Tag Archives: Placido Domingo

Let the Magic Begin!

Everything that the guys do is magic! They make us happy every time they open their mouths. But there are moments that just blow us away!
2016-2017 were the years dedicated to the “Notte Magica” project, the tribute to the 1990 event of the Three Tenors.

IL VOLO and Placido Domino hug on the Firenze stage

On July 7, 1990, a magical night took place in Rome: Jose Carreras, Plácido Domingo and Luciano Pavarotti sang together for the first time in one of the most evocative temples of opera, the ancient Baths of Caracalla. This was the biggest classical music project of the 20th century.

Photo of the Three Tenors Plácido Domingo, Jose Carreras and Luciano Pavarotti from July 7, 1990 on stage in Rome

Twenty-six years later, Il Volo, paid tribute to the event and to the Three Tenors with a new album and a live concert event, “Notte Magica ~ A Tribute to The Three Tenors.”

 

The Il Volo concert took place on July 1st, 2016 at Piazza Santa Croce, one of the most beautiful plazas in Florence. They were joined by the famous Teatro Massimo di Palermo Orchestra. The guys performed some of the most famous Neapolitan songs and arias from the Italian and international operatic repertoire all of which were sung by the original Three Tenors.

Beautiful night time picture of the PIazza Santa Croce with the stage and audience lit up in red

Close up night time picture of the PIazza Santa Croce with the stage

Their special guest was Maestro Plácido Domingo. Maestro Domingo conducted almost half of the program and joined Il Volo singing the classic “Non ti scordar di me.” Although the guys were not born in 1990, they grew up listening to the three tenors.

Message to IL VOLO from Placido Domingo

They were fascinated and, inspired by their voices and legendary achievements. Now, the guys were sharing their music with a younger audience. This was a great opportunity for the younger generation to experience the same emotions as we did on that magical night 26 years earlier.

This was also the beginning of the world tour of “Notte Magica – A Tribute to The Three Tenors” which debuted on March 4th, 2017 at the Radio City Music Hall in New York. The show was sold out. After 15 stops in the United States, all sold out, the tour was extended to Europe from May 5th, 2017 for 29 performances and from September it extended to Latin America.

Photo of Radio City Musica hall lights

Some moments to remember along the way:
The Arias!
Ignazio was first with “Una Furtiva Lagrima.” 
In the aria “Una Furtiva Lagrima from L’elisir D’amore by Gaetano Donizetti, Ignazio makes you feel the innocents of Nemorino’s love for Adina. His warm graceful voice is very bright and strong with a smooth, clear and crisp dimension. He has an astonishingly, acute extension that leaves you breathless. He is exceptional because he can sing from the lowest to the highest note in the tenor range and, he can, easily, hit that high C. Waiting for it and knowing it’s going to happen is so exciting!  Ignazio only needs to open his mouth in song and passion exudes from his lips. He’s very expressive and simplistic in his presentation. He feels every note of every song and expresses it in a most sensitive way. You feel what he feels! The end result is a delivery full of passion that leads you to ecstasy!

Next came Gianluca singing “La Danza.”
“La Danza” by Gioachino Rossini, is actually a Neapolitan Tarantella which is used in comic opera because of its’ rapid succession of rhythm. It is really a tongue twister. The singer should have excellent enunciation, to sing the song to maximum effect and Gianluca certainly fits the bill. Gianluca’s highs and lows, his emotion and expression are superb. He has total command of the song. He has a very rich chest resonance which creates a feeling of depth and drama in his voice. It is exactly what is needed for this song. His ability to sing from the lowest to the highest note in the baritone range gives him the ability to move along with the rhythmic movement of the song. There are many videos of Gianluca singing La Danza but, I chose this one because he is so animated, so happy, he’s feeling the orchestra and he’s even leading them at one point. In the end, he had the time of his life with this performance. Maybe because he was at home in Abruzzi, enjoying it with his people! A difficult song, a beautiful delivery!
(Click on the photo below to view “La Danza”)

