Everything that the guys do is magic! They make us happy every time they open their mouths. But there are moments that just blow us away!
2016-2017 were the years dedicated to the “Notte Magica” project, the tribute to the 1990 event of the Three Tenors.
On July 7, 1990, a magical night took place in Rome: Jose Carreras, Plácido Domingo and Luciano Pavarotti sang together for the first time in one of the most evocative temples of opera, the ancient Baths of Caracalla. This was the biggest classical music project of the 20th century.
Twenty-six years later, Il Volo, paid tribute to the event and to the Three Tenors with a new album and a live concert event, “Notte Magica ~ A Tribute to The Three Tenors.”
The Il Volo concert took place on July 1st, 2016 at Piazza Santa Croce, one of the most beautiful plazas in Florence. They were joined by the famous Teatro Massimo di Palermo Orchestra. The guys performed some of the most famous Neapolitan songs and arias from the Italian and international operatic repertoire all of which were sung by the original Three Tenors.
Their special guest was Maestro Plácido Domingo. Maestro Domingo conducted almost half of the program and joined Il Volo singing the classic “Non ti scordar di me.” Although the guys were not born in 1990, they grew up listening to the three tenors.
They were fascinated and, inspired by their voices and legendary achievements. Now, the guys were sharing their music with a younger audience. This was a great opportunity for the younger generation to experience the same emotions as we did on that magical night 26 years earlier.
This was also the beginning of the world tour of “Notte Magica – A Tribute to The Three Tenors” which debuted on March 4th, 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 was extended to Europe from May 5th, 2017 for 29 performances and from September it extended to Latin America.
Some moments to remember along the way:
Ignazio was first with “Una Furtiva Lagrima.”
In the aria “Una Furtiva Lagrima” from L’elisir D’amore by Gaetano Donizetti, Ignazio makes you feel the innocents of Nemorino’s love for Adina. His warm graceful voice is very bright and strong with a smooth, clear and crisp dimension. He has an astonishingly, acute extension that leaves you breathless. He is exceptional because he can sing from the lowest to the highest note in the tenor range and, he can, easily, hit that high C. Waiting for it and knowing it’s going to happen is so exciting! Ignazio only needs to open his mouth in song and passion exudes from his lips. He’s very expressive and simplistic in his presentation. He feels every note of every song and expresses it in a most sensitive way. You feel what he feels! The end result is a delivery full of passion that leads you to ecstasy!
Next came Gianluca singing “La Danza.”
“La Danza” by Gioachino Rossini, is actually a Neapolitan Tarantella which is used in comic opera because of its’ rapid succession of rhythm. It is really a tongue twister. The singer should have excellent enunciation, to sing the song to maximum effect and Gianluca certainly fits the bill. Gianluca’s highs and lows, his emotion and expression are superb. He has total command of the song. He has a very rich chest resonance which creates a feeling of depth and drama in his voice. It is exactly what is needed for this song. His ability to sing from the lowest to the highest note in the baritone range gives him the ability to move along with the rhythmic movement of the song. There are many videos of Gianluca singing La Danza but, I chose this one because he is so animated, so happy, he’s feeling the orchestra and he’s even leading them at one point. In the end, he had the time of his life with this performance. Maybe because he was at home in Abruzzi, enjoying it with his people! A difficult song, a beautiful delivery!
(Click on the photo below to view “La Danza”)
And finally, Piero with “No Puede Ser.”
“No Puede Ser” from the opera La Tabernera del Puerto was composer by Pablo Sorozábal. Federico Romero and Guillermo Fernández-Shaw wrote the Spanish Libretto.
Piero’s voice really comes to life in this aria. He has the brightness and height of a lyric tenor, but with a heavier vocal weight enabling his voice to be “pushed” to dramatic climaxes with less strain than his lighter-voice counterparts. Every note that comes out of his mouth reaches you with such intensity and remains with you for a long time. It’s the voice that reaches out to you and demands your attention. From the first note Piero pierces your soul! His passion comes through in his music. Arias are very dramatic and, Piero brings all the drama of the aria into his performance. Always a showstopper!
The Notte Magica tour, which followed included, in addition to opera tunes such as “Nessun Dorma”, “E Lucean le Stelle” and “Una Furtiva Lagrima”, there were famous songs in Spanish like “Granada” and “No Puede Ser.” There were pieces of traditional American songs like “My Way” (from the original French song “Comme d’habitude,” English lyrics by Paul Anka and made famous by Frank Sinatra) and “Maria” from the musical “West Side Story.” There were the traditional Neapolitan classics such as “Torna a Surriento”, “O Surdato nnammurato” and “O Sole Mio”. They also included romances like “Mattinata” and Italian songs such as “Caruso” by Lucio Dalla, which was a fantastic interpretation of the great Luciano Pavarotti. All of this is embellished with symphonic masterpieces performed only by the orchestra, such as the prelude of Bizet’s “Carmen” and the intermezzo of Mascagni’s “Cavalleria Rusticana” (my favorite opera).
