Tag Archives: Ti Lascio Una Canzone

PORTA A PORTA 2022 AND OTHER NEWS by Daniela

This episode of Porta a Porta was supposed to air in February, but due to the war in Ukraine it has always been postponed.
Last week, with no ads and no announcements, it aired after midnight. Here is the episode and what has been said.
Please click on the photo below to view the video.

Porta a Porta show

VESPA = We are approaching Eurovision, in Turin, the great music festival, and we are going there, remembering Il Volo, the boys of Il Volo, which we baptized here more than 10 years ago.
Let’s open this segment with the guys from Il Volo who will come here, in the studio, with us, and with this clip, Il Volo introduces itself.
(begins a video that traces many moments of Il Volo’s career. Immediately after, Il Volo, in the studio, sings “SE”).
Il Volo, celebrates more than 10 years of success at Porta a Porta. Piero Barone, 29 years old, Ignazio Boschetto, 28 years old, and the plague, Gianluca Ginoble, the worst of all, who runs away, cannot be found, is undisciplined, messy  😁(he says it in a benevolent tone), but he is only 27 years old that we have to do??
GIANLUCA= I’m the youngest, by the way I just turned 27, just last week. 
IGNAZIO= He is the smallest! (Maybe he also says it in a double sense, he also means height) 😁
PIERO = So, I’m the oldest at the table.
VESPA = Madonna, how old are you.
IGNAZIO = Can we sit down?
VESPA = Sure.
PIERO = Bruno, what did I tell you a little while ago?
VESPA + PIERO = The promises are kept. (They had promised to return soon to Porta a Porta)
VESPA = Look, I know it takes a long time . We love you so much, you love us so much, we have brought each other luck ….
PIERO = This program brings good luck, you were the first to invite us and tell everything we were doing outside (means outside Italy).
IGNAZIO = I can say that your program and you were the first person and the first (Italian) program who believed in us, and never took us for granted. We always have Porta a Porta and you in our hearts.
VESPA = Thanks, thanks, thanks.
After two years of hiatus due to the pandemic, who would have said it would last that long, seven thousand people sent home to Los Angeles (he refers to the canceled concerts) and now, go home and then in June ….
PIERO = Exactly, we will start in May from Japan (they didn’t go, I remind you that this episode was recorded in February), in June there will be concerts in Italy, we start from the Arena di Verona, 3 and 4 and maybe … . (implies that there might have been another date) ….
IGNAZIO = Yes, because we have been postponing it for two years
PIERO = Two years, and it seems that we are finally leaving…
VESPA = How many concerts in Italy?
PIERO = In Italy, there will be more or less 15 concerts, I don’t know exactly it’s all in the planning phase.
VESPA = And then instead in autumn: United States …..
PIERO = Autumn: September US, South America will follow and we will return to Japan, then concerts in Europe, we have to recover two years of work.
VESPA = There are many people waiting for you.
Well, we first heard “SE”, taken from the movie “Nuovo Cinema Paradiso”, now we listen to “Ecstasy of Gold” beautiful music by Morricone …
IGNAZIO = Then we also have Clint Eastwood here in the studio (he jokes referring to Gianluca, applause)
GIANLUCA = You two are targeting me, I understand.
VESPA = You have to go straight (a way of saying to be good)
GIANLUCA = I’m going straight, I’m the most restless one, right?
VESPA = Let’s hear these guys (Ecstasy of gold video starts).

This splendid video was filmed in Sardinia, “Il Volo Sings Morricone”, released on November 5th and distributed all over the world. But now we have to go back nine years, you are celebrating 10 years.
IGNAZIO = Yes, we have been celebrating this for two years now (laughter).😁
GIANLUCA = The celebrations never stopped.
VESPA = But you were just out, remember, we took you that you were in swaddling clothes, very small.
GIANLUCA = We have always been a little kids, now almost men.
VESPA = You were kids on December 17, 2013.
PIERO = We were here.
VESPA = Here, at Porta a Porta, let’s see. (a video of Porta a Porta starts and the boys sing “Un Amore così Grande”)
You were really little, and you had already been to America, however, you came from America.
IGNAZIO = We came from America. I remember.
PIERO = What is 2017?
VESPA + IGNAZIO = 2013
VESPA = (Turning to Piero) You looked the youngest, you looked really small, small …
PIERO = I didn’t have a beard, that tuft, a little restyling was done.
GIANLUCA = Before, when we were a little younger,  people liked us , because we were child prodigies, in short, who sang with a different voice than our peers, we dressed a little like “grown-ups”.
Today it’s the other way around, see? (touches his beardless face) Today one takes off his beard and wants to look younger.
IGNAZIO = You take off your beard because you want to look younger. 😁
PIERO = He must always speak in the plural.😁
GIANLUCA = As a child you want to look older, do you see how we were dressed? We were dressed in our thirties there.
VESPA = Can I tell you something? Only once in my life did I feel old … who knows why at 27, at your age (talk to Gianluca)
GIANLUCA = Is it true?
VESPA = You saw, we had the same feeling, and now you are rejuvenated.
GIANLUCA = You can see that at 27 we Abruzzo feel “old”.
VESPA = At 27 we hear it and then we don’t !!
PIERO = The crisis of the 27th year.
VESPA = Yes, the 27th year crisis. (laughter) 😁
So, you then moved on to the theme songs of the television novels.
PIERO = For this you have to talk to Ignazio.
VESPA = Ignazio !
IGNAZIO = But I’ve always had a passion for writing music, I was in Sicily, and I remember I was sitting on the veranda, and the melody came out. So I carried it on and Makari was born.
VESPA = But during Covid?
IGNAZIO = Yes, it was that summer that seemed ….
VESPA = …. that things would return to normal?
IGNAZIO = Yes, like baby candy, right?😁
VESPA = Exactly.
IGNAZIO = And then I found myself writing this melody, and then, with Danilo Ciotti, our collaborator, we presented this song to the Palomar family, who are the producers of Makari, and so it all started.
VESPA = And it went well, let’s hear it. (begins the video of the song Makari)

