, it does not come out.
I only know that when I finished that tour in South America I was nicknamed ‘Ignazio the tank’ by myself: I had done twenty concerts with bronchitis.
The worst was in Caracas, Venezuela, six thousand five hundred people, at seven in the evening: soundcheck.
Let’s start with the first song. I try to sing and, my voice does not come out, there is nothing to do, it does not come out. And here comes the most total panic, we stopped the soundcheck, the production calls a doctor and, I was punctured with Bentelan.
In short, for a month and half I sang only thanks to the cortisone and breathing technique that our teacher Sergio Bertocchi taught us.”
“Our because he is also my teacher.
But maybe only say master. Sergio Bertocchi is the person who helped me most in singing, the one that solves my doubts and my problems. If I enter a lesson with a doubt, I go out and I am another Piero, happy and relaxed.
And he never leaves me alone: even outside of Italy, we do lessons on Skype, we solve doubts and problems on the phone.
When I thought that in the Grande Amore tour, I would have liked to sing an air of an opera, Bertocchi told me: ‘You can do it very well, but you have to study a lot.’ And so, I did. For me, the study is fundamental, commitment and study.
Between May and June 2015, every time we were in Bologna to record ‘L’amore Si Mouve,’ I went to my teacher from 8 to 10 am (then at 10:30 am I went into the recording studio) and studied with him ‘E Lucevan le Stelle,’ the aria of Giacomo Puccini’s Tosca that I sang during the tour.
It was tiring, but there’s nothing like seriously engaging in something to feel at peace with oneself. Or at least for me.
And you do not know how important it is to have an experienced a person like Sergio Bertocchi to guide you.”
“I know for sure, that without his breathing exercises I do not know how I would have sung. Without a voice I was completely out of it.”
Piero jokes with Ignazio….
“Eh, Igna’, but the voice, you had in that interview!
It was March 2013 we were in Argentina at the famous Los 5 edicion broadcast of QMusica TV. In practice the program works like this. The guest says something about himself and, between a piece and the other part of his story, presents a video of a song he likes, for a total of five videos.
What was the problem? In the meantime, we spoke Spanish and sometimes we were wrong, so we stopped the recording and got it back. So, Ignazio was already a bit tired out, let’s say.
But the worst thing is that in Argentina they do not have the Volo V, they have the B, they say ‘Il Bolo.’
And one, and two, and three, always ‘Il Bolo.’ At that point, Ignazio begins to correct the guy who was in the studio and repeating to us the things to say, and once, and twice, and three: ‘Il Volo, it is said Il Volo, V!’
Until the guy in the studio runs off of new ‘Il Bolo’ and Ignazio starts with a string of bad words in precise Sicilian that are still today immortalized in the off-wave.”
“Eh, however, guys, we are serious people, now. And, I have made a commitment to write.
Where were we? Oh yes. The end of the Latin American tour.
Christmas 2013 was approaching and, the record company wanted to come out with a record of Christmas songs. So Universal decided to complete the EP that came out two years ago with just five Christmas songs.
So, after the Latin American tour we started promoting the Christmas album.
My house began to fail me. Being four months away, changing cities, hotels and planes almost every day is not easy. From the age of sixteen, finding yourself catapulted into a world that was completely different from the one I was used to, was not a simple thing to manage. At first no, actually the first two years I thought ‘What a beautiful life!’ Then I realized that all that glitters is not gold.
To get satisfaction and achieve the goals you have set for yourself, you have to give up many things and, work hard. Stay focused on your work. It’s not easy.
Many people ask: ‘But these guys never get tired?’ Well, yes, we get tired too, sometimes. Personally, there was a time when I thought only of friends. I wanted to go out, I never answered the phone, the emails, the messages, I was out of this world.
It was thanks to my family, to the boys and to Michele that I realized that I was neglecting what was always important for me: the music.”
Gianluca agreeing with Ignazio continues….
“True, Ignazio is right. It was not easy then and, neither is it now.
In those years, in 2012 and 2013, no one knew us in Italy, we were just the three children who had come from Ti Lascio Una Canzone.
But in America, in South America, in Europe we were very well known. And not only there! After the release of our first CD, we went on tour even in places that none of us could have imagined we would go to: Australia, Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan and New Zealand. In Singapore we also had a gold record with that first CD.
