Una Notte Magica ~IL Volo: Music without Walls

13450974_898547276940953_246444626540900406_nUNA NOTTE MAGICA – Tributo ai Tre Tenori, the latest CD from IL Volo is now available in retail outlets. The CD was recorded live on July 1, 2016 in Piazza Santa Croce Florence with Maestro Placido Domingo as guest conductor. Piero Barone, Ignazio Boschetto, and Gianluca Ginoble follow in the melodic footsteps of the original popera trio of Jose Carreras, Placido Domingo, and Luciano Pavarotti. Twenty-six years ago, The Three Tenors premiered their popular concert in America via Public Broadcast Service Television (PBS). In 2016, IL Volo pay homage to those who inspired them to become the international music stars they are today with A Magical Night: A Tribute to The Three Tenors.

The first time I saw IL Volo perform on PBS TV was in June 2012. They reminded me of The Three Tenors, as the repertoire was similar. The playlists for both feature operatic arias, Neapolitan songs and Broadway favorites. They are a young Italian version with two tenors and baritone singing in the Italian bel canto tradition. ILVolo cross genres as well as generations presenting a mixed musical experience of classical pop.

In a promotional interview with Cecelia Sharpe, WRCJ 90 9FM Detroit Public Radio August 24, 2016, Barone said, “the reason why we did this [Una Notte Magica] is because they have been our idols, we’ve grown up listening to them, so we decided to do this tribute to our idols, but, in a very humble way, because we don’t want to imitate them, because we cannot.” IL Volo are not opera singers they do not have the gravitas. Carreras, Domingo, and Pavarotti were at the height of their careers when they joined forces. An opera singer is at once an actor, singer and ensemble player. An opera is grand theater set to music typically in three acts. It is performed live with an orchestra and without microphones. The players rely on the acoustics of the theater and vocal projection to reach out to the audience. Barone said, “at our age, we don’t want to be professional opera singers, we just did this to remember that night.”

IL Volo’s strengths are charismatic live performers with the ability to establish rapport with an audience. Each of them has a passion for music along with integrity on stage. Their heritage gives them that sense of art, balance and beauty characteristic of their homeland. Italians are sensual people, emotionally mature and at ease in their own skin. IL Volo’s audience is complex with an appeal to a wide age range and across cultures. Their resume is impressive having toured as special guest artists with Barbra Streisand in 2012. Popular Italian artist and musician Eros Ramazzotti appeared on their sophomore CD, We Are Love, with his song “Cosi.” Domingo joined IL Volo on this CD with “Il Canto”. In 2014, they won Latin Pop Albums Artist of the Year at the Latin Billboard Music Awards. A win at the prestigious Sanremo Festival in 2015 with “Grande Amore” written by Francesco Boccia brought fame in their homeland. A third place finish on Eurovision in May 2015 further gave exposure to a younger European audience increasing their popularity. The article, IL Volo Wins Sanremo 2015 by Francesca Bezzone provides insight into the drama that is this Italian music festival. They toured across the Americas and Europe from January until July of 2016. In the PBS Radio interview, Barone mentions a concert to be held at the Pavarotti Foundation in September. In November, IL Volo will be in Brazil appearing with the Supreme Songbird Mariah Carey for three concert dates.

The playlist on this new CD offers previously recorded material highlighted in bold text. Several tracks have only been performed in concert noted in italics.

Turandot: Nessun Dorma
Granada
Mattinata (from “West Side Story”)
L’elisir d’amore: Una furtiva lagrima
La danza
Tosca: E lucevan le stelle
Torna a surriento
Core ‘ngrato
‘O paese d’o sole
Maria (from “West Side Story”)
My Way
Tonight
‘O surdato ‘nnammurato
Mamma
Cielito lindo
En aranjuez con tu amor
La tabernera del puerto: No puede ser
Non ti scordar di me
O sole mio
La Traviata – Libiamo ne`lieti calici
Ave Maria, Mater Misericordiae
Adeste Fideles

The only song not recorded on an IL Volo album was Barone’s rendition of “Where Do I Begin.” He is a one-man band in this independent and innovative video. His plaid days seem far behind now that he performs routinely in Armani before a 30 piece orchestra.

