Today’s story is about the guys meeting, ironing out the wrinkles, developing a friendship and becoming 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 how their faces are lit up! Their joy is shown in their amazing, smiles and their embraces! This says it all! They are brothers who love one another!
To help you understand this relationship better, I am including an article from October 10, 2019, which was translated by Daniela and, explains in the guys’ own words how they grew together.
The well-known Italian magazine SORRISI E CANZONI TV, dedicated the cover photo and presented a beautiful interview of Il Volo by Solange Savagnone. But before we begin, let’s see what the guys were up to!
Budapest! The stained-glass window of the room overlooks a square in the historic center. Inside, in a secluded area, a group of people are in tears from laughing. Ignazio has just hit the center, on the third attempt, throwing a cap with his thumb into a mug of beer on the opposite side of the table.
Gianluca, between a miso soup and shrimp in tempura, interrupts the jokes to greet a young Greek tourist who approaches to ask for a selfie. And while Ignazio sings the tune of a robiola commercial and Piero chats with his friend Priscilla Presley, Michele Torpedine uses his chopsticks from his Japanese dinner to present his first career in life, that of a drummer.
The scene seems crazy to us but it’s perfectly normal for the guys.
“We like to say that it is ten years of friendship! Music and loyalty are the most important thing,” explains Gianluca. “We are three leaders and sometimes it is not easy to live together, but we have grown together and, we have helped each other, both professionally and humanly. We are like brothers.” And that sums it up but it’s only the beginning of my article.
The exact day in which their partnership was born was April 25th, 2009, the third episode of Ti Lascio Una Canzone. But of course, this is the part of the story that everyone knows. So, without delay let us go to the interview.
How have you changed since then?
Ignazio: In addition to changing physically, we have grown professionally. On stage, however, we feel the same adrenaline of the early days. Singing for us is not a job, but a passion, a fun, a way to feel complete.
The first time you met, what did you think of each other?
Piero: Ignazio was unpleasant to me. I remember him on the bus he was singing, but he was also the first one I tied with. Gianluca, instead, was in the group of dudes ……
Ignazio: I never thought about this, Gianluca was on the sidelines, but then it was natural to be together.
Gianluca: When you’re small and you’re on Rai1, you do everything they tell you. The program lasted nine weeks and we were rivals, a bit of envy was created and, in those days we exchanged only a few words. But the success we received was incredible.
What’s left of those kids?
Piero: Everything. We are always us and we have fun at every concert. We have the same passion and spontaneity of those times. Before going on stage, we laugh about everything. We do not follow a script. We help each other and we get excited a little. We are not spoiled. We have certain needs, just because we need them to stay healthy and do concerts well. The responsibility we have towards those who work with us, and the public, is enormous. If one of us gets sick and misses two or three concerts, it’s a disaster. So, to avoid the risk, maybe we avoid going to the disco.
Ignazio: Also, because we always sing live. This summer, for example, after the concert in Palermo, I didn’t go out with friends, because the next day we had another concert in Taormina.
Gianluca: Musically speaking, we are always in search of perfection, and we strive to grow and make people understand who we are.
How can you grow as brothers without being brothers?
Piero: It was difficult, but lately our relationship has improved. Before, we were spiteful, now we openly say to each other, what is wrong. There is no grudge between us.
Gianluca: There is a difference between being together for work, or by choice. In the first case there is a little tension, when instead we are together to have fun, it is another thing, indeed we should do it more often.
You have very different characters. What is your way of living love, family, friendship and social media?
Ignazio: I am the least social of the three. I know it’s important to keep my private for myself. A little privacy, it takes. My character is particular, I am sensitive, but very strong and hard. I do everything, but you must respect me.
Gianluca: I am a little narcissistic because I need confirmation. In kindergarten, I always asked the teacher twice if I was good. And this insecurity, I brought it with me, until today.
Every day I speak to my parents, my dearest ones, my girlfriend. I vent with them, as well as with Piero and Ignazio. We love each other. On social media, if I put lots of photos, the fans are happy, the haters are a little less, but I continue to be myself.
Piero: We can’t hide anything between us. If I lie, they notice it. With the people I know and choose, I am very generous, open, sunny. But I only trust my best friend, my brother and my sister. I have a big flaw: for me, either it’s white or it’s black, I give you my heart, but if you do me a wrong, you’re dead.
Gianluca: I have learned that we must try to understand why a person behaves in a certain way. I never hold a grudge. Piero instead gets angry, for the criticisms and the free offenses.
Piero: In fact, before I used social media so much, now only for work things.
The secrets of your success?
Piero: The first is that we study a lot. The second is our manager, Torpedine, who has been following us for years. The third is the music we sing.
Gianluca: But talent and work alone are not enough, sometimes timing counts. To be recognized, you have to be special, and we were the first to perform at a very young age, in bel canto: this struck people’s hearts.
Who are the hottest fans?
Gianluca: Perhaps the South Americans. (Torpedine told us that in Mexico, fans broke through the window of the hotel where they were staying.)
Piero: But even in Bulgaria, they showed us unexpected affection. And the Japanese, apparently so rigid, go wild during the concerts and come to the front of the stage.
Gianluca: Let’s say that with our performances, we help the public to free themselves. We tend to make a very engaging event, not a serious concert.
How can you not let this go to your head?
Gianluca: With intelligence you cannot get carried away by the wave of success, but the people who follow you and the support of the family matter a lot. Staying attached to the origins is the most important thing. If you let it go to your head, then people will notice it.
What are you missing when you’re on tour?
Gianluca: Normal life.
Ignazio: Waking up at home, carrying the dog around, everyday life.
Piero: After the concert at the Arena di Verona, I went home one day and enjoyed that moment, like never before. I felt an immense pleasure in going to the laundry and to the yogurt shop: it was how I did it for the first time.
Do you want to try your hand at some other musical genre?
Gianluca: If we changed genre, we would no longer be us and people would no longer recognize our music.
In ten years, how do you see yourself?
Ignazio: Ten years ago, they asked us the same thing and we didn’t know what to answer. Our way of thinking has changed: so, I would have answered married, with children, today not. Situations change.
Piero: I don’t know, new artists are born every day, the future is a question mark. We hope not to disappoint the fans.
Who do you want to thank for what you are now?
Piero: If today we celebrate ten years of career it is thanks to the fans, we have grown together and we hope to celebrate with them 50 years of career!
Gianluca: We thank the musical heritage we have, the bel canto, which has allowed us to travel around the world.
Ignazio: Words are not enough to thank all those who deserve it. I say thanks to those who believed in us, Michele Torpedine, our manager, and those who work closely with us. And thanks to life, for what he has given us: voice and luck (words that are tattooed on Ignazio’s arm).
Piero: And thanks to Sorrisi for this cover and for having always supported us.
How about when you are on tour or in your hotel rooms etc.
Piero: In the room I always ask that they cover the carpet with sheets, because I am allergic and, I must preserve the voice. I always have two suitcases, a big one with all the clothes and things I need (including Sicilian vacuum-packed almonds and natural tuna in a can) and an emergency trolley, with a second dress for the concert, for safety. And an agenda on which I record the commitments. Including this interview for Sorrisi.
Ignazio: When I’m on tour, in Italy, I always carry my guitar with me, abroad, unfortunately not. I go to the gym in fact we only choose hotels with a fitness area. In the room I relax as much as possible, maybe watching a soccer game on my mobile (I support Juventus). I also play football, as an offensive midfielder, and I’m pretty good. In fact, when I’m at home, every Wednesday, I go to play with friends. And when I can, I make two tennis matches with Piero.
Gianluca: I have no special requests and I adapt easily. I am very tidy, almost maniacal, I keep everything perfectly folded and, I even line up my slippers. I am lactose intolerant and pay attention to what I eat: rice, fish, vegetables, protein snacks and for breakfast pancakes with egg whites and peanut butter. Once a week we “go” with a pizza. I don’t smoke, I don’t drink and, I have never been drunk in my life, because I don’t like losing control. I train early in the morning and go for a run. Sport has changed my character. I have become more willing and disciplined.
In the final chapter of their book,Un’avventura straordinario, La nostra storia(An Extraordinary Adventure, Our Story)the guys sum of their life story. I can’t think of a better way to sum up my story than by having them sum up their story as they did in their book where….
…. the true and only secret of the success of our three lives is told.
