Tag Archives: The Good

BEHIND THE SCENES by Daniela

On Saturday 9 October, Il Volo was interviewed by Andrea Spinelli for Quotidiano Nazionale, in the beautiful Royal Palace of Monza, (near Milan), for the event  – “Born again: Behind the Scenes, The Arts Beyond the Emergency” –  dedicated to the difficulty of the total reopening after the Covid pandemic.

It’s a beautiful interview, very long with interesting questions and as many honest answers.

It will enrich you a lot to read what has been said.

Here is the video, and the translation.

 

SPINELLI = Good afternoon, welcome. Welcome to Il Volo, which we will now have here on stage.

With Il Volo we will talk about live music, the sector, at least economically, most damaged by this pandemic, and the one that, we never tire of saying, the first sector that closed, and probably the last that will reopen.

So I would invite Il Volo on stage. (applause)

PIERO = Hi

GIANLUCA = Good evening everyone.

PIERO = Andrea!

GIAN = That is, good afternoon.

SPINELLI = Welcome Piero, welcome Gianluca ….

GIAN = We’re not the only ones excited are we?

SPINELLI = No, no ….. Ignazio, welcome.

IGNAZIO = Thanks, hello.

IL VOLO walking onto the stage

PIERO = You must know that Andrea Spinelli, for us, is a particular journalist, because we are very fond of Andrea, and every time we do a press conference of a tour, of an album, we always ask for his presence, with the awareness that ……

IGNAZIO = He is the baddest.

PIERO = ….. with the most uncomfortable questions.
So today, for us, to accept this interview it’s really a big challenge, so Andrea, you have a lot of vent with us today!

SPINELLI = Thanks, but we will keep that for the presentation of the album on Morricone at the beginning of November.
Today we are talking about something related to concerts.

IGNAZIO = I can only ask one thing, if you can increase the audio in the microphone, on the stage, in the monitors, on the microphone of Andrea, because I don’t hear you.

SPINELLI = Can you hear me now?

IGNAZIO = Yes.

SPINELLI = Here.

IGNAZIO = Ok better, thanks.

IL VOLO sitting in chairs on stage with Spinelli

SPINELLI = So, let’s start with a decade, which was to be celebrated in 2020, then 2020 + 1, 2020 + 2. How did you live it?

IGNAZIO = We are reaching 15 years. 😁

SPINELLI = That is?

IGNAZIO = Soon we are celebrating 15 years!
Well, there were two difficult years for everyone, here, more or less, we were was struck by something new to everyone.

Speaking of our sector, we have been at a standstill since 2020, since March 2020, we are not working, and we are more than happy to restart next year from America, which fortunately has started to reopen with full capacities.

So we will start in March 2022, (hesitant to say the year), I have lost the count of the years.

SPINELLI = March 18, 2022, Radio City Music Hall.

IGNAZIO = Yes, March 2022, we will start with a two-month tour of America at full capacity.

It is a fortune, but it is also something that makes us reflect: why in America yes, and in Italy, still today we are unable to have the confirmation of a 100% opening?

PIERO = More than anything else, today we have a great responsibility, because we try to represent all the artists.

Because today we read in the newspapers “100% theaters will open”, theaters, cinemas, but there is a lot of vagueness, because not all artists perform concerts in theaters.

There are artists who do concerts in clubs, there are artists who do concerts in stadiums, so in stadiums, how much percentage of the public can enter ??

We must regain the trust of the public, and give them the certainty of what they are buying, because today, a person is not sure to buy a ticket, because he does not know what he is buying.

In the sports halls nothing is known about the capacity yet. Yes, the theaters ok, for those who perform concerts in theaters, 100% capacity is fine, but there is still too much vagueness.

SPINELLI = Yes.
What does it mean to go on stage?
What is the meaning of music for you, of live music?

PIERO = I have read the biography of a great artist: Beniamino Gigli, a journalist asks him “What is music for him?” and his answer was:
“For me music is the fulfillment of a need, and at the same time, the maximum expression of our deepest joy”.

Today, reopening, returning to the stage, is not only an economic necessity, because many people clearly lack work, but it is a need, a need for those who make music, because they go on stage and sing, but also for those who listen.

I miss concerts, not as an artist, not as a singer, but as a spectator, I miss, going to a concert with friends, and clearly behind us (to those who perform concerts), behind the scenes ….. we have to thank whoever organized, (he refers to who organized this interview to talk about the people behind the scenes), thank you very much indeed it is a very nice event what you are doing …. behind the scenes there is a lot people, many people who do not work for us, but work with us, because behind a concert there is a team of many, many people and in recent months, we have clearly tried to turn on the spotlight for these people who are not seen, but they are human beings, many working families, and what are they doing today?

We must not hide, it is clear that an artist can survive two years without a job, if he has behaved well (if he has saved the money), but there are many people who work concert, for concert, and can only live if they work week by week, so it is no longer possible today not to give certainties.

Piero answering a question with his hand up

SPINELLI = Well, I would like to ask you: “You give us an idea of how many people are following you on tour, who are working for you, on the square, because there is a world, behind you three.

IGNAZIO = It is difficult to count them.

For example, with us in March, from Italy, we will bring about ten people with us, even 15 people and in America there will be other people, so it is a group of people with a question mark. But I can tell you that behind a tour there are about 50 people, even 60 people, who work during the tour, before the tour, and in any case there are people who work even months before the tour, to prepare the production, the logistics. So the “behind the scenes” is a way of saying, because they move everything, and then allow us to go on stage on March 18th.

SPINELLI = Sure.
I put on my glasses because I would like to read some figures, because you reopened the road on June 5 with a great concert at the Verona Arena, and with live television with an amazing figure: 4 million 702 thousand spectators, with a very high share: 25 , 7%, and that means, to be clear, 1 million more than Amadeus did who won the next night (with another show), even better than the WIND (Seat Music Awards), so surely there was a lot of anticipation , for you, and perhaps also for this reopening.