13533158_909883502473997_750619870964570526_nThis live concert with 6,000 people in attendance, is supported by the Massimo Theater Orchestra of Palermo. Boschetto spoke of the emotional impact of the concert 26 years ago and the challenge of learning this new musical style while in the midst of an European concert tour. People who had been at the original Three Tenors Concert in 1990, were also in the crowd on this night in July 2016. Opera was born in the city of Florence adding to the special occasion. Boschetto’s performance was a wonderful surprise throughout the entire CD. Of the three, he is the most natural actor and able to bring an emotional note to his song. It takes time to develop the ability to express this. An aria out of context is a challenge. An opera singer is fully involved in the story when the song comes. The momentum builds towards it. Arias are emotionally charged with either anger, desire, betrayal, grief, confusion or love. Still, he brings passion to Donizetti’s “Una furtiva lagrima” (A Secret Tear) from L’Elisir di Amore (Love Potion). A personal favorite from The Three Tenors is Pavarotti’s Rondine al Nido. It is not part of IL Volo’s playlist this night. I think Boschetto might consider taking this one on. It’s graceful, plaintive and rich with Neapolitan poetic language. He’s got the patience and timing this song needs to build its sweetness. Click on this link to hear Pavarotti’s performance.

“Libiamo ne’Leiti Calici” from Verdi’s La Traviata, (The Fallen Woman) is a delightful moment on the CD.  The full chorus and symphony provide a musical experience closest to the sensation felt at a live opera. It’s wonderful to be present when all performers are playing their part. The waltz tempo and oompah in this drinking song are fun. Click on this link to review the recording made by Luciano Diegoli. I believe it is from the concert Barone refers to earlier. It is published on Sep 7, 2016 in Modena’s large square in homage to Luciano Pavarotti. Unfortunately, the soprano on this live recording is not on the CD.

14233084_958355077626839_6677795932621087665_nOpera is Barone’s forte. His voice continues to mature adding resonance and crispness to each note. In the We Are Love CD, he delivered a gasp during “L’Ultima Volta”. Domingo has that ability in his voice, the plaintive lament trembles right under the surface. I wonder if Barone found his inspiration to take this path seriously during the recording sessions. How often does a young man of 19 get to work with a bonafide opera star. Barone soaked in a bit and continues to expand his vocal skills. He needs to further develop the emotional quality of his voice. He does create an aura around himself when he begins his song. The liner notes in the CD speak of transcendence, “When asked to describe the emotion I felt onstage in Florence, this is what I reply: I only remember the deep breath I took before being bathed in light.” This young man is just beginning to tap into his great heart. A native of Naro Sicily, he brings forth all the mystery and baroque splendor in the narrow winding streets of his home town. And, like his city, he has a hill to climb before reaching his Castello di Chiaramonte.

A DVD of this concert was premiered on Detroit Public Television August 24, 2016. Fans can purchase the DVD from the webpage scheduled for release sometime in October. This is their 5th PBS special.

The Legacy of the Three Tenors

The premier concert of The Three Tenors was recorded in Rome on July 7, 1990. For an in-depth story of that phenomena click on this link and read the NPR Music article by Anastasia Tsioulcas How The Three Tenors Sang The Hits And Changed The Game.

Barone makes an interesting comment on wishing to have met Pavarotti, “He was the perfect man at the perfect time to work with young people.” His statement resurrected a memory of Pavarotti performing at the Worcester, Massachusetts Centrum in 1985. A friend tells the story of having a ticket in the balcony section behind the stage. During the concert, the front section patrons were polite and clapped in a mild manner. Meanwhile, the crowd in the balcony cheered the power of his magnificent voice. Pavarotti turned away from the posh set and sang up to the hoi polli. A classic Pavarotti move. Nobody was better at reading an audience than the Maestro. He worked, toured and brought opera music out of the small theaters into large accepting crowds. Name another opera star that could fill Central Park in New York City. How many opera stars become a household name? What a great legacy is in the Pavarotti Foundation as it continues to support the next generation of artists.

Domingo equally worked at crossing boundaries of musical genres, not wanting to be confined by his great tenor voice to only opera. The first time I heard Domingo’s voice was on the duet with John Denver, “Perhaps Love”, a song written by Denver in 1981. Apparently, Domingo’s grandson brought IL Volo to his attention. He is passing the baton to the next generation of artists that want no boundary on their voices. “Many people began listening to classical music when Luciano, Jose and I performed The Three Tenors concerts. These three boys continue our idea.” Domingo fully endorses and supports IL Volo. Barone said, “our passion is the opera, we want to share with everybody our message, that this world doesn’t have walls. That’s what Pavarotti’s wife, Nicoletta Montovani, said. We did this project thanks to the support of the Pavarotti Foundation. Our message is what Pavarotti wanted to do before he died. Pavarotti and Friends worked with different artists from pop world, he broke the walls between opera music and pop music and wanted to bring opera music to everybody. So that’s what we wanted to do, to keep doing this message.”