When they asked us to write this book, our first thought was, “Finally,” finally we can tell the truth.” In a three-minute interview you cannot tell a life, but in a book yes. And that’s what we tried to do in these pages: tell our true story.
Which is a normal story, of three guys like many who had a great passion and were lucky enough to be able to transform that passion into what today makes them live and makes them famous.
Being successful is beautiful, it would be stupid to say no after we have so dreamed and desired, but you need to quickly understand something, and that is, that it is not only our merit.
The people who follow us have a large part of that merit.
And knowing it is what gratifies us the most.
It is wonderful to know that we have shared our emotions with those who listen to us.
That’s why we work, and that’s why we try to give everything when we sing, we live in a concert or recording studio. And that’s why we do our work always with the maximum of passion, so that we can create what for us is magic, the magic of emotion that passes from our voices to people.
Fans are the reason, the only real explanation of what happened to us from 2009 till today, the records, the tours around the world, the victory at Sanremo, what we are finally living in Italy.
During a concert we would like to embrace all the people before us, one by one, we would like to be able to say: “Thank you!” with our voices to all. And we want to thank them if we are in the studio to record, if we fill the halls in concerts, if we are in the charts, if we go around the world.
Our “fans” are everything!
…. for all we have done so far, let’s say thanks to those who have followed us. And we will continue our great adventure together!
I think their interview and the book have come together to show How Strangers Became Brothers!
Join me next week as I go back Through the Fields of My Mind and open the door to a new adventure!
Staying in Hungry, today I would like to share with you a letter from Adrienn Gyorffy who lives in Hungry.
Dear Ladies, Il Volo Flight Crew!
I have been reading your newsletter for a few months now, and first of all I would like to thank you for all the news and information you share. I am a new fan of the guys, and thanks to Il Volo Flight Crew I have learnt a lot from them.
I am not an extroverted person so, I have not commented on the articles, news. But now I have felt an urge to share my story with you and to start a little diary of my last and next couple of days, just for fun, for myself. So, I share my story with you. It might be interesting for you. A small piece from the other end of the world, from Hungary 🙂
Good to have you, hope you will enjoy my story.
My journey to the land of Il Volo ~ Love at first sight
It happened sometime during the pandemic, when people lost their hope, and the well-known world of ours turned upside down. I was looking for something which is stable, predictable, comforting. And it was my childhood, the lovely memories of my first holiday in Italy…
I was about 8 in 1982, when for the first time, I stepped into the land of the “Poisonous WEST” over the Iron Curtain. To a child brought up in communist Hungary, it was like the Garden of Eden. The sun, the sea, oranges straight from the tree (we could get oranges and bananas only a few times of the year if my mom was lucky enough to get a few after hours of queuing, strictly for us, for the children. Even if she was yearning for a bite, she would never eat one as it was a great treasure), and of course Italian music.
So going back to my original story when I started losing my hope during the pandemic, I started listening to the music of my childhood, the music that my parents were listening to, Al Bano and Romina Power, Toto Cutugno, Ricchi e Poveri etc. It brought back all the lovely memories. I was searching on the web for all the old and new appearances of them, when I encountered this:
I was enchanted by the voice of the young guy. He was so cute, still his voice was a miracle. I could feel goose bumps all over my arms. So, I wrote a name into my browser: Ignazio Boschetto…… and I was lost or saved forever!
As I learned, he was not a little boy anymore, but a handsome young man, with two other remarkable young artists, Piero Barone, Gianluca Ginoble – Il Volo.
I have never been a fan type of girl. I learnt musical instruments and loved music and was listening to music all the time, when I was younger, but never had anybody I was rajong (crazy about). But now at the age of 47 it struck me, and specially the impact of their music on me. It brought back the energy, the hope, the love of life, the dreams one tends to lose as time goes by. It pulled me out from the egyszínű (solid) weekdays when I was operating as Mom only. I found my ego and have my dreams and desires back again. Their music has filled me up with vitality and it still does. When I am tired, feeling down or just lost, I listen to Il Volo and I am back to normal, or when I am feeling gracious for my life I also listen to the guys and, I get even closer to the One I have to say thank you for my wonderful life.
So here I was the new fan of Il Volo, reading all the news I could find about them, especially Il Volo Flight Crew, where I learnt their history as well. I was listening to all the interviews. Luckily the English ones were not a problem, but the Italian interviews shows their real personalities, so I decided to start learning Italian to understand them J And I also started to look for the concert venues to be able to see them live. You can imagine how furious I was when I found out at the spring of 2021 that they were in Hungary in 2019. But as a real fan (sometimes I feel like a teenager, they should be fans, not Moms with two children) I didn’t give up. Then the next obstacle was, that during Covid you cannot travel and besides all the concerts were cancelled, but miracles DO happen…
I was at Lake Balaton with my 10-year-old when scrolling the social media, I read somewhere that the only European concert which is not postponed is the one in Croatia. It is 5 hours driving from here…
I am not a spontaneous woman, especially not since I have had my children, but it struck me. I called my husband, saying that I have to go, sorted out the children with the help of my mom and bought the ticket 2 days before the concert. And YES, here I am, I am going to Il Volo concert to Opatija tomorrow!!! Whish me luck and will come back with the details of the concert soon.
On July 30th, during the event: MARCHE IN SHOP WINDOWS, the Cassero D’Argento award was presented.
It is an award that the Marche region awards every year to the citizens of the Marche who distinguished themselves during the year. The Cassero represents the fortification that was once the city gate.
Le Marche is a region bordering Abruzzo and is the region where the Frasassi caves are located.
This year, among the winners, there was also Il Volo. Collecting the prize were Gianluca Ginoble and Michele Torpedine. In the following video we will hear the motivation for the award.
MAN = Cassero D’argento 2021 international award to: IL VOLO.
(Gianluca and Torpedine go up on stage)
GIAN = (to Torpedine) Ignazio, you are old !!! 😁😁(laughs) Good evening everyone and thank you.
MAN = Let’s get off to a good start ☺ Collecting the prize: Michele Torpedine and Gianluca Ginoble, that needs no introduction.
WOMAN = Who rewards?!!
MAN = The president of the Marche Region was particularly keen to deliver the prize: Francesco Acquaroli who is here with us.
Good evening president.
WOMAN = (reads the motivation) They are the group of Italian love songs, a success that never sets. Through their music, they interpret songs of the Italian and international tradition, with a classic style that completely revisits the concept of pop and modern.
After the overwhelming victory in Sanremo 2015, with the song Grande Amore, a song that was then confirmed third place in the Eurovision Song Contest of the same year, the group has consolidated its success to date with six studio albums under their belt.
GIAN = Thanks ! I’m so happy to be here.
MAN = I would start with the manager for a moment.
This is a number 10 night (the best).
They (Il Volo) score goals, translated in terms of international successes, but behind “the tips” (ie who scores goals), there is the number 10, there is the director who puts the great artists in the conditions of get the results.
GIAN = Torpedine is our Mancini, practically. (Mancini is the coach of the Italian football team that won the European Championships last month)
MAN = Exactly, that’s where I wanted to go. Does this parallelism fit, or does it not? There is talent, there is good work …
TORPEDINE = That’s how it is in football.
In the case of Il Volo, there is a good atmosphere together, things are thought together, indeed, I must say that many ideas, I steal them from them, and then maybe, I develop them well.
But it’s a nice team, we are all together.
GIAN = We are a cohesive group.
MAN = (to Torpedine) When did you start with them, did you imagine they would come to these moments? I think of the Verona Arena and I still shiver, because you enchanted the world on that occasion (he refers to the Morricone tribute).
TORPEDINE = Seeing them at: TI LASCIO UNA CANZONE, everything could be imagined except this.
MAN = That is, Torpedine, the first impact was NO, we are not there!
TORPEDINE = I was sitting in front of the TV, I saw these three phenomenon children and I thought: let’s see for a moment …. they reminded me of the three tenors when they were small, they had the same size more or less, in the voice.
Then growing up, they put their talent, because when there is the material, it is easy to do our job, it is more difficult when there is not.
MAN = Listen Gianluca, I am thinking of the Verona Arena, but in how many wonderful places in the world have you sung.
To the caves (Frasassi), what effect did this enchanting place have on you?
GIAN = First of all, I am Abruzzese, but I particularly love the Marche (a region bordering Abruzzo), also because I am often in San Benedetto (a town in the Marche) which is half an hour from my home, or Civitanova (other town), and I love this wonderful land, let’s say that I also feel a little bit from the Marche region. (applause)
MAN = We are pleased.