What do you remember of the evening and what it meant in your year, to go back on stage and sing for a real audience, for an audience that was there in the stands.

GIAN = Yes Andrea, let’s say it was a breath of fresh air, we needed it, as Ignazio and Piero said before, as all of us who do concerts need it.

People were there in the Arena, happy to be able to return to the big events after a year and a half of practically silence.

Then on that occasion, we presented a very ambitious project, which is this tribute to the soundtracks of Ennio Morricone, which we will then take on tour from March.

It is clear that, after a year and a half, returning to the Verona Arena, live on RAI1, for us was a moment of great joy and in my opinion, one of the most beautiful concerts we have done, because it was really felt, there was the great thrill of looking the audience in the face, and finally being able to sing for all of them, after all this time.

This is the best thing for us.

SPINELLI = By the way, you have also won the “tyranny of capacity and curfew”.
You submitted a 55-page health protocol, but in the end you won. (Because that very evening for the Arena, the capacity was increased from 3000 to 5000 people and the curfew, moved beyond midnight to give way to who was at the concert to go home)

IGNAZIO = It was a tug-of-war between Salzano …

SPINELLI = Producer (of the concert)

IGNAZIO = Yes, it was a great tug-of-war, but we succeeded.
We often have many meetings with Ferdinando (Salzano) and the main topic is to give confidence to the citizen, because they are the ones who come to concerts, just as we go to other concerts and therefore we must have faith, we must start from something, we cannot always stay with the doubt “will everyone abide by the rules?” . We have to trust.

GIAN = It is clear that people are afraid, they are scared, as we said before, they do not have the certainty of entering a place, both outdoors and indoors, with various gatherings, even if there is a green pass (certification of the double dose of vaccine), and even with all the certainties, let’s call them that, it is a very delicate moment, but we must start again.

Now we have seen that the situation seems to have improved, it’s not like last year, so … let’s be confident.

IGNAZIO = Otherwise the solution could be, instead of writing Il Volo concert, let’s have a political meeting , so there are no problems …. no come on it was just a subtle controversy!

PIero answering a question with Spinelli, Gianluca and Ignazio

SPINELLI = Another thing, you have done 3 concerts around Europe this summer, I would like to ask you how you found each other, and the difference you found compared to the very, very strict regime that existed in Italy.

GIAN = I don’t know if you can say, but maybe Covid didn’t exist there, I don’t know, maybe it didn’t exist in those countries.

PIERO = We can be honest ….. we did two concerts in Croatia, and one in Bulgaria, and at the beginning we asked for restrictions, and the distance, but maybe it was the bull’s eye that didn’t show me .. ….. but there was no distance. (in fact in Italy there was a full place and an empty one, but, from them, all the places were full).

IGNAZIO = But there is a truth behind it, in those countries, unfortunately, the government does not pass the vaccine to everyone and the vaccine costs a lot of money and not everyone can afford it. This is the great and sad truth of those countries.

GIAN = The amazing thing is that it was a 5000 seat outdoor arena and all of them were ….

PIERO = The gates were opened 5 hours before the concert started, they had to have a proof of a negative nasal swab for COVID, those who did not have it, had a nasal swab at the time, so they found a solution, that’s the key, you have to find a solution, we must not stay there waiting in the vagueness of what to do, we must find a solution and I repeat, the news 100% of the theaters is not enough, and I say this on behalf of those who perform concerts in stadiums.

Why if I were to ask you now: did stadiums reopen them at 60-65%, (for sports competitions) and stadium concerts? Who can answer this question? And the concerts in the sports hall? Who responds to this?

SPINELLI = Reopenings have been indicated, certainly reopening for sport, they are valid for concerts up to a certain point, because clearly the context is different.

PIERO = But even in the outdoor arenas, we for next year in June, it is clear that our Italian tour will be around the summer-autumn of next year, however many of our colleagues have dates in February, January, March , and therefore they must know something.

We will perform concerts at the Ancient Theater of Taormina (in June 2022) and today with Salzano, he did not know how to give us an answer for the people, for how many people can come.

IGNAZIO = I would like to say something to make it clear to those who come to our concerts.

Many think “okay, you will get a little less but do the concerts”, but it is not really like that, because it is all a chain.

The chain consists of: ok the capacity, the cost of the ticket which varies from concert to concert, is given by the sum of production costs and logistics costs. Unfortunately, after Covid, we are realizing now that we are closing the budget for the tour in America, the costs have doubled. The price of the porterage cost that was after the concerts has doubled, so the costs have become double. If we fail to have a full capacity, even in the stadiums, the costs of the stadiums are unimaginable …

SPINELLI = Very tall …

IGNAZIO = If you can’t already make 100% capacity, it means that I have to increase the ticket to cover the costs, right? The problem is that the citizen, the boy, the girl, who comes to a concert, has to pay a ticket 150 euros, 200 euros (it refers to the cost of tickets for a stadium), how does he do it?

So it’s all a chain and that’s why we have to be able, in one way or another, to find a solution to reopen at concerts and not to make an artist earn, but to ensure that art, art that one person does, you get to more people. To make sure that the normality we had will gradually return, even if it will be difficult because it is all a process of trust. But for me, going to 100% can be the beginning of a return to normalcy and trust above all.

Ignazio answering a question with Piero, Spinelli and Gianluca on stage.

SPINELLI = Well, I’m starting from this, because yesterday on this stage it was said “normality?”, But we don’t want to go back to normality as it was before.

PIERO = Better than before.

SPINELLI = A normality in which we ran, we ran, sometimes without paying too much attention to the direction we were taking. How do you see this thing, what do you think?

PIERO = Objectively, this stoppage that took place allowed us …. we tried to look on the bright side, it was difficult, but we succeeded. We went to the recording studio and made an album, time allowed us to dedicate a lot of time to this, to make a fairly studied selection, in this case for Morricone’s album, so we had more time to work on the details, while before we could not. Before, it was too many concerts and too much work and little time to work on a project.