In 2012 we arrived in Norway, one of the few European countries that we had not yet touched. We participated in the concert dedicated to the Nobel Peace Prize – that year went to the European Union – in Oslo. A fantastic evening that allowed us to meet Gerard Butler and Sarah Jessica Parker, who were the presenters, and an artist like Kylie Minogue.
And then, in 2014 we were in Moscow twice, once guests in a concert by Toto Cugno and once with a concert of our own, and at the beginning of 2015 we were in Beijing, guests of a TV program for the Chinese New Year.
So, before Sanremo, we lived two lives, two completely different lives. Abroad we were stars and, we came to Italy to rest. I took refuge in Montepagano, Piero in Naro, Ignazio in Marsala. It was nice to come back to a ‘normal’ life.
We felt that something was missing, that it was bad to be so successful outside of our country and not be able to have it in Italy.”
So, they learned very early on to understand what it meant to live two lives. And to experience The Reality of Stardom.
Join me next week as I go back Through the Fields of My Mind and open the door to a new adventure!
If you would like to share a story with me, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
To read more Il Volo stories visit us at www.ilvoloflightcrw.com
*Excerpts from Il Volo, Un’avventura straordinaria, La nostra storia.
Credit to owners of all photos and videos.
A few days ago a short video was published that reports some questions (perhaps asked by the fans) to which Il Volo answered.
I believe they were made before the tribute concert at the Arena.
These are a handful of questions, but it’s nice to see how Piero, Ignazio and Gianluca react and make fun of each other!
The comment accompanying the video is:
“Here we are, with unexpected questions, sincere answers, laughter and curiosity.”
Part 1 (so it is assumed that there will be more short videos like that.)
I translate for you:
QUESTION = Can you tell me about an event that has remained close to your heart, which happened with your fans?
PIERO = NO
QUESTION = Have you ever changed or forgotten the lyrics of a song?
IGNAZIO = Do you know how many times we have forgotten the words during a concert !!
PIERO = It was a piece in French, TUS LES VISAGES DE L’AMOUR …. and I forgot the words, I didn’t remember anything.
QUESTION = Who often forgets their socks?
PIERO = Him (and points to Ignazio)
IGNAZIO = Who, I? It’s Gianluca!
GIANLUCA = Me ?? You! (points to Ignazio)
IGNAZIO = Me? You! (points to Piero) 😁😁😁
QUESTION = Favourite song?
IGNAZIO = As of today, with the project we are doing: YOUR LOVE.
QUESTION = A ritual you do before a concert?
IGNAZIO = One of the things we often do is shake hands, (he joins his hands) like this.
QUESTION = Favorite movie?
IGNAZIO = THE TRUMAN SHOW
PIERO = No! NUOVO CINEMA PARADISO.
GIANLUCA = GOOD WILL HUNTING, with Robin Williams
This photo, published on the official page of Il Volo, informs us that on 9 September, Il Volo will be present in the Arena di Verona, at the Seat Music Awards event, an event where all the artists who have achieved their goals are awarded and certainly Il Volo. will be present for the Gold Record obtained with the sales of the 10-year CD.
Well, it is an event full of artists and music and very popular with young people, we will hear that song (usually only one) presents Il Volo.
The photo is accompanied by this comment:
“Hello #ilvololovers, we are delighted to inform you that this year we will participate in the #SeatMusicAwards at the Verona Arena and we can’t wait.
It is always a great honor for us to sing in the suggestive atmosphere of the Arena!
See you in September!”
Another very nice video starring Gianluca, was published by visitRoseto.it.
It is entitled Gianluca Ginoble-Multimedia tourist guide of Roseto degli Abruzzi, and in fact, who better than Gianluca, so proud of his land, can highlight the beauties of Montepagano?
In addition, the Belvedere is very close to his home.
I translate for you:
We are certainly in one of the most beautiful places on the Adriatic coast.
I am biased, however, we are in Montepagano, in the Belvedere, the place where I grew up and looking out from here certainly helps to appreciate the true meaning of life.
Being able to look at the sea from afar and appreciate the sound of the sea waves, this wonderful sound that is like music.
I grew up on music, and as maestro Ennio Morricone said “from silence great works of art are born”.
