Over the last four weeks we’ve followed the path that each guy took on the road to success! We learned it wasn’t always an easy road. Many curves and disappointments but finally we have all three guys in the same place at the same time. So now they meet! Not exactly! They still have to do what they were put on earth to do! Introduce the world to their magnificent voices. But I’m getting ahead of myself. They still haven’t met.
The Il Volo family is large and just about everyone is in Rome for the audition but let’s let Gianluca tell you about his first meeting with a member of the family on the day of the audition….
From that day in Rome, I remember very well Ignazio’s mother. I do not remember seeing either Piero or Ignazio, but Caterina yes. During the audition they made us sing in a recording room, outside in the queue was Ignazio’s mother…. Caterina heard the voice of someone singing, and she had listened to me. When I came out, she looked at me and said: ‘Congratulations! Bravo, very good!’ She heard me sing and she thought Andrea Bocelli was in the recording room.
So, it seems Caterina Boschetto was the first to make contact, but little did she know what that meeting would lead to!
For me, I see this as the day their destiny is fulfilled. Call it La Forza del destino (the force of destiny)! I’ll call it as I see it! This was God’s plan! His hand was always guiding each of these young men. How else would you explain how they happened to be in the same place at the same time? We’re not just talking about three teenage boys with nice voices, we are talking about three teenage boys with phenomenal voices. Very unique voices! Truly one-of-a-kind voices! Touched by the hand of God! Let me call Gianluca back to explain what he thought about their voices….
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.
It wasn’t just that the voices were extraordinary, no, it was that they complemented one another. It was natural and it was apparent from the very first note that these voices worked well together! That their voices are in tune with one another. The first time they walked out on the stage, it worked!
So how is this possible? For me there is only one way to explain it! Before the Lord sent these three amazing young men to earth, he said what this world needs are voices that can bring joy to my people and so he chose three loving couples and sent each one a son who would bring joy to the world through his voice!
Alone each voice is phenomenal. Together they are a symphony! Listen to their voices when they sing. Their voices are coming from every direction like a symphony orchestra that is forming the music around you!
I always say I can tell you who’s singing at any given time. I can even hear their voices one over another and draw them out. That’s the other thing that makes them unique! Each voice is distinct even when they are singing together!
So, without further ado, let’s find out what each guy had to say about his experience at the audition at Via dei Gracchi! We start as we always do with Piero. Let’s see what he remembers are about the audition…
What do I remember from the audition?
I remember that it was in Via dei Gracchi in Rome and that I arrived there with ‘La Voce Del Silenzo’ and the unfailing ‘Un Amore Così Grande’ and the suits that my father bought me, I felt like a king.
‘Mr. Barone, we’ll let you know’ they told Dad when I finished singing. After five days, the longest of my life, they call and say: ‘Prepare these five pieces for the next audition.’ Those five tracks were: Sei Nell’Anima of Gianna Nannini, La Voce Del Silenzo, Un Amore Così Grande, Voglio Vivere Così, Domenica È Sempre Domenica
The aim was to test me on different genres, of course, to understand which one was the most suitable for me. So, I get to the recording studio in Rome and start singing. Only shortly thereafter, they stop the music. The first so, the second and I was already demoralized, if a test does not make it even to the refrain, it’s not a good sign. The first thing I thought was that it did not go well. At the third track I attack the refrain, ‘Un Amore Così…….and they stop the musical base. When I left the recording room and arrived in the mixer room, I found dad with my brother and a friend who had come to Cosenza with us at the Tour Music Fest, all three beautiful smiling, quiet. I died and they are happy. There is something wrong. Roberto Cenci looks at me and tells me: ‘Bravo, Piero, you are inside the program.’ But I really believed it only when they brought me to the seamstress.
If you ask my father, what he remembers about that audition …. the first answer will be a number: 1280. Those are the euros that he spent to buy two or three complete outfits in a very nice Naro store, because as a good Sicilian he said, ‘How? I bring my son to an audition at RAI, I have to make a good impression, no?’ I felt like a king with those clothes.
What about Ignazio? What does he remember?
I did not really believe it. I remained as usual with my feet firmly planted on the ground. I must admit, at first, I was a bit perplexed at the idea of going to audition because, I have always been a pessimist, but then, we talked about it in the family, as we have always been used to doing, we said to ourselves: ‘Why not?’ So, in the end I went to do the auditions in Rome, funded by mom and dad who, in the meantime, were continuing to make great sacrifices for me.
I arrived with mom and dad at Via dei Gracchi, where the auditions were held. There were many guys like me who were hoping for something positive without expecting anything, trying not to have too many illusions.
At the beginning I was also quite calm, it could not be much different from singing on stage. Anxiety began to rise as my turn approached. And here they call my name: ‘Boschetto?’
I got up and went into the studio where the boys were singing. There was, Roberto Cenci, waiting for me. He looked at me and asked, ‘Dear Boschetto, what are you letting us hear today?’ I had chosen Ti Cerchero by Gigi Finizio and Melodramma by Andrea Bocelli.
‘Thank you very much’ was the only thing Roberto Cenci told me when I finished singing. All there? But how was I doing? Was I okay? I had no idea but, climbing the stairs, Pannocchia, who was the manager who accompanied us, tells me that I have to study a song within thirty minutes. What song? The Winner Takes It All by ABBA. To help me there was Luca Pitteri, a vocal coach who collaborated with AMICI and who at that time worked for Ti Lascio una Canzone.
They gave me a CD player and I started to listen and study the song, and after exactly thirty minutes they called me back, we went into the studio where Roberto Cenci was waiting for me. ‘Please, start,’ he said, and the base started. I cannot say if I sang well, I do not remember anything other than the fact that somehow, they let me guess that I was inside the program, I had succeeded, but I tried not to build too many castles in the air as we returned home. What I did not know was that while I was inside singing The Winner Takes It All, outside my mother and Pannocchia spoke and he said: ‘Ignazio is in the program, madam!’ But they did not even tell me. Of course, I had a positive feeling, but how positive is the presentiment of one who is pessimistic. After a few days they called me back telling me that I had to go back to Rome. I did not know why but already the phone call filled me with joy. Maybe I had to take another test? I know it may sound strange, but I really did not know what to expect. Then in reality the reason for the summons to Rome was to tell me that I had been taken, I was in the cast of Ti Lascio Una Canzone.
Okay, Gianluca, we know your experience was different but how was it different? What happened at Via dei Gracchi?
I’m sorry for Piero and Ignazio, but I did not have to wait for a phone call to know the result of the audition for Ti Lascio Una Canzone. Via dei Gracchi in Rome, I remember very well. It is in a fairly central area, in the Prati district and not far from the Vatican, a very long street full of very beautiful buildings. From Montepagano to Rome, the distance is not much, just over an hour. We got in the car in the afternoon, calmly. There was the complete family: dad at the wheel, mom sitting next to him, I in the back seat with the two Ernesto of the house, my grandfather, who was proud and satisfied with that trip even if we did not know yet how it would end, and my brother, who at the time was only seven years old.