So when we say: “let’s go back as before”, we can’t wait to go back, but we will be back better than before, because the work has been much more painstaking, so give us the opportunity, just this.

SPINELLI = …. and about running ….

IGNAZIO = I let Piero run, he trains in the morning …. every morning he runs 10 km, I prefer to run in my dreams in the long prairies!

SPINELLI = Running, understood as doing many things ….

GIAN = That, don’t run as a run ….

IGNAZIO = I understood, I was joking !!!😁

GIAN = Ah

SPINELLI = All of you have been running for 12 years …

IGNAZIO = Exactly, we are a group, we are guys who run and we never stopped …

GIAN = …. flying …😁

IGNAZIO = Yes, we are guys who fly. Although, sometimes it took a break, we never took it. Calculate that we did the first 8 years in a row, we never stopped a month, to say, ok, we stop for ourselves. For 8 years we have never stopped. Running is good, it helps you to be active, but I think it is also important to stop. It is a little like Maestro Morricone used to say: “Silences are not a missing part of a music, of a composition, but they are that part that helps you, silence is music”, so it can also be stopping in life of each one, it can be that moment that makes you reflect on what you want from life, on the steps you are going to take, and I can tell you that this year and a half, personally, I do not speak as a group, personally it has served me a lot, as personal growth, how to get to know my family more, to be together with my origins, also made me understand how grateful I am to music, how good music does me, how much company it has made me in these two years. So stopping every now and then is good. We must not get used to stopping, but stopping is good.

Closeup of Ignazio from the side

SPINELLI = You have also become a producer, therefore, in short, you have also approached music from another side.

IGNAZIO = Yes, I’ve always liked it. Do you think that we, within the group, have our tasks, because if we all three did the same thing, three different ideas ….

SPINELLI = In fact, you are like POOH (another Italian group), everyone has their own role within the group, then maybe you explain them to us.

IGNAZIO = I personally prefer to take care of the studio part. Which means talking to the producers, the work that takes place inside the studio.

Gianluca is very grasped on the choices of the songs, on the ratings, on the intuitions of the songs and Piero does public relations, he is a born PR. (Piero laughs) He breaks the boxes guys, though ….

SPINELLI = I would like to ask another thing to the man of public relations, I would like to focus on your success which is an Italian success exported to the world. I am reminded of Madonna’s birthday (a couple of months ago) made in Salento (Puglia), and in the end they were all English, but she wanted AlBano (singer who presented the night of the Taranta), and AlBano told me that Madonna asked him to sing that Italian song “Caruso”, to understand what is the attachment that there is to our melody, also on the part of great international artists. Two days ago we were in connection from Berlin with the Maneskin (another italian group who won Eurovision this year) who said, obviously jokingly “our success is because we are beautiful, we are good and above all we are Italian”.

Here, how much is Italianness worth?

PIERO = We are aware that the results obtained, these long tours, are the result of patient work …. but our results are thanks to Italy, to the music we sing. We sing bel canto, the songs that are part of our culture.

When we go to America and sing the Nessun Dorma, O Sole Mio, but also Grande Amore, and we sing in Italian, people want to hear us sing in Italian, because already in America there are already those who do rock, rock was born in America, but bel canto was born in Italy, that’s why Italianness is the strength, it is our being, it is what we are, and when people hear Italy, but starting from music, fashion, food , Italy is the icing on the world, everyone dreams of coming to Italy, and we are aware that our strength is the music we sing, as it did in the past for maestro Luciano Pavarotti, as did Andrea Bocelli and continues to do, and we’re trying to follow that trail there.

GIAN = Then it is clear that it depends, we are talking about how Italianness is perceived abroad, because it is clear, if we talk about how Italians perceive Italianness, it is clear that it is different, because I who am, but all of us who are lovers of De Andrè, Guccini or Gaber (they are all Italian songwriters), surely, paradoxically AlBano is better known abroad than they who sing wonderful poems that have made the history of Italian music, is how we are perceived, at the certainly abroad. This is why Italianness is the melody, from this point of view, it is that, as Piero said, bel canto, this great strength that is appreciated by all.

Closeup of Gianluca answering a question

SPINELLI = And that’s why it doesn’t exist, only RCMH on March 18th, but there are 29 more dates …

PIERO = Where?

SPINELLI = In America ….

PIERO = Yes, there are 30 dates in the U.S.

SPINELLI = Well, I mean, there are not only Italians who come, there it means that you have “taken” the American public, and this is the big difference with many other artists, who perform concerts abroad, but do not have the possibility to organize, to plan long and articulated tours like yours.

In Japan, it seems to me that you have something like 20 dates in play ….

IGNAZIO = We have often talked about this, we have also talked about it this morning and you know my thoughts well.

For me the Italianness, this word, is on a razor’s edge, on the one hand you fall from the chic (elegant) ….. sorry kich (tacky) and on the other you are cool, the Italianness famous all over the world .

Unfortunately, this obstacle is put up by people. I try to give you an example: if Italy wins the Europeans (football), we are all cool we are all proud, if Italy is “out” from the World Cup qualifiers, we have something to say.

I think that Italianness is something you feel, and I can tell you the truth, I discovered it when we participated in Eurovision. I have learned to love our flag, there hasn’t been a moment where I was more proud of being Italian, and I tell you sincerely.

The experience of Eurovision is a competition, and you are there to give prestige to your country, because in the end you are talking about Italy, you are representing Italy, and this Italianness is often mistaken for “pizza and mandolin” and singers who they sing Italian brigades, and there is nothing wrong, in the end, because if I think of all the greatest Italian immigrants in America, I feel like saying Dean Martin, I feel like saying Frank Sinatra, I feel like saying Perry Como, and Tony Bennet, so so be it !!