And good Ignazio!
IGNAZIO = Thanks.
VESPA = Five million viewers!
IGNAZIO = Oh yes.
VESPA = It went really well.
What did you three do during the two years of Covid?
(he turns to Gianluca)
What have you done?
IGNAZIO = He took off his beard! 😁
GIANLUCA = But no!  We decided not to live them passively, trying to stimulate creativity. I learned a little to play the piano, I accompanied  me while I sang, it was my wish.
Then I studied acting a little. We reinvented ourselves, we thought of new projects. Morricone’s project was born thanks to two years of silence.
VESPA = (he turns to Ignazio)
And what about you?
IGNAZIO= You think, I lost weight in the pandemic, and then I gained weight, when everything was sorted out (I think he meant that he had lost weight around the time of his father’s passing away). 
I found love.❤ I studied a lot in the studio, and I improved.
VESPA = Did love distract you a lot?
IGNAZIO = Absolutely not!
VESPA = Did the love train you? Has it invigorated you?
It makes you dream, breathe ….
IGNAZIO = Love is beautiful when it makes you feel good, I’m fine. 😘
GIANLUCA(to Vespa)
You know it’s nice to see you in this role, I don’t see you asking about Meloni’s love (she is a political representative) (Gianluca means that: Porta a Porta is a program that deals with many topics, even political ones, often guests are politicians and they are not asked about their loves, of course) 😁
VESPA = You rather, you sentimentally, how are you doing?
GIANLUCA = I’m in love, I found love too last year, on the red carpet of the Venice Film Festival, think, what a story, like a fairy tale, do you realize? ❤
VESPA = Mamma mia! (and then turns to Piero)
IGNAZIO = Piero never talks (about the subject of love)
VESPA = I don’t want to invade privacy
PIERO = I like privacy, I prefer to live it for myself.
VESPA = …. live it for yourself, so is there a story? ….
PIERO = I mean my private life, for me my private life remains private ….
IGNAZIO(he comes to his friend’s rescue by trying to change the subject) Morricone was a great project, we worked hard 😁😁😁
VESPA = Look at these (Ignazio and Gianluca) talking.
What happened during Morricone?
IGNAZIO = Look, I’m perhaps the wrong person if you want to know something, I have a concrete stomach.
PIERO = About what?
IGNAZIO = On private lives, our gossips.
PIERO = In these two years we have had more time at our disposal, we have always had a hectic life, we have committed all our energies to Ennio Morricone’s project because you know, facing this world requires a lot of study, a lot of research and many thanks to the family of Ennio Morricone.
We have to thank his son, Andrea Morricone, also a great conductor, we had great support from him, he was like our compass, the world of Ennio Morricone is infinite and thanks to our producers and our team we have created Il Volo Sings Morricone, we also gave you vinyl for Christmas….
VESPA = Beautiful, beautiful, thank you!
PIERO = ….. we are delighted to have given voice to Morricone’s melodies, hoping that people are satisfied.
IGNAZIO = Can I add a little thing? At the beginning, perhaps we did not have a great knowledge of Ennio Morricone’s culture.
Once we thought about carrying on this thought, this idea, we immediately began to study, to understand who Morricone really was, because we had the opportunity to meet him in 2010, when we recorded our first album, and we had the opportunity to share the stage with him in 2011, but now we were more interested in understanding who he was and when we entered his world it was like taking a dip in a pool full of culture and emotions, full of feelings who always have something in store for you, it’s hard to explain!
VESPA = Now let’s see a video about who the three guys from Il Volo are all the way through.
Come on.
IGNAZIO = Help!
(part of a video with images of Il Volo a Porta a Porta)
In the video:
WOMAN’S VOICE = It’s been 10 years since Ignazio Boschetto, Piero Barone and Gianluca Ginoble came to visit us for the first time in Porta a Porta, at the dawn of their success.
Ten years in which Il Volo reached unimaginable heights, first, the enormous success in the US, with the invitation of Quincy Jones at the concert for Haiti, with stars of the caliber of Barbra Streisand, Bono and Lady Gaga, the transmission of Hellen De Generes and the lighting of the Christmas tree at the Rockefeller Center.
Then the consecration in Italy with the victory at the Sanremo Festival in 2015, a real triumph, so much so that Grande Amore, reaches 110 million views worldwide (now there are over 215 million views), and drags the trio to third place in the prestigious Eurovision Song Contest, where they are the most voted by the public.
That year we also accompanied them to New York, touching on their popularity, their kindness, their uncommon values, namely: bel canto, family, principles, sobriety, education and respect, especially among themselves, nothing that is taken for granted nowadays.
In the span of a decade they bring the Italian classics all over the world, modernizing them, without upsetting them, it is the boys in sneakers who sing Nessun Dorma and O Sole Mio, to use their words.
They also have the honor of singing in front of Pope Francis and over a million people in Panama on the occasion of World Youth Day.
Even during the health emergency, they continue to make all their fans feel the warmth, participating in the most important international streaming reviews, with a great sense of community and responsibility.
And now, as a sign of rebirth and hope, their world tour is about to start, 110 dates around the world, to celebrate their first 10 extraordinary years of career, an eagerly awaited reunion with the public, to continue to proudly bring Italy and its beauty around the world.
VESPA = We have taken the baton from Aunt Antonella, Antonella Clerici, (Ti Lascio Una Canzone).
GIANLUCA = We greet you with great affection.
VESPA = With great affection.
But you, when did you get together?
IGNAZIO = We met on that TV show, (Ti Lascio Una Canzone), we didn’t know each other before ….
VESPA = Where did you go to sing separately ….
IGNAZIO = We met for the auditions in Rome, in via dei Gracchi.
VESPA = Via dei Gracchi, but each one had gone on his own.
IGNAZIO = Yes, yes! Then in Sanremo, which was where the broadcast took place, we met and in the fourth episode we sang together for the first time (25/04/2009).
PIERO = …. O Sole Mio.
IGNAZIO = … yes, O Sole Mio.
PIERO = Excuse me.
IGNAZIO = But calculate that Gianluca, we couldn’t see him.
VESPA = Was Gianluca terrible?
IGNAZIO = Do you know when you create small groups at school of the normal ones, the quiet ones and the cool ones? 😁
He was part of the cool, but it showed (applause and laughter), then in the end he came in our way, understood!
VESPA = He has converted.
IGNAZIO = And so it all started from there.
VESPA(to Gianluca) But why are they talking about you like that?
IGNAZIO = Because we love him after all, at the bottom, at the bottom …..😘
GIANLUCA = ….. but at the very bottom 😁.
But that was our strength right from the start, did you understand? (to be united). Not only artistically, it was the first time that children sang O Sole Mio.
But then I like to see these videos and remember those moments, because Bel Canto allows you to perform in unique places, but above all to support yourself in projects like Morricone, like in Placido Domingo, like the Maestro Vittorio Storaro who accompanied us on this adventure. We have the honor, at our age, to join these names in cinema and music.
VESPA = Then I will ask you to sing a piece of O Sole Mio, sitting here, so a cappella …
IGNAZIO = If Barone says yes, that’s fine !! 😁
VESPA = Is he the boss?
IGNAZIO = Yes yes, (he jokes) see how he is placed with his arms folded …..
PIERO = I’m listening!
I link to what you were saying, seeing these old videos is really exciting, but on a daily basis it is difficult to find the stimulus and clearly find ideas on what to do. We sang in front of the Pope ….. and now what do we do? And I must tell you that it is a team effort, especially with our manager Torpedine, Mr. Torpedine, he is the mind of this group, and now a little while ago we were looking at the images of last Christmas, we sang three songs in St. Peter’s Square , this year we did it from the Frasassi Caves, a magical place.
VESPA = You will go to Bethlehem.
PIERO = And next year, we are working, by now we are at a good point … (he looks at Torpedine to have approval of the news he is saying)
IGNAZIO = We are checking in.
PIERO = We will sing in front of the grotto of the Nativity in Bethlehem and all this, we must say, also thanks to the support of the Undersecretary for Culture, for whom in November, we will sing in the world meeting of ministers of culture.
VESPA = Beautiful, very beautiful.
PIERO = Yes, I have to tell you that they are very beautiful things.
IGNAZIO = Can I say something? I want to reach out more to young people, to those who, like us, try to send their message. Nowadays it is very easy to arrive, with social networks, with the internet, it is very easy.
VESPA = The problem is to stay.
IGNAZIO = The problem is to stay, and in any case we always tell everything we have done, because we are very proud and grateful ….
PIERO = Do you have an itchy mustache?
IGNAZIO = No, it helps me to think. 😁
PIERO = Ah, ok !!
IGNAZIO = …… and we are very grateful for everything that has happened to us, but in recent years it has not been all roses and flowers, there are moments …..
VESPA = When was the most difficult moment?
IGNAZIO = There are moments in an artist’s career where difficulties come, in our case it was in 2014, when L’Universal did not …..
PIERO = Clearly there has been a change between one record company and another, and therefore there have been three or four months of “darkness”, but I remember that our manager was very good at hiding this from us, we didn’t live in that period of anxiety, he was:  ”Yes, yes, don’t worry, everything is fine, tomorrow I have a meeting”. Instead there was nothing.
IGNAZIO = This is to make it clear that yes, today it is very easy to get there, but maintaining oneself, building oneself, sacrifices, is all very important …
VESPA = When you were little I used to tell you:
“Guys down to earth”.
IGNAZIO = Absolutely ….
VESPA = Never mount your head, NEVER, when you think you are something more, already what you are is already a lot, always fly low low ….. (Vespa is referring to not being full of oneself)
IGNAZIO = I wanted to say it here.
VESPA = I don’t remember, what happened in Sanremo in 2015!
IGNAZIO = What happened?
VESPA = Bho! Let’s see for a moment! (the video of Grande Amore in Sanremo starts). (At some point the video loses audio due to a problem raised by the composer).
VESPA(He turns to Ignazio).
Now you do it again (the final note and Ignazio does it)
(Ring the bell, enter Vittorio Storaro on the show.)
VESPA = We have to greet a great person: Vittorio Storaro.
Vittorio, it’s a great pleasure to have you here, thank you.
Three Oscars, please take a seat. You can take off the mask.
STORARO = Now it can be done, respecting the distances, the rules and the possibility of being careful, not only with the vaccine, but also with the distances and the embrace of well-vaccinated friends.
IGNAZIO = But that’s why I’m away from Gianluca, for nothing else. 😁 (he jokes)
GIANLUCA = He (Ignazio) is angry with me, he is angry with me master …
STORARO = He (Gianluca) has a great energy, it is the energy that we have that usually brings the affections too. But be careful not to lose it, with the distance.
IGNAZIO = In what sense?
GIANLUCA = You have to be careful.
IGNAZIO = No, no, I am like a magnet for him, we attract the two of us.
VESPA = Vittorio Storaro won three Oscars (photography award), 1980 for Frencis Ford Coppola’s Apocalypse Now, 1982 for Beatty’s Reds and Bernardo Bertolucci’s The Last Emperor in 1988.
Beyond these awards, even we reporters who have approached the cameras a few times, looking at the light of Vittorio Storaro, already looking at it, we have learned something.
We learned what is beautiful and what is ugly, and what is beautiful, you did it. And this was truly a great lesson.
STORARO = All this comes from the great studies of Hippocrates who studied the elements of life, the natural elements that arrived on our body, on our organism.
We see light, not only with the eyes, but with the whole body, we are a sensitive plate. Light is visible energy and therefore it reaches us with a certain frequency, and the more it touches us, the more it excites us.
VESPA = So ….. what do you have to do with Vittorio Storaro? What have you done together?
PIERO = The moment before I met Storaro, I wasn’t sure whether to give him the you, the her, or the you or theirs, I wanted to give theirs (he means that he was in awe of respect for Storaro), but we have one thing in common, we were born on the same day, different year, the 24th of June ….
STORARO = We are Cancer (zodiac sign).
PIERO = Maestro Storaro, before being a great artist is a great person, he transmitted so much, so much wisdom, and so much art to us and we have to thank him because, you know, sharing his experience, his art, his being, with three boys of 27 or 28 years, it is not obvious, it does not happen every day.
VESPA = You have put together Morricone’s music, the images of Storaro, Oscar winner …
IGNAZIO = Yes, because we have been trying to collaborate with Maestro Storaro for years and we never managed to find a just cause, deep and sincere, with great significance and this year, that is last year, that moment has come, it has come  that idea.
VESPA = So let’s see this clip, Il Volo in the Caves …..
STORARO = Can I explain first a moment? Is useful.
VESPA = You’re welcome.
STORARO = It is true what Ignazio says, I had two Don Abbondio (he means two people who wanted to do this project … Don Abbondio is the character of the Promessi Sposi, a novel by Manzoni). Michele Torpedine called me, wrote to me every now and then to invite me to their concerts, he said, at least you know each other, it would be nice to make a video together.
While they were in Verona, I was in New York with Woody Allen, they went to New York, and I was always with Woody Allen in Spain or so on.
Then there was Maurizio Tosoroni who is the person in charge of the Frasassi Caves who asked me and Francesca (daughter of Storaro) who you know well, if we could conceive with modern technologies, and with a different creativity, that beautiful lighting they have the Frasassi Caves, which in this period of Covid were totally dark, totally closed and told me: “Why don’t we think about a project?”
The two Don Abbondio got together, they called me and I began to rehearse with lights, which we created together with Francesca related to the arts, because there was a phrase that struck me from our minister of culture, Dario Franceschini, that it is right to follow all the scientific warnings, medicines, vaccines, distances, masks, but if we add the energy, the creativity of the arts, maybe we can help so that everything can come back to life in a certain way.
VESPA = Of course, music and art give us hope, they help us to find the light.
STORARO = Do you understand? Also because we conceived the lights with Francesca, also linked to the muses, that is to the arts, and then I thought: “What can I do, with the trio Il Volo, inside the Frasassi Caves” and reminding me that they had told me that it was the fiftieth anniversary of the year in which three young speleologists descending from a hole with a rope, had discovered this incredible archaeological site among the best in the world, with the three of them (Il Volo) we reconstruct, not in a realistic way, but in a symbolic way, because they cannot go down with the suit and then sing, but in a tuxedo, and therefore in a symbolic way we have reconstructed the descent of the three , one at a time, first Gianluca, then Piero, then Ignazio, and little by little one descends, the light begins to rise …
VESPA = How wonderful! Let’s see it.
STORARO = Wait, I say one last thing. Only when Gianluca begins to sing, then Piero and then Ignazio, are together, they are like a seed that fertilizes mother earth and regenerates, and the trio becomes another trio, two trios, ten trios, one hundred trios, one thousand trios, none , one hundred thousand by Pirandello (Italian author). This was the creative energy of Il Volo.
VESPA = Well, let’s see it now. (The full video made in the Frasassi Caves begins.)