‘How much is missing (When do we arrive)?’ I asked my dad. And after five minutes: ‘And now how much is missing?’. And after another five minutes: ‘And now how much is missing?’ Fortunately, the road was short, or I would have made him mad. I was very anxious I had never done anything so important. Already for me to go to RAI, in short, it is not something that I can explain in words.
When we entered, I realized that I would not be alone to support that audition. There were many other guys, all with their parents, a long line of people, but I was not worried because I was there just for fun, it was already an adventure.
When they called my name, I entered the registration room. Roberto Cenci was there. It was the first time I saw him. The impact was a bit ‘so, because he has a very tough character, does not convey much sympathy at the first meeting. But the essential thing is that I start to sing: ‘I wanted to be a little alone to think, you know ….’ I had chosen The Voice of Silence. I remember it perfectly. I was thirteen – the first audition was in November 2008 – and I already had this deep, baritone voice.
I sang in the recording room and saw the others on the other side of the glass. There was Roberto Cenci, my grandfather was there with my mother, my brother, and my father, all in the other room. So, I sing and at one point, Roberto stops the music and says: ‘Stop all.’ ‘What happens?’ I thought. From where I was, I did not understand anything, I saw only the faces.
‘This boy,’ continues Roberto, addressing my family, ‘he was kissed by the Lord.’ All I could see were only the faces of my parents and in my head, I kept asking ‘What’s up?’ And at a certain point I did not make it anymore and I opened the door, I went to Roberto and in the meantime, I repeated: ‘What’s going on?’ I was small, I could not realize. My father, made a face, I do not forget, he looks at me and says: ‘Nothing, good!’
‘Congratulations’ Roberto tells me, hugs me, makes me sing another song, calls all the others on the staff. ‘Feel this baby, you feel like singing.’ I remember these scenes very well; I see it again. And I was very excited, I was very happy, I could not even sing, at one point I even stuck. Because I did not expect such a positive reaction from Roberto Cenci and all the others, producers, technicians and I do not know who else there was, that day, because Roberto had called everyone.
My mother and father never stopped smiling. My grandfather was very happy, if possible, more than when we left. My brother was small, but it was clear to him that it was a party. In the end, do you know until how late we stayed in that hall? Until nine in the evening, because Roberto Cenci called me back even after the audition to make me sing some more songs, to start making me try some duet. In short, when we said goodbye, I was exhausted, but I was bursting with joy.
Okay so they all made it. They were all accepted! But of course, you already knew that. So, let’s see what happened next.
Piero begins by telling us about the rehearsals in Rome in early March 2009….
Ti Lascio una Canzone was aired at the Ariston Theater in Sanremo but, the first of the rehearsals were in Rome starting in March. Upon landing at Fiumicino, there was a coach from the editorial staff waiting for us. We were still just a group of kids who did not know each other, we came from different parts of Italy, and we were all different ages. I did not know what to expect.
I get on the bus and the first person I immediately notice is a nuisance who sang (sang from morning to night, in continuation), who screamed, screamed, was never silent, never stopped. It went on all the way to Rome. I cannot forget it, especially because from Fiumicino to Rome center it is about an hour’s drive. All that time talking, screaming, and singing, damn him!
Anyone want to guess who it was?
We arrive at the hotel, and it was not difficult to start meeting other guys. But you know how certain things go! It was easy for people in the same room to communicate with each other. But I wanted to get to know the others, so alone, I went down in the hall, and I found Luigi Fronte, who was younger than me. I was fifteen. Then I met Micaela Foti and the guy who was singing on the bus.
“Hi, pleasure, I’m Piero.” I introduce myself.
“Hi, I’m Manuela.”
And this other one? “I am Ignazio.” Present here!
From the first moment, Ignazio and I established a strong relationship. What do I mean? We were looking for each other. We were always together. I, him, and Luigi. Luigi was the mascot, the little one who was with us. We rehearsed with Ignazio, we talked, we joked. Maybe because he was Sicilian like me. I did not know Gianluca right away and, in the beginning, there was not a great bond but, in time we built one.
From that very first Wednesday of trials, I remember perfectly, that I thought this seems to me the same image of the choir. I and Ignazio sitting on the left and around a lot of females. I sang, Non Ti Scordar Di Me, at the first episode and Mamma at the second, Granada at the third.
We sang on Saturday night, and, on Sunday, I flew back to Sicily. Monday, Denise was preparing all the things to learn, she told me the pages to study, ‘Of history, do this.’ ‘I have stressed the words to remember.’ I arrived at school on Tuesday morning, I did all the interrogations and left the following day.
When I got to the rehearsals, I had I to have prepared the pieces that had been assigned to me, by the editorial staff and sent to me on Monday. We had to study the pieces at home for the next installment.
On Monday, between the end of the third episode and the beginning of the fourth, I get the text of Un Un Amore Così Grande to sing alone. So far, all normal! And ‘O Sole Mio divided into three parts. What will this thing be?
Ignazio remembers every detail from the beginning and Piero is racing off to episode four! Let’s listen to Ignazio….
How much do you run Piero!
He is already on the fourth installment and, I’m still here thinking about how nervous I was that night. It was April 4th, 2009, the evening of the start of the program. I had never faced a television experience! It is also true that this agitation of television I only heard it, only at the beginning. Yes, we were all aware that this was television, but for the ingenuity we had at that age, for us it was like singing in the home theater. And then, I had already seen theaters and stages. The thing that made me understand that there was something different was to see all the famous guests. But for the rest, we did not realize the difference.
Even stranger was when I arrived, I was unusually quiet. Perhaps, because in the previous week I had the opportunity to meet my fellow adventurers, and I had immediately linked with Veronica Liberati, Sonia Mosca and Piero Barone, a Sicilian boy like me who was a little like me. I had also met Gianluca Ginoble, but I spent less time with him because he was part of the group of “jocks” (even today we take it around because some remained so!)
La Nostra Favola was my debut song on the first episode, I even got the words wrong, but it went very well. On returning to Marsala, I clearly felt that things were changing, peoplerecognized me, but I tried to take everything with great humility. The first rule for me has always been to keep my feet on the ground. The more weeks passed, the more people recognized me, but I tried to remain the same as always.
To get ready for rehearsals, the week before the episode, they gave us the songs to study for the evening. And on the third night I get the songs that I would have to sing the following Saturday, at the fourth episode. There was something strange. There were songs that I would have done alone, but also ‘O Sole Mio, that I would have to sing with two other guys. What news was that?
Let’s turn to Gianluca to get his take on how the rehearsals went….
Ignazio, I do not believe you were amazed by that news! In my opinion, the earthquake-Ignazio was not astonished, but he surprised others. At the audition, I told you, I have no memory of seeing either Ignazio or Piero. But once the selections were over, we were all put together in Rome, I do not remember in which hotel, from where we started by coach to go to rehearsals with the RAI orchestra.
From there it was impossible not to notice Ignazio. We were about thirty kids with their parents, and he was screaming, singing, making a mess, he alone seemed to be the choir of the southern corner of Rome (football team) all together. Ignazio has always been like that, even today he is, he will never lose this way even at the age of fifty, and that’s what makes him special.
And Piero? Of him, I’m sorry to admit it, I have no particular memories of that period. We were all in the same hotel, but we were many and I tied up with other guys first. But there was a nice climate, we all had a lot of fun together.