GIAN = I am from Abruzzo DOC (it is the brand that means of controlled origin and is placed on local products), but also a little from the Marches.
I thank all those who have given us the opportunity to be able to perform in such a magical place (Frasassi) one of the most beautiful places in the world and not only in Italy, and that we really want to bring it also internationally, even if not it certainly needs introduction, but it is such an important place, so magical, with the music of Ennio Morricone sung by us, it is certainly a way to bring the vision (of the caves) to as many people as possible. So we are really proud of this work we have done with the Region (Marche) and thanks also to the President (of the Marche region)
MAN = Above all.
GIAN= Above all.
MAN = Rightly, the President wanted to be next to you right now.
WOMAN = So President, you are in charge of tourism, these guys (Il Volo), are not from the Marche region, but they came to the Marche, to shoot a video of theirs, as a promotion of their world tour.
PRESIDENT = First of all, good evening everyone.
Let’s say that ours is an extraordinary region, and I believe that, discovering it more and more every day … to get here, tonight I went a little way and saw some glimpses (panoramas), a truly impressive heritage, maybe we Marche people should to be more aware of what we have and we will also have to be much more proud and then, of course, performers like these artists (Il Volo), who can greatly enhance our extraordinary heritage, is beautiful.
They have created a work of art in a work of art, and this happens, when culture, art, music, combine with an extraordinary work like that of the Frasassi caves, I believe there is a combination that can make beauty even more protagonist.
WOMAN = Perfect President. Congratulations, congratulations to all of you.
MAN = Here is the prize, thanks Agnes (the girl who brings the prize).
WOMAN = Give it to the President who hands it over. Torpedine, I’ll keep your microphone, do you still want to say something Michele?
TORPEDINE = No, thanks, I’ve already talked a lot. (the President gives the prize to Gianluca and Torpedine, and they pose for the usual photo).
MAN = Delivery of the prize: Il Cassero d’Argento. (applause)
WOMAN = Thank you, thank you, thank you very much from the heart.
MAN = Thank you for allowing this marriage of excellence. Thanks and congratulations.
In recent days, another promo has also been released from the Facebook page of the Frasassi caves, here it is.
And then, below a short video with short interviews with Piero, Ignazio and Gianluca, during the shooting of the video inside the caves.
PIERO = The goal for a singer is to convey emotions, to get something to people’s hearts.
I always say that it is not obvious, to receive affection from the public, to have many fans.
We are three privileged guys, but we feel a lot of responsibility on us, because when we think about the realization of a project, an idea, the first question we ask ourselves is, “Will it create some emotion, will it reach people, will they like it?”
IGNAZIO = Caves are magical places, where everything takes on a different magic.
Sharing this magical place with the maestro Vittorio Storaro (Italian cinematographer who will direct the video) was a great emotion.
GIANLUCA = The melodies of the great maestro Morricone are the protagonists in this wonderful setting which are the Frasassi caves.
We can say that it is one of the most beautiful experiences of our life.
FRASASSI CAVES, THE ENCHANTING NATURE.
But how beautiful and elegant are Piero, Ignazio and Gianluca? And how beautiful the caves behind them.
It will be a beautiful video !!❤
On July 31, in Naro (Piero’s town), an event was to take place in Piazza Garibaldi, in the presence of the public, where Piero would sing.
Unfortunately, due to the spread of the new Delta infections, the event has been suspended until a date to be determined. Sin.😑
RAI 1 has decided to re-propose the tribute concert to Ennio Morricone on 14 August at 9 pm (Italian time), well I’ll know what to watch that evening! 😉
Surely many of you have already seen it, but I want to close with this beautiful and meaningful photo of Gianluca walking in the square of Montepagano, with his grandfather Ernesto.
How much sweetness in this shot.❤
And Ignazio ……….. will you say?
He seems that he is very busy with his new love affair with the dance teacher Ana Paula Guedes, during an interview Ignazio admitted that he was in love and that the story began in January …………but these are very personal situations of our guys, it is their private life and we just have to be happy for them. 😉
That’s all for now.
We have arrived in August, the holiday period, but this year very limited due to the continuous infections.
The situation here in Italy is good, because most of the people got both vaccines. There is a growing spread of the Delta variant, but for now, it seems thanks to vaccines, there are few hospitalizations and few deaths, thank goodness!
I hope that the situation is sustainable with you too.
In the beginning the guys were called “awesome opera singers!” That’s how they described them. No, not in Italy! Here in America!
I love looking back at the beginning of their career and watching how they grew! One of the nice things about living in New York is you get all the interviews and promos firsthand!
In the late summer of 2011, the guys were getting ready for their first North American Tour. This involved a lot of preparation and a lot of appearances on TV talk shows to pave the way! I remember watching them on “Good Morning America” and thinking this is going to be an amazing journey for them. They have so much going for them but above all they had their youth which was an asset! Their voices were enticing and, they were adorable! Every teenage girl was going to fall in love with them. So would their mothers, and above all the grandmothers! It was the beginning of a journey that was going to take them to every corner of the earth. They would steal the hearts of all who came into contact with them. And, given their age, we could count on their music being around for a long time. That was the thing about their music, it came from the past and fit right into the present and would go well into the future. Everyone would come to love it! Yes, there were others who sang the same songs but, they were not Il Volo! Only Il Volo could pierce our hearts with their beautiful voices and leave us memories that would grow with age and expand with every new song!
During the last days of summer in September of 2011, the guys were taping the “Today” show. They were teenagers and they were belting out their favorite song “O Sole Mio” in front of projections of stained-glass windows. Their appearance capped a few months that brought them from “American Idol” to the morning talk shows to the final episode of “Entourage.” The idea was carefully designed to expose them to both mothers and daughters, before their first North American tour, which included theaters like the Beacon Theater in Manhattan.
In the NBC studio at Rockefeller Center, a sleepy-eyed Gianluca, 16, crooned the opening verse, and Piero, 18, and Ignazio, who was turning 17 the following Tuesday, released ringing high notes. Hoda Kotb, “Today’s” co-host, put her hand on her heart and smiled wistfully behind the cameras.
“We are Il Volo,” Ignazio said at the end with a heavy accent and a dimpled grin. “It means ‘flight.’ Thank you for flying with us!
After the taping Hoda said, “Believe me, everyone’s going to come running. They’re going to beat down the door.” How right she was!
The theory, Arias for teenagers, the crossover dream was being masterminded by some of the most savvy executives in the music business: Jimmy Iovine, who helped turn Eminem and Lady Gaga into superstars; Ron Fair, who nurtured the careers of Christina Aguilera and the Black Eyed Peas; and Steve Leber, a management legend who worked with the Rolling Stones, Aerosmith and AC/DC and has come out of pop retirement to try to make Il Volo explode. And explode they did!
The group was introducing the same Italian pop standards and power ballads that performers like Bocelli used to rocket to superstardom. The difference, of course, is age: theirs, and that of their potential audience.
“In the beginning all of us thought that because of their kind of music, the audience would be from 35 and up,” said producer Tony Renis. “But now we realize that they can conquer the kids. The younger generation all over the world. The kids are used to rap but they never had the chance to listen to this kind of music. But now Il Volo is spreading a new kind of feeling. They are conquering every age.”
The group caught Mr. Renis’s eye in the spring of 2009, when the three boys were competing individually on “Ti Lascio una Canzone,” an Italian version of “American Idol.” A shrewd producer on the show, Roberto Cenci, suggested they combine forces, and their renditions of modern classics were hits.
“These kids were singing ‘O Sole Mio,’ and I heard such amazing, beautiful voices that I didn’t believe it,” Mr. Renis said. “I thought it was fake. They were singing with such mature voices, like men of 50 or 60 years.”
Mr. Iovine and Mr. Fair signed the guys to Geffen Records after hearing a clip that Mr. Renis played for them. Their debut album, “Il Volo,” a mélange of songs in Italian, English and Spanish calibrated for the widest possible appeal, was assembled over the next year and released in Italy in November 2010.
The label’s connections landed the guys a spot on “American Idol.” They also did a cameo on the final episode of “Entourage,” with their song “Un Amore Così Grande.”
Meanwhile, when Anthony Rugiero heard Il Volo sing, he was struck by the group’s similarity to both opera’s The Three Tenors and the pop music world’s Jonas Brothers.