Gianluca smiling on stage after performing La Danza

And finally, Piero with “No Puede Ser.”
“No Puede Ser” from the opera La Tabernera del Puerto was composer by Pablo Sorozábal. Federico Romero and Guillermo Fernández-Shaw wrote the Spanish Libretto.
Piero’s voice really comes to life in this aria. He has the brightness and height of a lyric tenor, but with a heavier vocal weight enabling his voice to be “pushed” to dramatic climaxes with less strain than his lighter-voice counterparts. Every note that comes out of his mouth reaches you with such intensity and remains with you for a long time. It’s the voice that reaches out to you and demands your attention. From the first note Piero pierces your soul! His passion comes through in his music. Arias are very dramatic and, Piero brings all the drama of the aria into his performance. Always a showstopper!

 The Notte Magica tour, which followed included, in addition to opera tunes such as “Nessun Dorma”, “E Lucean le Stelle” and “Una Furtiva Lagrima”, there were famous songs in Spanish like “Granada” and “No Puede Ser.” There were pieces of traditional American songs like “My Way” (from the original French song “Comme d’habitude,” English lyrics by Paul Anka and made famous by Frank Sinatra) and “Maria” from the musical “West Side Story.” There were the traditional Neapolitan classics such as “Torna a Surriento”, “O Surdato nnammurato” and “O Sole Mio”. They also included romances like “Mattinata” and Italian songs such as “Caruso” by Lucio Dalla, which was a fantastic interpretation of the great Luciano Pavarotti. All of this is embellished with symphonic masterpieces performed only by the orchestra, such as the prelude of Bizet’s “Carmen” and the intermezzo of Mascagni’s “Cavalleria Rusticana” (my favorite opera).

(Nessun Dorma, the first Notte Magica in Florence,  the beginning of the video is shaky, but then continues well, live video recorded by Daniela)

Piero, Ignazio and Gianluca explained that their tour had a mission. That is to make known and appreciated the value of this repertoire even to those who have never listened to it before. And the intent seems perfectly successful because it was applauded by at least three generations.

Message to Placido Domingo from IL VOLO

The pearl of the evening “Ave Maria, Mater Misericordiae”, was an Ave Maria written specifically for Il Volo that they dreamed of performing for Pope Francis. The guys did in fact sing it, for the Holy Father, at World Youth Day in Panama City.

And to round it off, they ended the concert with “Grande Amore”!
When I was researching the material for this article, I found, in our archives, some beautiful emotions expressed by our Daniela from Flight Crew about the event in Piazza Santa Croce, and I would like to share them with you.
“The magic of that night was that no one knew what to expect! We all know that the boys have incredible voices, but when they started with the Nessun Dorma, I think all those present held their breath to the end.

IL VOLO and orchestra on the Firenze stage

‘Oh my God, it’s very difficult, I thought, and even the boys were very emotional. There was a palpable tension in the air.

Placido Domingo singing with IL VOLO on the Firenze stage

At the final note, we could not believe our ears, we all got up and applauded for a very long time. Teardrops fell from our eyes. They were very good, we were all very proud of them, and they were wringing their hands, hugging each other, moved by the success of the song.

Gianluca, Ignazio and Piero on the Firenze stage with Placido Domingo

The various songs went by fast and, the evening was beautiful. The muggy heat of the afternoon had given way to a nice evening temperature and Piazza Santa Croce was truly magnificent. Everyone present was very much involved.

Left to right: Gianluca, Ignazio and Piero on the Firenze stage

Between one song and another there were presentations made by the boys themselves, repeated twice, once in Italian and once in English and this was funny because Piero said‘Rewind everything and repeat because the grandmother in the front row has not heard well.’

There were also strange moments, because it was summer and it was hot and yet, because the CD would come out at Christmas, they also sang a Christmas song, which was not added on the CD.
And Gianluca occasionally said‘Congratulations, Merry Christmas!’