From March to the end of May, it was impossible to study on the days dedicated to rehearsals. I did homework and school questions on Monday and Tuesday… I told you, at school I had always been a lazy man, but despite all that year I managed to keep my average, in some matters I had the capacity six and some other seven. At the school interviews with the parents before the exams, my father heard the same thing from all the teachers: ‘All right, he kept the average.’ They were not telling me that I was a genius, I never was, but I managed to do well despite my commitments. So, my dad was satisfied. What matter was missing? Music. Could I go wrong with music? Yes. To the point of risking the insufficiency. In my opinion, the teacher was joking. Real teacher? The truth is that in addition to the commitment that I put myself in, I had to thank the principal and my teachers at the school ‘Gabriele d’Annunzio’ of Roseto who had always understood that my life was changing.
Gianluca tells us that suddenly things changed….
It started on Monday before the episode of April 25th, 2009, when I got the songs that I had to prepare and I saw that there was one, ‘O Sole Mio, divided into three parts. Of course, a little strange it seemed to me. Almost all of us had made duets in the show, but no trio had been composed until that moment.
I had no idea what to expect. Maybe I did not even ask. The important thing, I told you, was to sing and have fun.
All three have succeeded at The Audition and Beyond! The Ariston Theater awaits them. They are ready to step on the stage at Sanremo!
Join me next week as I go back Through the Fields of My Mind and open the door to a new adventure!
Next stop the Ti Lascio una Canzone!
The source for many of my stories is the guy’s book “Un’avventure straordinaria, la nostra storia,” (An extraordinary adventure, our story). If you can read Italian, I advise that you read it. It truly is an extraordinary story! (Available on Amazon)
If you would like to share a story with me, please email: email@example.com
If this story sounds familiar to you it’s because I had to write a similar story last year about our, Ignazio.
When I go on Instagram or Facebook and I see stories that hurt the guys, it upsets me. These are three of the nicest guys you’re ever going to meet in your life. It’s not just a career for them, it’s their life, their whole life. It’s what they’ve dedicated themselves to since they were teenagers. Everything they do they do for us the Fans. We as you know, aren’t just fans to them, we are family. They grew up with us and they know how important we are and, they do things every day to try to please us. Sometimes it’s a picture, sometimes a song or sometimes just their joking around. Then there are days, not too often, when they are quiet, they just hide themselves in their own lives. Lives that you and, I take for granted every day, they only get to enjoy occasionally. No, they can’t be out there for us 24/7 but they try their best to make themselves visible and available.
Even though we are like family to them, they do have families of their own. Families that they have spent so little time with over the last twelve years. The pandemic has been very hard on all of us. It was also hard for the guys because they had to leave us their fan family. If anything, there was some good that came out of this, the guys got to stay at home with their families. Since they were teenagers, they never had the opportunity to stay at home with their families for a whole year. And I think Ignazio expressed it best in an interview when he said, “if it wasn’t for the pandemic, I wouldn’t have spent those last (precious months) months with my dad.”
I chose to write about Ignazio this week because of some sad things that have been said about him on Instagram. I’ve had to do this on other occasions for Piero and Gianluca. This is a very important time for Ignazio. It’s a time when he needs to be near family and, among other things, to deal with the loss of his father. The purpose of this piece is to show you, those who don’t already know it, how, really, nice Ignazio is and has always been since he was a child!
Let me start by telling you about what Ignazio does for us with his music and what he contributes to the music industry.
If Ignazio did nothing more than sing for the rest of his life, he would be remembered as a singer who captured an audience at a very young age and continues to intrigue them with every passing day.
From the first time he stepped on the stage, he was a star. I remember watching him on PBS and thinking if he’s this good now, what will he be like ten years from now. Along with Gianluca and Piero these three, amazing, men have achieved in ten years what most men could only dream of achieving in a lifetime!
He is the voice that never ends! The voice that intrigues! The voice that takes your breath away! The voice that leads you to ecstasy!
But it doesn’t end there. No, there is so much more to be said about Ignazio and the best place to start is in his performances. He is the ultimate entertainer. He is the production. His presence is there in every aspect of the production. He is a prolific entertainer! He sees music! He feels music! He breathes music! Follow him around the stage. The little gestures aren’t just for our entertainment they are real movements within each song. Let me describe it as I have described it for you in the past:
Ignazio is known as the funny one and that he is! But is it really about the joke? Or is it more about the production.
I want you to think about the performance. We know these guys have amazing voices but, what if they got on the stage and for two hours, they did nothing but sing. I don’t think it would work. A performance needs the ability to move on. There’s no change of scenery and no intermission so how do you move the performance along? Ignazio! The joking he brings into the performance provides the levity to relive the seriousness of the performance. He brings a certain ease and suspense to the performance. The audience is always wondering, what will he do next.
But is it always about joking? I want you to think about what I’m saying. Ignazio is constantly moving around the stage. He’s dancing and keeping the rhythm. He’s swinging the microphone around and constantly nodding towards the orchestra, Gianluca and Piero. Is that the lead up to a joke? I don’t think so. Let me tell you what you are looking at. Ignazio is following every note that is sung or played on that stage. His mind is in motion. He is sensitive and passionate with music. He has the ability to see the music as it is happening. He knows where every instrument should come in and out. That’s why you notice little things like him smiling, nodding, pointing towards the musicians, Gianluca or Piero. He also grabs the baton from the conductor, sometimes to joke but more often to conduct. Think about him conducting the Asti Symphony Orchestra while Marcello Rota sang his tenor part. He wasn’t joking, he was conducting. And that’s why everyone was watching in amazement. And when it was over, they were speechless. Look at Michele Torpedine go across the stage to embrace him. He is in awe of this young man. You call him funny I call him brilliant! I am going to make a prediction here! Remember you heard it here first. Ignazio will compose a great operatic pop opera one day.
In an article by Ilvolovers Romania they commented: “Ignazio, for what he looks like and also for everything he sometimes hides, is an imposing, brave and authentic young man. Sensitive and passionate, his performance creates a hurricane of feelings for anyone who looks at him and listens to him. For him, the phrase “singing with the heart” is not a metaphor, it is a reality expressed in every gesture and makes us wonder what his eyes see when he sings.”
Let’s look at how Ignazio has helped aspiring young artist.
On February 2, 2014, Ignazio collaborated with singer Roberto Amadè in a project that resulted in a wonderful concert, the Amadè-Boschetto concert which was organized through the Cultural and Artistic Center “Ignazio Boschetto,” with the support of The Town Hall of Marsala. The Teatro Impero archipelago hall has long applauded this initiative which brought together several artists from Marsala.
Ignazio has helped many young people in their careers. In February 2014, Katya Pantaleo, a young singer from Marsala, won the Premio della Critica at Sanremo with the song “Come in paradiso” music, lyrics and arrangement by Ignazio.
On August 30, 2014, Chiara Cusumano and Giorgia Vassalo, The Duo Sisters, reached the finals of the Festival di Castrocaro, performing a song composed by Ignazio: “Paura d’Amare”.
And let’s not forget the beautiful song he wrote “Hablando de ti” that he has performed in concert.
And what about the theme song for the Rai Series Makari.