“I was amazed,” said Rugiero. “It was, like wow! They are treating these kids like the Jonas Brothers in Italy and they’re singing opera, like The Three Tenors. You look at them and it’s like, these guys have it all. It’s too good to be true.”
Rugiero, who heard the group sing in Italy, knew Il Volo could help his charitable endeavors. He had been looking for a way to raise funds for Boys’ Town of Italy, Italian Language Inter-Cultural Alliance and the Volterra-Detroit.
“I was thinking, how can I get a group together that’s big enough that it would reach all age levels? I thought about singing groups and was trying to think of who I could get, when I see these young kids in Italy,” Rugiero recalled. “They take classical music and put a little something into it. These kids are wonderful.”
Rugiero, who also is a board member of the Detroit Opera House, was determined to bring the group to Detroit as a fundraiser for three organizations and began working on a plan to produce the concert himself. After Live Nation bought the group’s North American concert tour, Rugiero suggested a benefit dinner that would be held in conjunction with the show on Sunday, October 16. Concert promoters liked the idea.
This video is the best example of how they were able to steal the hearts of the American people. The video shows them on a simple stage with limit musicians and their voices shine!
“I purchased the first 20 rows, center section, all premium seats,” Rugiero said, describing seats at the Fox Theatre. “We hope to have a great evening.”
Fiat was the sponsor of the event, along with several Italian-American business leaders including Tom Celani and Anthony Soave.
The Volterra-Detroit Foundation supports The University of Detroit Mercy School of Architecture and Comune di Volterra, which had formed a partnership to provide a new educational opportunity in the City of Volterra, Italy, for students in metro Detroit. Through the partnership, U.S. students can study in Italy for no additional fee, after paying their regular college tuition.
“I love programs that bridge the gap between Italy and the U.S.,” Rugiero said.
Rugiero didn’t get to produce the concert but he was able to use it as a fundraiser for three worthy organizations.
Back in New York, the “Today Show” was not their only talk-show appearance. They were on “The Tonight Show,” “Good Morning America,” “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” and CBS’s “Early Show” in May, when their album was released in the United States. And they were preparing for a PBS special.
In the meantime, their album made its debut on the Billboard 100 chart at No. 10. The Italian and American management teams butted heads about where, when and how to spend the boys’ time. Should they stay in America a full year and play smallish clubs? Make one-off appearances all over the world? Play theaters seating 1,000 or 3,000?
“No one had a real game plan,” said Mr. Leber, who persuaded the families to bring him and his son, Jordan, on to help manage the group as it rolled out. “They need to tour, tour, tour, tour. The kids and the parents were nervous about going on the road. But the most important thing was to go on the road.”
So, on the road they were. Each of the boys was accompanied by one parent, a substantial sacrifice, since all three left their jobs to join their sons, and none are wealthy: Piero’s father is an auto-body mechanic, Gianluca’s a truck driver, and Ignazio’s mother owned a pizzeria that her 25-year-old daughter was running in her absence. None of the three spoke English.
The group had already been to Singapore, New Zealand, Sydney, Miami, jumping on the red carpet at the Venice Film Festival. With the upcoming North American Tour, it was necessary to get a new wardrobe. The guys were taken to Dolce & Gabbana on Madison Avenue to shop for a tour wardrobe. When they arrived at the store, Barbara Vitali told the sales associate, “We have to balance the repertory they are performing with the teenagers that they are.”
The scene in D & G was confusing! A series of slim blazers failed to fit Ignazio, who has lost more than 30 pounds but remains wide in the shoulders. Ignazio sang “All Nylon” to the tune of “All Night Long.” Gianluca emerged from the dressing room in tight black velvet pants and a shiny black blazer. Piero ended up with boots spattered Pollock style.
“They’re very, very different from one another,” Mr. Fair said. “Gianluca’s like a young Tony Curtis or a Mario Lanza, almost a Presley character, handsome and dark and Italian with fabulous hair. Ignazio is a crowd pleaser and a people person, adorable and funny. Piero is more studious, very serious.”
Three hours and well into five figures’ worth of clothing later, the group headed to theBorgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City, site of the tour’s first performance of the guys first full concert ever. They allotted two days for preparation.
The following morning’s rehearsal began well. The boys sounded fresh as they warmed up; the echo of one of Ignazio’s high notes stayed in the ice-cold air of the theater for five full seconds. But Gianluca missed an entrance — he had, as usual, been on his cellphone with his girlfriend — and things quickly dissolved into backstage shouting.
The next day was the opening show, and the boys had still not run a single song all the way through. Mr. Leber arrived, doling out hugs. “This is not music,” he said. “This is a happening. This is an event.”
And it was. It got off to a rough start. The lighting careened from darkness to glare. The sound mix, including the vocal track augmenting some of the group’s harmonies, was murky; the video projections — a mixture of slow-motion Italian film clips and animations — were distracting. The boys seemed unsure of exactly where to stand and how to move.
Then they opened their mouths. The first song was “Il Mondo,” a sweeping heart tugger. Like many of the numbers in Il Volo’s playbook, it started quietly, with a verse from Gianluca. It built and built, until Ignazio, oozing delight at being onstage, let loose a startlingly full and mature high note.
A girl literally screamed with delight!
Gianluca glanced at Piero with relief in his eyes. The audience gave standing ovation after standing ovation.
Next stop, Toronto. In contrast to the Borgata show — which, like much of the tour, was organized by the American concert-promotion monolith Live Nation — the Toronto appearance was the work of a local promoter, Mimmo Pellegrino. It was at Roy Thomson Hall, where the Toronto Symphony Orchestra plays and, which is about three times the size of the Borgata theater.
The Borgata show had, as Mr. Leber had predicted, the feel of an event – sold out, electric. In Toronto about a quarter of the seats remained empty. Some odd scenic elements had been added, like three enormous white masks that were revealed at the end to be swivel chairs. The audience response was warm, but it was hard for even the loudest of the recorded string arrangements to fill the big space.
The audience at both shows was mostly older, but there were the seeds of what could become a classic boy-band phenomenon: that girl screaming in the audience at the Borgata, high-pitched shrieks of “We love you!” in Toronto, a high school senior who asked Piero to be her date for homecoming. (He said yes.) And maybe, just maybe, they will inspire young people to try “real” opera. The thought was, if Il Volo can persuade teenagers to notice and care about vocal production in a classical — or at least classic — style, who knows?
“By January they could sell 1.5 million records around the world,” predicted Mr. Fair, who arrived at the theater in Toronto just as the boys were exiting the stage. “Everyone will know who Il Volo is. It’s going to be a gigantic live act. Tickets are going to sell like crazy. And then a song will come along, like a Coldplay-type song, a pop record that’s introspective and beautiful, and everyone on the more pop end of things will know them.”
But before everyone knew them there was a degree of fame and it was pleasant and inviting. There was some discussion after the Borgata show about whether the boys should exit through a back door. They decided instead to greet the public, and as they walked into the lobby, what can only be called a polite mob ensued, just the right size and just the right amount of enthusiasm. The boys thanked everyone graciously as they signed autographs and posed for photos.
Earlier in the day Ignazio was doing a sound check onstage with the band. Steve Leber watched from the seats. As if on cue, Ignazio hit one of his shining high notes. Mr. Leber smiled. “Our game plan is working,” he said.
And it certainly worked well. The crowds grew and, the enthusiasm grew and, it has never stopped working since then. The 2011 North American Tour was just the beginning of their success in America. A success that ten years later continues not just in North American but around the world.
And over the last year the call from our guys and the world was Let the Concerts Begin.
2022 should prove to be the best year yet! Welcome Back guys! You have really given us great pleasure with your Tribute to Ennio Morricone and we look forward to its arrival in North America and around the world!
Join me next week as I go back Through the Fields of My Mind and open the door to a new adventure!
Excerpts from an article in the New York Times by Zachary Woolfe on Sept. 29, 2011
Today I would like to share a letter with you from a lady named Marilyn Andrews in Seattle.
In 2020, at the height of the covid pandemic, my husband passed away from a long illness. I had been caring for him for several years prior to his passing. I loved him so deeply, but yet, after many months, I had been unable to grieve for him. Let me describe my husband, and you may be able to make an association with someone else:
Professional singer; glorious baritone voice; a repertoire of thousands of songs; offered a chance at fame on national TV (but turned it down over concerns for impact on the family); opened a show for Tony Bennett; musically inspired by Tony Bennett, Frank Sinatra, Perry Como, Mario Lanza, the Three Tenors, etc.; private in nature but a consummate perfectionist in public performance; intelligent, serious, articulate, a philosopher of the mind; handsome, part time model with a stunning smile; fit and athletic runner and weight lifter; self taught in many things, including guitar and piano; a lover of beautiful clothes (Armani in particular); a lover of all things Italian – culture, art, history, wine. Above all, lover of family. The list could go on….