The boys were really elegant, and the stage was huge, with a large chandelier that came down from the roof and emanated lights of many colors.

Left to right: Gianluca, Ignazio and Piero singing on the Firenze stage

People reacted with enthusiastic applauses for their great affection, but also because they recognized the skill of our boys – Il Volo.”

Wide view of Gianluca, Ignazio and Piero singing on the Firenze with orchestrastage

Also in our archives was a description of the opening of the concert in Detroit, in the United States, which was written by our administrator at Flight Crew, Jana, and I would like to share it with you.
“The lights went down in the theatre, and they went up on the stage, a deep blue light created a reminiscent backdrop of the evening sky in Florence. The smoke machine started to create a subtle breeze in the air. A quiet hush fell over the audience as the orchestra members strolled out onto the stage. The crowd clapped politely. Then the maestro, Joseph Modica, came out; again, the crowd clapped. The lights changed from red, to blue, to purple, to teal, and back again, all night. Very similar to the Florence concert, actually. Joseph raised his hands and, the first notes of the violins could be heard resounding over the crowd. That song, that most of us had only heard on the CD or TV, was now playing live, right in front of us. The sing-songy violins spoke and the cellos and bass answered back to them. Soon, it was over. The audience cheered and clapped, knowing that what they were really waiting for was about to appear before their eyes. Seconds later, the Notte Magica truly began.”

Left to right: Gianluca, Ignazio and Piero singing on the Firenze stage

The concert, Notte Magica in Florence, was filmed and broadcast in the United States by the national television network PBS, and in Italy by Canale 5. It was also broadcast in over 500 cinemas in Italy and around the world.
Staying with Notte Magica for a moment….

The beautiful Firenze stage in Piazza Santa Croce with orchestra

Victoria, one of our Flight Crew members, sent in this beautiful video clip that her 90-year-old Il Volo fan friend sent to her!  Victoria was wondering who the woman with the dark hair was and what was the story behind this video?  So, when you want the facts, where do you go? To our faithful and ever ready Italian Correspondent Extraordinare, Daniela Perani, who gave us the tender story.
The story is simple. There are six children, 5 females and 1 male. The woman with the dark hair is their mother, who has made many sacrifices for them. Four years earlier, they lost their dad, who was a sailor. They were not wealthy and, they led simple lives. They were always cheerful and, their dad was always there for them. These children made a promise to their dad that they would take care of their mother, but for four years she was always so sad.

IL VOLO and the family from C’è Posta Per Te

The children wanted to do something to make their mother happy so, to show their love, they took her to the Maria De Filippi program, C’è Posta Per Te, which they knew she would like. Knowing how much she loved Il Volo, they called the guys to tell them about their mother. Piero, Ignazio, and Gianluca, gave her beautiful words of support, a bracelet, and sang for her. Then they invited the whole family to the concert in Rome.

In this video you will notice how touched she is and how she looks admirably at the boys as they sing. Her tears touched all of us!

Our journey this week showed us the magic of Il Volo. Something all their fans know about. The magic continued throughout the years. Such a short time but 12 years is like an eternity when we think about all they have done.
Soon we will hear our guys live at the Ancient Arena of Verona. The concerts will come back. All the sadness will soon be over and, we will “Let the Magic Begin” all over again.
So happy you are back on stage. It was lonely without you!
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:  susan.flightcrew@yahoo.com
To read more Il Volo stories visit us at www.ilvoloflightcrw.com

 

Credit to owners of all photos and videos.