So I invite you to be here and to look out from this wonderful place, to really be able to appreciate the good things in life, music and the sea, which have one great thing in common, are a great work of art.
Very good Gianluca and to lend you for these relaunch messages of your country, it does you honor.
The Tokyo 2020 Olympics have just ended, but we could not show you this nice video of a Mexican gymnast, Rut Castillo, performing her rhythmic gymnastics exercise with the ribbon on the well-known notes of El Triste, sung by Il Volo!!
And now let’s see what our three have posted.
In early August, they went to Milan, to Sony and then to do a photo shoot, perhaps for the new CD?
Here are the photos posted by those who took care of their appearance.
It’s also vacation time and let’s find out where our young men are.
Ignazio is always the one who publishes very little, his few photos are almost always published by others, he almost never publishes.
Here he is again at a wedding.
Piero remained in his Sicily, often photographed in Taormina.
Here, Piero with his sister Mariagrazia.
With his friend Dario Mirabile.
Surely the most prolific of photos and videos is undoubtedly Gianluca.
Here he is driving a luxurious convertible car, which I believe is not his?
(Click on photo below to hear Gianluca singing Fly Me to the Moon)
Maybe the car was used for the cousin’s wedding?
And then Gianluca, with his inevitable twin friends, allows himself a nice sport trip in the Tirino valley.
The Tirino river valley is a beautiful green lung, rich in history, nature and culture.
It is the heart of Abruzzo.
Gianluca says: “We have to take a picture, these are indelible moments.”
That’s it Gian !!
Beautiful places, but what an effort, in the end, a well-deserved rest!
And then, also for Gianluca, a few days in the beautiful Taormina!
It is also a good opportunity to attend the Rigoletto, the Ancient Theater, an opera directed by Placido Domingo.
Gianluca in the midst of two interpreters of Rigoletto. On the left, his friend Dave Monaco, who is also part of the Torpedine stable.
And so, after some effort and a lot of fun, we have reached August 15th.
Once, here in Italy, it was the only day of vacation for those who worked, today it is considered the culmination of summer: Ferragosto (literally means August grilled, that is very hot), this is the name of the feast of August 15th.
This year it is really very hot, in Sicily there was the highest temperature in Europe, almost 120 ° Faherenheit, and unfortunately there were also many fires.
There are infections of the Delta variant on the rise, but since there are so many vaccinated, the situation is under control there are no problems, for now, in hospitals.
August 15 is also the feast of the Assumption, a religious holiday, very much felt here.
So: Happy Ferragosto to all: Daniela
Credit to owners of all photos and videos.
Saturday 19 June, on RAI 2, a beautiful interview made with Il Volo, in the FELICITÀ (Happiness) program conducted by Pascal Vicedomini, was broadcast.
The RAI press office only notified us the day before this interview, so few knew, but surely the videos have already been published on all Facebook pages (what we fans can do) and therefore, I bet you’re wondering what our guys said, so here’s the video and the translation.🤗
I warn you that it is a very long interview, but very interesting, and therefore I will proceed by dividing it into two parts.
So here’s the first part, up to 27:03.
PIERO = Happiness for me is every day. Because I found that inner balance. In the particular year we lived, I took advantage of it, thanks to the people who support me, like my family and friends, and I found that inner balance that makes me enjoy life. I enjoy life every day.
PV = What is happiness for you? (to Gianluca)
GIANLUCA = I believe this certainly – the support of the family, do what you love, live from your passion, make it a job, and be serene, feel good about yourself.
Happiness is a moment. The moments of pain help you to face life, to form that armor that allows you to face life in the best way. That inner serenity is surrounding yourself with people that allow you to be a better person.
PV = For you, Ignazio?
IGNAZIO = Happiness, in the end, is just a word.
Surely as they say, feeling good about yourself can be a cause for happiness, but the most important thing is to create it, and it’s very subjective, I think.
(start the theme song of the program)
PV = Happiness. But who is happier than me today, who are together with three ex-kids, whom I met who were really at the beginning and have become international stars: Ignazio, Pietro and Gianluca.
PIERO = Piero, Piero (Pascal said Pietro).
PV = Piero, sorry, sometimes I make a mistake.
PIERO = Pascal, we are very happy anyway.
GIAN= But the grandfather’s name is Pietro, so you paid him a compliment anyway.
