Sprezzatura: IL Volo at the Oakdale Theater Wallingford CT
February 12, 2016
Under a frosty starry sky, IL Volo took the stage in a two-hour musical tour de force in front of a full house at the Toyota Oakdale Theater in Wallingford CT. The Italian trio of Piero Barone (23), Ignazio Boschetto (22), and Gianluca Ginoble (21) wowed the crowd with a selection of Neapolitan classics, Broadway favorites, operatic arias, and hits from the 60s. Their singing style has been labeled pop, operatic-pop, and classical-pop. Pop? What other pop group travels with a 30 piece orchestra, a rhythm section and a dazzling light show pulsed to the beat. IL Volo last played here in September 2013. The group has been wicked busy with a win at Sanremo Music Festival 2015 and a third place finish at Eurovision last May. Their signature hit, Grande Amore, has topped 55.5 million Vevo You Tube views. Record sales of the CD Sanremo Grande Amore are at triple Platinum.
The group has been performing, recording, and touring together since 2009. IL Volo in English means the flight and this year, they will live up to the name. An ambitious 2016 tour began with 12 concert dates in Italy, in North America now for 34, Latin America for 20, and 12 in Europe. They bring to the stage all that is celebrated in Italian art, passionate bel canto (beautiful song), fare bella figura (style and poise) and sprezzatura. The appearance of effortless artistry, keeping it cool while working your tail off.
The trio consistently raise positive energy in their songs that often end on an up note. They are fun, warm, and gorgeous. Each singer is talented enough to carry an entire show solo, however, it is the ensemble harmonics that take them from good to extraordinary. They bring such skill to their singing, matching note for note and tone for tone creating a vibrato rich, subtle and tremulous. The sensation is similar to a tuning fork, when the quiver enters the body, it resonates to the core. They do stir the soul and conjure the spirit to lift, remembering what it may have been like to be young, carefree and in love. Music can do so much. Questa notte siamo stati stregati e ci ‘e piaciuto moltissimo. Tonight, we have been bewitched. We like it a lot.
A Wang Theatre Boston concert review for February 10th is available on this blog. Where previously Barone appeared subdued in spirit, tonight he was more playful. A fan since 2012, the first time I saw him he reminded me of Topo Gigio. He talked with his hands and signed a big hearty thanks for coming to the show. In 2013, he perfected a stage strut with stars sparking from his heels. He likes opera and the character Cherubino from Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro came to mind. “Narcisetto, Adoncini d’amor” (Little Narcissus, Adonis of Love). The sexy, sassy Barone. In 2014, he became picante, a saucy Sicilian who inspired me to visit the island and the ancient baroque city of Naro. Perhaps it’s time I let him grow up some more. No longer Pierito, almost Signor Barone. A lyric from the duet sung by Barone and Boschetto, ‘O paese d’ O’Sole, makes sense now, “This is the land of the sun, this is the land of the sea, this is the land where all words sweet or bitter, are always words of love…All, all is destiny. How could I have made my fortune in a strange place?” Home is Italy, they are here for a while.
Beyond the stage show, there’s the people show that can be equally entertaining. The late comers who always seem to have middle row seats, wearing big furs and taking an age to get in their chair. The yakkers a few rows away that keep going during songs. The devotees who cannot sit still and give a standing ovation even for a wink.
The artists and theaters work together to present the best possible show to a live audience. They jointly decide on what they want from the ticket holders. The Wang announced at the start of the show it prohibits videotaping during the performance. Ushers were vigilant in stopping patrons using cell phones to capture the moment. Any fans posting live video from the theater had to work hard to publish on social media. But, there they are, little bits from rule breakers. The quality is rough and rushed. The Periscope app erases postings within 24 hours, however, there is ongoing controversy in the entertainment industry on video piracy of paid events. Is it fair, is it legal to live video stream during the show?
The Oakdale Theater box office manager said they request no professional photography or videotaping of live events. This venue did not prohibit casual recording. The 5,000 seat theater had a noticeable lack of ushers which brought out the cameras in the crowd. One fan got out of the chair and approached the side of the stage during the song, Delilah. We all watched as she recorded most of the presentation. It distracted the performers and seemed a bit audacious. Other fans in the front row routinely approached the stage to make contact with the guys. IL Volo were gracious and responded with care, but it became obsessive prompting a man behind me to make a comment not for prime time.
IL Volo have published several DVD’s of live performances recorded expressly for PBS distribution. Barnes & Noble Bookstores as well as Amazon.com are principal sellers of copyrighted material. Vevo You Tube is a jointly owned music video organization providing quality, copyrighted material at no fee to viewers. IL Volo are signed with Sony Music Entertainment, one of the joint owners. Every time a video is viewed on Vevo You Tube, the artists are paid. Anything posted to Facebook, the artists are not paid.
Lo spettacolo é stato brillante! The show was brilliant. Outstanding memories are the fantastic fans met in Boston who drove 10 hours from Halifax, Nova Scotia just to hear IL Volo live. The fans in pain struggling down the stairs one ginger step at a time to hear the beautiful voices. So many came out on this cold cold night to be enchanted by sweet songs. The night sky let go a few stars to come to earth this evening. It wasn’t long ago, IL Volo told us,
Moonlight draws your colors in the dawn
While the sound of silence in the wind feels
Like an empty song
As the rain begins to fall down
Like a million tears
And the heaven shining
Through the clouds, girl
I can feel you here
Don’t you ever lose me
I could never lose you
Can’t you feel?
We are love
Like the Earth and ocean
We’re the same devotion you and me
We are love
Je t’aime, mi amor, io ti amo, we are love
Adoro te, tutto al mondo, we are love
We Are Love by Edgar Cortazar and Mark Portmann 2012 Interscope/Rentor/Universal Music
For general and ticket information click on the link to ilvolomusic.com
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