All photo credits to Piero Barone

@FrancesAnnWychorski2016

 

IL Volo Live from Pompeii

IV_DVD_FINAL84_t700IL Volo have released a new DVD: “IL Volo Live from Pompeii”. The concert was recorded for PBS television on June 10th near the Roman Amphitheater at Pompeii prior to the start of a successful 24 city Italian tour. Detroit Public Television premiered the concert July 6, with the performers in studio during the fund-raiser. PBS affiliates aired the concert during the traditional August fund drive offering concert tickets, DVD’s and CD’s to donors as thank you gifts. The DVD is now available through Amazon or Barnes & Noble to the general public. It’s live and it’s IL Volo.

The DVD play list includes a classic IL Volo repertoire with three hits from the sixties, “Delilah”, “You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me” and “Unchained Melody”. Several compositions won or performed first at the prestigious Sanremo Music Festival including their signature hit from February, “Grande Amore”. There are songs from cinema “Eternally” and “Beautiful That Way”. Three songs are recorded in Spanish including “Grande Amore”, “Si Me Falta Tu Mirada” and “Recuerdame”. The aria “E lucevan le stelle”, from Tosca and a Neapolitan serenade, “Anema e Core”.  A complete list is located at the end of this article.

The CD “Grande Amore” International Version and EP “Sanremo” have a majority of these songs on their play list. Readers can find a review of both on this blog by clicking on these links.

Highlights

The DVD opens with a flyover of the great Roman amphitheater. The corona of the setting sun washes over the back wall now holding up the canopy of a starlit night. The musicians tweak their instruments into tune. The Filharmonica Veneta, led by Maestro Celso Valli, fills the night with beautiful music. The audience leans in and the show begins.

The concert rolls on for a non-stop hour and twenty minutes. IL Volo’s voices blend rich, vibrant tenors and a smooth warm baritone. Despite their young faces, these guys are pro’s at blending their strengths and bringing out the best in every song. There’s a softness in tone now. Their range has broadened to include the subtle as well as the power. Their harmonies are complex, each singer finds his key, the note ensemble, and takes the lyric to its fullest potential. The singing style is either a throwback or trend setter for bel canto, songs beautifully sung. Not many pop singers have the gravitas for a 33 piece orchestra with a rhythm section. The guys are entertaining, sophisticated and playful in their fitted Armani suits.

IL Volo are at their finest with “Caruso” by Lucio Dalla. An Italian lament to the late Enrico Caruso born in the shadow of Mount Vesuvius. A bittersweet story of love and loss. A man whose heart has given up but still he goes on living for a little longer.

mezzanine_939The ride rolls into a fabulous arrangement of the Neapolitan gem “Volare” by Domenico Modugno. Drummer Paolo Valli gives the guys a rumba beat to play with and gets the audience up dancing  too. The highest C is hit with a little extra oomph. It’s a romp, it’s a bomp, It’s fantastic!

“Si Mi Falta Tu Mirada” by Marco Marinangeli and Claudia Brant. A Spanish tale of being lost in love and a tangle of emotions. IL Volo form a sweet bound with the audience and get them up swaying in the night. It looks like diamonds flashing in the dark. The shimmering wave is from smartphones but could be specters of old awoken by the energy.

Hiccups

The concert has a misstep or two, not in musical quality but in too much editing. The show opens with a brief announcement by a voice telling us IL Volo coming to America for the first time from their Italian home. So who are these guys? Two songs in and we still don’t know. The performers pause to acknowledge the viewing audience but don’t introduce each other. They don’t even take a pause to say goodbye at the end of the show. The credits role and we still don’t know. It was quite an effort to find the names of the performers in the liner notes. They appear in small print under their solo tracks. This is the 4th collaboration with PBS TV in three years. But, could be the first for viewers. The previous specials had the singers frequently naming each other and chatting to the audience to help make that important personal connection.

If this is the first time watching, Piero Barone 22 wears the red glasses partially concealing fine dark expressive eyes. Piero speaks through his eyes and brings a more palpable quality of emotions into his repertoire. He sings a classic aria from the famous opera Tosca by Puccini. He does a terrific job extending or shortening those round Italian vowels in classic operatic technique. It’s a gutsy step forward in his career and an outstanding moment in the show.

