Tag Archives: Ti Lascio Una Canzone

MOMENTS TO REMEMBER by SUSAN

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

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

So where do we begin? Well you might say the night the three won first, second and third place (Gianluca, Ignazio, Piero) of Ti Lascio Una Canzone. Yes, that certainly was a memorable moment but, I think there was a moment before then that was more memorable. Gianluca points to that moment, “I thought there were three hundred thousand boys singing like me, and instead that night I discovered that there are only two: Ignazio and Piero.” Of course, Gianluca was referring to the night they sang together for the first time on Ti Lascio Una Canzone.  So, let’s begin there!

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

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

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

At this point Michele’s head is spinning. He’s thinking these guys are good and again repeats it to himself, they’re good! He thinks, “What if I try to put them together seriously? A trio, he tells himself.”

The rest is history!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Credit to owners of photo and videos.

WATCHING IGNAZIO TAKE FLIGHT by SUSAN

An  interview with Ermelinda De Bartoli by Susan De Bartoli.

A few days ago, someone shared one of my stories on Facebook and Ermelinda commented on it. She said: “Susan, Ignazio was my student until the second year of high school when after being launched with the others in the Italian broadcast they were discovered. After then he really took off … I really saw him take off.”

When I read this I said, wouldn’t it be great to have Ermelinda tell us a little bit about Ignazio as a teenager? And Ermelinda graciously accepted my invitation to be interviewed. The interview was in Italian. Below is the English translation.

Susan: How many years were you Ignazio’s teacher?

Ermelinda: I had Ignazio in class the first two years of social economic high school.

Susan: How would you describe Ignazio as a student?

Ermelinda: He was a quiet student who attended with good interest.

Susan: Ignazio’s mother said Ignazio was always very serious and responsible! How would you describe him as a teenager?

Ermelinda: I met him when he was only 14 years old. He was at the beginning of adolescence and he was always joking. He was very attached to his family. He grew up in Bologna because the family moved there for work and at the age of 10 he moved to Marsala when the family decided to return. In Marsala he attended middle school and two years of high school. At school he was playful and sociable, with a very open and modest character. He often told us about his passion for singing which he studied with a teacher. His life as a teenager was not hard, because, as soon as he started his career at the age of 15, his life changed due to the numerous commitments linked to his success and the new path taken with Il Volo.

Susan: Would you say Ignazio was shy?

Ermelinda: Ignazio has never been shy! As I said he was always joking. In class, he was a driving force in terms of sociality and aggregation.

Susan: They call Ignazio the funny one in the group. Was Ignazio funny when he was your student?

Ermelinda: In the classroom it was fun because even though sometimes he was not very prepared in some lessons he intervened trying to repeat even what he did not know but he did it with such sympathy that we smiled at each other … and he also made a lot of self-irony about his being chubby, he lived this state of awareness without any concern or sympathy. His beautiful character dominated everything.

Susan: Ignazio is very kind and compassionate. Was this something you noticed about him as a teenager?

Ermelinda: He was very generous and affable to everyone. In particular, he was very compassionate towards some pupils with disabilities, with whom he often conversed, holding them in high regard and showing empathy. I remember an episode one evening after he won Ti Lascio Una Canzone, the whole class with me and another colleague went to the pizzeria. Ignazio was just fifteen and, when it was time to pay the bill, he came to me and said: “Professor, you are my guest.” I understood that in him there was so much kindness in his manner and in his soul, in this case, a kind gesture towards a woman.

Susan: Were you amazed when you first heard Ignazio sing?

Ermelinda: During the hours of musical education, we turned on the PC monitor, we put on the Karaoke and, while not being able to hear the music due to lack of speakers, Ignazio would stand there and sing a cappella and his voice was already so powerful that it expanded to the corridors and from there a little bit in front of our door, where pupils gathered from other classes. They were ecstatic!  Given the exceptional nature of the moment they had permission from their teachers to leave the classrooms to listen to him sing. The other thing is that while he sang, I felt shivers and so did many of his companions who expressed the same sensation.