 

NEWS AND FUN by Daniela

Ok, I admit that it is nice to start a post with good news and this is it, even if by now everyone will be aware of it: Gianluca has done the control swab and is no longer positive !!
Here is the selfie and message with which Gianluca gave the news.
“FINALLY NEGATIVE and optimistic.”
We are all happy with this and suppose it is the same for Ernie.
But next time Gianluca, send us a big smile, so we are happier.
A beautiful smile like this one below that you sent to your friend Marino Bartoletti, who published it with his comment:
“There are many friends who, out of gratitude or affection, wanted to send me the photo with LA CENA DEGLI DEI  (The Dinner of the Gods). I publish one that made me particularly happy: both because I love Gianluca very much, and because I can take advantage of it to hug him and wish him well. See you soon grandson.”
Always very nice our Marino Bartoletti, for him the boys are just like his grandchildren!

But Piero and Ignazio, where are they?
Rest reassured, the two of them are fine. Gianluca’s contagion occurred after the Christmas event, where everyone was in their own home.
Piero on January 21 posted this beautiful photo to wish Placido Domingo a happy birthday.

Furthermore, Dario Mirabile, a friend of Piero, publishes these hands,  undoubtedly of Piero, who performs the beautiful music of Morricone of Nuovo Cinema Paradiso, very sweet.
So the work on Morricone’s special continues!
As we all know, Ignazio is involved in the BOIN COLLECTION project, together with his friend, new father, Fabio Ingrassia.
Best wishes for this new project!

Another particularly  juicy bit of news, was this of a sharing in a song of the new Mario Biondi CD, it is the same Biondi who writes it:
In my new album “Dare” to be released on Friday 29 January, there will also be “Crederò” a song featuring Il Volo. 🤩 Are you curious?
Yes Mario, I am.
Who knows what you four have done together !!

But how beautiful is this photo below sent by Arena Live Official, which reminds us that  21 January was the day of hugs (I did not know), and comments on the photo:
“On World Hug Day, a hug from Il Volo at the Verona Arena
See you soon!
A presto!”
We are all with our fingers crossed in this wish!

How much we miss the warm hugs of Ignazio, Piero and Gianluca !!! ❤
A funny photo is this published by Sony, we could call it “A dive on the fly.”  At least the boys saved socks and shoes !!

Let’s go back a little bit in time …. 2017, I found this nice interview made by Prestige MJM, which is the agency that also deals with Il Volo concerts in Poland. Maybe not all of you have seen this interview and it is in English!
At the beginning the splendid images of Taormina, who has been to Taormina, surely recognize it. During the interview Piero, Ignazio and Gianluca will tell their ideal of female beauty.

And now we finish with a big smile, seeing this nice video of funny moments.
Buon Divertimento: Daniela 

 

!! NEWS NEWS !!

Today, Piero, Ignazio and Gianluca are reunited and at work with the necessary precautions !! Good job guys. 😀

Credit to owners of all photos and video.

MOMENTS TO REMEMBER by SUSAN

Over the last seven months I’ve been writing about the lives of Piero, Ignazio and Gianluca from the day they were born to the present day.  As I wrote each story, there were certain highlights in some stories that I thought should be put aside and revisited in another article. These were, what I consider, Moments to Remember.

If I asked you “What would you consider to be a memorable moment in the career of Il Volo?” I’m sure you could come up with at least 10 if not 50 moments. So, I needed to take these moments and decide what I thought were the most memorable and I actually got it down to 13 memorable events.

So where do we begin? Well you might say the night the three won first, second and third place (Gianluca, Ignazio, Piero) of Ti Lascio Una Canzone. Yes, that certainly was a memorable moment but, I think there was a moment before then that was more memorable. Gianluca points to that moment, “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!

Ti Lascio Una Canzone, Night 4 and Michele Torpedine – I have to put these two together because one wouldn’t happen without the other!

It is the fourth episode of Ti Lascio Una Canzone and the boys are given the music for “O Sole Mio.” They walked out on the stage, sang “O Sole Mio” and walked off stars!  