How wonderful!! Really what a treat !!
Beautiful beautiful beautiful.
STORARO= Nothing is random.
I have made 7 films with Ennio Morricone, and 10 films with Bernardo Bertolucci, and coincidentally this song comes from the film that the subject was written by Bernardo Bertolucci. I remember when I came here to say goodbye to Bernardo with you, and I told you about the possibility that I made him a promise, to restore and preserve all 10 films we made together, and I’m doing it now in the Cinecittà laboratory, with very modern technologies and with the possibility that these icons can last indefinitely.
VESPA = How wonderful!
Bravo, bravo Vittorio, also for this.
GIANLUCA=  I wanted to say that for us, our greatest goal is also to bring the beauties of our country. The Frasassi Caves, deserve to be, as they are already known all over the world, but even more so.
This was the perfect soundtrack, it was a wonderful experience in a magical place and living it with Maestro Storaro was even more so. It was truly an honor to be able to work together.
VESPA = Speaking of magical places, well, Santa Croce, in Florence (Notte Magica), but who would have thought it, direct by Placido Domingo.
PIERO = That was a great evening.
VESPA = Florence 2016 (The Magic Night video starts)

You didn’t have time to meet our friend Luciano Pavarotti.
IGNAZIO = Unfortunately not.
VESPA = In my opinion he would have put his hand on your shoulder, he was a person of absolute generosity who was really looking for, he was looking for new talents.
PIERO = This evening, the evening in Florence in Santa Croce, Tribute to the three Tenors, we had, in some way, the support from the three, because the maestro Placido Domingo directed the orchestra, but the Pavarotti foundation supported this idea because Nicoletta Mantovani (Pavarotti’s wife) gave the okay and said these very words: “The master would have liked this project”.
VESPA = Yes, absolutely yes.
VESPA = So, 2019, so these are the last things before Covid, at the Bolshoi Theater …
PIERO = To the Moscow Bolshoi
VESPA = La Traviata.
PIERO = Beautiful.
IGNAZIO = I was terribly ill, I had a fever that evening.
VESPA = Did you sing with a fever?
IGNAZIO = Yes, but I’m strong!
VESPA = Go, go. (The video of La Traviata starts)