(Nessun Dorma, the first Notte Magica in Florence, the beginning of the video is shaky, but then continues well, live video recorded by Daniela)
Piero, Ignazio and Gianluca explained that their tour had a mission. That is to make known and appreciated the value of this repertoire even to those who have never listened to it before. And the intent seems perfectly successful because it was applauded by at least three generations.
The pearl of the evening “Ave Maria, Mater Misericordiae”, was an Ave Maria written specifically for Il Volo that they dreamed of performing for Pope Francis. The guys did in fact sing it, for the Holy Father, at World Youth Day in Panama City.
And to round it off, they ended the concert with “Grande Amore”!
When I was researching the material for this article, I found, in our archives, some beautiful emotions expressed by our Daniela from Flight Crew about the event in Piazza Santa Croce, and I would like to share them with you.
“The magic of that night was that no one knew what to expect! We all know that the boys have incredible voices, but when they started with the Nessun Dorma, I think all those present held their breath to the end.
‘Oh my God, it’s very difficult,’ I thought, and even the boys were very emotional. There was a palpable tension in the air.
At the final note, we could not believe our ears, we all got up and applauded for a very long time. Teardrops fell from our eyes. They were very good, we were all very proud of them, and they were wringing their hands, hugging each other, moved by the success of the song.
The various songs went by fast and, the evening was beautiful. The muggy heat of the afternoon had given way to a nice evening temperature and Piazza Santa Croce was truly magnificent. Everyone present was very much involved.
Between one song and another there were presentations made by the boys themselves, repeated twice, once in Italian and once in English and this was funny because Piero said: ‘Rewind everything and repeat because the grandmother in the front row has not heard well.’
There were also strange moments, because it was summer and it was hot and yet, because the CD would come out at Christmas, they also sang a Christmas song, which was not added on the CD.
And Gianluca occasionally said, ‘Congratulations, Merry Christmas!’
The boys were really elegant, and the stage was huge, with a large chandelier that came down from the roof and emanated lights of many colors.
People reacted with enthusiastic applauses for their great affection, but also because they recognized the skill of our boys – Il Volo.”
Also in our archives was a description of the opening of the concert in Detroit, in the United States, which was written by our administrator at Flight Crew, Jana, and I would like to share it with you.
“The lights went down in the theatre, and they went up on the stage, a deep blue light created a reminiscent backdrop of the evening sky in Florence. The smoke machine started to create a subtle breeze in the air. A quiet hush fell over the audience as the orchestra members strolled out onto the stage. The crowd clapped politely. Then the maestro, Joseph Modica, came out; again, the crowd clapped. The lights changed from red, to blue, to purple, to teal, and back again, all night. Very similar to the Florence concert, actually. Joseph raised his hands and, the first notes of the violins could be heard resounding over the crowd. That song, that most of us had only heard on the CD or TV, was now playing live, right in front of us. The sing-songy violins spoke and the cellos and bass answered back to them. Soon, it was over. The audience cheered and clapped, knowing that what they were really waiting for was about to appear before their eyes. Seconds later, the Notte Magica truly began.”
The concert, Notte Magica in Florence, was filmed and broadcast in the United States by the national television network PBS, and in Italy by Canale 5. It was also broadcast in over 500 cinemas in Italy and around the world.
Staying with Notte Magica for a moment….
Victoria, one of our Flight Crew members, sent in this beautiful video clip that her 90-year-old Il Volo fan friend sent to her! Victoria was wondering who the woman with the dark hair was and what was the story behind this video? So, when you want the facts, where do you go? To our faithful and ever ready Italian Correspondent Extraordinare, Daniela Perani, who gave us the tender story.
The story is simple. There are six children, 5 females and 1 male. The woman with the dark hair is their mother, who has made many sacrifices for them. Four years earlier, they lost their dad, who was a sailor. They were not wealthy and, they led simple lives. They were always cheerful and, their dad was always there for them. These children made a promise to their dad that they would take care of their mother, but for four years she was always so sad.
The children wanted to do something to make their mother happy so, to show their love, they took her to the Maria De Filippi program, C’è Posta Per Te, which they knew she would like. Knowing how much she loved Il Volo, they called the guys to tell them about their mother. Piero, Ignazio, and Gianluca, gave her beautiful words of support, a bracelet, and sang for her. Then they invited the whole family to the concert in Rome.
In this video you will notice how touched she is and how she looks admirably at the boys as they sing. Her tears touched all of us!
Our journey this week showed us the magic of Il Volo. Something all their fans know about. The magic continued throughout the years. Such a short time but 12 years is like an eternity when we think about all they have done.
Soon we will hear our guys live at the Ancient Arena of Verona. The concerts will come back. All the sadness will soon be over and, we will “Let the Magic Begin” all over again.
So happy you are back on stage. It was lonely without you!
Join me next week as I go back Through the Fields of My Mind and open the door to a new adventure!
If you would like to share a story with me, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
To read more Il Volo stories visit us at www.ilvoloflightcrw.com
Credit to owners of all photos and videos.