Alone in his apartment, Michele Torpedine was sitting on his sofa with the volume off on his TV. The show he was watching was Ti Lascio Una Canzone. He keeps looking at the screen and he suddenly thinks, Ignazio reminds him of Luciano Pavaroti, Gianluca seemed similar to Jose Carreras and Piero is similar to Placido Domingo. He still had not heard them sing. Out of curiosity, he raised the volume and Michele says, “Here I am aware of another element, that is even more important than the first. The three casually put together to sing a song of the program possess an incredible vocality for their age.”

At this point Michele’s head is spinning. He’s 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? A trio, he tells himself.”

The rest is history!

“We Are The World for Haiti”  – In 2010 shortly after arriving in America, the guys were invited by Quincy Jones to join “We Are The World for Haiti,” together with 80 international artists such as Celine Dion, Bono, Lady Gaga, Carlos Santana, Barbra Streisand, Enrique Iglesias, Usher, Natalie Cole. Il Volo were the only Italian artists to be invited. The three voices from the background caused such a sensation. “Who was that?” Everyone present couldn’t believe what they were hearing but, “Who were they?” Soon they would find out!

Barbara Streisand’s Back to Brooklyn Tour – In 2012 Barbra Streisand invited the guys to be an integral part of her “Back to Brooklyn” tour. They performed with her in America and Canada. They were not an opening act, no, they shared the stage with Barbara. To the guys this was a dream come true!

2014 Latin Billboard Music Awards – In 2013, “Más Que Amor” was certified “Gold” in Mexico and Argentina. And this catapulted the guys into the Latin market. From that day on they took the Latin market by storm.  In February 2014, they receive two nominations at the 2014 Latin Billboard Music Awards, as “Top Latin Albums Artist of the Year, Duo or Group” and “Latin Pop Albums Artist of the Year, Duo or Group.” At the awards show they were awarded as “Best Group of the Year in the Latin Pop Album” category and they also won the “El Pulso Social Award,” as the artist who dominated interactions on social networking sites during the Billboard Awards. This is unheard of! Three Italian kids taking over the Latin market! What a win!

The Christmas Concert at the Italian Senate,  December 21, 2014.  Ignazio wrote in their book: “We want to talk about the thrill of singing in front of the highest offices of state! What twenty-year-old boy has something like that happen? It happened to us, and it seems to me a beautiful result, an honor. You cannot imagine the emotional feeling to be called “guests of honor” inside the Senate. We were accompanied by the, fantastic, Filarmonia Orchestra Veneta conducted by Diego Basso. Half the beauty of the song is in the orchestra.

The most exciting moments? Everyone! But the hymn of Mameli was the heart-pounding one, the first song, singing in that place, with everyone singing along with us, including Giorgio Napolitano, (President) and Pietro Grasso (President of the Senate). It is one thing that I cannot explain.

And then, of course, the pleasure of shaking hands with the President of the Republic and of feeling that he knows Marsala, he has been there.

Sanremo Music Festival 2015 – On February 14, 2015, the guys participated in and won the Sanremo Music Festival with “Grande Amore.” This is the top award in the Music Industry in Italy. With this win the guys really came home. They were finally recognized by the Italian people. This win also gave them the opportunity to represent Italy at the Eurovision Song Contest 2015. 

Eurovision 2015 – As Italy is a member of the Big Five, Il Volo went straight into the Grand Final of the Eurovision Song Contest, which was held in Vienna on May 23, 2015. Grande Amore came in 3rd with 292 points but, they won the televote with 366 points and won the Marcel Bezencon Press Award, as best song according to the collective voting of the accredited press. The extended play Sanremo Grande Amore was released in Italy on February 20, 2015 and it was certified triple platinum by FIMI. At the Latin Billboard Awards, they dominated the social networking sites and now, they win the televote and the best song according to collective voting by the accredited press. The people speak!