PV = (to Piero) But do you celebrate St. Peter and Paul? (the name day).
PIERO = Yes, of course.
PV = So, it was a little mistake.
GIAN = You knew us as children, now we are almost men … almost men.
PV = And what guys, three young music legends, three seducers …
GIAN = Indeed ….. but all these compliments ….
PV = I almost feel like an intruder in your world
IGNAZIO = We met, really at the beginning of our journey. (career)
In Los Angeles, right?
PV = How not !!
IGNAZIO = We shared those moments, even a little strange for fourteen-fifteen-year-olds, being in parties with the biggest stars in the world.
PV = I remember, guys, they arrived in Los Angeles and were immediately catapulted into a mega galactic party, greeted by: Schwarzenegger, Sean Penn, Puff Daddy, Quincy Jones, Beyoncé, Cindy Crawford …
IGNAZIO = Cindy Crawford I remember her well!
GIAN = I remember her too ….
PIERO = The particular thing, do you know what Pascal was? To go home and tell our friends what we had experienced, and it was impossible (because they would not believe).
PV = Those are the first moments when you begin to understand that something is changing.
(the video of the Sanremo victory starts)
PV = (voice) Gianluca Ginoble, Piero Barone, Ignazio Boschetto, aka IL VOLO, three young excellences of contemporary bel canto in the world, three constantly evolving talents, who have already seduced the audiences of many countries far and wide for the planet.
Three guys put together to break through the myth of the three tenors par excellence: Pavarotti, Carreras and Domingo and who in some way are keeping up with the expectations of the many people who believed in them, from the very beginning.
Three brilliant witnesses of pure Italianness that strikes, fascinates and seduces, so much so that it gradually becomes a global phenomenon.
Three witnesses of the restart of the music industry and of the Italian live entertainment, and who recently seduced the national television audience with the record concert at the Verona Arena, in homage to maestro Ennio Morricone. Event that arranged them in a good mood, on the occasion of our “reunion” between friends.
PV = Ignazio, when did you realize that your life was changing?
IGNAZIO = But maybe we haven’t noticed today yet, because fortunately, and I say fortunately, we live things with simplicity, always trying to put music, our passion, in the foreground.
Then, it is normal, there are many responsibilities, we are no longer kids, where there is the novelty of three kids who have an important voice, an adult voice, so now is the time to work, to develop new ideas. With our manager Michele Torpedine, we always try to renew ourselves, we lock ourselves in a room for days to understand what is the best thing, the next step to take.
There was the Arena di Verona, and we are already thinking about another project, so we must never stop.
PV = About the Arena, a great recent triumph, we will talk very soon, but let’s go back a little to the beginning.
(the video of O Sole Mio, starts)
PV = (voice) It was 2009 when three provincial kids, with an extraordinary voice, two Sicilians, Piero and Ignazio and one from Abruzzo, Gianluca, made their debut on the RAI stage in “TI LASCIO UNA CANZONE,” a program by Antonella Clerici, directed by Roberto Cenci, who, in meeting the three “child prodigies”, immediately came up with the brilliant idea of putting them together.
R. CENCI = I followed the casting directly and in this second edition, I found these three guys and took them individually, because I got Ginoble because he had a voice very similar to Bocelli, not as a tenor, but when he sang normally. Ignazio had what I called “canna” (high tones) and Piero was the only one I had doubts about, whether to take it or not, because he was really a “tenorino” (small tenor) and the year before I had already had a boy with the tenor voice.
In the end, after two or three episodes, I spoke with Bibi (Bibi Ballandi, Italian TV producer) and I said:
“Look, I have an idea, I want to bring them together and call them – Tenorini – to make the beautiful songs, the Italian bel canto.”
It was an immediate, incredible success.
He called Tony Renis and said, “Guys, but these three are very strong, in my opinion in America, they could win,” and I said, “In my opinion, the only one who can help them in this sense is you, if you want I can put you in contact with the families,” and in short, from there, let’s say that he accompanied them in what is their journey under full sail.
(the video of THE WORLD begins)
PV = (voice) Launching three very young Italian tenors into the world seemed an impossible mission, but considering the previous successes of producer Tony Renis, who for the occasion wanted, at all costs, at his side, the former manager of Bocelli, Michele Torpedine, the operation was a challenge to attempt.