In the fall of 2020, I happened to hear a televised concert of Il Volo on TV. I loved the music and began to follow the group online and joined the fan club – my first and only one ever. As I read more about Piero, Ignazio and Gianluca individually, I was startled by the many things Gianluca and, my husband had in common. “How odd”, I thought. The more I learned, the more things I found they had in common, the stranger it became, and so the more I followed.
Sometime in the winter of 2020, I viewed and heard Gianluca’s performance of “Mi Mancherai” in Rome on YouTube. At that time, I knew virtually no Italian words, and so had no idea of the song’s meaning. But upon hearing it, something inside me just broke. It was such a jolt that I actually felt it physically. The timbre of the song, the sadness and the passion with which it was delivered instantly touched my soul at such a deep level that I cannot even describe it. I wept, and wept and wept, and realized that I was finally, finally grieving for my lost husband. Two days later, I searched online for an English translation of the song. And the tears came all over again, as I learned that the song is about losing someone so very close to you that you are overwhelmed with the “missing” and the sense of loss. It was quite literally a musical expression of grief – my grief. Without realizing it, I had been led, seemingly step by step, to the music of Il Volo, then to the character of Gianluca, then to his song, then to the expression of my grief. How could this even be possible – that a complete stranger helped me begin to overcome my deepest loss? I have no idea. But I somehow need to thank Il Volo and specifically Gianluca for the gift that he gave me, even without his knowledge of it.
Over time, I am healing. And I have begun the process of reinventing myself. Hesse says that “the true profession of man is finding his way to himself.” That is what I am doing. With my previous background in international business, I am learning Italian, working remotely here in Seattle for an Italian company in Vicenza, and planning a different life for myself. I may not stay in the U.S.; it is possible I may choose – Italy? Spain? Portugal? All of these changes involve a great deal of new thinking, new learning, and a lot of courage, but as I heal, I am becoming a true lioness!
Today the music of Il Volo brings me no tears, only incomparable joy. I have never had the opportunity or pleasure of seeing and hearing Il Volo in concert, but I hope to do so in the future, in Italy or somewhere in the world. It is highly unlikely that I will ever meet Gianluca in person. But if I did, I would shake his hand, thank him, and let him know that he has helped me more than he will ever know. “All things are possible.”
Six years after the guys were put together on Ti Lascio una Canzone, they wrote a book,Il Volo, Un’avventura Straordinaria, La nostra Storia,(An Extraordinary Adventure, Our History) and what an extraordinary adventure it was.
In their many interviews, they talked about the book and their lives in the beginning of their career and we begin to see how they interact with one another to form a powerful team. From a very young age they were very intelligent and, they were always courteous. They always had the right answer at the right time! This is a big achievement for such young boys who were thrown together into an adults’ world without any way of knowing what to expect. This says a lot about their integrity. In this story we meet three amazing young men who achieved in their teenage years what most adults could not achieve in a lifetime!
Reading through the stories, I can see how the boys begin to bond with one another. We all have our good days and our bad days but, at the end of the day they have what’s most important, “each other.”
What we also see in their story is how they begin to bond with the American people. From their first performance on TV on American Idol, they took America by storm. Every TV Show wanted them as guests. After the show they hit the top 10 on the “Billboard” charts. They were on the ride of their lives and, they didn’t even know it! So, let’s join Piero now as he tells us what it was like for him after six years with the guys.
“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.”
Ignazio picks up the story…
“It was the beginning of 2010, our first time overseas. Destination Miami! What charm America! Everything was so different from Italy: the cars were different, the streets, the houses. I felt like I was in another world.
Immediately after Miami we went to Los Angeles. My first word? ‘Wow!’ Which was also what I said when I entered my room in one of the best hotels in the city, the InterContinental of Century City.
We were only three kids accompanied by our parents. We still did not know each other well. At the beginning I immediately started to connect with Piero. Perhaps because he is Sicilian like me and maybe because we always found the opportunity to make jokes and have fun. We especially enjoyed ourselves when we tried to make ourselves understood by people, since we spoke few words of English.
But what were we doing in Los Angeles? We stayed there a week during which we were lucky enough to be part of the ‘We Are the World 25 for Haiti’ with eighty of the most famous music stars in the world including Celine Dion, Lionel Richie, Santana and many others. After 25 years we all gathered together for ‘We Are the World 25 for Haiti’ to collect funds for the earthquake victims of January 12th, 2010.
It was the first week of February 2010, Quincy Jones had invited us, the myth Quincy Jones, the one who worked with Ray Charles, one of the artists who made history through international music. In short, that was our first truly, great, exciting experience: who could ever imagine that one day I could find myself among those people in such a context.
After the week and back to Italy. The difference between Italy and the United States we saw immediately: they were more advanced, more ahead!”
Piero recalls their meeting with Quincy Jones…
“I remember meeting with Quincy Jones when he came to ‘We Are the World 25 for Haiti:’ an eighty-year-old crazy character in Converse.
That time we just showed up, but three years later he came to one of our concerts and we had the chance to talk. Okay, you imagine being with Quincy Jones, the Quincy Jones who worked with Count Basie, Ray Charles, Dizzy Gillespie and Michael Jackson. Here, what are you talking about? Music?
We were fifteen to sixteen when we found ourselves in this American dream. We had signed a contract with a record company that includes famous artists like Beyoncé and many others. We were invited by the record company to the party. We turned and saw, again, Quincy Jones; we turn around and we saw Rihanna; we turned and shook hands with Lady Gaga. We talked with them, some singers who were idols for us and for our peers.
I never forget the meeting with Puff Daddy, he shook my hand and told me: ‘Guys, welcome to our family.’ You see, now that I’m telling you, I’m shivering because I never said it, but Puff Daddy says ‘Guys, welcome to our family.’ Then I sent a message to my friends in Naro, ‘Today I was with Beyoncé, today I met Puff Daddy.’ And they did not even believe it. They only believed a little bit if we sent the photos. But they did not really understand what was happening in our lives.
In fact, we only began to understand that something was changing when our first record came out.”
So, the guys have met all the big names and performed with them in We Are the World, but reality has not yet set in. Let’s hear what Ignazio has to say about this….
“It was already May 2010 and the Il Volo album was about to come out all over the world. Maybe I was too small and naive but I did not feel the anxiety of the job, unlike today. The first major television show we appeared in, in America, was American Idol, the world’s most famous music talent show. There, yes that….…”
“American Idol? I remember the first fitting we did with the clothes, the dress rehearsal, in short. We found ourselves in the dressing rooms with all these clothes, we did not know where to look, glasses, bracelets, we touched everything, the stylists all around you. We still have those clothes. I personally will never throw them away.”
Gianluca interrupts Piero….
“Then they say I am the vain one! Yes, I remember the clothes, the stylists, it was the first time, a crazy feeling. But most of all I remember the face of Jennifer Lopez when Steven Tyler gave five to Ignazio, live with thirty million viewers. Oh not, Igna?”
Ignazio recalls that crazy moment….
“I had a crazy fright in front of Jennifer Lopez, Steven Tyler and Randy Jackson and millions of Americans watching us from home. We sang ‘O Sole Mio,’ live and, while singing, I do not know how it came to me: I casually approached and gave five to Steven Tyler in the studio and took a delirium, all standing!
And a few days later we realized that people at home were ecstatic: The week after the broadcast we were listed in the top 10 of “Billboard” the most important internationally recognized music reviewer. A goal that only a few Italian artists have achieved. Not bad for boys of only sixteen. After that great success, all the American television networks wanted us on their show. And slowly also in many other countries in the world.
In a few months I found myself having traveled the world, from Europe to the Americas, from Asia to Oceania. From 2010 to 2013 we traveled like crazy, without ever stopping. In three years, I have not been home for five months. So much so that the rest of my family were upset. Sometimes I traveled with my mother, sometimes with my father, and I never saw my sister. The first discussions had begun for those who were to accompany me, not because they wanted to travel the world, but because my mother did not want to stay away from her son, who until a few months before had an almost normal life, apart from the thousand daily whims.