Let me add to this by recognizing Ignazio’s production company, Floki Productions. At 25 he started his own production company. Does this surprise you? It doesn’t surprise me. It makes a lot of sense to me.
Floki Productions I’m sure is Ignazio’s dream. So, where does the dream begin. Nico Arezzo!
In many ways Nico reminds me of Ignazio. He knows what he wants and, he goes after it. Nico was the first artist to sign a contract with Ignazio under Floki Productions.
You will remember that Ignazio released Nico’s song Gorilla on June 30, 2020 (in the middle of the pandemic) in a “Live on Instagram.” Let’s listen to what Ignazio had to say about that:
“On Thursday night we were the first to do a high-quality sound live on Instagram.”
People wouldn’t dream of doing what Ignazio did. What a spectacular show!
While the music world was trying to restart, Ignazio, at age 25, made his debut as a producer. And what a phenomenal production it was!
Ignazio said, “Production has always been my dream. It started with an idea to give a chance to those who deserve a break,” Ignazio reminds us “as it happened 11 years ago to myself, Gianluca and Piero.”
Some of you may remember the interview I did last October with Ignazio’s teacher Ermelinda De Bartoli. (you can read the full interview “Watching Ignazio Take Flight” on www.ilvoloflightcrw.com) Now I want to go back to that interview and pull out some of the questions and answers which will give you some insight as to who Ignazio really is:
Excerpts from the Interview of October 2020….
Susan: Ignazio’s mother said Ignazio was always very serious and responsible! How would you describe him as a teenager?
Ermelinda: I met him when he was only 14 years old. He was at the beginning of adolescence and, he was always joking. He was very attached to his family. He grew up in Bologna because the family moved there for work and, at the age of ten he moved to Marsala when the family decided to return. In Marsala he attended middle school and two years of high school. At school he was playful and sociable, with a very open and modest character. He often told us about his passion for singing which he studied with a teacher. His life as a teenager was not hard, because, as soon as he started his career at the age of 15, his life changed due to the numerous commitments linked to his success and the new path taken with Il Volo.
Susan: Ignazio is very kind and compassionate. Was this something you noticed about him as a teenager?
Ermelinda: He was very generous and affable to everyone. In particular, he was very compassionate towards some pupils with disabilities, with whom he often conversed, holding them in high regard and showing empathy.
I remember an episode one evening after he won Ti Lascio Una Canzone, the whole class with me and another colleague went to the pizzeria. Ignazio was just fifteen and, when it was time to pay the bill, he came to me and said: “Professor, you are my guest.” I understood that in him there was so much kindness in his manner and in his soul, in this case, a kind gesture towards a woman.
Susan: When Ignazio was your student, he was already studying with Lilliana Adreanò. Ignazio said he had a great passion for soccer and, he loved to play every afternoon but, it had been less so after he started taking singing lessons. He said, “I had less free time and then no free time and I realized that singing was more important than all the rest.” How do you think Ignazio saw his future at that time?
Ermelinda: It is true to study singing he began to leave other hobbies. After Ti Lascio Una Canzone despite having been praised by these great Italian singers, who sang with him, I remember that he told all this with great modesty and simplicity and despite the fact that he had won he never spoke of great expectations nor did he delude himself, at least, until the moment in which Michele Torpedine and Tony Renis hired them after a short time, to form Il Volo. I heard the comments on him by experts such as Claudio Cecchetto and Al Bano who, when he told him that he had recently taken singing lessons, were amazed.
Another detail that I noticed is that while he sang, he always kept his eyes closed and he told me that he was doing it because having recently lost his grandfather, who he adored and, it was he who Ignazio thought of while he sang and, he sang with his heart.
Susan: Ignazio went from your classroom to Ti Lascio Una Canzone and immediately became a star. You told me after the Italian program, he just took off. You said you saw him take off! What was it like watching all of this happen before your eyes? Did it seem like it was all happening very fast?
Ermelinda: Of course, having seen him “take flight” in a short time and, see him pass by the school desks, and then on a stage was for me, as for all his companions, a great emotion and a source of great pride.
Susan: Did you see a change in Ignazio during this time?
Ermelinda: Ignazio was still at school, after his first success, and with all of us, he always remained himself … with a modesty and genuineness that still distinguishes him today.
Susan: During the performances Ignazio sang with some really great singers. Massimo Ranieri, Albano, Fausto Leali to name a few. These singers were in awe of him. Do you think that Ignazio understood what was happening to him?
Ermelinda: Yes, these singers were more than in awe of what they heard, they were astonished, something that Ignazio confirmed when we asked him. And, to think that he was still a kid, and had not yet completed the development of the vocal cords.
Yes, Ignazio from the point of view of his singing ability had already understood in comparison with these famous singers that he had what it takes to become even greater.
Susan: How did your other students feel about what was going on in Ignazio’s life?
Ermelinda: His classmates were very happy and excited. Every Saturday night none of us left the house. We all waited to see Ignazio on TV … and on Monday when he returned to school, for the class, it was a riot and bursting questions, and also a source of pride to kids as they were, to have him as a companion … the little big star, their friend.
Susan: Did you every stop to think about how this all happened? How did a young man from a very simple family suddenly become a superstar?
Ermelinda: It often occurred to me that what was happening to Ignazio was a fairy tale … of those things that you think can only happen in fairy tales. He is a boy with a great talent hitherto unknown, from a very modest family but very united and with healthy values, he was able to tread the scenes of half the world … from his cottage in the countryside to a duet with Barbra Streisand and much more that we know.
The way in which all this happened is told by the facts that there was a first revelation of his talent and Ti Lasco Una Canzone, as we know, could remain there as it happens to many without getting anything else; then as he also said he had the luck of an intuition of the director who suggested to the managers Michele Torpedine and Tony Renis to form the trio.
Susan: How did you feel when Il Volo won Sanremo?
Ermelinda: When Il Volo won in Sanremo, that evening, in addition to the great emotion, I retraced the periods of when Ignazio was still young, always talking with humility about his first successes and I also thought that from the beginning I told myself that he was a phenomenon, so seeing him on that stage, the most important in Italy, was for me just as it was for all Marsala people.
Susan: Finally, what would you like to add about Ignazio that we haven’t already covered?
Ermelinda: I think I have said everything about him of what I know and what I have had the opportunity to perceive. When I talk about Ignazio, with others, I always say that he is very humble, modest and always very affectionate with the people who meet him. I still say:Ignazio, is a beautiful soul.
For Ignazio family is important. They are everything to him. So, please understand that he needs to be with his family right now. You like being with your family. How about posting some nice pictures of the Ignazio we love? Soon he will be in the limelight again. Until then, let’s remember, Ignazio is a Beautiful Soul!Respect that soul!
Join me next week as I go back Through the Fields of My Mind and open the door to a new adventure!
Since you liked the first part of the interview Felicità a lot, here is the second part, starting at minute 27:04.
Happy reading everyone.🤗
(A Chi Mi Dice video begins.)
PV = (voice) The dreams of glory of three boys from the provinces, who have already become, by Divine will, icons of global music. Three young people with their heads on their shoulders, who despite their success, continue to speak with the humility that befits adults.