So, (he turns to Piero) we went to New York together, we went to another big theater, the Metropolitan, do you remember?
PIERO = Yes.
VESPA = I don’t know if you remember, the room was empty, you and I were sitting next to you and I said to you:
“But when you grow up, what do you want to do?”
Was it your dream, does that still remain?
PIERO = Yes, in these two years, especially in the last 6 months I have studied a lot, I’m still studying, because you know very well how much study it takes. Just yesterday I did two and a half hours of lesson on Verdi, La Traviata.
VESPA = I have been to the Bolshoi with Riccardo Muti (well-known conductor), with the Friendship Concerts, and I assure you that if there is one who slaughters singers it was him.
PIERO = Mamma mia!
VESPA = Now it is no longer used, the masters have no desire or time, but before, a great singer always had his teacher who always kept him in the studio. You have to study a lot, every day.
IGNAZIO = I too, yesterday I did a two and a half hour session of the “tagliata (typical meat), I was very focused! (laughs) 😁😁😁
Sorry for the joke!
VESPA = He is always disheveled, undisciplined, the one who arrives late. Where is Gianluca!
GIANLUCA = This is what the two of them make you believe!
But it is nice that we are a group, but we continue to cultivate our passions, we respect and esteem each other, which is not obvious, as you know often groups are in competition …
VESPA = I know, you all never fight.!!
GIANLUCA = This is our great merit, because now 13 years together this is the beautiful thing.
Nice that Piero has his goals, for example, as I told you before, I am starting to approach the world of acting, trying to understand if one day, who knows, I would like to be an actor, but this enriches anyway, studying acting on stage , for a singer, it also helps you to express, to interpret songs better.
VESPA = So. (he turns to Piero) You say, we sang for the Pope, that’s enough, but no.
2019 Pope Francis, Panama (video of Panama starts)
In the video:
PIERO = His Holiness.
P + I + G = What a pleasure to see you again.
PIERO = This is our gift to you.
POPE = Thank you.
GIANLUCA = The dream and the desire to sing for him is coming true, we met in private audience last year and we sang for him an Ave Maria (Hail Mary) and here tonight we will sing it for him and for all the young people, we are truly honored.
POPE = Thank you.
PIERO = Can we take a picture?
POPE = Yes.
PIERO = A selfie like young people do.
(The Pope gives a souvenir to Piero, Ignazio and Gianluca)

IGNAZIO = We are grateful to you. See you later.
GIANLUCA = As you know, the power of Italian and Neapolitan music has reached overseas, Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra, but also Elvis Presley himself …..
IGNAZIO = The Pope has just passed, sorry, the Pope comments, ….
PIERO = But what does Elvis Presley have to do with Pope Francis, can you explain to me?
GIANLUCA = Oh well, first let’s talk about the Pope and then we want to give you a small gift.
VESPA = A small gift?
GIANLUCA = Yes, yes, a little present.
VESPA = Wait, first now I want to ask you something, we want to dedicate to Vittorio Storaro, who represented Italian art in the world, one of the most popular songs in the world, like this, here a cappella. (O Sole mio)
GIANLUCA = This is why I said, the great Elvis Presley interpreted the song in English “It’s now or never”,  do you remember that?
VESPA = Go !! (begins the a cappella song)
Well, we want to thank this magnificent group of romances, eight violinists, two cellists, thank you, thank you very much and congratulations, you are very good.
And then (to Il Volo) I greet you now …
IGNAZIO = We leave you with a great masterpiece, you know the story of Sacco and Vanzetti well. We are truly honored to be able to tell it even to an audience that does not know this story, to an audience that is not Italian and perhaps has not known the injustices that can exist in life. We are very proud to sing this song.
GIANLUCA = We would like to thank you again, we also thank the Maestro Storaro.
VESPA = Thank you.
(then he turns to Storaro) And what about you, beyond the restoration of Bertolucci’s films?
STORARO = Basically we’re still in the early stages, Woody sent me his fifth script to start, we had to do it first in New York, then we moved to France, now he’s looking to another country, Covid follows, depending on where it’s possible we’re going to do it.
VESPA = Good luck !!
PIERO = We would like to thank our audience for their love, support and support received over the years, thank you.
VESPA = And then: Sacco and Vanzetti! (start the song)
Really a nice chat between friends. You have noticed the masks and spacers, much more rigid in February than they are now.
Although it was not advertised, but was announced only by the tam-tam of the fans pages (incredible), this episode had very high ratings.
Congratulations as always, to Il Volo !!
But that of Porta a Porta was not the only appointment of Il Volo in this period, they were also in promotion Austria, on the TV show “Garden Party of the stars”.
Here they are.
Please click on the photo below to view the video.
Grande Amore
Very nice this video shot in Austria in front of the beautiful Grillenstein castle.
And then, live, during the show, they sang Ecstasy of Gold.
Please click on the photo below to view the video.
Ecstasy of Gold
Really a nice participation, let’s enjoy some pictures.
Then there was the announcement of the two Australian concert dates, finally !!
Reposted from @ilvolomusic :
Hello everyone,
We are very happy to announce that ticket sales are now open for our Australian concerts in Melbourne (October 18) and Sydney (October 24).
And finally, on May 12, I remind you that Il Volo is taking part in the Eurovision Song Contest.
For those who cannot follow them on TV, I propose you to follow them on you tube on the official ESC channel:   @eurovisionsongcontest.
Il Volo will sing GRANDE AMORE, but in a new version, which has just been heard.
The title is YOU ARE MY EVERYTHING and is in the English-Italian version and I find it beautiful !!
Here it is. 

What a thrill everything is ready, see you soon !!
Daniela

BREAKING NEWS!

Unfortunately, the news recently came that Gianluca is positive for Covid, so he will not be on the Eurovision stage. His voice will be recorded, only Ignazio and Gianluca will perform !!

I am very sorry for Gianluca, unfortunately you can never let your guard down with this Covid. Ignazio and Piero will do their best to represent Il Volo !!

 

THE NIGHT THE LION ROARED by Susan

Now we have arrived at the part of the story which is the main event ~ Ti Lascio una Canzone! I’m going to say a few words about it for all the new fans out there and then I am a going to skip to The Night the Lion Roared. Why? Because everyone who knows Il Volo knows their amazing story! But I will share a few important facts and some videos of that amazing night.

Their amazing 1,2,3 win, as important as it was, was not the most important part to this story. The the biggest win of all was ~ Il Volo!
Let’s begin with Episode Four…

It is the fourth episode of Ti Lascio Una Canzone and the boys are given the music for “O Sole Mio” but in three parts. They thought it was strange because until then they were singing alone or doing duets.
They walked out on the stage, sang “O Sole Mio” and it was like they had been performing together for years. Flawless!
But before the trio came together, there were some amazing performances….

Let’s talk about some of the people they performed with on the show. Really great names in the Italian music industry. Massimo Ranieri, Fausto Leali, Al Bano, Adamo, Piero Mazzoccheti.
What I witnessed in those performances were great performers who were in awe of these three teenage boys who were singing, in some cases, their songs and they were totally amazed. It was written all over their faces. They could not believe what they were hearing.

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

 

We know when Michele Torpedine heard them sing for the first time, he thought the three possessed an incredible vocality for their age.

He instinctively knew signing these kids would be for him the find of a lifetime!
Michele says, “The next day I am a volcano. I want to talk to everyone: producers, managers, families.”

Michele continues, “Another great story started, a new story at a time when it seemed to me that there was no future for me, for my profession: a breath of oxygen in my environment.”
After years of disappointment, loss of trust and gratitude, missing or denied, with Ignazio, Piero and Gianluca, Michele rediscovers the values of gratitude. Michele says, “The boys allowed me to really go back to my job.”