The release of the album, the pre-sales of the American, Latin American and European tour, were good but not Italy because the Italian promoters were not very enthusiastic about our work. We were very sorry but, we conspired with the fact that Michele, our manager, had lived the exact same thing with Andrea Bocelli and said: ‘Wait, boys, one day they will notice.’
So, the concerts are approaching around the world, but who had ever done one? I had only an experience on June 24th, 2009, on returning home from Ti Lascio Una Canzone I had a concert in Marsala, fifteen thousand people were waiting for me in the square, I will not tell you the fear I had, so much that I sang the wrong words to the first song! But now I was not alone for a single evening but, there were many concerts to divide spaces, remember movements and various choreographies. Luckily there was Luca Tommasini, a dancer and choreographer who was part of Madonna’s dance group, Michael Jackson, Diana Ross. Prince, Whitney Houston, just to name a few. He was a great help and we had fun around the Americas and Europe.
The concerts were fine, many were sold out. We started on that first tour in 2010 in spaces from one thousand five hundred to two thousand seats to the maximum until arriving in 2013 from five thousand to ten thousand places. The girls shouting at all the concerts, the hotels, the airports always full of fans, we walked with bodyguards.
The record was going well, and many people in the show were noticing us. One day Michele calls us: ‘Barbra Streisand’s manager called me.’”
Piero, who was in charge of recording all the dates and events and signing contracts, recalls…
“We were in Atlantic City, in my suite, and who comes in our American partner, Michael’s right-hand man, with a contract.
‘What is that?’ I ask him.
‘The contract to sign with Barbara.’
I knew that there was a project with her, but being on tour, I could not keep in touch every day with Torpedine, so I did not know that the thing had come to past. And it was a really big thing: Barbra Streisand wanted us on tour with her, not as an opening, but as an integral part of the show.
The tour, which was called Back to Brooklyn, was the first that Streisand made between the United States and Canada since 1994. It opened on, October 4th, 2012, in Philadelphia and closed on November 11th in Los Angeles, passing through New York, Montreal, Ottawa, Vancouver, La Vegas, Chicago. Can you imagine what it meant? And we sing with her!
So, I signed the contract, but the most anticipated thing was the meeting with her. Because Barbra is a diva, all speak of Barbra with so much desire. And to find yourself face to face with a person who has made history of international music, known all over the world, who is seventy years old and still has twenty thousand people every single evening, is incredible!
And the meeting was surreal because it is absurd to find yourself talking to her about your hair, where you go to cut your hair and trivial things, it does not seem possible!
The fact is, however, that I am not one who dreams so much, I do not live above the clouds. I may not seem modest, but yes, I did a duet with Barbra Streisand, but when I finished the show, I called Torpedine and I said, ‘What are we doing tomorrow?’ ”
“How much do you run, Piero! I’m still at Michele’s first call and you’ve already finished the tour?
When our manager gave us confirmation of our participation in the tour after a few days of negotiation, we did not know what to say or what to do. Personally, I knew of Barbara Streisand, but I wanted to know more, so I watched Funny Girl, the first film she shot and with which she won the Oscar for the best actress in 1969. After watching that musical-film I was fascinated and excited a thousand times more to be part of the tour of the artist who had made me dream only through a screen. I did not even want to imagine what it would feel like the day I would find myself on the same stage as her.
The first concert with her was in Philadelphia on October 4th, 2012, the day of my birthday, so you can imagine what a birthday I would have. It was nice and exciting to hear her singing close to me.
When I arrived at the sound check, before the concert, I do not know what happened but, I started thinking about everything we had done in the years before, how much gratitude the boys and I had for Michele who had never left us since the first day. We were sharing the stage with one of the greatest living legends.
They are difficult emotions to explain!”
Gianluca throughout the book and his interviews is led by his passions and emotions, much as he is in his everyday life where family, music, country and soccer, are his greatest passions. Here Gianluca picks up on Ignazio’s emotions and continues the story….
“In my case, if possible, it is even more difficult because the thrill of singing with Barbra Streisand has added to the excitement of singing in front of my grandfather. Imagine the Barclays Center in New York, a huge sports arena full, bursting of people. The capacity is around fifteen thousand places, but that evening was so full of people it seemed to me to be twenty-five thousand. The darkness all around and then the lights suddenly, the audience roar, the music, the concert.
And what did I see in all this? I saw only my grandfather in the middle of the Barclays Center who greeted me by hand. It was the best image of that tour, for me, a kind of film, yes, in a film it would have been really good!
I did not believe it, the more I looked at it and the less I believed it. It was weird, my grandfather at one of my concerts with Barbra Streisand in New York. I have always seen him in the square in the village, it seemed a mirage to see him there.
He made me like this with his hand (a wave) and he was crying. And I was just looking at him, singing ‘Smile’ and watching only him.
Worse was when I just moved my gaze and I saw my father sitting next to him. And he cried too.
That time on stage I could not let myself go, but then I ‘recovered’ during our first European tour, the year after.
My grandfather worked in Switzerland for many years, in fact my father was born there in the sixties, so he could not wait to go back to northern Europe. So, what did he do? He came to Frankfurt with my mother on the plane.
We land, we go out of the baggage area, I turn the corner and open a door. There is a video that is made of me, I have a face. Behind that door was my grandfather waiting for me. Yes, I started crying. And so, for me, the grandfather is the grandfather, woe to those who touch him. And it is love, not affection.
However, of the tour with Streisand, I also recollect the amazement that took us every night after the concert. Why? Because she received crazy visits in the dressing room! In Los Angeles, just to give you an idea, they came to greet her – and we met them! – Sting and Tom Hanks.
What a fantastic tour it was!”
Can you imagine these three young guys living this adventure? I get chills listening to them talk about it. They are so innocent they don’t even know how to react at times.
Piero is so humbled by coming face to face with a person who has made history in international music.
Ignazio is speechless he can’t even express his emotions!
And Gianluca is so astonished by the event at the Barclay theater he can only focus on what is closest to his heart, his family, and the fact that he is sharing this experience with them.
You know what I love most about this story? The fact that they are so in awe of the entertainers around them. Kind of like we are in awe when we are in their company! That is emotional for me! What these people did to them, the emotions they felt, is so like our emotions for them, our feeling that we walk with great people. Our wonderful guys!
In the story they speak like they want to reach out and touch the people around them but, they can’t even wrap their heads around what’s going on! Who could imagine that these three young boys who stepped off the stage of Ti Lascio una Canzone would travel around the world, join renowned singers and, immediately become a part of an industry which, in reality, is so hard to break into? Yes, it was La Forza del Destino (The Force of Destiny) that led them to America.
They were in the first steps of their career and, they were already Conquering America!What an amazing achievement!
Join me next week as I go back Through the Fields of My Mind and open the door to a new adventure!
Saturday 19 June, on RAI 2, a beautiful interview made with Il Volo, in the FELICITÀ (Happiness) program conducted by Pascal Vicedomini, was broadcast.
The RAI press office only notified us the day before this interview, so few knew, but surely the videos have already been published on all Facebook pages (what we fans can do) and therefore, I bet you’re wondering what our guys said, so here’s the video and the translation.🤗
I warn you that it is a very long interview, but very interesting, and therefore I will proceed by dividing it into two parts.
So here’s the first part, up to 27:03.
PIERO = Happiness for me is every day. Because I found that inner balance. In the particular year we lived, I took advantage of it, thanks to the people who support me, like my family and friends, and I found that inner balance that makes me enjoy life. I enjoy life every day.
PV = What is happiness for you? (to Gianluca)
GIANLUCA = I believe this certainly – the support of the family, do what you love, live from your passion, make it a job, and be serene, feel good about yourself.
Happiness is a moment. The moments of pain help you to face life, to form that armor that allows you to face life in the best way. That inner serenity is surrounding yourself with people that allow you to be a better person.
PV = For you, Ignazio?
IGNAZIO = Happiness, in the end, is just a word.
Surely as they say, feeling good about yourself can be a cause for happiness, but the most important thing is to create it, and it’s very subjective, I think.
(start the theme song of the program)
PV = Happiness. But who is happier than me today, who are together with three ex-kids, whom I met who were really at the beginning and have become international stars: Ignazio, Pietro and Gianluca.
PIERO = Piero, Piero (Pascal said Pietro).
PV = Piero, sorry, sometimes I make a mistake.
PIERO = Pascal, we are very happy anyway.