We are very fond of Italy and we will always be proud to sing the Italian repertoire, we will do it, now anyway with Morricone, we are proud to be Italian, because Morricone is an Italian and he is the greatest, and everyone knows him, in cinema he is a crazy thing. We also had the opportunity to meet at the film festival (Venice), Antonio Banderas, Tom Hanks passed by and when you talk about Morricone … and also recently we have collaborated with the maestro Storaro ….. they are names that: how do you don’t be proud of being Italian?

SPINELLI = Even to make you proud, to be Italian, just think of Eurovision, I still remember, arrived at the airport, in the taxi, while I was coming to the State Hall (Vienna 2015, Il Volo was in the race), the driver tells me:
“You are italian? “,
Yes,
“are you coming for Eurovision?”,
Yes,
“this year you win” (ie Il Volo), because it was clear that in any case, that was the feeling.
You collided with the prejudice of the juries (they gave low marks to Il Volo), which happened a little this year too, a little less than you, in fact we saw the result (the Maneskin won).

I mean this, the prejudice, there has always been, because in any case the winner creates some stomach ache, we have seen it in sport, we have seen it in music … the Maneskin win and take drugs (he refers to the fact that on the evening of the Maneskin victory, the foreign newspapers said they were addicted, the usual negative press), Jacobs wins and gets doped (Italian athlete first in the 100 meters Olympics and the press wrote that he was doped, always bad press ).

This also happened with you, when you went to America for the first time, if I’m not mistaken, everyone said: “Yes ok, this is the record, but then they won’t be able to keep that level”, and then you, on the other hand, during the various television broadcasts, you kept it.

IGNAZIO = Just a little thing, the answers are given with time and with facts, and we, as a group, have always tried to keep quiet about provocations and demonstrate, and we did it from the first Sanremo up to …. .before, from the beginning, then Sanremo and until today.

This is a thought that all three of us have, and thank you that we have this common thought, the desire to work, head down, and prove with facts. And then, frankly, when one is fine, with what he does and is satisfied, but we never stop, but we are satisfied, proud of what we are able to do together, the criticisms, people talk, but they will always talk, of everything.

Ignazio answering a question on stage with Piero, Spinelli and Gianlua

PIERO = An artist, if he decides to do this profession, renounces his own “comfort zone” directly, so he puts himself on display and clearly, the others give an opinion.

Participation in Sanremo in 2015, we were a little doubtful, hesitant, and we have to thank Bruno Vespa, during a dinner he said: “Sorry guys, why do you have the doubt of participating in the Sanremo festival? You are not famous in Italy” … because we sang only abroad and in Italy everyone had forgotten our name …. “you have nothing to lose . If you finish last, you haven’t lost anything, you can only gain something. “ We are grateful to Bruno Vespa for his great advice.

SPINELLI = I would like to ask you something, if I can, if you like, could you give a hint to what you were doing in broadcasting in America, to show that in fact you were really harmonizers, people who knew what they were doing and those songs were truly made without artifice.

PIERO = Also because in America you can’t lip-sync, so you should know that in America, the “morning show” is fashionable, people wake up early in the morning, and the morning show is at 6 in the morning, the soundcheck at 5.30, you don’t wake up and go singing, you also have to warm up your voice. So my next door neighbor at 3.30am in New York, when I started vocalizing, 8 times out of 10, he would hit the wall saying “shut up, shut up” 😁😁😁 and I kept warming up my voice!

But in the morning shows, if you want to go back to your request, what do you want …..

IGNAZIO = What are you asking us? Sing or …..

SPINELLI = A harmony.

PIERO = Usually there are three of us. What is harmony? They may be wondering what harmony is ?? ….

GIAN = Everyone knows!

PIERO = Not everyone knows … (to the audience) do you know what harmony is?

IGNAZIO = When we are well together there is harmony.

PIERO = That’s right, that’s the one there. We have three voices, two tenors and a baritone. One makes the melodic line, the one everyone knows, the other makes the upper harmony and the other the lower one.

(turning to Ignazio and Gian) Can I make the melody ?? OK !

(Ignazio begins to sing the refrain of Il Mondo)  (applause)

IGNAZIO = This isn’t just what we did on TV shows. I have memories, crazy images at the beginning, in the vans, which took us from the hotel to the television stations, in Germany, rather than in Holland. Do you remember? (he turns to Piero and Gian) we were doing the harmonies on Christmas songs, we were little ones and we were arguing “No, you have to do that, I have to do this” (he laughs), they are good memories.

PIERO = In 12 years, it’s amazing how our relationship has strengthened, day after day, you know, usually in groups, there are those who want to be the leader, those who want to be the first woman, in our group, this thing doesn’t exists.

As with any team, there is always a commander. We must say that our greatest fortune in life, the most beautiful, greatest thing my parents taught me, is to be grateful. We are grateful to a person who follows us from the first day we met, until a minute ago, at lunch, is our greatest advisor, our backbone. We often say this in interviews, but we will never stop thanking him, because he is the fourth member of Il Volo, he is the fourth artist and he is Michele Torpedine. (applause)

(Piero turns to Michele) I wanted to thank you in public, ….. we wanted, in the name of all three, to thank you in public.

IGNAZIO = Well, only he thanks you, not us, that is, let’s be clear …. (but then Piero corrected himself).

GIAN = I apologize if I speak little, but I have a headache that is breaking out. I apologize that maybe, I seem unpleasant, but I wanted to say it …..

IGNAZIO = It’s not like you look … we know … (he jokes)

GIAN = ….. I wanted to say this, because I don’t want to seem what I am not.

SPINELLI = No, Gianluca!

IGNAZIO = In fact, he first got out of tune, I don’t know if you noticed. (laughs)

SPINELLI = Another thing, in 10 years, thanks to this success, American success, you have met many people, here, I would like to ask you what were your encounters with extraordinary men that you have found along the way, famous and less famous. I would like a memory each.

