There’s no other way to describe Piero than to say, he has a dream, and his dream is what it has always been about! From the beginning Piero said, “…. if there is one thing I want to do in life, it is singing, living for and with music.” That pretty much sums up Piero. He sings with such feeling and devotion. He studies endlessly! Opera is his dream! He’s studied, among other opera’s, “Cavalieria Rusticana.” I await the day when he will sing in his first opera. No matter where it is in the world, I will be there to see him fulfill his dream!
It might seem strange to you that he dreams of being in an opera singer. He is a superstar. He has achieved in 13 years what most men can only, hope, to achieve in a lifetime. But what can I say, The Man Has a Dream!
We all know the story of how Piero was discovered. He was swinging on swing in his grandfather’s backyard. Piero’s grandfather, Pietro, who is a singer, was recording a song on his recorder. He began to sing a little Sicilian song which Piero said he made up. “E lu suli talia, talia, talia. Sopra ‘sta petra luci ci duna,” (that is and, the sun, look, look, look, to this stone gives the light).
Piero recalls, I was swinging on the swing, I was about four or five years old, I was really, very, small. I listened to him a little and at a certain point, when he stopped singing, I started: E lu suli, talia, talia, talia. Sopra ‘sta pedra luci ci duna.” What can I tell you? It just came out like that.
His grandfather, who is blind, turned off the recorder and called his wife. Rina came out on the terrace, and he asked her, “Unni è Piero?” (Where is Piero?)
She replied, “In Altalena” (He is on the swing)
Pietro asked, “Ma cu cantava? Iddru?” (But who was singing? He?)
She replied, “Eh, si.” (yes)
He told Rina to call him.
So, Piero got up and went to his grandfather. Pietro lifted him up and put him on the table next to the recorder and told him to “sing the song again.” Piero sang the song exactly as his grandfather sang it. He listened to Piero sing the song and then he made the decision to go to his friend Antonio’s house to record it. And that’s when Piero’s musical education began.
You might wonder how it was that Piero was able to repeat the song word for word. Piero, in fact, has what you might call a photographic memory when it comes to music. It’s something he’s always had. If he hears a song two or three times, he remembers the words. So, it seems that’s how it’s been since he was a child.
So where is Piero’s voice today? Let’s listen to some of his phenomenal solos. And none better to start with than my favorite, “No Puede Ser.”
Piero is a spinto (meaning pushed) tenor. A spinto tenor has the brightness and height of a lyric tenor, but with a heavier vocal weight enabling the voice to be “pushed” to dramatic climaxes with less strain than his lighter-voice counterparts. His voice is warm, graceful, bright, and can be heard over an orchestra. Piero has a powerful voice that easily reaches the higher notes. Every note that comes out of his mouth reaches us with such intensity and remains with us for a long time. It’s the voice that reaches out to you and demands your attention. Think of him singing “E Lucevan le Stelle” from Tosca. Or singing the beautiful Spanish aria “No Puede Ser” from A Tabernera del Puerto. 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!
And how about “E Lucevan Stelle!”
So, let’s take a step back to see what Piero had to say about the early days.
I think it is an effort to remember when we were young. We were young the day before yesterday. In fact, all three of us, feel that time has run too fast. Yesterday we were children, and, in a moment, we found ourselves grown up with a great job to carry on. Its’ the most beautiful job in the world, what we dreamed and desired, but the truth is that none of us really imagined what would happen.
So, let’s take a look at Piero’s amazing performance at Ti Lascio una Canzone.
We begin with “Un Amore Cosi’ Grande.”
What a powerful voice! And what about “Piove?”
Now let’s watch his duet with Al Bano. They sing “Mattino.” Al Bano is in awe of this young guy!
Let’s go back to Piero words in the beginning….
At the beginning it was really a dream, even if I do not like repeating it, because you find yourself traveling the world and doing it, from one day to the next. However, I repeat, always without realizing the importance of the thing, without fully understanding what was happening.
I just love Piero’s performance of “Non ti scordar di me” on their first PBS special! We knew then how great he was.
People often ask Piero what he does when he goes home. Maybe this will answer your question…
In February 2020, Kelly Speed from Haute Living did a short interview with Piero. She wanted to get a feel for where he was after 10 years with Il Volo…
Kelly: When you created Il Volo, was it always your intent to transform the way people thought about classical music?