GIAN= But the grandfather’s name is Pietro, so you paid him a compliment anyway.
PV = (to Piero) But do you celebrate St. Peter and Paul? (the name day).
PIERO = Yes, of course.
PV = So, it was a little mistake.
GIAN = You knew us as children, now we are almost men … almost men.
PV = And what guys, three young music legends, three seducers …
GIAN = Indeed ….. but all these compliments ….
PV = I almost feel like an intruder in your world
IGNAZIO = We met, really at the beginning of our journey. (career)
In Los Angeles, right?
PV = How not !!
IGNAZIO = We shared those moments, even a little strange for fourteen-fifteen-year-olds, being in parties with the biggest stars in the world.
PV = I remember, guys, they arrived in Los Angeles and were immediately catapulted into a mega galactic party, greeted by: Schwarzenegger, Sean Penn, Puff Daddy, Quincy Jones, Beyoncé, Cindy Crawford …
IGNAZIO = Cindy Crawford I remember her well!
GIAN = I remember her too ….
PIERO = The particular thing, do you know what Pascal was? To go home and tell our friends what we had experienced, and it was impossible (because they would not believe).
PV = Those are the first moments when you begin to understand that something is changing.
(the video of the Sanremo victory starts)
PV = (voice) Gianluca Ginoble, Piero Barone, Ignazio Boschetto, aka IL VOLO, three young excellences of contemporary bel canto in the world, three constantly evolving talents, who have already seduced the audiences of many countries far and wide for the planet.
Three guys put together to break through the myth of the three tenors par excellence: Pavarotti, Carreras and Domingo and who in some way are keeping up with the expectations of the many people who believed in them, from the very beginning.
Three brilliant witnesses of pure Italianness that strikes, fascinates and seduces, so much so that it gradually becomes a global phenomenon.
Three witnesses of the restart of the music industry and of the Italian live entertainment, and who recently seduced the national television audience with the record concert at the Verona Arena, in homage to maestro Ennio Morricone. Event that arranged them in a good mood, on the occasion of our “reunion” between friends.
PV = Ignazio, when did you realize that your life was changing?
IGNAZIO = But maybe we haven’t noticed today yet, because fortunately, and I say fortunately, we live things with simplicity, always trying to put music, our passion, in the foreground.
Then, it is normal, there are many responsibilities, we are no longer kids, where there is the novelty of three kids who have an important voice, an adult voice, so now is the time to work, to develop new ideas. With our manager Michele Torpedine, we always try to renew ourselves, we lock ourselves in a room for days to understand what is the best thing, the next step to take.
There was the Arena di Verona, and we are already thinking about another project, so we must never stop.
PV = About the Arena, a great recent triumph, we will talk very soon, but let’s go back a little to the beginning.
(the video of O Sole Mio, starts)
PV = (voice) It was 2009 when three provincial kids, with an extraordinary voice, two Sicilians, Piero and Ignazio and one from Abruzzo, Gianluca, made their debut on the RAI stage in “TI LASCIO UNA CANZONE,” a program by Antonella Clerici, directed by Roberto Cenci, who, in meeting the three “child prodigies”, immediately came up with the brilliant idea of putting them together.
R. CENCI = I followed the casting directly and in this second edition, I found these three guys and took them individually, because I got Ginoble because he had a voice very similar to Bocelli, not as a tenor, but when he sang normally. Ignazio had what I called “canna” (high tones) and Piero was the only one I had doubts about, whether to take it or not, because he was really a “tenorino” (small tenor) and the year before I had already had a boy with the tenor voice.
In the end, after two or three episodes, I spoke with Bibi (Bibi Ballandi, Italian TV producer) and I said: “Look, I have an idea, I want to bring them together and call them – Tenorini – to make the beautiful songs, the Italian bel canto.”
It was an immediate, incredible success.
He called Tony Renis and said, “Guys, but these three are very strong, in my opinion in America, they could win,” and I said, “In my opinion, the only one who can help them in this sense is you, if you want I can put you in contact with the families,” and in short, from there, let’s say that he accompanied them in what is their journey under full sail.
(the video of THE WORLD begins)
PV = (voice) Launching three very young Italian tenors into the world seemed an impossible mission, but considering the previous successes of producer Tony Renis, who for the occasion wanted, at all costs, at his side, the former manager of Bocelli, Michele Torpedine, the operation was a challenge to attempt.
Especially since together with the lawyer Peter Lopez, mister “Quando Quando” (Tony Renis) , he convinced the legendary Italian-American colleague Jimmy Lovine, to make an album with the Italian “tenorini”, very different from the rappers he launched, as a tribute to its Ischian origins.
And so it was that the three boys found themselves in Hollywood, among the elite of showbiz.
It was February 2010, on the eve of the Grammy Awards, or the Oscars of music.
PV = Gianluca: this first experience in America.
GIAN = It is a great emotion, we hope it is a starting point, because it is an incredible thing to be in America.
PV = Ignazio: in the footsteps of the great masters who made the history of world music, here in Los Angeles.
IGNAZIO = Being with Tony is beautiful, we have fun, we spend beautiful days together.
PV = (to Piero) You are already preparing an album, which will soon be released, also made with Umberto Gatica, therefore: Tony Renis, Umberto Gatica, Torpedine, one team …..
PIERO = Really strong, we get along very well with them, we communicate with them and we express ourselves well with them.
(start the video of UN AMORE COSÌ GRANDE – Live The Americana)
T. RENIS = Very strong, they are conquering the United States. The Americans are going crazy for these three kids, who are phenomena. They sing, they sing, really, they know how to sing.
(start the video WE ARE THE WORLD 25 FOR HAITI)
PV = (voice) That trip to Los Angeles, with their uncle Tony Renis in 2010, marked the turning point for Gianluca, Ignazio and Piero, in fact, the famous producer, also managed to convince his old friend-colleague Quincy Jones to let his three new ones enter as pupils, in the video in favor of Haiti, which re-proposed WE ARE THE WORLD by Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie.
TORPEDINE = It was a great dream, also because I came from a long experience of Andrea Bocelli, after 16 years, let’s say it was easier for me to continue this discussion.
PV = What place do Il Volo occupy in international music today?
TORPEDINE = I believe that after Andrea Bocelli, who clearly today we are talking about a monument, we are no longer talking only about an artist, immediately afterwards, they are there, because they are present in all countries of the world, as a publication, as a live, as a performance . Today Il Volo, together with Andrea, clearly Andrea becomes almost unattainable, because the recording market today is almost infinite, in general, but on the live part, they have the same capacities, in some countries, in others they don’t, but let’s say they occupy a huge space.
GIAN = Let’s say that, certainly the novelty was that, as Ignazio said, of three children singing pop-lyric, because it was the first time, so let’s say that from this point of view, we have always tried to be unique, and to propose to the public, to the people who follow us, something different.
Then, it is clear that over time, it is necessary to demonstrate and consolidate success, because being the novelty, it is also easy to be a meteor, therefore, as Ignazio said, sorry if I repeat myself, we must renew ourselves, with hard work, with constancy, with sacrifices and always staying on track, this is important. I must say that there is not only a working relationship, but also our friendship has been consolidated over time, and this helps us to be cohesive, strong and to develop ideas that allow us to renew ourselves.
RED RONNIE = I want for them, a good of the soul, because even if they joined almost by chance, Piero, Ignazio and Gianluca, they have three totally different personalities, who together have a crazy cohesion, so much so that they have invaded the world.
I hope they enjoy the happiness they deserve and are experiencing, because …… because they are still spontaneous, they still have the desire to see with their eyes what happens and, this is important, also with the heart. They are perfect when they are elegant, at the Verona Arena or on an important stage, or when they are like this, a little “discarded” when they come into my programs and let themselves go. Because they are three guys, very lucky, and very alive.
PV = (voice) Red Ronnie says well, three very different guys, who complement each other on stage, three particular characters, united by their common talent and love for music: Piero the professor, Ignazio the philosopher and Gianluca the seducer, two Sicilians and an Abruzzese.
After all, they are three young people of today with the ancient passion for opera, to be merged with pop, a characteristic that makes them fascinating in a transversal way to the different civilizations crossed in their first twelve years of common career in the world.
The result of the intelligence of the Italian province, which over the years has established itself, not only in music, but in every sector of society, as the journalist and writer points out: Pierangelo Buttafuoco.