IGNAZIO = I have an indelible memory, perhaps the greatest birthday present, I’ve ever had, and it was the first sound rehearsals with Barbra Streisand, when we toured with her. I want to tell you something, I don’t know if it can be told, but I always make a fool of myself, so I tell it.

When we were contacted to tour with her, we signed a contract, where we couldn’t look her in the eye, get too close, all these things here, these safety things.

In the end we didn’t respect anything, but not because we didn’t respect it, but it was she who didn’t respect it, she was the one who came up on stage and said: “Guys I cut my hair, you should too, cut a little here “, then we were talking about bra straps, do you understand? We talked about a lot of things, it’s incredible how, we so young, we knew by name Barbra Streisand, but in that period we documented ourselves on everything she did, as an actress, as a singer, as a director, we informed ourselves, we “discovered” her.

Touring with her, knowing who she was, who she is, and who she will be, because she will remain in history, you look at her differently on stage, and it is something that will always remain in our hearts, in our minds, all performances, all the time spent together, the rehearsals, the concerts, her saying “shut your mouth”, when maybe we were doing a high pitch, (he refers to their phrase during the tour), are things that I personally will not forget.

Closeup of Ignazio answering a question

GIAN = But then we were little, and then we went through the most delicate period which is adolescence, the period of youth bewilderment, of kids who may not know what role they will play in life or what they will do. We recognized this vocation, which is the passion for singing that made us feel good. The support of our parents, who have always encouraged us to pursue this goal, which then came naturally, that of singing, because it made us feel good.
And then the luck of having met on a television program, in the same year, in the same edition, and then a series of lucky events, which then led us to reach these goals, with a great team, as Piero said, and therefore we are also privileged because we take nothing for granted, and this great privilege, as I said, is this of bringing this great musical cultural heritage that is bel canto, following in the footsteps of great idols like Andrea Bocelli, like Mario Lanza, that it all began at the time of del Monaco, it is a music that can certainly be said, an eternal music, and now we demonstrate, with this project with the music of Morricone, that we may pass from O Sole Mio, to the first sung version of  The Ecstasy of Gold, with the music of The Good, the Bad, the Ugly, so this is also an artistic upgrade, which we try to have every time, project after project. And so we work hard for that too.

IGNAZIO = Beautiful …… but the question was: “Who is left to you ……”😁

GIAN = Yes, I wanted to get there ….

SPINELLI = (answering to Ignazio) I would have done it again later (the question)

GIAN = …… I also wanted to connect to your speech, which is also nice that we have this great relationship, and we have this passion in common …..

IGNAZIO = This was the preface ….😁

GIAN = One of my best experiences, I can say that is the one where I celebrated my 16th birthday with Paul Anka and we sang together “Put Your Head on My Shoulder” in Los Angeles, you realize, with the great Paul Anka, we were there in a restaurant in Los Angeles, who was friends with Michele and the whole team from the first album, so we were sixteen, we were little, actually I didn’t even know who he was, (Paul Anka), then oh well, they explained to me …. (laughter) …. but today I can tell you it was Paul Anka!

SPINELLI = Damn!

GIAN = And then, a memorable thing, when we were all three, we were singing in Panama, I get up, because at a certain point we were having lunch with the Pope: “Can we take a selfie like young people do?”, And the Pope : “Sure, yes yes, with pleasure, let’s take a selfie” (Gian imitates the voice of Pope Francis). So we can say that we also took a selfie with the Pope two years ago. 

IL VOLO selfie with Pope Francis

IGNAZIO = But I did the worst one, actually I should be ashamed, I called Woody Allen a saxophonist (laughter).

GIAN = This happens, you understand (addressed to the audience), when you pick up three children from school desks and put them on the other side of the world, rightly, from Marsala you ask yourself: “Who is Woody Allen?”

IGNAZIO = But wait, a sensational gaffe, but I didn’t tell him, I asked: “Is that the saxophonist?”, but no, but he plays the clarinet very well …

GIAN = No, the sax, so you got confused …

IGNAZIO = So I wasn’t very wrong.

SPINELLI = Now I ask the question to him (to Piero), but first about gaffe (he turns to Gianluca), “kid don’t worry …..”

GIAN = Ah, yes, that’s nice, because in 2011, we were working on the first record, and there was also a Morricone medley, made by Once Upon a Time in America and Malena, the medley is called “E più ti penso”.

We had to sing in Piazza del Popolo (Rome), with the Sinfonietta, the great orchestra of Maestro Morricone, there were rehearsals the day before and we arrive at this hotel, in this giant room, there were all the orchestra elements , with maestro Morricone who welcomes us.

You, imagine, we sixteen, fifteen, we arrive, with short legs, which then remained so ….

IGNAZIO = I’ve never had short legs! 😁

GIAN = ….. mine, I talk about me, not about you (laughs) at some point we arrive, the song starts with a note mmmmm, the double basses, and I was supposed to start “and the more I think of you .. . “and I don’t start, so the teacher does this, he gives the attack to the orchestra and I don’t start. I look at it and say “Ah, but you give me the attack?” (laughs). The first violin like this (imitates the surprised face). He (Morricone) turns and says: “Don’t worry kid, I’ll take care of it, I’ll give you the attack”.

This will remain in the annals …..

Closeup of Gianluca answering a question

PIERO = If this is the effect that his headache has on him ….. I hope you have a headache every day.

GIAN = I have recovered, I have recovered, just take a look.

PIERO = I have two memories.

IGNAZIO = The first is Barbara D’Urso !! (Italian presenter)

PIERO = No, the first memory is in 2010 We Are The Word for Haiti, after 25 years they remake Michael Jackson’s We Are The Word, produced by Quincy Jones and Lionel Ritchie.
They chose many artists, including Barbra Streisand, Celin Dion, there were all, and as Italians, only us in the midst of the choir.