Ignazio’s Accident in Tampa March 7, 2016 – While they were singing in concert in Tampa, Piero, Ignazio and Gianluca brought 3 children on to the stage. The stage was narrow and, Ignazio picked up a child and carried him in his arms to take him to the center of the stage. There were electric cables on the ground and Ignazio tried to avoid them, but he tripped, and fell on the stage with the baby in his arms. To defend the child, who in addition to the fall would also have Ignazio on top of him, Ignazio twisted his body, so that his shoulder hit the ground and the child was protected. The two of them immediately got up and Ignazio finished the song.

When Ignazio began the next song, it was clear he had a problem with his arm but, he managed to finish the concert. He did not stay for the final greetings instead Barbara immediately took him to the hospital. At the next concert he had a splint on his arm and for the next two concert his arm remained in the splint. It was also recommended that he rest. Fabio Ingrassia, Ignazio’s dear friend, was in Miami, and he immediately came to help Ignazio. Ignazio was disheartened by the experience and Fabio remained with him to help him through it. Fabio made a nice drawing to dedicate to the fans with two hands that clasped. What a Friend!!!

Piazza Santa Croce in Florence, July 1, 2016 “Notte Magica” – 2016-2017 were the years dedicated to the “Notte Magica” project, the tribute to the 1990 event where the Three Tenors, Josè Carreras, Placido Domingo and Luciano Pavarotti, enchanted the whole world from the stage of the Baths of Caracalla. On July 1st in Piazza Santa Croce in Florence Il Volo presented on stage “Notte Magica – A Tribute to the Three Tenors,” which was broadcast in prime time on Canale 5.  The guys were joined by Placido Domingo who conducted the orchestra. This marks the beginning of the world tour of “Notte Magica – A Tribute to The Three Tenors” which debuted on March 4, 2017 at the Radio City Music Hall in New York. The show was sold out. After 15 stops in the United States, all sold out, the tour is extended to Europe from May 5, 2017 for 29 performances and from September it extended to Latin America. The concert “Notte Magica – Tribute to the Three Tenors” was filmed and broadcast in the United States by the national television network PBS, and in Italy by Canale 5 and, starting in June, it was broadcast in over 500 cinemas in Italy and around the world.

Ignazio Conducts the Asti Symphony Orchestra while the guys sing with Marcello Rota Jul 5, 2017 – During the rehearsals of the last date of the Notte Magica Tour in Naples, Ignazio steps in as conductor of the Symphonic Orchestra of Asti while Maestro Marcello Rota sings Ignazio’s tenor part! They sang “Libiam ne lieti calici.” Ignazio had everyone in awe of his performance as a conductor. The guys enjoyed singing with Marcello who usually conducts for their Concerts. Gianluca enjoyed it so much that he hugged Marcella in the middle of the song! All good sports! They all had lots of fun! A unique performance!

Mexico Earthquake September 8, 2017 – On Thursday evening September 8th, at 11:49 PM Mexico City time, (in Italy it was 6.49 on Friday) an earthquake of 8.2 on the Richter scale sowed panic in the country. The earthquake, defined by Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto as “the strongest since 1932”, had its epicenter off the south west coast of Mexico, but its strength reached the capital where the guys had just finished their concert at the Theater Metropolitan. Gianluca gave Facebook a short message shortly after the earthquake: “Thank you all for the messages, we are fine despite the strong shock that hit Mexico a little while ago.” Read the full story here!

ASKANEWS Article – Click Here

World Youth Day Jan 27, 2019 – If you ask the guys after winning Sanremo, which truly brought them home, “What was your greatest performance,” they would probably answer, there were two. Singing for the Holy Father at World Youth Day was one of the most amazing events in their life!

Por Una Cabeza, Il Volo at Luna Park Buenos Aires October 30, 2019 – So I will end by going back to the beginning. This last moment tells me how far the guys have come and how the strangers became brothers.

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

Look at how they smile at one another during the performance. A smile that says yes that’s it! Their faces are ablaze! Their expressions let one another know that it works. And, finally, when it’s over, they are so excited they can hardly contain themselves. Look at their smiles, their faces are lit up in joy and their embrace says it all! They are brothers who love one another! This is truly a Moment to Remember!