Ignazio Boschetto 21 is the most flamboyant on stage. Although the shows are scripted, he has a spontaneous streak and often breaks into dance doing the Boschetto boogie. He is the rare tenor whose voice can soar above a full orchestra. He has perfect pitch and can ride up to a high C in his range.

Gianluca Ginoble 20 has a silky light baritone that finds new depth with each song. His nickname is GG for generally gorgeous. He is the philosopher of the trio and most prolific on social media. In this stage performance, he is now going out comfortably into the crowd and greeting the audience with ease. All three have grown as performers and people, always classy with their own special pizzazz on stage.

Il Volo "Live 2015"Anfiteatro di Pompei - Ercolano
Il Volo “Live 2015″Anfiteatro di Pompei – Ercolano

The stage lighting allows for some glimpses of the ruin. Piero sings his aria up on a tiered step. The camera pans out to the audience showing the crumbling back wall but that’s it. Pompeii is one of the finest Roman ruins in Italy at the foot of Mount Vesuvius. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage site. It’s an entire Roman city well-preserved and a must stop on the once popular Grand Tour of Europe for 200 years. It’s still a must stop when in Naples for any traveler. The previous IL Volo DVD’s made with PBS offered a documentary on the making of the program. As enjoyable as the music is, it’s the chance to see these guys off-stage that can be the most memorable moments. All at once, we see they are three young Italian guys kicking around a soccer ball, flirting with girls, or chatting up the crew. They’re a lot of fun! So puzzled by the lack of video of the site itself, I contacted Detroit PBS Business Development Officer, Jamie Westrick and asked was there a separate film of the making of the concert in the works? Ms. Westrick has been part of the executive production team for all four releases. She said, “unfortunately, I’m unable to share many details”,  but she didn’t say no.

Honestly, some of the best moments of these PBS concerts are during the pledge breaks when the guys are in studio romping around talking to donors, chatting up the hosts and commenting on their lives as performers. They are sweet, sexy and deliciously Italian. Footage of these events are priceless and part of the experience. The understanding comes that they are young men coming into the prime of their lives. Their talent is unique and they make the most of their musical gifts. These exchanges help the viewer come alive again with the joy of music as IL Volo are able to express in body and spirit. It’s contagious in the most delightful well, the chance to fall in love with music again at any age.

All three of the guys have been named Ambassadors of their respective hometowns. Never have any of them failed to express their love of family, home, and their city of birth. In fact, it was the first DVD that inspired a personal journey to Sicily this year. The curiosity to see, taste, and experience this enchanted island was fostered by Piero and his consistent views from home. He loves Naro and showed it for what it is, a gorgeous Baroque treasure of tiny squares, churches and steep narrow streets winding around up to the castle. When in Marsala, of course I stopped at the Boschetto Family pizzeria. How delightful it was to meet Ignazio’s sister Nina and realize that despite the fame of the brother, the family is well grounded and takes pride in owning their own business. Gianluca loves Montepagano and a visit to Abruzzo is high on the list of next stops in Italy. Of course I want to go.

unnamedThe first DVD, “IL Volo Takes Flight,” was a winner because of the banter and mixing it up with the audience during the program. “IL Volo Live from Pompeii” has managed to edit out all that fun. There are a few glimpses here and there of the guys cheering on and interacting with the audience. But the trim was cut too close. Detroit PBS, pick up those bits off the cutting room floor and splice them back into the video. Give us the play, and charm that make this such a great trio.

Overall, it’s a chance to see IL Volo in concert from the comfort of home. If a show is out of reach, than the DVD is an option. The charisma and fun that is IL Volo is best appreciated in person. There is an extensive concert tour in Italy, USA and Europe for 2016. Tickets are on sale now and moving fast. Check out their website, IL Volo Music,  for dates in 2016. Try and go, you’ll have the time of your life!
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Play List from the Detroit PBS DVD
1. Grande amore
2. Io Che Non Vivo (Senza Te)
3. Beautiful That Way (La Vita È Bella)
4. E Lucevan le Stelle
5. Delilah
6. Caruso
7. Quando L’Amore Diventa Poesia
8. The Best Day of My Life
9. Anema e Core
10. Nel Blu, Dipinto Di Blu (Volare)
11. L’immensità
12. Unchained Melody
13. Ricordami
14. Piove
15. Eternally
16. La Vita
17. You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me
18. Si Me Falta Tu Mirada
19. Recuerdame
20. Grande Amore (Spanish Version)