P. BUTTAFUOCO = It is up to the village boy to “take flight”. If that of IL Volo is the story, or rather the novel, or better still the epic, of those who, like the guys, know how to go away.
Because the commandment given to the country guys is always the same, and it is this: “Who goes out, succeeds” (pun to say that whoever leaves the country, succeeds, that is, is successful, in life), and said in Sicilian it becomes: “cu nesci, arriesci”.
ANTONELLA BORALEVI(writer-journalist) = What is special about Il Volo?
Meanwhile, this name, because already hearing it, this name, takes you somewhere else, and then the fact that, we never say Il Volo, but we say “the boys of Il Volo”. I think that the three members of Il Volo group will have to get used to being called “boys” even when they are 70 years old.
But above all I would like to thank them, the guys from Il Volo, because they have the characteristic of giving joy. The guys from Il Volo put you in a good mood. The guys from Il Volo, you look at them and you feel better, you listen to them and you hum them and you feel better. So, as they say: go go go, guys from Il Volo and thank you for the joy you give us.
PV = (voice) All mad per Il Volo, it could be the title of a docu-film about the life of the three boys who continue to reap successes and attract fans of all ages, especially women, in the many countries already visited by three young people, they enchant the spectators and seduce, in particular, the fair sex, with their typical Italian charm. That’s right, it was for Pavarotti, it is for Andrea Bocelli, it is for Gianluca, Ignazio and Piero, of whom also three collaborators of Milly Carlucci have an excellent opinion and who had the pleasure of training Il Volo, for a special episode of Dancing with the stars.
OB = (dance teacher). Piero dancer mmmmhhh. Piero dancer, determined, very stubborn, I remember that he always wanted to try the steps, always perfect the rhythm. Obviously: he Sicilian and I Sicilian, we had a great time, I have wonderful memories, both of Piero and of the whole group. We had a lot of fun in our beautiful tango.
LL = (dance teacher) Gianluca dancer was a real discovery. But I think that in the tango, it was really exceptional, because in reality it represents it a little. Tango is very technical, and in my opinion Gianluca is precise, like tango, like all professionals, on the other hand. He is sensual, mysterious, captivating and intriguing, but above all, tango is elegance, and he is a very, very elegant person, and this is a gift that few people have, and that distinguishes him above all.
MG = (dance teacher). Ignazio was a great revelation and certainly as a dancer he was exceptional that evening at Dancing under the stars, when we did the tango together and I must say that it was really nice to see how, in a short time, this guy really learned the main things, of this dance, which was the tango. He tried to really express himself 100% and I was really very proud and proud and happy to have danced this dance with him.
R. RONNIE = Happiness could be …. such a wonderful place, surrounded by nature, relaxation. But you are missing something, you miss sharing it with the person you love, and then happiness is not living a beautiful thing, but sharing it.
Happiness is giving to others, it is giving, making people feel good. For me, happiness is giving space to artists, emerging groups, giving a voice to those who don’t have it.
In the end, we remain, for what we have given, not for what we have had, so happiness is giving.
(There are some scenes with Pavarotti)
PV = (voice) The myth of Luciano Pavarotti, after the docu-masterpiece of the Oscar winner Ron Howard, hovers in the dreams of all of us and above all in those of Piero Barone, Ignazio Boschetto and Gianluca Ginoble, alias Il Volo, who during the years they also managed to make friends with the friends and colleagues of a thousand adventures of Big Luciano (Pavarotti), the Spanish tenors Josè Carreras and Plácido Domingo. Especially with the latter who, as an indomitable lion, has also granted his three grandchildren (Il Volo) the honor of stepping on the same stage.
But what does it feel like to follow in the footsteps of three legends, who started the history of opera-pop? Feel the thought of Il Volo about it.
PIERO = The three tenors, Pavarotti, Domingo and Carreras, were the three who cleared opera, classical music, outside the theater and brought it to the general public.
Let’s say that we are trying to follow, humbly, without emulating the three tenors, we are trying not to let this music die, which will never end, because classical music, the classical term, is synonymous with eternal. We were in Florence, in Piazza Santa Croce, it was not a normal evening, it was a Magic Night, in fact it was the title of that project that we have taken on tour everywhere.
Clearly when we conceive a project, if there is no trust on the part of someone, there is no encouragement. When the idea of doing the Tribute to the Three Tenors was born, there was the foundation of Pavarotti who supported this idea, many messages with Josè Carreras, but the maestro Plácido Domingo did us the honor …..
IGNAZIO = Besides, he is a great friend of ours!
PIERO = ……he did us the honor of accepting our invitation, coming to Florence, conducting and singing that repertoire with us, so having his support gave us so much strength.
GIAN = I would also like to add that we have just done the concert at the Arena di Verona, the Tribute to Morricone, and there too, as Piero said, there was support, and of course it continues to be there for this recording project that will be released soon, by maestro Andrea Morricone and the whole Morricone family.
So this gives us that encouragement Piero was talking about.
PV = I must tell you that at this moment I am having a bit of the chills, because the first part of my artistic career began in the myth of Luciano Pavarotti, Josè Carreras, and Placido Domingo, I have followed them, ever since in 1990, together with maestro Zubin Mehta, they trod the Caracalla stage for a concert on the occasion of the Italia 90 World Cup, and from that moment, I understood the power of Luciano Pavarotti, and his two Spanish friends, to go and communicate the great international music, but above all Italian.
Finding myself today, with three very young friends, Italians, who are on that road, frankly, gives me, on the one hand, the feeling that I am getting a little old, on the other hand the joy of seeing that Maestro Pavarotti has drawn a really important road that you guys are following very well, isn’t it Ignazio?
IGNAZIO = Look, I tell you the truth, even with this Morricone project, we never wanted to be a copy of something, we want to try to be the means, to ensure that this music is never forgotten.
We are moving towards an era where the music changes every year, the charts change.
GIAN = (says in English) This legacy will never die, you know?
PV = You understand, the boy from Abruzzo who now speaks with an English slang!
PV = Piero, at this moment I have a flash, I remember a magnificent summer evening, in Piazza del Popolo (Rome) with the master Ennio Morricone who directed you in that wonderful song E PIÙ TI PENSO . In those days we celebrated the 150th anniversary of the unification of Italy, it was your first great performance, face to face with the legend of legends, the master Morricone.
PIERO = The first meeting with master Morricone, took place in the FORUM studios in Rome, in 2010 during the recording of our first album.
We were just recording E PIÙ TI PENSO and the master was passing through the studios and came in to listen, so he was the first to listen to our work.
We, fourteen, fifteen, still did not realize the importance, the greatness of the master. When he listened to E PIÙ TI PENSO, he decided to conduct this song live, on the occasion of a concert in Piazza del Popolo …
IGNAZIO = 150 years of the Unification of Italy.
PIERO = ….. 150 years of the Unification of Italy.
Today, we are not ashamed to say it, we have realized the importance and prestige of that event.
PV= In fact, Ignazio, having reached personal success, having arrived at a personal encounter with the legends, you so young, did not immediately make you understand what magnificent world you had entered.
How do you relive the memory of these events today? We talked about We Are The World and then 150 years, and in any case you are still at the beginning of a prestigious career.
How do you relive those passages that have taken place in the international arena and that seemed so unimaginable?
IGNAZIO = Look, I try to be brief. I think they will be indelible memories, which we will never forget, perhaps in those times, thanks to naivety, we lived everything more serenely. But they will be memories that we cannot help but take with us, tell them to our children, our grandchildren. Surely a very important thing is that we have learned a lot from them, the experience with Barbra Streisand has taught us a lot. In the end, when you relate to artists and people, because they are mainly people, you learn humanity, you learn humility, you learn how much dedication they put into their work, how much effort, how many sacrifices, and therefore we only learned from them.
GIAN = And then, these experiences that we have lived, we feel three privileged, those experiences that, like pieces, form the personality and that give sensitivity, empathy. These strong emotions that we have lived together have been a continuous personal growth, which has allowed us, really, to experience these things at a young age, with a naivety and a beauty, with a purity and we are truly proud to have lived them together.
Being on stage together, knowing that there are companions … I look at them (Piero and Ignazio) and they have experienced things that not even our brothers or our parents can understand, because there is this union between us, which makes these things truly special.
I wanted to translate this long interview, because it seemed interesting to me.
I’m halfway through the work, there are still many interesting things.
Tell me if you want to find out what will be said in the second part and, with a little patience, that too will come.
Credit to owners of all photos and videos.
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