It was nice that day, because we found ourselves with many artists, you consider that we started from three small towns, two Sicilians and one from Abruzzo, catapulted in front of Quincy Jones ….. we had Barbara Vitali, where is (and points to her in the room) she is, I don’t know, who you are to us ….

IGNAZIO = Shadow.

PIERO = … has been with us for 12 years ….

GIAN = She is our shadow.

PIERO = She is with us every day.
Have you seen “The Devil Wears Prada” (film), when the manager walks alongside and points, this does what … she (Barbara Vitali) does this to us, she did this, because today, perhaps, we learned a little bit. However that day she pointed out to us: “That’s Barbra Streisand, that’s Quincy Jones, that Lionel Ritchie,” … and so on.

The second memory, the experience, for me, was the collaboration with Maestro Placido Domingo, in 2016.

SPINELLI = In Florence.

PIERO = (nods) The fact that he agreed to direct the orchestra on stage, and duet with us, was a great gesture, a gesture of trust on the part of Maestro Plácido Domingo and the beautiful relationship that was born with all his family.

And I, that project, I link it to a great meeting, which I had in my life, meeting with a great person that we will all carry (he puts his hand on his heart), who has a comfortable place in our heart. (applause).

Closeup of Piero answering a question

SPINELLI = Question: How do you see yourself in 10 years.

IGNAZIO = Gianluca certainly hopes to see himself taller. I thinner…

GIAN = No, oh well !!
However, as we said before, we are three simple guys, from this point of view, we also try to give an example of responsible people, who have a certain lifestyle, who love what they do, are 100% dedicated to work, that have goals.

It is clear that today the “bad boys” has more effect, it comes more immediately, let’s say.

Many young people, even our age, get lost, because they do not give priority to study and many other things, but they give priority to easy things, which do not require sacrifices.

IGNAZIO = Or they are satisfied with the “citizenship income”, unfortunately.

GIAN = We want to give this example of guys who, thanks to perseverance and great ambition, we were able to obtain ….. also thanks to our team and especially to the family, to have the support of a large family, we are happy with education that they have given us, since we were little, and we always try to give this great example, of responsibility, of humility, we hope to be, and even in 10 years, we want to try to remain what we are, what we were also from children, and to always reach the goals and to always carry the name of our music, through our voices, our culture.

SPINELLI = We are in the pipeline, I would like to ask you another question: “Would you have sung in Sanremo without an audience, like the one celebrated in March?”

PIERO = This year, the fact that we were hosted in Sanremo was particular, unpublished to all of us, but I want to say one important thing, this year we sang in Sanremo without an audience….

SPINELLI = Singing yes, but being in the race is another thing ….

PIERO = But it’s the same thing ….

GIAN = There is the awareness of millions of home viewers …..

View of the stage from the back of the room

PIERO = In the events, it is clear that the public makes the difference, it gives you more energy, there is more adrenaline, but it was not lacking, and this year I must tell you that, it was a Sanremo without an audience, but it made us understand how strong Ignazio is, because this year was a special year for him, and he stayed on stage with us singing, despite the great loss…

GIAN = The audience was there, there was a special person who was there with us that evening.

PIERO = And this does us, does you (looks at Ignazio), great honor. (appaluse) 

SPINELLI = This is professionalism, this is a reason to be on stage to honor it, in any situation, even the most difficult.

IGNAZIO = If I can afford to say one thing. Often … we think about the people we no longer have, and unfortunately one thing, when it happens, you cannot control it, but I have learned in recent months that it is better not to have a person physically and feel them, than to have them and not feel them. Sure it will always be missing, but I feel it every day, it is with me every day and so, that’s okay. ❤

PIERO = To conclude, we thank you for having turned on the spotlight again for those who work in the field of entertainment, on behalf of all our colleagues.

We hope that everything will be resolved soon. Thanks.

SPINELLI = Thanks to Il Volo, thanks. (applause)

Spinelli and IL VOLO on stage posing for photographers

And finally, Il Volo has released this little video-clip from IL GIORNO.

And here is the translation:

PIERO = We read in the news, 100% open.

It seems that the world is back to the way it was before and instead it is not, because not everyone sings in theaters. We are here today to represent our colleagues, all the artists who perform concerts in stadiums, in sports halls, in clubs.

So we seek and demand a clearer answer.

IGNAZIO = We can’t wait to try again that emotion that only some spaces can give, and to finally return to being able to have fun, to be able to spend a carefree evening, without problems, without work.

GIAN = But we are confident optimists by nature.
Clear that the situation is improving and we are realizing it.

IGNAZIO = But, I’m a bit more controversial. We hope to have some answers as soon as possible, not only for us, but also on behalf of all the people who work alongside us and behind us.

PIERO = And also for the people who buy tickets, because we have to regain people’s trust, give certainty to what they are buying.

Left to right: Closeup of Piero, Ignazio and Gianluca

After such a long but articulated interview, where very beautiful things and very profound concepts were expressed, what can I say ….. I have the impression that journalists have understood that, when they want to have interesting interlocutors, never banal , deep and sincere, if they call Il Volo, they know they will get all this.

Gianluca, Ignazio, Piero, I am deeply proud to be a fan of yours, not only from an artistic point of view, but also from a human one.

Thank you for being who you are!

Daniela

And now, to finish, this beautiful video. ❤️

Credit to owners of all photos and videos.

 

Credit to owners of all photos and videos.

IL VOLO SINGS MORRICONE by Daniela

The news was confirmed by several parties, in less than a month, the new Il Volo CD: 
IL VOLO SINGS MORRICONE, will be released.
The date is on November 5th, but it is already possible to pre-order it.