It is precisely from their last words, which underline the awareness of the privilege of sharing strong emotions, and the indissoluble union on stage, despite three different characters, that the values with which they were educated are understood: Ignazio, Gianluca and Piero.
Humility, work and growing interest in culture, values that all young people, whatever their interests, must treasure.
(The video of Il Volo begins with Laura Pausini in NYC 2014.)
The contagious enthusiasm of the new lady Golden Globe, and Oscar nominated artist, to put it in the American way: Miss Laura Pausini, in introducing Il Volo on the New York stage a few years ago (2014), relaunches the discussion on the growing global appreciation of the three young artists, loved everywhere, for the ease with which they propose themselves on every occasion, be it classic or pop.
An equally engaging state of mind that of Ignazio, Piero and Gianluca, like that of the “ex Pausella da Solarolo”, (Pausella is a nickname to say Laura Pausini, she grew up in a town called Solarolo) which allowed her to become, in effect, the new young lady of Italian song in the world.
For the pupils of Michele Torpedine (Il Volo), discovered by Antonella Clerici and Roberto Cenci, and launched for the first time in the world by Tony Renis, the path is still long and full of expectations, but with youngsters like that, we must not ask ourselves about limits.
PIERO = I read a review on Beniamino Gigli’s book, made by a friend of his who went to visit him, before a concert and Gigli had just finished vocalizing.
His friend asks him if he still continues to study, and when was the last time he studied and Gigli replies: “Five minutes ago!”
Beniamino Gigli was already at the peak of success.
Talent is a gift that God gives you, but maturity allows you to cultivate it and study every day, there will be a reason why all the great ones continue to study.
Clearly we are now mature, we know how to study and what to study.
Our strength is our team.
A few days ago we received the news of the success of the Verona Arena, we hugged, we with our team, because it is not just the three of us, the three of us go on stage, but behind us there is the management and I have to tell you that the mentor of IL Volo is Michele Torpedine, because it is he who stimulates us to create new ideas.
PV = Sure!!
PIERO = We are too young to have so much creativity.
PV = Clear.
PIERO = He is far-sighted, he sees beyond.
When we go on stage and we get a great success, I was telling you about the success of a few days ago, we hugged each other and we said: “Never change a winning team”.
It is also confronting every day, even with points of view …..
PV = With different points of view, of course.
PIERO = …. different points of view, because now we are mature, but there are no more teasing, no more spites.
PV = Why were there?
IGNAZIO = When we were little it was normal, then we also have three different characters, we also have three very strong personalities the three of us, so it’s normal that we went against our ideas.
(beautiful video of Il Tuo Sguardo Manca, made at the Verona Arena)
PV = (to Torpedine) How difficult was it to keep three young men with strong personalities together, who evidently manage to find a common agreement on stage?
TORPEDINE= It was much more difficult at first, because they were children, they even fought over the place in the car. 😁
Today they are three adult and intelligent people, but the nice thing about Il Volo, unlike other artists, is that although today they cover most of the world (they are famous in most of the world), they are very simple people.
PV = Where will Il Volo arrive? (where their success will come? how far will they go?)
TORPEDINE= I have been telling them for some time that the best is yet to come. When they will have the credibility of mature people, and prove that their voices are crazy, I always tell them that big success is yet to come.
But it will come, because there is no such thing in the world. (Meaning the guys of IL VOLO are the only ones who present such a repertoire and with these qualities in the world.)
(The song of UN AMORE COSÌ GRANDE starts, which links to images of Ischia – Italian island near Capri)
PV = (voice) In the journey of these three guys, there was also a very nice parenthesis that I want to remember, because the first international audience they had was in Ischia, in 2010 during the Ischia Global Film Music Festival. The three came, very young, I must say very jaunty, with their families, very carefree, but they were already concentrated there, in the recording room, they were making the album, with great commitment and they did a concert in Sant Angelo Ischia, in front of a Hollywood audience, Jeremy Renner, Channing Tatum, Rosario Dawson, Ethel Graham and many other international actors.
The video of the evening in Sant Angelo Ischia begins, there is Tony Renis on the catwalk, these are his words:
TONY RENIS = It was Pascal who urged me, he told me: “Tony, this wonderful evening in this wonderful setting of Sant Angelo, you have to bring these three extraordinary kids. They are three fifteen-year-old boys, they are here and I introduce them to you: Gianluca, Gianluca Ginoble, Piero Barone and Ignazio Boschetto.”
PIERO = We want to dedicate this song to all mothers.
IGNAZIO = To all mothers, especially ours, but ….
PIERO = ….. but in particular to a great mother, Pascal’s mother.
GIANLUCA = Pascal’s mother.
TONY RENIS = (voice) As they say in Los Angeles, ladies and gentlemen: Il Volo.
(The song MAMMA begins.)
PV = (to Gian) But how much have you changed since Ischia, where you already had the fans outside the Regina Isabella (Hotel) who were besieging you?
GIAN = However, these are things that are not forgotten, because those who support you from the beginning ….. it is easy to support when there is success, so we thank you also for this, for this support that you have given us since the beginning.
In reality, we are not so different, we never lose that desire to do, to be a bit like those children who chase those dreams, to set goals and always improve.
So let’s say we still maintain that simplicity ……..
IGNAZIO = Now we are waiting for the renewal of the invitation (to the Ischia Global Film Festival).
PV = Of course, guys, this summer.
GIAN = HAWK’S EYE (Jeremy Renner), I also want TONY STARK (they are actors who play Avengers in the movies), you have to invite Robert Downey, Jr. too, he’s my favorite actor, you have to bring him.
ROBERT DOWNEY JR. I LOVE YOU.
IGNAZIO = If you want to invite Anne Hathaway too, I’m not sorry, I say. (humorous) 😁
PV = I see that Anne Hathaway is very strong, she has a strong passion for Italians …..
IGNAZIO = We too for her …
GIAN = If you bring me Robert Downey Jr., I’ll make you a statue. 😁
PV= But guys, I have to make the statue to you, to great young music legends.
IGNAZIO = He makes the statue for you and I place it next to that of Pino Daniele in Naples.
PV = Let’s not exaggerate guys.
Instead, how much have you personally changed, compared to when you were kids, you talked about magical moments in Rome, Los Angeles, Ischia.
I see you (to Ignazio), you are a young gentleman now.
IGNAZIO = No, we change, but it is normal that we change, it goes without saying.
PV = Sure
IGNAZIO = But not because we become more important, but because it is the age that dictates it, for nothing else. We are very proud of what we are doing, because it is all that the sacrifices are repaying us, the satisfactions. We are working hard, nothing ever falls from the tree, you have to go there, you have to climb and collect what you want to have.
We are really satisfied, change is normal, but we try to keep our origins, our traditions, our values, which are the most important thing, things that we have always tried not to lose along the way.
(The video MUSICA CHE RESTA starts.)
PV = Piero you are three very young exes (former children), who have made it, and you are still there, determined to grow more and more.
Instead, let’s talk to many young Italians, who are still there fighting for the first satisfaction of their life, what do we say to them?
PIERO = Our work is a dreamy job, we always think big, sometimes we succeed, sometimes we fail and that fear is the stimulus that makes you grow, it always keeps you going.
