IL Volo at Foxwoods ~ Concert Review

IL Volo brought their Notte Magica Tour 2017 to Foxwoods Resort Casino at the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Reservation in Connecticut on March 11, 2017. Piero Barone, Ignazio Boschetto, and Gianluca Ginoble sang in the “bel canto” style raising spirits and hearts under an icy full March moon. Maestro Joseph Modica conducted a 45-piece orchestra in a two-hour musical Italian extravaganza! The sumptuous cardinal red curtains rose to a full house of admirers in the Grand Theater. The audience looked at them at first with attention and then affection in a terrific performance.

The show opened with the overture to Giuseppe Verdi’s “La Forza del Destino” setting the tone for a classical, operatic performance in homage to The Three Tenors. IL Volo received the blessings from the original tenors to continue their goal of bringing beautiful music to everyday people. The magical night was infectious. A patron in the next seat from Saratoga NY had never seen or heard the trio. She came with a friend to get out of town for the weekend. The enchantment of IL Volo swept her up on her feet for every ovation from the crowd.

The play list for this performance is on the CD “IL Volo with Placido Domingo, A Tribute to the Three Tenors”, published September 2016 by Sony Classical Records. The concert with Placido Domingo was recorded live in Florence. Unfortunately, a CD can never capture the charisma of the artists. In person, the trio have a relaxed and confident presentation. Even their walk is light and casually elegant. The song and the music flow together flawlessly. Maestro Modica notably held back the orchestra to allow the singer to give it all to the moment. The ensemble music of IL Volo has the power to heal old hurts, raise joyful energy and excite the libido. These guys are young, handsome men, gorgeously decked out in the finest Italian suits.

A highlight of the show is “Grande Amore”. They won the prestigious Sanremo Music Festival in 2015 with this song. IL Volo bring their energy up and sing with great pride. This is their song, they love it and the intensity is breathtaking. Other crowd favorites are the Italian lament, “Caruso”, the sweet Spanish song, “Cielito Lindo” and, the finale, from La Traviata, “Libiamo ne’ lieti calici.

A tip of the hat to Ginoble for his solo of Rossini’s “La Danza”. He deftly kept pace with the rhythmic lively song based on the traditional southern Italian tarantella. Ginoble is known for his suave, smoky crooning baritone. This tempo is a challenge and this night, he was splendid.

The best way to appreciate Boschetto’s solo performances are to close the eyes and let his voice surround the body. He sings the aria, “Una Furtiva Lagrima”, from Donizetti’s “L’Elisir d’Amore”. Boschetto captures the sensual awakening of Nemorino to the wonders of affection returned. His tenor is expressive and emotional. He sings with crisp diction and round, tall vowels. Boschetto’s voice finds it’s way into the tender places inside the listener. However, he goes from serious to flamboyant easily. In a jocular voice, a patron said, “that guy, the tall guy, my nonna woulda called him diavoletto. I mean you could see the little horns coming out from under his hair. Cheeky flirt.” Boschetto has a strong presence on stage and as the show rolls on, builds more and more power into his voice.

In Chinese Astrology, this is the Year of the Rooster. Barone was born into this sign and on stage displays the confident fire of this bird. Gone are his trademark red glasses and crucifix. While exiting the venue, a patron with a lilt in his voice said, “impressive, impressive, he’s just standing there all easy and it comes out like that. It doesn’t look like he’s trying but the voice just wraps around me. I got chills. You know he works hard at that, but I don’t see the effort!” Barone is most appreciated in a live performance. He’s developed his sumptuous tenor filling it with warmth and with every note says, I-Love-to-Sing-to-You. His Twitter profile conveys an acknowledgement of his gifts and what comes with that. “Music is made of all the passions of the world, the good singer chooses one of those and lives it again like nobody else.” Barone’s voice can touch the ear with the lightness of a feather and swiftly create a sensation of being lifted off the feet by the near brilliance of his tenor.

Orchestra Musicians Kevin Cruder Cello and Dana Ianculovici Violin

IL Volo are on tour in North America until early April. A full schedule is on their website, IL Volo Music. In late April, the European leg of Notte Magica begins. They have a busy year ahead with announced plans to travel to Japan and Australia in November. Barone said they have a hope soon to perform their “Ave Maria, Mater Misericordiae” for Pope Francis.

Written by Frances Ann Wychorski, March 13, 2017

Update: March 16, 2017

Viewers may read this article in Italian by clicking on this link. Many thanks to the IL Volo Italian Fan Club for providing the translation. Vi ringrazio molto!

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