New IL VOLO Sings Morricone CD cover art

The album will be available in the following formats: standard CD, Deluxe Version CD, double colored vinyl and double black vinyl.
“Your Love”, taken from Once Upon a Time in the West, a song that Il Volo presented for the first time at the Sanremo 2021 Festival, is available on streaming platforms.
The album Il Volo sings Morricone comes after the concert-event, Il Volo – Tribute to Ennio Morricone, which aired live on Rai 1 last June and which was held at the Verona Arena.
I can’t wait to have this CD.
But I will not order it, because I hope that Il Volo, like every time, will make an instore in Milan, where it will be possible to buy it and also meet our three treasures, and take a picture with them.
Of course, then I’ll tell you everything !!

Black and white photo of the guys of IL VOLO at the piano

But now, we observe well the new CD.
First, let’s take a look at the cover.
I have to congratulate those who have thought of presenting the new CD taking a cue from the movie posters.
I really like this idea, in fact the photo of Il Volo is very reminiscent of the poster of “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly”, as you can see.
Italian poster of The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
And now, let’s take a look at the song list:
Tracklist of Il Volo Sings Morricone
1. The Ecstasy of Gold (from “Il Buono, Il Brutto, Il Cattivo”)
2. Your Love (from “C’era una volta il West”)
3. Nella fantasia feat. Andrea Griminelli (from “Mission”)
4. Metti una sera a cena (from “Metti una sera a cena”)
5. Se feat. HAUSER (from “Cinema Paradiso”)
6. La Califfa feat. David Garrett (from “La Califfa”)
7. Conradiana (from “Nostromo”)
8. E più ti penso (from “C’era una volta in America/ Malèna”)
9. Se telefonando
10. Come Sail Away feat. Chris Botti
11. Would He Even No Me Know? (from “Cinema Paradiso”)
12. Amalia por amor
13. Here’s To You (from “Sacco & Vanzetti”)
14. I colori dell’amore
They are all beautiful songs, but let’s take a step by step look.
First of all I see that there are several very good musicians who will perform some music that our kids will sing.
Here in fact:

ANDREA GRIMINELLI , the good Italian flutist, whom we already met during the concert, he will perform the piece n.3

ANDREA GRIMINELLI with flute

STJEPAN HAUSER, the good Croatian cellist, (he is part of the 2 cellos), who will perform the piece n.5.

STJEPAN HAUSER with cello

DAVID GARRET, the good German violinist, will perform the piece n.6.

DAVID GARRET with violin

CHRIS BOTTI, the good American trumpeter, will perform the piece n.10.

CHRIS BOTTI with trumpet

…… I would say 4 stars of musicians, who come from different places and countries.
I like this.😉
And now let’s read all the titles of the songs, and immediately we discover that:
LA CALIFFA (6)
COME SAIL AWAY (10)
WOULD HE EVEN NO ME KNOW? (11)
AMALIA POR AMOR (12)
were not heard in the concert, so they’re new songs for us.

IL VOLO dressed in black sitting together on the floor

What can I say, the other songs I heard in concert and they were magnificent.
Who knows what will be the pieces that Piero, Ignazio and Gianluca will perform as soloists, as they usually do.
Furthermore, rumors say that soon, before the release of the CD, the new video will be online !!
I cannot wait to see the new video, and to hear the new CD.☺❤

Closeup of IL VOLO on stage singing

And now a little news of the last moment, today Saturday 9 October, at 14:00 (Italian time), Il Volo was interviewed by a journalist.
Here’s the news:
“Piero Barone, Ignazio Boschetto and Gianluca Ginoble, members of Il Volo, will tell Andrea Spinelli, music critic of QN Quotidiano Nazionale, the emotion of having been the protagonists of the first great post-pandemic live event, the concert dedicated to Maestro Ennio Morricone audience champion also on Rai1.”
Don’t worry, I’m ready for the translation!
Daniela 🤗

 

Credit to owners of all photos and videos.

La Famiglia Cristiana Interviews La Famiglia Il Volo By Giovanna

We’ve recently had so many intriguing posts about the Verona concert, the latest Il Volo TV interview, and the history of Il Volo, that I took a short break from writing and translating (while I worked at my day job)!  In any case, Flight Crew still wanted you to get the translation of an Il Volo interview article that appeared in Famiglia Cristiana magazine right before the Verona concert.
The Famiglia Cristiana article pursued some of the things many other interviewers have already asked the guys:  their memories, their feelings about returning to the stage, upcoming recordings.  But this article touched on one or two things that most of the media don’t usually get Il Volo to talk about:  supporting each other during crises, their faith, prayer, marriage, starting a family.  See if you agree with me that overall, Ignazio said the least, but revealed the most.
The Cover Story Title is “Exclusive:  Il Volo at the Arena of Verona in Concert for Morricone.  Once Again in Front of the Public.” The cover quote from the guys is “Our Strength?  It’s Our Friendship and Our Faith.”

This posting will be a little different than my previous ones, because I am giving you the actual magazine pages, so we can enjoy the whole thing together.  I put the translation of the call-out boxes into our own call-out boxes.  In case some of the magazine pages aren’t super sharp, we have also embedded some of the original shots here and there for you to enjoy.
(Each image in this post can be clicked on to view a larger version.)
As you can see below, the inside headline, besides repeating the cover, adds: “The Three Singers of Il Volo are the Stars of a Concert in Honor of Ennio Morricone, Whom We Lost One Year Ago.

When I first saw this article, it added to my impression that the Verona concert was dedicated to more different people than any other show I’ve ever heard.  Daniela’s and my translations of the stage talk from the concert over the past month showed that in addition to the show being dedicated to the memory of Maestro Ennio Morricone, Ignazio dedicated the concert to those we lost during the pandemic, and Piero dedicated it to Ignazio’s late father Vito.  Now, at the bottom of this magazine article, we see Gianluca’s statement “I’m dedicating this show to my grandfather Ernesto who recovered from the [Corona] virus.  It’s he who helped me discover the westerns of Sergio Leone.”