As for our peers, I do not feel able to give advice, but the only suggestion I could give is to believe in your talent, but above all in your passion, which sooner or later, life will give you that satisfaction.
(The video of Canzone Per Te begins.)
PV = Gianluca, when you go back to Abruzzo, and go around the streets where you took your first steps, not only artistic, but also in school, what is your feeling today?
GIAN = We were just talking about it the other day. Each of us lives it differently, but there is a strong gap between living the life of the country, because in any case I have not moved from Abruzzo, I live by the sea, and then, go around the world.
It is as if we lived two lives side by side, as if every now and then, we jump from one train to another, as if they were two tracks, right?
But we must try to maintain that normality that allows you not to lose the detachment with reality, because in any case, even if this is our life, we have adapted to change. It is a great privilege, somehow, to be able to live a life as a simple, normal boy, and then you have this privilege of living a life of a star, let’s say.
GIAN= We must know how to cultivate both things, know how to manage them, and never lose that humility, that simplicity.
PV= Ignazio, being Italian is a great privilege, let’s face it.
Let’s tell a little to the many young people who do not have the awareness of the world, that Italianness is a very important value.
IGNAZIO = Being Italian is a great honor for us because, only by hearing about it from various nationalities, you realize how our country is loved, respected, envied. Because we, in the end, have fantastic places, among the most beautiful in the world, people … that are the most beautiful in the world, because here you can find your dimension, with more reserved people (north) or with more people lively, like in the south, right?
So we live in a fantastic country and we just have to be proud of our flag. 😘
(The video for Per Te Ci Sarò begins.)
PV = (to Gian) But when you are on stage in Los Angeles, rather than South America, or China, or Russia and you start to see the Italian flags that come out, what’s the feeling, I get the chills just thinking such a thing.
GIAN= It is our culture, above all musical, that allows us to travel the world, you know it better than us, in short. It is the strength of this music, which allows us to conquer not only Italians abroad, but also audiences from all nations, and this is a great thing.
See the Italians who follow us, who by the way we greet, who are watching us in many …..
PV = Also through RAI ITALIA …
GIAN = Yes, exactly … who live our concerts with that nostalgia, with that tear that is the memory of a past life, and for us it is exciting to try to convey emotions to these people too, and we will return to tour very soon, we are preparing many beautiful things for you.
IGNAZIO = The beautiful thing, do you know what it is? It is not the fact of seeing an Italian with the Italian flag, which fits!
But it is seeing a Russian girl, with the Italian flag in her hand, a Japanese or Chinese girl with an Italian flag in her hand, a German boy, with the Italian flag in his hand, and there you realize that music does not place barriers to nationality to culture.
Music unites us!
PV = (to Piero) What do you dream of for your future?
PIERO = I dream of living music all my life.
PV = Enough for you?
PIERO = Music is everything to me.
PV = Yes?
PIERO = It’s my life.
PV = It is your life. (then, to Gian) And the family? Start a family?
GIAN = Eh ???? What does it mean???? ……
IGNAZIO = You asked the wrong person the question !!!
GIAN = (continuing to pretend not to understand) …… what does that mean ????
PV = (replies to Ignazio) Why what do you mean?
PIERO = Because he (Ignazio) is the romantic of the group.
IGNAZIO = It’s not that I’m romantic, it’s me who dreams of a family, he (Gianluca) maybe not ….. but it’s normal, we have different interests.
PV = He (Gianluca) is the playboy of the situation?
IGNAZIO = No, but you know, family is not always everyone’s goal, the goal is to feel good, feel good about yourself, feel good with another person, for some to have children, for some not, so it is very subjective.
I dream of having a family.
PV = How many children ??
IGNAZIO = At least three, at least.
PV = You already have the lady with whom …..
IGNAZIO = I have to hurry …..
GIAN = Hurry, no!! When you feel ready!
IGNAZIO = But I feel ready.
Did you understand? (he says to Pascal, as if to underline that he and Gian have different goals for the moment)
PV = (addressed to Piero) You instead?
PIERO = I am a person who comes from a family rich in values, clear, when love arrives, when the time is right, it is not prescribed.
PV = No, no, of course not.
Let’s close guys, the microphone and the camera to you, to look the fans in the eyes to tell them what?
GIAN = Thank you, we are coming back, get ready, because we are preparing something great for all of you.
PIERO = Thanks for your support, trust and love.
IGNAZIO = It was a difficult year, full of shortcomings, but also a lot of work.
See you soon 2022, many concerts.
PV = yes, definitely.
This is Il Volo, three ex (former) children that I met at the beginning and who today are three very successful men and therefore I am really happy today to have them with us.
HAPPINESS to all.
G + P + I = Thank you
I would say it was a long, but really good interview.
Gianluca, Ignazio and Piero showed, with their words, a great maturity, and Pascal asked them very relevant questions and recalled the salient moments of our boys’ careers, with great affection.
It is a pity that this beautiful interview had little relevance here in Italy, because it was announced at the last moment and broadcast at a rather strange time.
But we fans, we know how to give due credit to things of value.
I also included the video of IN ASSENZA DI TE with Laura Pausini in New York, because I thought that maybe many of you have never seen it.
I also thank all of you, for the wonderful comments for the translation of the first part of the interview, I hope you like the second as well.
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.
Over the past week I have been thinking about where it all began for the guys. As you know, I have written excerpts from their story but, I thought it might be nice for some of the new fans to hear about where it all began for the guys. Three different stories but all with the same ending! This is the story of how they were discovered and of course their journey to Ti Lascio una Canzone.
Piero: The Beginning of the Journey
Most of you know that Piero was discovered by his grandfather. In the garden of his grandparents’ house there is a mulberry tree and hanging on that tree is an old-fashioned swing. Piero was swinging on that swing when his grandfather heard him sing for the first time! He was about four years old at the time. The following day Pietro had a recording made of Piero singing “Un Amore Così Grande.”
The evening of the recording would be the beginning of Piero’sjourney to stardom. As always, Piero’s entire family ate dinner together. The family consisted of his great grandmother, all the aunts, uncles and cousins who were like sisters and brothers to him. After dinner all the kids played soccer while the adults went outside to chat and enjoy the cool of the evening on the terrace. But this evening would be a little different because just one day earlier, Piero’s grandfather Pietro discovered that Piero had an amazing voice.
They had just finished dinner when *Pietro called his wife. “Rina, get the recorder.” Rina brought in the recorder and placed it in front of Pietro. The recorder was already prepared with the cassette that had the recording of Piero’s voice. Pietro turns to Piero’s dad and says, “Listen to this voice, Gaetano.” He pushes play and starts the recording of “Un Amore Così Grande.” Gaetano is amazed like he has just heard a good thing, and he says, “It’s beautiful, who is it daddy?” (He calls his father-in-law daddy.) Pietro says, “Piero.” Silence. Gaetano has a questioning looking on his face “How did Piero?” Pietro says, “So?”
On that night Piero’s life changed! His father did everything he could think of to start him on a musical journey. He wanted Piero to start the festivals but, he was too young. He needed to “put in a base” because the voice alone was not enough. Gaetano asked himself: “What must Piero start to do?” And the answer was: “Piero must start playing the piano”.