Photo Credits to IL Volo

@2015 Sony Music Entertainment US Latin

Written by Frances Ann Wychorski

IL Volo Sanremo Exclusive Edition, an Unofficial Autobiography in Song

Review of IL Volo Sanremo Exclusive Edition
Release date: September 2015

SRIL Volo reissued their “Sanremo Grande Amore” EP originally released, February 12, 2015, adding three new songs to the play list. The EP is certified double platinum by the Federation of the Italian Music Industry. The EP is now titled,Sanremo Exclusive Edition” part of a Deluxe Donor Package available on PBS Television. The package also includes a DVD of “IL Volo Live at Pompeii” and the new album, “Grande Amore International Version” released September 25, 2015. This unique EP is a thank you from IL Volo to fans for supporting public television. The Italian trio of Piero Barone, Ignazio Boschetto, and Gianluca Ginoble won the prestigious Sanremo Music Festival 2015 with their presentation of “Grande Amore” (Great Love). The new songs are live solo performances. This EP now becomes the first unofficial autobiography in song of IL Volo as a bel canto trio and individual artists.

A review of the original EP is available on this blog: Romance Is Back! ~ Sanremo Grande Amore ~ IL Volo March 27, 2015

Italian Classical Song – Genre Bel Canto

The three new songs break away from the format of performed first at Sanremo Music Festivals and might seem to be randomly tacked on. IL Volo have had difficulty in fitting into a musical genre and mislabeled as pop, opera singers. In their first Detroit PBS TV special “IL Volo Takes Flight” recorded in February 2012, the singers called their genre classical pop primarily because they sing with a classical voice. The confusion begins in translation of the term, sing in classical style.

Perhaps it is more correctly termed bell’arte del canto or bel canto, an Italian singing style focused on beautiful song presentation which is their forte. The contemporary pop scene has many a talented singer, performer and song writer. But, the quality of sound, instrumentation and presentation are decidedly not classical. IL Volo may sing pop songs, but in a bel canto style.

The Italian press has criticized IL Volo for reinforcing a stereotypical norm of Italian music abroad. Their program is almost identical to that of the Three Tenors but IL Volo lack the gravitas. IL Volo cover established hits in English, Spanish and Italian, but include a new song or two with each CD. IL Volo found an audience first in North, South and Central America touring extensively from 2011 – 2014. It was the win at Sanremo with “Grande Amore” when success finally came on their home soil of Italy.

IV with MTThe confusion in what genre they belong to begins from the start of their public careers. They were three teenagers appearing as a solo performer on Ti Lascio Una Canzone with voices out of the normal range for their age. They formed the trio and their sound caught the attention of Tony Renis. Once under management with Michele Torpedine of MT Opera & Blues, their careers have been guided by the fact they sang with voices of men twice their age.

Now, at the tender ages of Piero 22, Ignazio 21 and Gianluca 20, they are veterans of the stage. They made a leap from talented young singers needing stage direction to polished pros in five quick years. They were the Three Tenors in reverse, touring and performing Neapolitan favorites of old, contemporary and Broadway songs, and the occasional operatic piece without the classical training. Perhaps they sang like men, but in every other way, they have behaved like young adults from Italy.

This updated EP struck me as a reflection of their career to date. “Grande Amore” is a new song. The next five are covers of popular Italian songs but perhaps new to the American audience. The three solo pieces best present them as individual artists and may foreshadow what may be.

Piero Barone ~ “E lucevan le stelle”

PBPiero’s voice is a dramatic rich tenor. He has mentioned he likes opera more than once. On a recent trip to New York City, he is filmed walking down the aisle of the Metropolitan Opera House. He speaks quietly but gazes about intently.

Piero sings Giacomo Puccini’s well-known aria for tenor, “E lucevan le stelle” from Tosca. What a challenging aria to take on! This opera has been successful since the debut in Rome January 1900 and loved by many an opera fan. Piero is performing in the role of Mario Cavaradrossi. It’s a challenge because this is Act III. The momentum of the story would help the aria come out naturally full of loss and love. Piero doesn’t have that advantage and must find the passion within.

Mario was a happy itinerant painter when we first meet him. His nights are filed with the tempestuous Floria Tosca. But, he lives in troubled times. The Wheel of Fortune spins and he finds his life in ruins swiftly, his comrade is on the run, he is being tortured for information, and his beloved Tosca may have betrayed him. He is taken away to die and writes one last letter. He pauses in his grief and sings a most perfect aria.