And the results….
They were the first Italian artists in history to sign a contract with a major American music label. 
Universal Music signed them immediately. Michele said, “It is important to give due recognition to the man who made all this possible, the great record manager Peter Lopez. Peter immediately sensed the enormous potential of our artistic project. To him we owe an incredible international contract signed simply trusting that the boys would have audiences all over the world.”
But what did they bring to the table to win over the kids, the parents, and the grandparents? They had an idea and it worked….
Their music was Operatic pop or Pop-Opera. What was this new movement? It’s singing Opera in a more modern style. While opera is very strict and regimented, Pop-Opera is more ethereal it has a lighter feeling, and it moves freely. It takes away the hard edges of opera and replaces it with a more ethereal feel while still presenting the drama and the high notes of the opera. This along with the classical Neapolitan songs became a big draw. Why did it work? One reason is three amazing voices! If the voice wasn’t there, the song wasn’t going to sell.
They started their career in America and immediately went around the world! There was no stopping them. Everyone everywhere loved them and their music. There are some great memories along the way but that’s a story for another day….
So now I will flash forward six years and tell you about The Night the Lion Roared….
When I read Un’avventura Straordinaria, the story that I loved the most was the story of Sanremo. The decision by the guys to take on the Sanremo Festival. This story brought out their personalities, their differences and how they are so bound to one another that they could make the decision of a lifetime together even if it meant they could lose what was so important to them, their country and their people!
We know 2014 started out as a bad year, but suddenly things were happening. They were invited to sing at the Italian Senate. This was an event of immense importance for them. It said Italy was finally noticing them so, it only made sense that it was time to take a giant step!
But this story doesn’t start with Sanremo, nor does it end there! Sanremo was the door opener!
They will tell you that the decision to go to Sanremo was a good one but, in contrast going to Eurovision may not have been their best decision. My reply, going to Eurovision was an excellent decision!
Let’s see how these decisions were made and what path they chose….

Sanremo 2015

The Decision
So where do you begin to make the decision. Well, you have to start with….
Who’s in and who’s out!
Who’s in?
From day one, Gianluca wanted to go. He was so convinced that they would win that he never backed down from it. He had no doubt in his mind that they would win.
Who’s out? 
Always the pessimist, Ignazio. He said “No, we can’t win. It’s too hard.”
So that leaves Piero! Piero at first was not on board but Gianluca persuaded him. Gianluca said, “No one trusted, no one believed it. It was I who persuaded Piero to persuade Ignazio to go to Sanremo. Because I told them: ‘Guys, if we go, we’ll win it, I’m sure, I’m sure’”.
Piero said, “We said to ourselves: ‘Guys, make it or break it, in the end, we were not anyone here in Italy, at most we would not be anyone even afterwards.’”
Decision made! It’s official the guys go to Sanremo!
Then there’s the second problem, the song!
At Sanremo you must perform an unpublished song. How do you begin to find such a song?
Now this is the part of the story that’s really interesting and sometimes funny! Oddly enough, the one who wanted this the most was the one who did not agree to the song. I so enjoyed listening to this dialogue between the guys. This is where we begin to hear the guys make important decisions together. They’re really good. When they begin, they’re not agreeing but as time goes by…. well, why don’t I let them tell you how they finally got to Sanremo….
The Song
Gianluca: I did not agree to go with that piece. If I think about it now, I’ll say that the next time I must reflect better before judging, try to sing a song and then judge because our voices change the songs. We arrange them by cutting them on our voice, and I did not take this fact into consideration. The song when we first listened to it was not very ugly!
Ignazio: It’s not that we’ve heard only that, no. Do you think it is easy to choose a piece for Sanremo? We started to do a search and a selection of unpublished tracks. Our policy was: either we go with something strong, or we do not go, right?
One day this song comes to us through Michele: Grande Amore by Francesco Boccia and Ciro Esposito, two Neapolitan authors. As usual, I am pessimistic. I listen to it and it does not make me crazy. Not even Gianluca was convinced. The only enthusiast was Pie …
Piero (interrupts): I loved ‘Grande Amore!’ I did not believe that we would have won, but I was the one who pushed, I and Michele pushed for ‘Grande Amore’ because the audition that we heard was not beautiful, but we imagined it if it was made by Celso Valli and, I must say that we had guessed right.
Ignazio (interrupts): And I said it too if you let me talk. I was saying, in fact, that ‘Grande Amore’ was not as we hear it today. It was always called ‘Grande Amore,’ but it was totally different. So, we start to think: who can produce the piece? And Michele calls the great Celso Valli. After several weeks of work in the studio, we manage to churn out a song that could leave its mark at the Sanremo Festival.

Gianluca (interrupts): That’s why when we left for Sanremo I was very convinced we had the piece, the right project.
Piero: He wanted to influence us, but we are superstitious ….
Gianluca: Every day at lunch and dinner with Michele and the president of Sony, I say: ‘Guys, we will win Sanremo.’
Piero (interrupts): Do you know what a week like this means?
Ignazio: Piero and I were all day touching iron and the low parts. Gianluca was convinced that the little lion (the Sanremo award is represented by a lion) would be ours? And the two of us tried to keep the situation under control.
Gianluca (interrupts): What should I tell you? I am an optimist. They took it something like ‘he makes fun of us,’ but I felt it inside. I do not know why.
So many interruptions! Ignazio, before he was interrupted, was about to tell us about the first night they sang.
Ignazio: The 65th edition of the Festival begins on Tuesday, February 10th. We sing the second night, Wednesday the 11th. The strange thing is that normally my legs tremble before the performance, but mine trembled even after the performance! Perhaps too much adrenaline, it never happened before.
Piero (interrupts): Or maybe it was because we came back to the Ariston stage after going around the world. It was like coming home, because we experienced the beginning of our career here with Ti Lascio una Canzone. One thing that cannot be described: in Sanremo, in Italy, to sing and receive the applause of the Italian public. It cannot be explained.
The Wardrobe
Gianluca: Can you imagine for me this was also my birthday? I turned twenty on the Ariston stage! Of course, I was moved in the end, and it was too much emotion to my sensibility to play bad jokes at times. And then, we felt the pressure in the air. Even though I was optimistic, the tension was there.

Although we had taken care of the smallest details of the song, we had tried and tried again, and we had taken care of even the smallest details of the clothing. First evening look more rock: total black with leather jacket. Because when we do our work the image matters, too.
I really wanted to use the video of “Ancora” at Sanremo but I couldn’t get it to work so, instead I chose the one from  Verona. Amazing no matter where they sing it!

Piero (interrupts): Count, of course that counts. But do you remember how we were dressed before? I remember that time at Una Notte per Caruso, in July 2009, it was the second time we saw Torpedine. Michele arrives with another white Range Rover, not that of Jesolo, and as soon as he arrives, we do not even say hello and we go to see the car. Let’s run, let’s open the car. Ignazio immediately goes up to the car. We went crazy for cars, one like that, we did not see every day. The day after we go for a ride in downtown Sorrento, a shopping trip, and we enter Gucci’s. Michele spent almost two thousand euros and we with that written number at the counter, we exclaimed: “Mizziga! (Damn!) Two thousand euro” with wide eyes. And we still have those clothes, at least I personally still have them.
He had bought us a jacket, but above all the need for us to dress all in white and blue. I had the blue jacket and the white shirt, Gianluca had blue trousers and white shirt, Ignazio the blue shoes and everything else white, Michele the blue jacket. And we took a picture in front of the hotel.
Gianluca (interrupts): We were just dressed badly to be singers by trade, we were children, we came from families of workers. What could I buy? There was not even the need.
Piero (interrupts): And then you remember the restaurant? Afterwards we went to a restaurant near the sea. When we finished eating, the three of us took off our shoes and ran to the beach. Michele ran behind us telling us: ‘Guys, calm down. Guys, slow down.’
At this point Ignazio loses his patience. YES, but, what does that have to do with it, Pie? We were talking about Sanremo. What has Sorrento got to do with it?