Piero began to study piano at the age of eight but, economically the family could not afford the costs of the lessons. So, Piero’s grandfather paid for everything, and not just from the material point of view. Stefano Tesè was Piero’s first piano teacher. The mother of Piero’s teacher lived on the floor below in his grandfather’s house and the master came to see his mother every Monday. Pietro made an agreement with Mr. Tesè to give Piero lessons every Monday at six o’clock.
Piero says, “The road was very short to my grandfather’s house, I could even go there alone, but here was the problem, to get there I had to face a dog that was going around in that neighborhood, that dog would approach and bark furiously. And I had a fear of dogs. Squeezed under my grandfather’s arm, he who being blind needed to be guided, I felt protected as behind a shield: when the dog approached, Pietro shouted: “Passa arrassu!” (fast pass), go away, and the dog went away.”
Piero confesses there was another problem, “Every Monday at six in the afternoon was a nightmare for me, because I did not like going to the piano lesson. Or rather, I liked it only when the lessons were good, when I could play, but at the beginning I was bored a lot with the hammers, solfeggios and all the things that you rightly have to learn to play the piano. Maestro Tesè was a tough guy and, I was always worried that he would scold me. After a while I started to understand how the piano worked and the lessons started to please me.”
The advice everyone gave Piero was that he should join the choir that met in the church of Santo Spirito in Agrigento. Originally Gaetano objected to this saying they would “break my sons voice,” but, eventually he came to the reality that this was the right thing to do. And so it was that Piero joined the Little Singers of the Philharmonic Association – Santa Cecilia of Agrigento.
And so it was that Piero started his classical musical education that would end at Ti Lascio Una Canzone.
Of the three, Piero is the only one who said, “…. if there is one thing I want to do in life, it is singing, living for and with music.”
The original story I wrote about Piero’s beginnings I called **The Mulberry Tree because Piero was swinging on a swing which hung from a mulberry tree in his grandfather garden. Around the time of this event, I was at home in New York busy writing a screenplay. The name screenplay was “The Mulberry Tree!”
Ignazio: The Beginning of the Journey
In this story, Ignazio leaves his friends and his school in Bologna and starts all over again in Marsala. He fought this move every step of the way but this move would bring him to the start of his journey to stardom!All the What if’s, come into play! What if the family didn’t return to Marsala? What if Caterina didn’t open the pizzeria? What if that customer didn’t hear Ignazio sing? What if Ignazio decided not to take singing lessons? Ignazio’s story begins shortly after his arrival in Marsala
In 2004 there was a great change for Ignazio’s family. Ignazio’s mom had regained her health and finally the family was financially stable so, they returned to Marsala.
Ignazio’s story of the building of the pizzeria was so inspiring that I called my original story, “A Slice of Pizza with Ignazio on the Side.”
During the first year they were back in Marsala, Ignazio’s mom had gone back and forth every day to the center of Marsala to be able to secure her great dream: to open a pizzeria of her own. In order to open the pizzeria, she needed to do certain things. First thing: she had to get the permits and all the bureaucratic things that she needed to do. Second thing: she used the ovens of friends and made pizzas. Ignazio said: “I remember it very well. She went from one oven to another and tried so many types of flour, she tried the dough, she tried so many types of mozzarellas so, when she finally opened the pizzeria, she already knew how to prepare the right dough. It is different to make pizza in Bologna than making it in Marsala, take the word of a son and brother of a pizza maker: it is different because it depends on the humidity, the temperature and the type of flour. It’s not a simple matter to make a really good pizza.”
While Caterina was preparing permits and trying different kinds of pizza, it was left for the men to build the pizzeria. With the savings Vito accumulated over the years he began the work on the pizzeria. He was now working in a company that built wooden structures and being an experienced bricklayer, the dream could be realized, and the pizzeria could be built in front of the house.
Ignazio said: “For a whole year, in every free moment, my father dedicated himself to building the pizzeria for my mother and I loved to help him, so much so that when there were a few days of school vacation, I went to work with him.”
Ignazio continues; “You will think that I tell you about the pizzeria under construction, but I am not a pizza maker. Of course, if there had not been the pizzeria, perhaps I would never have started singing seriously.
While the pizzeria grew, a passion grew within me. It was a passion for electronics and music. I had started to be part of the elementary school choir and my dad, who was more passionate about electronics than me, had bought me a mixer, a microphone and two speakers, with which we started doing the easiest thing that could be done with those instruments: karaoke.”
Finally, in 2005 the pizzeria was completed and, Caterina opened the Pizzeria dei Desideri.
Within a few months Caterina already had regular customers and since the pizzeria was right in front of the house, when Ignazio was singing at home, even the customers heard him. One day a gentleman said to Caterina, ‘You know, my daughter is studying singing, why don’t you come with your son once? Even just to try.”
Ignazio said: “Like everything else, we talked it over within my family and everyone was enthusiastic about it. It was decided, I would go and see what these singing lessona were like.
I remember it as if it were yesterday! I was eleven. I wore a yellow shirt with green stripes, fashion was never my strong point. Arianna, the daughter of the pizzeria customer, who had heard me sing, and her mother and I waited, in front of the school for more than twenty minutes for Liliana Andreanò, the singing teacher.
Lilliana Adreanò, arrived in a grey Opel Astra. She got out of the car and immediately entered the school.
I was worried, almost embarrassed. Hard to believe, right? Even as a child I’ve never been the type to be speechless.
Lilliana begins to talk about music, what kind of songs do I like to sing. It was already a strange thing because usually I just sang, no one asked me why and how. You know, Liliana, I said, I like to sing Giorgia’s songs.”
Lilliana said: “Strange for a kid to sing this kind of song.” She asked, “And which song of Giorgia would you like to make me listen to?” “Gocce Di Memoria (Drops of Memory),” I said. “I didn’t even have a doubt. I start singing and Liliana was amazed by my extension but asks me to try a male song too.”
Ignazio thought a little bit and then he said he sometimes sang Con Te Partirò by Andrea Bocelli. He started singing and, when he finished Liliana told him: “Ignazio, this is your musical direction”.
From that first lesson Ignazio began to study songs like “Il Mare Calmo Della Sera,” “Un Amore Così Grande” and all those that came to mind, and he liked it. The songs approached that genre that was not lyrical, it was modern music but with something classic.
Ignazio was very comfortable with Lilliana and they understood each other immediately because she was a sociable person, simple, as are all of Ignazio’s family.
After several lessons, Lilliana proposed that Ignazio take part in a competition organized in Paolini. Ignazio wasn’t completely convinced that he wanted to go on a stage. Until that moment he had only thought about singing, but he never seriously thought that all his singing one day could bring him into the spotlight. In short, he was afraid. Fear of making mistakes. Fear of not being able to face the stage, but just to gain mastery on stage, Liliana urged him to participate, and so in the end he decided to do it.
Ignazio said: “I was about to get on the stage. My legs were trembling, the butterflies in my stomach were no longer butterflies but crazy swallows.
I decided to participate with Bocelli’s “Con te partirò” (Time to Say Goodbye), a song that I had studied and re-studied with Liliana, but as soon as the music started, I had a terrible fear of forgetting the words. So, what did I do? I looked down all the time. So, the audience, the place, what happened around me while I was singing, it’s not that I do not remember anything, I just do not know because I only saw the tips of my feet.
