Adorable then! Drop dead gorgeous now!
Two years ago, I wrote a story called Moments to Remember. It was moments from the time the guys met in 2009 until 2021. Those were great moments, and I will talk about them again in this story, but I will also add some more recent moments to remember on this Walk Down Memory Lane.
Let me start by saying in the United States there is no better sport or more favored sport than Baseball. It’s a part of American culture. It’s one of our great American pastimes. Every kid in America has a baseball team they root for. Boys are more passionate about it, but girls certainly are all on board with it.
As a child living in New York, I had a choice. New York Yankees or Dodgers. I was born and raised in Brooklyn, so this one is a no brainer. Dodgers, it is! I even forgave them when they moved to LA. That’s true love!
So, what am I getting at here? Americans are passionate people and we, like other countries in the world begin every event, every gathering of large groups of people with our National Anthem. For me, when I hear the Star-Spangled Banner, I rise, put my hand across my heart and I sing. What does this all mean? To me it means that I am thanking God for being an American, for having the opportunity to live in America where we can stand and sing our Anthem. Where we are free to go to any house of worship to pray and where we can say what we believe in the privacy of our homes or on our streets. The home of the free and the brave. We all know who those brave people are. There is no need for me to get into it.
But why am I telling you this at the beginning of an Il Volo story?
Today when I was watching Ignazio’s CHAT on Bosky TV I asked him this question, “What was it like to sing the American National Anthem at the opening of the Dogers game?”
His beautiful reply was, “It was great, one of the best experiences of my life! One of the BEST experiences of my life!”
So, let’s start this story with “one of the best experiences” of Ignazio’s life, the day the guys sang our National Anthem.
What I love about all of this, beyond what Ignazio said, these young men were proud to sing our Anthem. Furthermore, on many American holidays, wherever they are they sing our Anthem.
This video is when they sang it in New York with Bruno Vespa on a special Porta Porta! It was to honor those lost on 911.
Guys for us you are Americans! As teenagers you were indoctrinated into our culture, and we are so proud of you!
On July 11, 2013, after singing our National Anthem in Dodgers Stadium in Los Angeles they met an American legend, Tommy Lasorda. Tommy Lasorda was a baseball player and coach for the Dodgers. Lasorda coached the Dodgers for 20 years, from 1976-96. He passed away on January 7, 2021, at the age of 93.
Il Volo and baseball, what a score!
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 the following were my choices for memorable moments.
So where do we begin? Well, you might say the night the three won not just Ti Lascio una Canzone but, the greatest prize of all, their destiny, Il Volo. Yes, that certainly was a memorable moment but, I think there was a moment before then that was very important and very 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 with a man who gets a great surprise on that night!
For the fourth episode of Ti Lascio Una Canzone, 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.
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!
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 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 on Jul 5th, 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!
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!
The night they turned on the lights!
The SMA Awards September 12, 2020
The guys went to the Verona Arena to perform at the first live performance since everything thing was shut down in Italy in March 2020.
Before the show they were stopped and asked this question by a woman reporter:
Reporter: You are international entertainers therefore you know how much the live dimension is missing. But above all you have defined the stage as your natural element. So, how is it for you to return to a live performance tonight?
Ignazio: It’s like giving candy to a baby. We are happy because we missed it. We missed it to die for but not only for our personal thing but because this is to me the music slowly restarting with the safety measures. But we are restarting it all with Italian music. It’s like I am starting again to grow up on stage and hope that it can be a message of hope for the groups, in the cities, in the emerging local areas who want to start making music. We have to continue making music and we hope that by 2021 full concerts and full live.
It was an absolutely beautiful statement that said it all! What I liked best about this statement was Ignazio saying “It’s like I am restarting it all with Italian music. I’m starting again to grow up on stage…” What did he mean? This time he is starting in Italy not America. He finally feels like he is at home! Bravo Ignazio! You are home.
When the guys arrived on stage, they had a message for the world and all people in the industry.
Ignazio: 2020 will be remembered as the year where the world would be constrained to be turned off.