The Performance
Ignazio gets the conversation back on track! 
Sanremo 2015, from the 10th to 14th of February, we sang on the second evening, legs shaking, Gianluca’s birthday.
This video has English subtitles

Among the many interviews, the diary that we kept every day for TV Sorrisi e Canzoni … We had fun with the diary!
It was a sort of ‘pill.’ A very few minutes, in which we recorded from the 9th to 14th of February. We talked about some of the emotions we felt. For example, the time that Gianluca almost stumbles on stage or the happiness of seeing the audience get up and applaud the first night we sang ‘Grande Amore.’ The recording, then, went online on the site of the magazine.
What was I saying? Ah, yes, among the many interviews, the diary that we kept every day for TV Sorrisi e Canzoni, meetings and press conferences …
Piero (interrupts): And the criticisms we felt in those days? People at home voted for us, appreciated us, and journalists gave us votes that we thought were postponed until September, I also said this at the press conference after the victory. Five that flew (bad votes given by critics). But we see that the criticisms have done us good.
Ignazio: Can I do a criticism of you?
Piero: Ah, tell me…
Ignazio: You interrupted me. I was about to tell the final. I can continue?

The Win

Ignazio: In short, the final evening arrives, February 14th. I realize from my shirt that in a week we have eaten more than we sang. Unfortunately, or fortunately, I’m a boy who does not say cat if I do not have it in the bag, then until Carlo Conti said….
Piero (interrupts): And indeed, whoever wins does not know it until the end! Sorry, Igna’. Speak you!!!

Ignazio: Until Carlo Conti said: ‘The winner of the Sanremo Festival 2015 is … Il Volo!’ I said to the boys: ‘No, guys, we do not win, it’s difficult.’ And on the one hand I had Piero with shining eyes and on the other Gianluca with a smug smile as if to say: ‘Do not worry.’
Gianluca: The truth is that I was right from the beginning, and no one had ever listened to me, ever. I believed it so much that, if you notice, maybe I’m the one with the least surprised look on my face when Carlo Conti announces the winner. Then, of those moments, one remembers little, there is great confusion, emotion. It was a dream to be able to shout, ‘Thank you, Italy!’ from that stage. I look at Sanremo as a child, when there was Pippo Baudo, and I was there and have won because people were on our side and it was a dream, I repeat even if I have already said. The emotion was only when my grandfather told me almost in tears: “Who would have told me that in life I saw Modugno win at the Festival and then I saw you win?”

Taking the conversation back, I have to say, to me this was the best conversation we could listen to. They disagree, they find middle ground, and they agree but, most importantly they listen to one another and that’s what makes the bond so great!
In the end Gianluca said: In short, Sanremo was just a dream that brought us many different emotions.
You might ask why did I put these two stories together? I wanted you to see what six years in their lives did for them. They started on the Ariston stage as three teenagers, went around the world gaining success everywhere along the way, only to come back to the Ariston Theater to win not only Sanremo but the hearts of the Italian people; the one thing they wanted from the beginning!

Over those six years they sang in concerts hall around the world. Their songs went gold and platinum. They won many awards including the Latin American Music Award’s Latin Pop Albums Artist of the Year for a duo or group. They sang with people like Barbara Streisand and joined some of the best singers in the music industry for “We Are the Whole Haiti” but what they wanted more than anything was to be accepted in their own country and they did that by coming back to their beginnings! Going full circle and taking a big chance paid off on the Ariston Stage for the second time.

As the winners of Sanremo, the guys went on to Eurovision. They came in third. They saw it as a loss but, I saw it as a win because here the press came out for them awarding them the Marcel Bezencon Press Award. The press has spoken!

As Italy is a member of the Big Five, the guys went straight into the Grand Final of the Eurovision Song Contest, which was held in Vienna on May 23rd, 2015. “Grande Amore” came in 3rd with 292 points but, they won the televote with 366 points and the Marcel Bezencon Press Award, as best song according to the collective voting of the accredited press. 
And, the extended play “Sanremo Grande Amore” was released in Italy on February 20th, 2015, and it was certified triple platinum by FIMI. 
The Night the Lion Roared, the guys felt they had finally achieved their dream to be number one in the hearts of the Italian people!
Against all odds they pulled it off. The part of the story they missed was about the Italian people. They were always on their side. Even when they were traveling around the world and hoping to perform concerts in Italy, the Italian people were always waiting for them. The press was against them but never the people. They wanted them home as much as they wanted to go home.

How does Michele Torpedine sum up our guys….
These three guys have very clear ideas and I have never seen them impressed in front of audiences that many would shake their legs. I never heard a wrong attack, and if some inconsistency arose that made something happen professionally, they knew how to handle the problem at the origin. They are always extraordinary, their voices grow with them, they mature in body and soul. There is no other team or artistic team so complete.
I couldn’t have said it better myself!
Join me next week as I go back Through the Fields of My Mind and open the door to a new adventure!
If you would like to share a story with me, please email:  susan.flightcrew@yahoo.com
To read more Il Volo stories visit us at www.ilvoloflightcrw.com
Credit to owners of all photos and videos.

 

Only One Step from Stardom by Susan

With ‘O Sole Mio’ in hand, the boys set out for night four of Ti Lascio una Canzone.
It’s April 25th, 2009, and these three teenage boys who only met a short time before are getting ready to turn their world upside down. They are now Only One Step from Stardom!
Let’s see where do we begin? How about where they began, when they stepped on that stage, and immediately became stars?
The first time these three boys sang together everyone was amazed. Who wasn’t amazed, Roberto Cenci! He knew exactly what he was doing. He realized by putting these three voices together he would create an amazing sound! How right he was!

So, let’s turn to Piero who will tell us how the guys first sang together….
I remember Roberto Cenci calling us all three to the center of the stage during the rehearsals.
‘Piero, Gianluca and Ignazio, come here.’
They start ‘O Sole Mio’ and we sing as we had divided the parts. Gianluca begins with the first verse and then it’s my turn, I attack with ‘Ma n’ato sole,’ (but another sun). This ‘Ma n’naaaato’ with the note kept so long and vibrated, as we still sing it today, was born in that first test because I learned, ‘O Sole Mio,’ by listening to the Three Tenors, that is Luciano Pavarotti, Placido Domingo and Josè Carreras. And Pavarotti made those three words of refrain with a very, fast, but difficult beat. I did not have that technique, so I did it slowly. Then I asked: ‘Roberto, sorry, can I do it my way the ‘ma n’ato sole?’ He answers ‘Yes.’  And I say, ‘Unplug the orchestra when it’s time and come behind me.’

Ignazio tells us about the reaction to their singing it on that Saturday night….
That Saturday night there was a great standing ovation for us, with ‘O Sole Mio.’ I think that that performance marked the real starting point of our career.
When I had agreed to do the auditions, I was aware that it would be a great experience and would last only two months. But I never expected that we could get all this great success.

 Gianluca puts the event in the history books…
The theater came down.
Piero on my left, me in the middle, Ignazio on my right. In the history of music no one had ever seen three children of thirteen or fourteen sing these kinds of songs. So, we must also thank Roberto Cenci because, if it wasn’t for him maybe today, we would not be here. It was nice, it was something…. How can I tell you? It was natural. I immediately enjoyed singing together, there was no problem.
But it was also all unexpected.
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.

Piero looks back over the events since that night….
But can you think about how far we’ve come? We did not even know each other and now we have been working together for six years, we toast together, we cry together.
By now Gianluca and Ignazio, but let’s not let them know, they are a part of me, I do not know how I could do without them.
I’ll make you understand one thing: when I’m on stage singing my solo, as soon as I finish, I cannot wait for the other two to come because I feel their moral, psychological and even physical support. If I feel bad, I know that there are two of them that can help me, we can help each other, and this is fundamental for me, to feel that we support each other, that we are always together.
And if I think of how far we have come from Ti Lascio una Canzone, I am reminded of Antonella Clerici.  Antonella was the one who, even after the program, has always supported our project. Every time someone spoke badly about us, she was ready to defend us, she never changed, she never, never, demanded a thank you and I must tell you that we still speak to each other every time there is something new. She’s just like you see her on TV: sincere.
So, let’s step away from the stage a moment and talk about what was going on behind the scenes. Well, we certainly know that the idea to put the three together was the genius of Roberto Cenci the artistic director and director of the program. But there was so much more happening!