Fortunately, however, I remembered all the words and it is not so obvious because sometimes it happens that I forget the words even today now that I have become professional, the emotion continues to take us despite everything and.… I came in third.”
Once the ice was broken and the stage panic was over, that ended up being just the first of many competitions for Ignazio.
After two and a half years, three that he was studying with Liliana, one day Lilliana told him that for the genre that he was going to sing another teacher was better suited to give lyrical singing lessons. So, Ignazio was convinced and started to follow another singing teacher, Roberta Caly.
So now his life became complicated. He went to Lilliana for singing lessons and interpretation. He went to Roberta for lyric singing. And he took a diction course from Lilliana and Roberta. He also went to a diction course with Lilliana and a diction course with Roberta but taught by other teachers in the school. And he also attended a jazz workshop.
Ignazio went to class every day except Sunday when he went to see Nina’s soccer matches. Nina was now playing in Serie B.
Between the school, the singing lessons, the piano lessons and diction Ignazio was always busy, so much so that he was forced to leave the school of soccer.
Ignazio could not do everything because of the economic conditions of his family. At this time Ignazio found another thing to do: an extracurricular musical laboratory. Ignazio was so busy but, he did not want to give up that workshop, it was about setting up musicals. Ignazio said, “It was one of the most beautiful experiences of my life.”
In 2007, Ignazio stopped studying with Roberta. He met Giovanna Collica, a very good soprano, who gave lessons in Siracusa. Even though Giovanna was in Siracusa, which was a long journey from Ignazio’s home, she was too important to give up. She was a very good soprano, she had even sung a duet with Luciano Pavarotti.
Ignazio concludes, “It took a lot of money to cover the travel expenses, the lessons and the registration for competitions that in many cases were not free. So, it was at a certain point, mom and dad found themselves not having enough money to send me forward. They were more hurt than me. Having always worked and being accustomed to face sacrifices for the family, they did not want to surrender to this obstacle but at the same time they did not know what to do. In the end, it was necessary to make a decision. The decision was to ask a person dear to us for a loan that, as soon as mom and dad had settled a little, would be returned.
This person has helped us with great generosity, so as, to allow me to continue to pursue this dream.” Next stop Ti Lascio una Canzone!
Gianluca: The Beginning of the Journey
So, finally, we come to Gianluca. I must tell you Gianluca’s journey to stardomwas different from Ignazio and Piero. The end result was the same but, the beginnings were different. Gianluca says: “Yes, we were lucky all three to have the families we had. Ignazio and Piero were able to study music thanks to the sacrifices, big sacrifices, of their families. I’ve never studied it, if I have to tell the truth, but the music at home has always been there.
Mom and dad tell me, when I was three years old, I sang ‘O Sole Mio’ in the town square in front of all the elderly gentlemen friends of my grandfather who were sitting around in the square.”
This was the beginning of Gianluca’sjourney to stardom.
Gianluca says, when he sings, he “doesn’t forget instinct.” What does that mean? Gianluca has never studied singing. He learned to ‘use’ his voice only thanks to his musical ear. He listens to the music and, it transmits everything he knows. And, for this, he is especially thankful to the Little Choir of Roses.
When Gianluca was about eight or nine, all those who knew him gave him the same advice: go sing in a choir. In Roseto there was the Piccolo Choir of Roses directed by the master Susy Paola Rizzo. They sang the songs of the “Zecchino D’oro” or other famous songs with arrangements in that style, with music for children. The Mago Zurlì, that was the presenter of the situation, was Gianluca’s dad, Ercole.
The choir was nice because they studied the technique of singing, the songs. It was different, because they did not study the notes and how to do them, rather they studied instinctively, following what the teacher said and what their ear heard.
Gianluca said: “If I think of 2009, the year in which I met Piero and Ignazio at Ti Lascio Una Canzone, it seems to me like yesterday.
Ignazio’s story shows that things come and you do not have to force them to arrive. It is not different from mine. Maybe, a little bit different because, apart from the Little Choir of Roses and those modest performances with my father’s theater company, I’ve never done anything else, no competitions, no festivals. I did not want to do them, I never thought about it.”
Gianluca participated in the Festival of the Adriatic, in 2006, and he won it. In 2007 he participated in Ascoli Piceno, for young talents. He sang at weddings, that’s it. He recalls, “I sang Schubert’s ‘Ave Maria’ and they paid me. My first money earned with music. And for fun, in 2007 I recorded a CD in a studio in Roseto degli Abruzzi, it was called “Start from Here.” It was a study by Vincenzo Irelli, a very good musician.” Verilli heard Gianluca sing, probably in one of the Little Rose Choir’s performances, and he said to Mr. Ginoble, “Bring him to me.” Gianluca recalls, “We spent a couple of weeks recording the CD and then we gave it to all the relatives. If I think about it today, it makes me smile. Never, never would I have thought that it would not be the only one, that I could make music my life. I tell you I only sang because it made me feel good, I was happy.”
Then what happened? In his story, Gianluca said: ‘I do not know exactly, what happened, because everything happened very quickly. If I think of 2009, the year in which I met Piero and Ignazio, it seems like yesterday. Instead, six years have passed. To tell you the truth, seven years passed from the casting sessions because it was 2008 when my father received a call from Licia Giunco.
Who is Licia Giunco. She’s an incredible woman, known throughout Italy for being the creator of an annual event called Sport for life, a great international ice-skating gala. For the gala, skating champions come from all over Europe to participate. The reason for Mrs. Giunco’s phone call was Gianluca’s performances with the choir. “We have a great talent here in Roseto,” Mrs. Guinco told Mr. Ginoble. “I would like to bring him to RAI (Italian TV Station).” Gianluca says, “My father had never thought about it. My parents had never even imagined that I would participate in competitions, let alone send me for an audition for television.”
“Let’s try,” Mr. Ginoble replied, “It would be a great opportunity.” “Dad thought it was just a different experience something that could make me have fun. Mrs. Giunco made available her contacts, we talked to Franco Fasano, whom Licia knew, and he would take us to audition with Roberto Cenci for the broadcast of RAI. Maybe this is what I liked, the idea that it was only a life experience to do, an experience that would allow me to sing for a while. My parents, as they had always been until then, did not force me in the least. They left the decision to me. I had not the slightest idea of what awaited me, but I decided instinctively, with my belly, that yes, that audition I really wanted to do it.
At the studio, when they called my name, I entered the recording room. Roberto Cenci was there. It was the first time I saw him. The impact was big because he has a very tough character and, he did not convey much sympathy at the first meeting. But the essential thing is that I start to sing: I wanted to be a little alone to think, you know. I had chosen ‘The Voice of Silence.’ I remember it perfectly. I was thirteen, the first audition was in November 2008 and, I already had this deep, baritone voice.”
And so, we have arrived at “Ti Lascio una Canzone.”
These were the guys’ beginnings, but the real beginning was when they stepped on the stage and sang “O Sole Mio,” and began their real Journey to Stardom.
Join me next week as I go back Through the Fields of My Mind and open the door to a new adventure!