Especially since together with the lawyer Peter Lopez, mister “Quando Quando” (Tony Renis) , he convinced the legendary Italian-American colleague Jimmy Lovine, to make an album with the Italian “tenorini”, very different from the rappers he launched, as a tribute to its Ischian origins.
And so it was that the three boys found themselves in Hollywood, among the elite of showbiz.
It was February 2010, on the eve of the Grammy Awards, or the Oscars of music.
PV = Gianluca: this first experience in America.
GIAN = It is a great emotion, we hope it is a starting point, because it is an incredible thing to be in America.
PV = Ignazio: in the footsteps of the great masters who made the history of world music, here in Los Angeles.
IGNAZIO = Being with Tony is beautiful, we have fun, we spend beautiful days together.
PV = (to Piero) You are already preparing an album, which will soon be released, also made with Umberto Gatica, therefore: Tony Renis, Umberto Gatica, Torpedine, one team …..
PIERO = Really strong, we get along very well with them, we communicate with them and we express ourselves well with them.
(start the video of UN AMORE COSÌ GRANDE – Live The Americana)
T. RENIS = Very strong, they are conquering the United States. The Americans are going crazy for these three kids, who are phenomena. They sing, they sing, really, they know how to sing.
(start the video WE ARE THE WORLD 25 FOR HAITI)
PV = (voice) That trip to Los Angeles, with their uncle Tony Renis in 2010, marked the turning point for Gianluca, Ignazio and Piero, in fact, the famous producer, also managed to convince his old friend-colleague Quincy Jones to let his three new ones enter as pupils, in the video in favor of Haiti, which re-proposed WE ARE THE WORLD by Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie.
TORPEDINE = It was a great dream, also because I came from a long experience of Andrea Bocelli, after 16 years, let’s say it was easier for me to continue this discussion.
PV = What place do Il Volo occupy in international music today?
TORPEDINE = I believe that after Andrea Bocelli, who clearly today we are talking about a monument, we are no longer talking only about an artist, immediately afterwards, they are there, because they are present in all countries of the world, as a publication, as a live, as a performance . Today Il Volo, together with Andrea, clearly Andrea becomes almost unattainable, because the recording market today is almost infinite, in general, but on the live part, they have the same capacities, in some countries, in others they don’t, but let’s say they occupy a huge space.
GIAN = Let’s say that, certainly the novelty was that, as Ignazio said, of three children singing pop-lyric, because it was the first time, so let’s say that from this point of view, we have always tried to be unique, and to propose to the public, to the people who follow us, something different.
Then, it is clear that over time, it is necessary to demonstrate and consolidate success, because being the novelty, it is also easy to be a meteor, therefore, as Ignazio said, sorry if I repeat myself, we must renew ourselves, with hard work, with constancy, with sacrifices and always staying on track, this is important. I must say that there is not only a working relationship, but also our friendship has been consolidated over time, and this helps us to be cohesive, strong and to develop ideas that allow us to renew ourselves.
RED RONNIE = I want for them, a good of the soul, because even if they joined almost by chance, Piero, Ignazio and Gianluca, they have three totally different personalities, who together have a crazy cohesion, so much so that they have invaded the world.
I hope they enjoy the happiness they deserve and are experiencing, because …… because they are still spontaneous, they still have the desire to see with their eyes what happens and, this is important, also with the heart. They are perfect when they are elegant, at the Verona Arena or on an important stage, or when they are like this, a little “discarded” when they come into my programs and let themselves go. Because they are three guys, very lucky, and very alive.
PV = (voice) Red Ronnie says well, three very different guys, who complement each other on stage, three particular characters, united by their common talent and love for music: Piero the professor, Ignazio the philosopher and Gianluca the seducer, two Sicilians and an Abruzzese.
After all, they are three young people of today with the ancient passion for opera, to be merged with pop, a characteristic that makes them fascinating in a transversal way to the different civilizations crossed in their first twelve years of common career in the world.
The result of the intelligence of the Italian province, which over the years has established itself, not only in music, but in every sector of society, as the journalist and writer points out: Pierangelo Buttafuoco.
P. BUTTAFUOCO = It is up to the village boy to “take flight”. If that of IL Volo is the story, or rather the novel, or better still the epic, of those who, like the guys, know how to go away.