Piero: I think the problem with classical music is just the younger generation. They don’t listen to the music. If you see our show, it’s full of teenagers. We are the first classical singers to propose this music to the younger generation. Many are fans, who were our age when we started, so we have grown together the past 10 years
Kelly: You have successfully recruited every age group from teenagers to senior citizens to be a fan. What do you think is the secret to your cross-generational success?
Piero: Actually, what we have always been doing is bringing bel canto around the world, but the songs that we sing have only been sung by people over 50 years old. We are just the first ones to propose this music to the younger generation.
Kelly: When were you first introduced to classical music?
Piero: I was seven years old with my grandfather and I started listening to Italian classical music. I took piano lessons after and learned how to play the piano. I didn’t plan my future, but when I was 14, someone proposed me to go on an Italian TV show. I’m 26 years old now and celebrating 10 years of a career I started when I was just 16. People love our performances. We are very serious about what we do.
Kelly: We have heard you describe Il Volo’s music as pop opera. Can you elaborate on that?
Piero: Yes, pop opera is the right way to describe our music because the music is pop being sung with operatic voices.
Kelly: What do you think has been the secret to your success as an artist?
Piero: The music we sing and because we are great workers. We are focused every day. Our goal and message is that we will always be doing what we do but want everyone to learn more about bel canto music.
Kelly: Il Volo translated means “The Flight.” What is the meaning behind that?
Piero: It’s easy to pronounce and it’s a metaphor that the music makes us fly. When we perform, we want people to fly for one night. I think the most beautiful thing is our relationship; it’s a brotherhood and, also, our relationship with the audience. People are so nice. Even though we have done more than 2,000 concerts, every night it feels like the first time.
Kelly: You’re coming to Boston on your North American tour. Any favorite spots you like to visit when you are in town?
Piero: I love Boston, especially Little Italy (the North End). Last time we were there, I went to a small barber shop, and it was a beautiful evening.
Kelly: What message would you like fans to take away from your music?
Piero: This music can give you an emotion no other can do. When you go on the other side of the globe and sing “Volare,” someone will say, “oh oh” after. I think Italy is the power of what we do. It’s not because we have three beautiful voices because a lot of people have beautiful voices. The result is in the power of the music we sing.
Let me interject here! Piero you’re too modest! You guys have phenomenal voices, and your performance is always phenomenal!
How would I sum up Piero within the group? Piero is the one who thinks everything through. He has a business mind that works very well for the group because he is the one who pursues the contacts and contracts for them, and he also handles everyone’s accounts because he is a great mathematician. In interviews he thinks before he speaks, and his answers are always intelligent. He’s very serious and you can tell he thought out the answer before he spoke. And that sense of reasoning that he has is what makes his performances so great! Serious about the music! Always serious!
Before I end Piero’s story I want to say whenever Piero is asked what his most memorable moment is, he always says, World Youth Day 2019 with Pope Francis. Let’s watch this amazing performance.
And beautiful memories of meetings with Pope Francis over the years! I’m sure you won’t mind that the song is repeated.
Next year is World Youth Day 2023. I would love to see the guys standing next to the Holy Father, in Lisbon, singing their Ave Maria Mater Misericordiae!
So that about sums up Piero, The Man Has a Dream, and in the end that dream will be a dream fulfilled!
So, over the last three weeks I’ve talked about each of the guys and their music. Now I would like to sum it all up by going back to the beginning and bringing it forward!
This is my Tribute to Three Amazing Young Men!
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 have the same dream you have. 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.
It’s off to New York City!
Then there were photo shoots and wardrobes to contend with in LA. I love the expression on their faces. They are mesmerized! This had to be one the most awesome moments for them.
Taking America by storm! Watch this performance at The Grove! So young and so amazing! Listen to those voices! Watch the interaction between the guys! Very playful. The emotions! How they work the audience! Natural! Just amazing! The whole audience is singing! Someone needs to control those girls!!!
Yes, New York loves you guys, and they love us!
You are a part of our New York! The best part of concerts at Radio City Music Hall!
Well guys New York and all of America is waiting for you! See you in March when you will bring us Il Volo Sings Morricone in concert at Radio City Music Hall and other concert halls around the Unites States.
If you didn’t get your tickets yet, what are you waiting for?
We anxiously await your arrival!
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