In his book Ricomincio Dai Tre (I Start Again from Three) Michele Torpedine, their manager tells us what happened that night.
Alone in his apartment, Michele Torpedine was sitting on his sofa with the volume off on his TV. The show he was watching was Ti Lascio Una Canzone. He keeps looking at the screen and he suddenly thinks, Ignazio reminds him of Luciano Pavaroti, Gianluca seemed similar to Jose Carreras and Piero is similar to Placido Domingo. He still had not heard them sing. Out of curiosity, he raised the volume and Michele says, “here I am aware of another element, that is even more important than the first. The three casually put together to sing a song of the program possess an incredible vocality for their age.”
At this point Michele’s head is spinning. He’s thinking these guys are good and again repeats it to himself, they’re good! He thinks, “What if I try to put them together seriously? A trio he tells himself. Here’s what I could do….”
Michele says, “The next day I am a volcano. I want to talk to everyone: producers, managers, families.”
For Michele it was a return to the beginning. Only this time it was better.
Michele explained in his book that the day the guys came together singing, “O Sole Mio” on Ti Lascio una Canzone, he was at the end of his career. For him it was truly over. All he had done for so many now seemed in vain. But with this vision before him, three amazing teenagers, he was able to see a new light. A light that would start the wheels rolling again. A light that would reveal truth. A truth that never before was revealed to him. A truth he searched for his whole life but would only find in his relationship with Il Volo.
And so it begins…
Now the guys will tell us how it all came together….

Piero begins….
On June 9th, 2009, nine days after the end of Ti Lascio Una Canzone, my parents left for Rome. They were a bit mysterious about it. When I asked them what they were going to do in Rome they only replied that they had to meet a person and, I tell the truth, I did not even insist on knowing who.
They leave, and where am I going to sleep? At my grandparents, of course. The next day they come home and then, yes, I wanted to know something more. ‘Dad, what have you done in Rome?’
‘Nothing’ he answers, ‘we met a certain Torpedine.’
The first thing I do, is go on the Internet and look up ‘Torpedine.’ A lot of things came up, musician and record producer of people like Pino Daniele, Lucio Dalla, Fabrizio De Andre, Giorgia, Biagio Antonacci, Zucchero (and he took him to the Kremlin in 1990) and Andrea Bocelli, only to name some names. He has managed Gianna Nannini’s America tour, has edited the records and events for the thirtieth anniversary of Pino Daniele’s career, and has had the artistic management of an edition of Thirty Hours for Life. He was also the artistic director of the first two editions of Pavarotti and Friends, and he did a lot of other things that it would take a book just to tell them all.
Anyway, I read everything I found on the Internet and the same day I went back to dad: ‘But what did this Torpedine tell you?’ My father was very vague, really, very vague. ‘No, nothing, we talked like that.’
I did not know what to expect, there was a strange atmosphere since the show was over. I knew that the parents of Ignazio and Gianluca had gone to that appointment, but I did not know what to think.
After a month, my parents make another trip to Rome to meet the legendary Torpedine, while my brother, my sister and I go back to sleep at our grandparents’ house. The day after, mom and dad came back to Naro with a check. It was the advance of the contract.
‘Piero, we signed a contract with Torpedine for a record’ my father told me, immediately and without being vague this time. And do you know what I thought? ‘Wow nice.’ But so, very simply. I did not understand the importance of the thing, I swear, I did not understand it.

And what was Ignazio’s reaction….
And who understood it, Pie?
Immediately after the end of the program my parents, like those of Piero, received a call from the office of Bibi Ballandi.
Who is Bibi Ballandi? Eh, even here we should open not just a chapter, but a whole book to explain it because he is the producer with a capital P. Some examples? The shows on Rai Uno de Fiorello and Celentano, Dancing with the Stars and also Ti Lascio una Canzone.
From Ballandi’s office, they wanted the parents of the three boys – we did not have a name yet – to go to Rome to discuss their children’s future. I stayed at home, just like Piero. On their return, as usual, mom and dad sat down with me and my sister around the table to talk about what had happened in Rome. Michele Torpedine who came back after seventeen years of managing, Andrea Bocelli, and Tony Renis, Mister Quando, Quando, were interested in us. What did I think? What could I think, one who in the last five years had done nothing but sing from morning to night? After several meetings we signed our first managerial contract.

But, of course, Gianluca remembers it differently….
I do not remember all these things, Igna.
That is a period that I really cannot remember in general.
I was just a child who dreamed. While the other guys who had participated in the broadcast returned home to go to the beach and were preparing to start a new school year, the three of us walked towards a professional artistic career.
I really did not realize it. I did not even know what the contracts were like, I did not care. Once I told my father something like this: ‘But why, to be a singer, it takes a contract?’ I only remember that at a certain point we went to lunch in Rome, at Rome Cavalieri with Tony Renis to talk about music and recording songs. The contract had already been signed. I was there with my father, Piero, Ignazio and their parents.
Yes, during the period of Ti Lascio una Canzone there was a rumor about these three tenorini’s.  After the program there was much talk about the three tenors. But as a child what can you understand?
Even when we first met Michele Torpedine and Barbara Vitali, who since then became the fourth member of the group, even if you never see her on stage, I did not understand just how it was possible that Andrea Bocelli’s manager was interested in us. It was something that upset me. I went to see Bocelli my idol and to work with the manager who had made him famous. A dream, in fact!
We were three funny, awkward, children: Ignazio fat, Piero roly-poly too, I was small and plump and with pimples. So, at the first meeting, I look at Torpedine and ask him: ‘But what came into your mind?’
Sometimes even today I look at the photos, the videos of when we were little ones and I still ask myself had he really seen into the future. And he also had a lot of patience, because in addition to being funny and clumsy, we were very confused and, wherever we went, everyone looked at us in a strange way. Like that evening, in Jesolo, when we met Michele.

We finally finished Ti Lascio Una Canzone and they invited us to sing on June 27th, 2009, at the nineteenth edition of Miss Italy in the world. The evening was broadcast on Rai Uno by the Jesolo Tourist Palace, conducted by Caterina Balivo and Biagio Izzo.
When we arrived in the dressing rooms, I saw Raf. ‘Oh my God, there’s Raf!’ I said. “Let me take a picture. I run to him like crazy, ‘Can I take a picture with you?’ We were three children at the park playing. Ignazio, to name one, he poured the Coca-Cola on the floor in the dressing room, and it ended up also on Michele’s jacket. Michele turns and says to Barbara look, I still remember it, with a face looking like ‘Oh my God.’

So, until now, I did not talk about the results of Ti Lascio Una Canzone because I was waiting to tell you all three stories. So how did everyone do in the competition?

Gianluca won the first night singing “Il Mare Calmo della Sera.”

Ignazio won the second night with the song, “Quando l’amore Diventa Poesia.”
Gianluca won the third night with the song, “La Luna che non c’è.”

And, Piero won the fourth night with the song, “Un Amore Così Grande.”
Gianluca won the competition with the song “Il Mare Calmo della Sera.”
Ignazio came in second with “Quando l’amore Diventa Poseia”
Piero came in third with “Un Amore Così Grande.”

And the biggest win of the night, they walked off the stage, Only One Step from Stardom!

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)

And while you’re at it, Michele Torpedine’s book Ricomincio Dai Tre (I Start Again From Three) is also a good read. It is in Italian and available on Amazon.