Because the commandment given to the country guys is always the same, and it is this: “Who goes out, succeeds” (pun to say that whoever leaves the country, succeeds, that is, is successful, in life), and said in Sicilian it becomes: “cu nesci, arriesci”.
ANTONELLA BORALEVI (writer-journalist) = What is special about Il Volo?
Meanwhile, this name, because already hearing it, this name, takes you somewhere else, and then the fact that, we never say Il Volo, but we say “the boys of Il Volo”. I think that the three members of Il Volo group will have to get used to being called “boys” even when they are 70 years old.
But above all I would like to thank them, the guys from Il Volo, because they have the characteristic of giving joy. The guys from Il Volo put you in a good mood. The guys from Il Volo, you look at them and you feel better, you listen to them and you hum them and you feel better. So, as they say: go go go, guys from Il Volo and thank you for the joy you give us.
PV = (voice) All mad per Il Volo, it could be the title of a docu-film about the life of the three boys who continue to reap successes and attract fans of all ages, especially women, in the many countries already visited by three young people, they enchant the spectators and seduce, in particular, the fair sex, with their typical Italian charm. That’s right, it was for Pavarotti, it is for Andrea Bocelli, it is for Gianluca, Ignazio and Piero, of whom also three collaborators of Milly Carlucci have an excellent opinion and who had the pleasure of training Il Volo, for a special episode of Dancing with the stars.
OB = (dance teacher). Piero dancer mmmmhhh. Piero dancer, determined, very stubborn, I remember that he always wanted to try the steps, always perfect the rhythm. Obviously: he Sicilian and I Sicilian, we had a great time, I have wonderful memories, both of Piero and of the whole group. We had a lot of fun in our beautiful tango.
LL = (dance teacher) Gianluca dancer was a real discovery. But I think that in the tango, it was really exceptional, because in reality it represents it a little. Tango is very technical, and in my opinion Gianluca is precise, like tango, like all professionals, on the other hand. He is sensual, mysterious, captivating and intriguing, but above all, tango is elegance, and he is a very, very elegant person, and this is a gift that few people have, and that distinguishes him above all.
MG = (dance teacher). Ignazio was a great revelation and certainly as a dancer he was exceptional that evening at Dancing under the stars, when we did the tango together and I must say that it was really nice to see how, in a short time, this guy really learned the main things, of this dance, which was the tango. He tried to really express himself 100% and I was really very proud and proud and happy to have danced this dance with him.
R. RONNIE = Happiness could be …. such a wonderful place, surrounded by nature, relaxation. But you are missing something, you miss sharing it with the person you love, and then happiness is not living a beautiful thing, but sharing it.
Happiness is giving to others, it is giving, making people feel good. For me, happiness is giving space to artists, emerging groups, giving a voice to those who don’t have it.
In the end, we remain, for what we have given, not for what we have had, so happiness is giving.
(There are some scenes with Pavarotti)
PV = (voice) The myth of Luciano Pavarotti, after the docu-masterpiece of the Oscar winner Ron Howard, hovers in the dreams of all of us and above all in those of Piero Barone, Ignazio Boschetto and Gianluca Ginoble, alias Il Volo, who during the years they also managed to make friends with the friends and colleagues of a thousand adventures of Big Luciano (Pavarotti), the Spanish tenors Josè Carreras and Plácido Domingo. Especially with the latter who, as an indomitable lion, has also granted his three grandchildren (Il Volo) the honor of stepping on the same stage.
But what does it feel like to follow in the footsteps of three legends, who started the history of opera-pop? Feel the thought of Il Volo about it.
PIERO = The three tenors, Pavarotti, Domingo and Carreras, were the three who cleared opera, classical music, outside the theater and brought it to the general public.
Let’s say that we are trying to follow, humbly, without emulating the three tenors, we are trying not to let this music die, which will never end, because classical music, the classical term, is synonymous with eternal.
We were in Florence, in Piazza Santa Croce, it was not a normal evening, it was a Magic Night, in fact it was the title of that project that we have taken on tour everywhere.
Clearly when we conceive a project, if there is no trust on the part of someone, there is no encouragement. When the idea of doing the Tribute to the Three Tenors was born, there was the foundation of Pavarotti who supported this idea, many messages with Josè Carreras, but the maestro Plácido Domingo did us the honor …..