Susan: When Ignazio was your student, he was already studying with Lilliana Adreanò. Ignazio said he had a great passion for soccer and, he loved to play every afternoon but, it had been less so after he started taking singing lessons. He said, “I had less free time and then no free time and I realized that singing was more important than all the rest.” How do you think Ignazio saw his future at that time?

Ermelinda: It is true to study singing he began to leave other hobbies. After Ti Lascio Una Canzone, despite having being praised by these great Italian singers, who sang with him, I remember that he told all this with great modesty and simplicity and despite the fact that he had won he never spoke of great expectations nor did he delude himself, at least, until the moment in which Michele Torpedine and Tony Renis  hired them after a short time, to form Il Volo. I heard the comments on him by experts such as Claudio Cecchetto and Al Bano who, when he told him that he had recently taken singing lessons, was amazed.

Another detail that I noticed is that while he sang he always kept his eyes closed and he told me that he was doing it because having recently lost his grandfather, who he adored, while he sang it was he who Ignazio thought of and he sang with his heart

Susan: How did you see Ignazio’s future at that time?

Ermelinda: During that winter he went to Rome every week for the broadcast, he was still attending school. The problem arose when they signed the first contract and then he could no longer attend school because the tours around the world began immediately.

Susan: Ignazio went from your classroom to Ti Lascio Una Canzone and immediately became a star. You told me after the Italian program, he just took off. You said you saw him take off! What was it like watching all of this happen before your eyes? Did it seem like it was all happening very fast?

Ermelinda: Of course having seen him “take flight” in a short time and, see him pass by the school desks, and then on a stage was for me, as for all his companions, a great emotion and a source of great pride.

Susan: Did you see a change in Ignazio during this time?

Ermelinda: Ignazio was still at school, after his first success, and with all of us, he always remained himself … with a modesty and genuineness that still distinguishes him today.

Susan: During the performances Ignazio sang with some really great singers. Massimo Ranieri, Albano, Fausto Leali to name a few. These singers were in awe of him. Do you think that Ignazio understood what was happening to him?

Ermelinda: Yes, these singers were more than in awe of what they heard, they were astonished, something that Ignazio confirmed when we asked him.  And, to think that he was still a kid, and had not yet completed the development of the vocal cords.

Yes, Ignazio from the point of view of his singing ability had already understood in comparison with these famous singers that he had what it takes to become even greater.

Susan: How did your other students feel about what was going on in Ignazio’s life?

Ermelinda: His classmates were very happy and excited. Every Saturday night none of us left the house. We all waited to see Ignazio on TV … and on Monday when he returned to school, for the class, it was a riot and bursting questions, and also a source of pride to kids as they were, to have him as a companion … the little big star, their friend.

Susan: Did the other students treat him any differently when he returned to class?

Ermelinda: Pupils from other classes certainly looked at him with more interest

Susan: You had to be very proud of Ignazio. Can you tell us how this made you feel to see your student on TV and watch him take his first step towards stardom?

Ermelinda: During his performances of Ti Lascio Una Canzone, being still a kid and not going out much alone, even the people of Marsala followed him with pride. People who knew him in school as that, chubby boy, still in the grass, at that moment obviously aroused a lot of interest especially among the boys.

Susan: I would imagine there was great excitement in Marsala during Ti Lascio Una Canzone. Ignazio said people started to recognize him. What did Ignazio’s performance on Ti Lascio Una Canzone do for the people of Marsala? What did you notice was going on with the people of Marsala?

Ermelinda: Let’s say that the reaction of the people of Marsala began “as soon as he started” in Il Volo and reached its peak when they won the Sanremo festival.

Susan: Did you every stop to think about how this all happened? How did a young man from a very simple family suddenly become a superstar?

Ermelinda: It often occurred to me that what was happening to Ignazio was a fairy tale … of those things that you think can only happen in fairy tales. He is a boy with a great talent hitherto unknown, from a very modest family but very united and with healthy values, he was able to tread the scenes of half the world … from his cottage in the countryside to a duet with Barbra Streisand and much more that we know.