If you would like to share a story with me, please email:  susan.flightcrew@yahoo.com
To read more Il Volo stories visit us at http://www.ilvolo flightcrw.com.
Credit to the owners of all photos and videos

The Audition and Beyond by Susan

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, people recognized 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:  susan.flightcrew@yahoo.com
To read more Il Volo stories visit us at http://www.ilvoloflightcrw.com
Credit to the owners of all photos and videos

Via dei Gracchi

As we get closer to the guy’s arrival in the United States I want to go back and revisit some of what they did in the beginning that got them to America!

You will recall how Piero and Ignazio were taking voice lessons and piano lessons and, Gianluca just sang for his own pleasure. Each one was approached in a different way to audition for Ti Lascio Una Canzone. What we will look at today is how each one was approached to audition and what that experience was like!
Let’s begin with where they were in their lives when they were called to audition…
Piero, when not in school, was busy with his voice lessons and his festivals. In November 2008 a phone call changed Piero’s life forever.
Piero’s singing lessons were not in Naro. He had a long drive to his teacher’s studio. It became increasing difficult for his father to drive him to these lessons so, Piero made arrangements with his cousin Giuseppe, to drive him and he made arrangements with the student who had lessons after him to drive back home. At the end of Piero’s singing lesson, he would wait for the student to finish his lesson so they could travel home together. This student lived near his paternal grandmother’s house.
Let’s let Piero explain what happened one day…
Usually, as the boy who gave me passage lived near my paternal grandmother, he always left me at her house where my father came to pick me up when he finished work. Only that evening my father was already at my grandmother’s and was talking on the phone.
‘Who was that dad?’ Was the first thing I asked him when he finished speaking.
‘Wait, let’s go home and I’ll tell you.’
It was strange that he was mysterious with me, but I always trusted him blindly and if he said ‘after’ he meant that it was okay. I was curious, for sure, but I waited calmly. We finish dinner, and daddy keeps his promise and tells me: ‘On the phone was a lady, a certain Isabella Abiuso. She is part of the casting of Ti Lascio Una Canzone, and she was given your name by the Tour Music Fest.’
Stop all and take a step back: what is the Tour Music Fest? It’s a festival that I did not want to do. It’s not that I was undecided, I wanted to think about it. No, I did not want to do it just because I won all these festivals, and I was a little tired. Yet it is a great European festival dedicated to emerging music born in 2003. It has several stages, runs throughout Italy and not just singers, but also bands and musicians participated. The stage closest to us was that of Cosenza. ‘I have to drive,’ Dad had told me. ‘We have a comfortable car, you sleep, and we go, you do not even notice.’ Twenty-four hours to do Naro-Cosenza, Cosenza-Naro. We arrive there, I sing, and they do not give me more news. But they gave to someone else.
Isabella Abiuso, one of the talent scouts who selected children for the broadcast, called the editors of the festival and asked for a name to try, someone interesting for that kind of television program. The organizers of the Tour Music Fest told her, ‘Mrs. Abiuso, here there is nothing that we can give, apart from a certain Piero Barone, which for us has not gone well because it is not the kind of music that we deal with, but he certainly has an innate talent.’ I was not sixteen yet, it was November 2008. ‘Dad’ I immediately said, ‘this Ti Lascio Una Canzone, I’d like to do it. Let’s try, why not?’

Let’s see what Piero had to say about the experience of the audition…
What do I remember from the audition? I remember that it was in Via dei Gracchi in Rome, 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 Cosi” …….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.
And how about Ignazio?
Ignazio was busy with his voice lessons and festivals but his experience with the festivals was very different from Piero’s. Ignazio has always been a person who believed in fair competition. It certainly is nice to win but he always felt that a person should win because they deserve to win. There was too much cheating and payoff going on. Young people were not winning because of their talent. It was very unfair for the other competitors who worked so hard to get to that competition.

Let me let Ignazio tell you the situation when Franco Fasano proposed that he audition for Ti Lascio Una Canzone….
I felt like a crap. No, not when they called me to audition, before I felt like a crap, so much so that I almost lost it that night when they talked to me for the first time about Ti Lascio Una Canzone. The fact is that competition after competition, year after year, perhaps because I grew up and became less naive – now I was fourteen – at a certain point in 2008 I realized that, as wonderful as it was, the music world was starting to give me the first disappointments: people who paid to see their child win, recommendations and various scams.
My problem is that I have always been for healthy competition, getting to the first place because really a person deserves to be rewarded as such. But it was not like that anymore. I did not want to participate anymore in any competition. I began to give up many proposals. I was in this terrible mood when, in September of that year, I was offered a competition in Caltanissetta, which was presented by the great Nico dei Gabbiani and had as president of the jury Franco Fasano, author and composer of songs like Ti Lascerò who won the Sanremo Festival, and also singer songwriter as E Quel Giorno Non Mi Perderai Più.
Instinctively I said no. I did not want to take part in any competition that could turn out to be made up. But after so many evenings talking to my family and Liliana, who was always present and always ready to give me some advice, I convinced myself. I am happy to say that there are no recommendations in that competition: I reached third place. But the greatest satisfaction was not the result. At the end of the final evening Franco Fasano took the stage, proposing to do a test in Rome – he did not promise me anything for sure – for a television program that, having seen the great success of the first, had reached its second edition. That program was Ti Lascio Una Canzone.
So, Ignazio went off to Rome for his audition. Let’s continue with Ignazio’s experience….
But 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 the 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.
Afterwards, like Piero, Ignazio wasn’t told anything. After a few days he was called back to Rome….
 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.
And then there was Gianluca. Gianluca’s story is very different. You could say, unlike Piero and Ignazio who studied music in every spare moment of their day, Gianluca had a life. He enjoyed spending his days playing soccer and listening to Andrea Bocelli on his portable radio. He enjoyed being outdoors. Going to the forest with his brother and his friends and just singing for his own enjoyment. Gianluca never participated in the festivals. If it wasn’t for the Piccolo Choir of Roses, Gianluca may not have been discovered.
Let’s listen to Gianluca’s tell us how the Piccolo Choir of Roses got him the audition of Ti Lascio Una Canzone….
Do you see destiny? The story of Ignazio shows that things come and, you do not have to force them to arrive.
I only sang because it made me feel good, when I was singing, I was happy. Then what happened? I don’t really know. 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.
It is difficult to explain who this lady is, an incredible woman, known throughout Italy for being the creator of an annual event called Sport for life, a great international ice-skating gala.
The reason for Mrs. Giunco’s phone call was my performances with the choir. “We have a great talent here in Roseto” she told my father. “Let’s bring him to RAI.” My father had never thought about it. My parents had never even imagined I would participate in competitions, let alone send me for an audition for television.
“Let’s try,” he replied to her. “It would be a great opportunity.” What dad thought was just a different experience, something that could make me have fun. Mrs. Giunco had made available to us her contacts: we talked to Franco Fasano, whom Licia knew, and he took us to the audition with Roberto Cenci for a broadcast of RAI. Maybe 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 and, as enthusiastic as they were of the idea of what I could do, they completely 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.
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….
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 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.
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 now we have all the guys accepted in the program but, we still need to get them together on stage.
From Via dei Gracchi the guys went on to Ti Lascio Una Canzone and we all know how that turned out! They won first, second and third place but the biggest win was Il Volo.
This was just the beginning of the journey that would lead them to the United States and around the world. Their name is known worldwide. They have become superstars! They have 4,500 fan clubs worldwide with over five million fans. Not bad for three Italian teenagers who came from families like yours and mine.

We await your arrival at Radio City Music Hall! And we will never forget your last performances there!
Radio City February 6, 2020 I Mondo ~ Un Amore Così Grande

Radio City March 4, 2017 ~ Caruso

Radio City September 27, 2013 ~ Granada

Join me next week as I go back Through the Fields of My Mind and open the door to a new adventure!
If you would like to share a story with me, please email:  susan.flightcrew@yahoo.com
To read more Il Volo stories visit us at www.ilvoloflightcrw.com