Credit to owners of photo and videos.

WHEN TALENT HAS NO BOUNDARIES by SUSAN

Let me say, Gianluca was the one who inspired me to write this article. 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.

What Gianluca realized in that moment was the uniqueness of the group. So, let’s begin where it all began….

It is the fourth episode of Ti Lascio Una Canzone and the boys are given the music for “O Sole Mio” but in three parts. They thought it was strange because until then they were singing alone or doing duets.

They walked out on the stage, sang “O Sole Mio” and it was like they had been performing together for years. Flawless!

Talent 01

We often talk about Ti Lascio Una Canzone where the boys first came together but, we never talked about some of their performances or what was going on behind the scenes without them knowing it.

Let’s talk about some of the people they performed with on the show. Really great names in the Italian music industry. Massimo Ranieri, Fausto Leali, Al Bano, Adamo, Piero Mazzoccheti.

What did I witness during their performances? I saw great performers in awe of three teenagers who were singing their songs and they were amazed at the performances. It was written all over their faces. They could not believe what they were hearing.

What was going on behind the scenes? Well we certainly know that the idea to put the three together was the genius of Roberto Cenci the artistic director and director of the program. But there was so much more happening!

Alone in his apartment, Michele Torpedine was sitting on his sofa with the volume off on his TV. The show he was watching was Ti Lascio Una Canzone. He keeps looking at the screen and he suddenly thinks, Ignazio reminds him of Luciano Pavaroti, Gianluca seemed similar to Jose Carreras and Piero is similar to Placido Domingo. He still had not heard them sing. Out of curiosity, he raised the volume and Michele says, “Here I am aware of another element, that is even more important than the first. The three casually put together to sing a song of the program possess an incredible vocality for their age.”

At this point Michele’s head is spinning. He’s 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? A trio he tells himself. Here’s what I could do…. “

Michele says, “The next day I am a volcano. I want to talk to everyone: producers, managers, families.”

Talent 02

Michele called Roberto Cenci and he got the contact details of the three boys.

Michele says, “Another great story started, a new story at a time when it seemed to me that there was no future for me, for my profession: a breath of oxygen in my environment.”

After years of disappointment, loss of trust and gratitude, missing or denied, with Ignazio, Piero and Gianluca, Michele rediscovers the values of gratitude. Michele says, “the boys allowed me to really go back to my job.”

So where to begin? Michele says, “Let’s start with trust because they trust me first of all; the administration of an entire world tour, with important figures to move on which I could take what I want if I were dishonest. But they trusted me and so did their parents, to whom, moreover, I have committed myself to teaching everything, the mechanisms, the things that move, the figures, the relationships. All.”

 

They were the first Italian artists in history to sign a contract with a major American music label. Universal Music signed them immediately. Michele said, “it is important to give due recognition to the man who made all this possible, the great record manager Peter Lopez. Peter immediately sensed the enormous potential of our artistic project. To him we owe an incredible international contract signed simply trusting that the boys would have audiences all over the world.”

But what did they bring to the table to win over the kids, the parents, and the grandparents? They had an idea and it worked.

Their music was Operatic pop or Pop-Opera. What was this new movement? It’s singing Opera in a more modern style. While opera is very strict and regimented, Pop-Opera is more ethereal it has a lighter feeling and it moves freely. It takes away the hard edges of opera and replaces it with a more ethereal feel while still presenting the drama and the high notes of the opera.

This along with the classical Neapolitan songs became a big draw. Why did it work? One reason is three amazing voices! If the voice wasn’t there, the song wasn’t going to sell.