The way in which all this happened is told by the facts that there was a first revelation of his talent and Ti Lasco Una Canzone, as we know, could remain there as it happens to many without getting anything else; then as he also said he had the luck of an intuition of the director who suggested to the managers Michele Torpedine and Tony Renis to form the trio.

Susan: We are in a pandemic now and while the music world is trying to restart, Ignazio, at age 25 and already a superstar, has made his debut as a music producer. He has his own production company, Floki! Ignazio said, “Production has always been my dream. It started with an idea to give a chance to those who deserve a break.” I know Ignazio has helped many young aspiring artists get a start. How do you see Ignazio in his role as a producer?

Ermelinda: Yes, Ignazio at 25 is already a star, aware that he too has skipped the stages of adolescence a bit, a period in which there are more joys than duties, but he has always said that all this deprivation has always been filled with his love for music and today he also finds himself working as a producer. From what I know about him in my opinion this new path was born above all from his constant desire to want to help others.

Susan: How did you feel when Il Volo won Sanremo?

Ermelinda: When Il Volo won in Sanremo, that evening, in addition to the great emotion, I retraced the periods of when Ignazio was still young, always talking with humility about his first successes and I also thought that from the beginning I told myself that he was a phenomenon, so seeing him on that stage, the most important in Italy, was for me just as it was for all Marsala people.

Susan: When Ignazio returned to Marsala after winning Sanremo, the whole city came out to greet him. Can you tell us about that?

Ermelinda: When he returned to Marsala after Sanremo, the Municipality organized a ceremony in his honor to award him the title of “Ambassador of Marsala in the World,” which took place first in the hall of the city council whose images were projected simultaneously on a large screen on the square where we were thousands of people. I remember that his speech was directed to all those talented guys who deserve to be helped to be able to take off and that he with some of them was trying to do it. Afterwards he took to the square and I tell you what everyone did with warmth and recognition emanated from that square: I sang “Grande Amore” with everyone in the square … a unique emotion.

Susan: Finally, what would you like to add about Ignazio that we haven’t already covered?

Ermelinda: I think I have said everything about him of what I know and what I have had the opportunity to perceive. When I talk about Ignazio, with others, I always say that he is very humble, modest and always very affectionate with the people who meet him. I still say: “Ignazio, is a beautiful soul.”

Ermelinda I want to thank you on behalf of all the fans for sharing your great memories of Ignazio and I would like to invite you to come back with anything that tells us more about your experiences with our beloved Ignazio!

One final note, you may have noticed that Ermelinda and I have the same last name. Ermelinda lives in Marsala and I live in New York. About a month ago I got a message from Ermelinda asking me about my roots because she and I have the same last name. I told her my grandfather was from Calabria but, I recently got an update on my DNA and found out I have roots in Marsala. Ermelinda wrote back and said we must be related because we are the only de Bartoli’s in Marsala. This is something I plan to investigate more. I would be very happy if this lovely lady and I are related. Who knows, Il Volo may have helped me find some long, lost, relatives.  Thank you, guys!

Susan

Ermelinda De Bartoli and Susan De Bartoli

 

Credit to owners of all photos.

THOSE THREE NICE GUYS by Daniela

Since there is no interesting news on Il Volo, I searched through the old videos, and I found one of June 2017, recorded in Taormina.

The speech that precedes the song is very hilarious, Piero, Ignazio and Gianluca are really three nice rascals, who know how to entertain us.

I hope that the translation reproduces the nice atmosphere…

GIAN = Here we are! (applause)

IGNA = Sorry I’m late, but tenors pee too. (laughter from the audience)  (he clears his throat)

I wanted to make a serious speech ….. we are fond of Italy, in particular Sicily, two of us are Sicilians, (he sees a white cloud from the audience) … but who smokes? What happened? Is there white smoke for the new Pope? (many laughs)

This cigarette hurts you, throw it away!

GIAN = DO NOT SMOKE!