Sergio Leone, as you probably know is the Italian film director whose “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” featured Maestro Morricone’s music, and like the other two films in that trilogy, A Fistful of Dollars and For a Few Dollars More, added up to help make Clint Eastwood a star.  Leone also directed the “Once Upon a Time” series of western films.  Given Leone’s Italia origins, he is the founder of the style that came to be called “Spaghetti Westerns.”
So, without further ado, here’s the translation of the article by Eugenio Arcidiacono. [Based on his name, he may actually be an archdeacon].
“The interview takes place remotely, with the three Il Volo guys linked by video from their homes.  But on June 5 will put them back together again for the first big concert in Italy with the public (a live audience) since the start of the pandemic: 6 thousand people will listen to them in the Arena di Verona during their tribute to Ennio Morricone one year after his loss (and the lucky ticketholders will be allowed to return home later than the curfew hour).  Many more are those who will follow them on TV, live on RAI1 and in other countries of the world, from the United States to Japan.  A great challenge after a year and a half of inactivity for Piero Barone, Gianluca Ginoble and Ignazio Boschetto.“
“We’re only thinking about one thing:  finally, we get to sing.  We couldn’t stand it anymore!” exclaims Piero.  “We prepared for months, partly because for us it’s a totally new repertoire, with the exception of Il Più Ti Penso, a song that was constructed by blending themes from Once Upon a Time in America and from Malèna, which we included in our first album. 
EA: Did any of the other tracks have lyrics written purposely for you?
Ignazio: “No, they’ve already been performed with lyrics.  The only “gem” is Ecstasy of Gold from the Good the Bad and the Ugly:  the Morricone family gave it lyrics, so it was a debut performance.
Gianluca: “There have been so many tributes to Morricone, but this will be the very first time for a tribute done by a male group.  A tribute that will be translated to a CD that will come out after the summer.  Andrea Morricone came to us in the recording studio and will be a guest on the stage to conduct some of his father’s music.”
EA: You’ve been conducted by Ennio Morricone in concert in the Piazza Del Popolo in Rome in 2011.  You weren’t even 20 years old.  What memories do you have?
Gianluca: “It’s true, we return to being children when we think of him.  We were really naïve.  I remember that during the general rehearsals with a one-hundred-piece orchestra he gave me the cue to start singing, but I didn’t start.  Morricone turned to me [for not starting], and then I said to him,  “So you give me the start cue?’  I saw the first violinist turn white [with shock] because I addressed the maestro as “tu” [the familiar/intimate form of you, which is not supposed to be used to conductors and music directors].  But he just smiled at me and said to me ‘Guys, don’t worry about it.  I’ll deal with it.’”
EA:  What is the first film with his music that you saw?
Piero: “Nuovo Cinema Paradiso.  As a real Sicilian I recognized myself in that little boy who wanted to get away from his homeland to find his own way, and who listened to the adult he was most attached to, who counseled him to not get trapped by nostalgia. I’ve only cried a few times in my life, but when I saw it and heard that poignant music, I melted like a popsicle.”
Piero stops, and begins to hum the theme song from Nuovo Cinema Paradiso. “Who knows these notes? With our concert we want to make our audience take a dip into their past, rediscovering the emotions they experienced the first time they saw these films.”

 

Gianluca: “I, on the other hand, am fond of westerns, because I watched them with my Grandfather Ernesto, whom I’m extremely attached to.  When I let him hear The Good, the Bad and the Ugly sung by us, he got very excited.  I dedicate the concert and the CD to him, because at 87 years old he became sick with COVID and took a month in the hospital to recover.  We were very scared, but in the end, he made it.”
EA: The concert was originally expected to be in St. Peter’s Square, but instead became the season opener in the Arena of Verona.
Piero: “We thought of St. Peter’s Square because Morricone was from Rome, but they didn’t have the conditions to guarantee [everyone’s] safety there.  At the Arena of Verona, on the other hand, these conditions were present and it’s as magical a place as any, and recognized all over the world.  But we still want to return to St. Peter’s Square as soon as possible.”
EA:  Morricone has also composed musical scores thick with spirituality.  Will you also perform one of those?
Gianluca: “In Fantasy, a track based on the theme of Gabriel’s Oboe, from the film Mission, one of the most mystical melodies ever composed by the master, accompanied by words like “In fantasy exists a warm wind which blows over the cities, like a friend.  I dream of souls that are forever free.”
EA:  As ambassadors of Italian music to the world, what do you think about Maneskin’s victory at the Eurofestival?
Piero: “We’re very happy.  They are young people with great personality who present an “unpublished” side of Italian music to the outside:  rock.”
Gianluca: “They do a completely different genre than ours, but we like them.  We don’t listen to lyric music from morning to night.  I grew up with David Bowie and Elton John.”
EA: In these months of forced inactivity, how has the relationship among you been, especially as friends?
Piero: “We got to know each other better.  We talked a great deal, not just about music; and above all, we learned how to listen to each other.”
EA:  How do you feel about those three child prodigies who in 2009 appeared on Ti Lascio Una Canzone?
Piero: Much tenderness, but also pride.  We have been fortunate but also good at not getting sucked into the most ephemeral, fleeting parts of show business.  We have managed not to lose contact with reality, because we have always remained anchored to our families.
EA:  All three of you are believers and practicing [Catholics].  What reflections have sustained you in these times we’re living in?
Ignazio: “Like Piero said, this pandemic has made us grow as persons, because we have held each other up in difficult times, like the death of my father and the illness of Gianluca’s grandfather.  But our faith has been fundamental in helping us.  Prayer, in particular, has proven its power.”
EA: After the Arena of Verona, you won’t be doing concerts [in Italy] for the rest of the year.  You can take advantage of this to start having your families.
Gianluca: “I’m still such a kid, that I can’t imagine myself as a father.”
Piero: “For sure, the first of us to get married will be Ignazio.”
Ignazio: “Yes, it’s true that I have always dreamed of a wife and children.  With the job I do it’s not easy.  But I’ve been working on it…

Credit to Famiglia Cristiana and owners of all photos.