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When I’m writing these pieces, I do a lot of research and I watch a lot of videos. And this is what I found. I looked at videos of the promos the boys did, for their albums. They were 16 – 17 years old and I found many teenagers at these promos. I saw teenage girls and boys singing opera and Italian songs. They liked it because the music is easy and catchy and, they picked it up very easily. And I might add, the guys are very attractive and likeable. The young girls love them not because they are very handsome but because they can relate to them. They were 16 – 17 years old and they were telling these young kids we love this music and you can too. And they did and still do! Once the kids were sold the parents followed.

Who wouldn’t want their kids singing this music? In turn the parents found it just as pleasing. As to the grandmothers they were the ones who were fainting over these attractive young men.

But it wasn’t all as easy as that. There were some rough edges, some adjustments that needed to be made. The voices were certainly there but bringing it all together was another matter.

Let’s look back a moment at some of the people I just spoke about. Michele Torpedine, Roberto Cenci, and Peter Lopez. These are the top of the top. Under normal circumstances these boys wouldn’t be able to get in the front door, no less to meet these people. What would you call it? I call it La forza del destino (The Force of Destiny). They certainly were in the right place at the right time. I often wonder how it is possible that these three boys, with three unique voices, all appear at the same time and in the same place in history. WOW! What a plan God had! It can be nothing less!

So, what happened next? So, let’s let the boys tell you….

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Piero said, On June 9 th, 2009, nine days after the end of Ti Lascio Una Canzone, my parents left for Rome. They were a bit mysterious about it. When I asked them what they were going to do in Rome, they only replied that they had to meet a person and, I tell the truth, I did not even insist on knowing who…. The next day they come home and then, yes, I wanted to know something more. “Dad, what have you done in Rome?”

“Nothing,” he answers, “we met a certain Torpedine.”

Yes, On June 9th, 2009 all the parents met with Michele to discuss the future of the boys.

Piero said, “After a month, my parents made another trip to Rome to meet the legendary Torpedine …. The day after, Mom and Dad came back to Naro with a check. It was the advance of the contract.”

Ignazio said, “Immediately after the end of the program my parents, like those of Piero and Gianluca received a call from the office of Bibi Ballandi.”

Who is Bibi Ballandi? …. He is the producer with a capital P. Some examples? The shows on Rai Uno de Fiorello and Celentano, Dancing with the Stars and also  Ti Lascio una Canzone.

From Ballandi’s office, they wanted the parents of the three boys to go to Rome to discuss their children’s future…. On their return from Rome, as usual, Mom and Dad sat down with me and my sister around the table to talk about what had happened in Rome. Michele Torpedine ….  was interested in us. What did I think? What could I think, one who in the last five years had done nothing but sing from morning to night? After several meetings we signed our first managerial contract.”

Gianluca said, “That is a period that I really cannot remember in general. I was just a child who dreamed. While the other guys who had participated in the Ti Lascio Una Canzone returned home … the three of us walked towards a professional artistic career.

…. I did not even know what the contracts were like, I did not care. Once I told my father something like this: ‘But why, to be a singer, it takes a contract?’ I only remember that at a certain point we went to lunch in Rome to talk about music and recording songs. The contract had already been signed. I was there with my father, Piero, Ignazio and their parents.

What I do remember is, we were three funny and awkward children: Ignazio fat, Piero roly-poly too, I was small and plump and with pimples. So, at the first meeting, I look at Torpedine and ask him: “But what came into your mind?”

 

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In 2009 they recorded their first album.

Ron Fair, chairman of Geffens Records had this to say about their debut album, “Their debut album went Platinum, in Italy, without a single release, solely based on their performances in three TV Shows. This has never happened before.”

Today, Michele sums it up like this. “These three guys have very clear ideas and I have never seen them impressed in front of audiences that many would shake their legs. I never heard a wrong attack, and if some inconsistency arose that made something happen professionally, they knew how to handle the problem at the origin. They are always extraordinary, their voices grow with them, they mature in body and soul. There is no other team or artistic team so complete.”

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Credit to owners of all photos.