IGNA = (he resumes the speech interrupted by cigarette smoke). However, we are mainly linked to Taormina. Taormina is very special for us, because we think it is one of the most beautiful towns in the world, (applause) but above all because we met some real friends here.

To name a few, like Saretto Bambar who makes wonderful granitas ….

Piero = Hi Saretto

GIAN = We love you!

IGNA = … then Giovanni of LA BOTTE (restaurant near the Bambar), then all our tennis friends ….

GIAN = Even the Metropole Hotel, who always treat us like royalty.

IGNA = The promise I want to make to the people of Taormina is to spend my summer here in Taormina. (applause) ….. but it’s not that now that you know, this summer everyone come to Taormina !!!!! I come around day 32 …. (lots of laughter)

GIAN = of December !!

Well, let’s move on to the next song.

IGNA = Yes, sorry.

GIAN = Maybe many of you know that our journey, indeed, our flight together, started more than eight years ago.

The first time we sang together was April 25, 2009. The years go by quickly …..

PIERO = Eight years old … you must understand that we spend most of the year together, so when we go home I happen to call my brother or sister, by their names. (Ignazio or Gianluca)

IGNA = It can happen, but one thing worries me, I don’t mean for your brother, but to call your sister by our names ….. (lots of laughter).

PIERO = It can happen, but the real problem is that when Ignazio comes home, he calls his dog, by our names (lots of laughter).

IGNA = It’s details …

PIERO = But I say, have I ever replied “bow wow?”

IGNA = No, but you must know that dogs become like children and …..

GIAN = This is a show of affection!

IGNA = Exactly.

And then Franzino (Franz, Ignazio and Alessandra’s dog), looks a little like you, has your features, look I’m complimenting you.

PIERO = Thank you, what a brother!

IGNA = Maybe even the cut of the eyes, the tuft ..

PIERO = Do you have a dog with a tuft?

IGNA = It’s hairy ..

PIERO = And am I hairy? (he refers that  everybody knows Ignazio to be the hairiest of them three). Hairy me?

IGNA= (At this point, Ignazio speaks in Sicilian dialect. He is the hairiest of the three and I think this causes him a little embarrassment, since the current fashion involves smooth male chests. That summer, Ignazio shaved his chest, but the result was that his skin was not smooth at all, but full of small rashes, I believe that the meaning of the sentence said by Ignazio is this …)

And then, the hair removal must be done only on the legs of the women and not the men on the chest …. then I become a meteorite! 😁😁

Let’s move on. 

GIAN = The first song we sang together that day, you know it true, you remember it, you saw that famous episode (of Ti Lascio Una Canzone).

Ladies and gentlemen, we’ll all sing together O SOLE MIO !! (applause)

Did you like their comedy?

They are good singers, good guys, good entertainers, what more do we want.

Attending one of their concerts is a real experience, but now we are in a crisis of withdrawal from concerts.

We hope that the situation will return to normal soon, so that we can once again enjoy your voices, your beauty and even your antics personally.

See you soon guys !!

Daniela

Credit to owners of all photos and video.

WHEN TALENT HAS NO BOUNDARIES by SUSAN

Let me say, Gianluca was the one who inspired me to write this article. Gianluca said, “I thought there were three hundred thousand boys singing like me, and instead that night I discovered that there are only two: Ignazio and Piero.” Of course, Gianluca was referring to the night they sang together for the first time on Ti Lascio Una Canzone.

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

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

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

Talent 01

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

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

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

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

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

At this point Michele’s head is spinning. He’s thinking these guys are good and again repeats it to himself, they’re good! He thinks, “What if I try to put them together seriously? A trio he tells himself. Here’s what I could do…. “

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

Talent 02

After confronting Tony Renis, Michele called Roberto Cenci and he got the contact details of the three boys.