Gianluca: For the music employees the verb turnoff means the end of the show, when the curtains close and it is the waiting moment for the next show, but this time the waiting lasted more than expected, the silence was unavoidable.
Piero: Now, the world is getting ready to start again! Now the moment has arrived to raise the curtain! Now, we will turn on the music!”
After they sang Carlo Conti and Vanessa Incontrada spoke with them.
Conti: Il Volo
Vanessa: What a moment you made us live, what can we tell you?
Conti: Thanks guys.
Gianluca: Good evening everyone.
Conti: I must say: You are always better!
Vanessa: Guys we were, Carlo and I, in silence looking at you, with goosebumps, good!!
Of course, for Puccini’s Turandot, but also for what you said at the beginning.
Ignazio: Yes, it is a doubly exciting moment, because we have been standing still for some months, with music on the stages. There is music on social media, but on the stage it is a different emotion, and especially it was a great emotion to remember all those who unfortunately left us, due to this Covid.
It was dedicated to them. My thoughts go to them and all their families.
Conti: You three are wonderful stars who travel the world and bring Italian music up in the world.
Vanessa: Singing live, of course you miss it, but what do you expect from this future?
Gianluca: Here I read a billboard that says: ‘Not even a pandemic will stop the music,’ that’s the point. This year’s motto is let’s turn the music back on, but in truth, the music has never turned off, and it has kept us company all these months. As Ignazio said, especially for us, it is our job and we missed it a lot, not being able to sing for all of you. Sooner or later, we will start again, we will go back to singing in concerts, which are a way to escape from the world, two hours of joy and tears.
Vanessa: For you and the entire audience, it’s obvious.
Piero: When we leave the house, our fans often ask us when the concerts will resume. We want to say that this is an evening of hope, and to tell everyone that in 2021, in any way, we will return to the stage.
Conti: You were supposed to be here just a week ago in concert, instead it’s postponed. It’s just, all just postponed, but we’ll be back. Thanks, Gianluca, thanks Piero, thanks Ignazio.
Vanessa: Thanks for being here with us.
Gianluca: (addressed to the audience) We love you.
Gianluca, Piero and Ignazio: Bye!
Conti: Great protagonists of this evening, they had the task of starting the official part.
This beautiful statement was followed by the performance of the evening. Their choice of “Nessun Dorma” sent an even stronger message. It’s says, we may have to perform under these new world conditions, but we don’t have to change who we are or why we’re here. In this ancient Arena we look to the past while following the path to the future. From their first note the whole arena lit up. Their voices were clean and crisp. Their presence was illuminating. Their notes rose above the Arena into the night sky to let the world know music is back! The final note of their song sent the final statement. All three voices rose in unison and their voices sent forth a note that took our breaths away! It said We Have Returned! Turn on the Lights!
Verona ~ Il Volo Sings Morricone
One of the most memorable Il Volo concerts in history. They walked on the stage and set the world on Fire!
In my story Phenomenal, I say I could write a book about this concert, and I could but, this is what I had to say about the opening number, The Ecstasy of Gold.
The first note and we immediately know it’s “The Ecstasy of Gold.” The whistle of the wind!
The setting is gold! Then white! Then gold! Look at the gold flecks that come in and out! The orchestra vibrates! Each note intensifies our senses. We’re drawn to the back of the stage To a tunnel where we know our guys will appear! The focus is always rear center stage! The lights change to intense red and now we are looking at the stage from the back of the arena. We are coming forward. The shadow of Il Volo turns into a force that is coming towards us! The theme of the concert is set!
Listen to the intensity of their voices! What force! Watch their motions. Look at Gianluca! Watch his body react to the music! The fist that comes at you saying this is the punch, just the beginning. Listen to how Ignazio rides the note that guides us into the story! Now we’re sailing on the wind! Piero intensifies the moment with his powerful voice that says the journey has begun! Follow us!
For me, this was one of their most amazing concerts! Very memorable! To read more about it got to www.Ilvoloflightcrw.com ~ Phenomenal
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”.