IGNAZIO = Besides, he is a great friend of ours!
PIERO = ……he did us the honor of accepting our invitation, coming to Florence, conducting and singing that repertoire with us, so having his support gave us so much strength.
GIAN = I would also like to add that we have just done the concert at the Arena di Verona, the Tribute to Morricone, and there too, as Piero said, there was support, and of course it continues to be there for this recording project that will be released soon, by maestro Andrea Morricone and the whole Morricone family.
So this gives us that encouragement Piero was talking about.
PV = I must tell you that at this moment I am having a bit of the chills, because the first part of my artistic career began in the myth of Luciano Pavarotti, Josè Carreras, and Placido Domingo, I have followed them, ever since in 1990, together with maestro Zubin Mehta, they trod the Caracalla stage for a concert on the occasion of the Italia 90 World Cup, and from that moment, I understood the power of Luciano Pavarotti, and his two Spanish friends, to go and communicate the great international music, but above all Italian.
Finding myself today, with three very young friends, Italians, who are on that road, frankly, gives me, on the one hand, the feeling that I am getting a little old, on the other hand the joy of seeing that Maestro Pavarotti has drawn a really important road that you guys are following very well, isn’t it Ignazio?
IGNAZIO = Look, I tell you the truth, even with this Morricone project, we never wanted to be a copy of something, we want to try to be the means, to ensure that this music is never forgotten.
We are moving towards an era where the music changes every year, the charts change.
GIAN = (says in English) This legacy will never die, you know?
PV = You understand, the boy from Abruzzo who now speaks with an English slang!
PV = Piero, at this moment I have a flash, I remember a magnificent summer evening, in Piazza del Popolo (Rome) with the master Ennio Morricone who directed you in that wonderful song E PIÙ TI PENSO . In those days we celebrated the 150th anniversary of the unification of Italy, it was your first great performance, face to face with the legend of legends, the master Morricone.
PIERO = The first meeting with master Morricone, took place in the FORUM studios in Rome, in 2010 during the recording of our first album.
We were just recording E PIÙ TI PENSO and the master was passing through the studios and came in to listen, so he was the first to listen to our work.
We, fourteen, fifteen, still did not realize the importance, the greatness of the master. When he listened to E PIÙ TI PENSO, he decided to conduct this song live, on the occasion of a concert in Piazza del Popolo …
IGNAZIO = 150 years of the Unification of Italy.
PIERO = ….. 150 years of the Unification of Italy.
Today, we are not ashamed to say it, we have realized the importance and prestige of that event.
PV = In fact, Ignazio, having reached personal success, having arrived at a personal encounter with the legends, you so young, did not immediately make you understand what magnificent world you had entered.
How do you relive the memory of these events today? We talked about We Are The World and then 150 years, and in any case you are still at the beginning of a prestigious career.
How do you relive those passages that have taken place in the international arena and that seemed so unimaginable?
IGNAZIO = Look, I try to be brief. I think they will be indelible memories, which we will never forget, perhaps in those times, thanks to naivety, we lived everything more serenely. But they will be memories that we cannot help but take with us, tell them to our children, our grandchildren. Surely a very important thing is that we have learned a lot from them, the experience with Barbra Streisand has taught us a lot. In the end, when you relate to artists and people, because they are mainly people, you learn humanity, you learn humility, you learn how much dedication they put into their work, how much effort, how many sacrifices, and therefore we only learned from them.
GIAN = And then, these experiences that we have lived, we feel three privileged, those experiences that, like pieces, form the personality and that give sensitivity, empathy. These strong emotions that we have lived together have been a continuous personal growth, which has allowed us, really, to experience these things at a young age, with a naivety and a beauty, with a purity and we are truly proud to have lived them together.
Being on stage together, knowing that there are companions … I look at them (Piero and Ignazio) and they have experienced things that not even our brothers or our parents can understand, because there is this union between us, which makes these things truly special.
I wanted to translate this long interview, because it seemed interesting to me.
I’m halfway through the work, there are still many interesting things.
Tell me if you want to find out what will be said in the second part and, with a little patience, that too will come.
Credit to owners of all photos and videos.