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

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

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

As I mentioned, Michele called Tony Renis. The first time Tony Renis heard the guys sing he said “I could not believe that these three young kids could sing like men of 45 years old. Their voices were huge! I realized they had great potential.” Renis called his producer friend  Humberto Gatica and said “…if you are available, I would like to collaborate with you to produce these kids.” When Gatica heard them sing, he couldn’t believe their voices either, he thought it was a fake, “they can’t possibly be teenagers.” Renis said, “After this these kids started to fly, so we called them Il Volo.” Renis believed these kids would appeal to kids, mothers, fathers, everybody. He was right!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

…. I did not even know what the contracts were like, I did not care. Once I told my father something like this: ‘But why, to be a singer, it takes a contract?’ I only remember that at a certain point we went to lunch in Rome, 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.

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

 

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In 2009 they recorded their first album.

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

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

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Credit to owners of all photos.

BEFORE BEING IL VOLO by Daniela

After the cycle of concerts in the US, I noticed many new names following our site, and I believe some are new fans, who have joined us, after having heard Il Volo sing live in the last concerts.

Maybe not all of them are updated on Il Volo, like us who follow them daily, and so I wanted to go back a little bit in time when Piero, Ignazio and Gianluca were not yet IL VOLO, indeed they didn’t know each other at all …… the inspiration was given during that television broadcast: TI LASCIO UNA CANZONE – year 2009.

Piero, Ignazio and Gianluca, have been presented in this transmission, as solo singers. And here they are in some of their performances:

Piero Barone sings “PIOVE” by Domenico Modugno.

Oh my God, Piero, you were 15 years old, I would say rather plump, and those ears …… but you already showed security, and we want to talk about the voice? An enchantment, even then, surprised us and was a contrast between you, with childlike features and this adult voice.

Really very particular, I would say a kid to keep in observation !!!

And here is Ignazio Boschetto singing “È LA MIA VITA” by Al Bano.

Wow Ignazio, what a difficult song, but I had no doubt that you could do it very well. Al Bano is known for having a very high tone of voice but you have not been less than him, quite the contrary.

Your voice had no problems, and you immediately enchanted everyone.

But let’s talk about you, a still clumsy child, forced to wear sizes of adult clothes because of the weight, but those dimples, what to say have fascinated everyone, as much as your voice.

This kid, to be taken into consideration!!!

And now Gianluca Ginoble sings AVE MARIA.

Gianluca, what a sweetness, your voice is so caressing and so deep, that it touches us in our soul.

The deep admiration for Bocelli’s style is felt in the execution.

14 years old, good and handsome. You seem shy but so terribly sure of your voice. 

What a great power.
Another one to keep definitely observed!!!

Three really promising children.

In the various stages of the broadcast, the director decides to create duets, and the result is not at all disappointing.

Piero Barone and Simona Collura sing CU’MMÈ , beautiful Neapolitan song.

Gianluca Ginoble and Sara Pischedda sing L’ABITUDINE.

Ignazio Boschetto and Massimo Ranieri sing QUANDO L’AMORE DIVENTA POESIA.

I did not understand why in Piero and Gianluca, in the duets joined small girls, also participating in the transmission, while instead Ignazio, in the duets was associated with already famous singers, guests of the evening.

However, our three guys even in the duets have pointed out their skills and then ………… why not try to make a song in a trio:

And so Roberto Cenci the director of “Ti Lascio una canzone”, thought well of trying to unite these three children with powerful voices in a trio, and make them sing O Sole Mio.

O SOLE MIO, the first time sung by Piero, Gianluca and Ignazio, 25 April 2009.

O SOLE MIO – Click Here

Wow, what strength, what power, these children could make a fortune ……. but someone at that exact moment, a great manager of famous singers, Michele Torpedine, was watching television while on the phone with his friend Tony Renis ……….. this is the beginning of IL VOLO, and everything else is history !!

Sometimes I think of the extraordinary randomness, which made Piero, Ginaluca and Ignazio, coming from different places, be registered in the same year for this show.

The randomness of the director who wanted to try to combine their voices.

The coincidence that Torpedine was watching TV on the phone with Tony Renis.

A long series of fortuitous circumstances, which made the project take shape in a short time, was April 25, 2009, this year has been 11 years and we are still enjoying these beautiful voices …… and it’s not over yet !!

Daniela 

Credit to owners of the photo and all videos.