“The stars were shimmering

The stars seemed to shimmer
The sweet scents of the garden,
The creaking gate seemed to whisper,
And a footstep skimmed over the sand.
Then she came in, so fragrant,
And fell into my arms!
Oh! sweet kisses, oh, languorous caresses,
While I, trembling, was searching
For her features, concealed by her mantle.
My dream of love faded away, for good!
Everything’s gone now.
I’m dying hopeless, desperate!
And never before have I loved life like this!
And never before have I loved life like this!

E lucevan le stelle

E lucevan le stelle
ed olezzava la terra
stridea l’uscio dell’orto
e un passo sfiorava la rena.
Entrava ella, fragrante,
mi cadea fra le braccia.
Oh! dolce baci, o languide carezze,
mentr’io fremente
le belle forme disciogliea dai veli!
Svani per sempre il sogno mio d’amore
L’ora e fuggita
e muoio disperato!
E non ho amato mai tanto la vita!
tanto la vita!

This is great poetry as many libretto are. Piero wants to capture the tremble of defeat, the remembrance of her sweet embrace and the despair of knowing it is over, his life is over. He has everything to live for and nothing can save him.

The aria is well performed technically. He has to tap into deep, complex emotions and bring them to life in song. If he wants to become an opera singer, he knows the task before him. The best are excellent actors, singers, and ensemble players. He needs endurance, wit and intelligence. Opera is live and does not have a microphone to project out to the last row. He would not be the first opera singer from his native Naro, Sicily. The last singer of note was Gero Rindone (1897-1952). And, like his town, he is perhaps a hidden pearl just waiting for his worth to be fully realized. Piero sings from the solar plexus. His power is being confident, self-disciplined, as well as a warmth of personality.

Too bad the critics don’t take into consideration that he is bringing one aria to an audience that might never otherwise hear it. He may open up an entire range of music to fans. By his presentation alone, they can name one of the best and start to appreciate all that makes Italy so unique in its celebration of art.

Ignazio ~ “Unchained Melody”

IgnazioIgnazio’s voice is a lyric tenor. He has perfect pitch. Physically, he is the tallest and most nimble on stage. He sings “Unchained Melody” by Alex North and Hy Zaret for the solo performance. The song was been recorded by several artists including The Righteous Brothers in 1965 reaching No 4 on the Billboard Top 100 chart. Ignazio tends to select dramatic popular songs that start soft, rise to a crescendo and cascade back to earth. He is finding his sound and stirring profound emotions in the listener. Of the three, he is the only one that was able to move me to tears during a Boston performance in September 2013. He is able to get subtle emotions into his vibrato and interpret the spirit of the song writer.

He is highly entertaining in song and in dance moving to his own inner rhythm. The solo recording almost captures his indescribable quality of charisma on stage. He plays and is in constant motion. His rendition of “Unchained Melody” gives him a vocal challenge, but he reaches the high C with ease.

His energy is in his spine. It is not stationery but moves up and down taking his sense of self with it. He and Piero often display a love you, whack you brotherly affection on and off stage. At times, the larking reflects back to their recent shift into a more sophisticated presentation. It is in those moments of bopping each other around, that the “kid” in them still comes through.

Gianluca Ginoble ~ “Anema e Core”

GGThe first time I heard this song was during broadcast on PBS of “IL Volo Live from Pompeii’ in August. GG’s voice is a lyric baritone. He has a natural purring vibrato with an ascending vocal that reaches the tenor range. Every year on the calendar gives his voice more nuance when he sings those sentimental songs in a soft voice. There’s always an audience for a crooner. “Anema e Core” or “With All My Heart and Soul” is a Neapolitan song written in 1950 by Salvatore d’ Esposito and Tito Manilo and covered by Dinah Shore, Dean Martin, and Perry Como. On this recording, GG sings some of the lyrics in Italian and some in English. This was a new song for me. He found this gem and polished it to near perfection for this EP. GG’s energy is in the throat. The voice of the body. His voice is his truth.

GG has been criticized for his quiet appearance on stage often without much facial expression. I have attended five concerts in three years, I can agree that he tended to fall back and stand alone. The last show I saw in Stamford CT, June 2014, he did better at standing and simply gazing out at the crowd. IL Volo have learned to look at us, try and catch our eye while on stage. This is a technique in showmanship that is endearing to fans. Given his young age, he may be focusing his energy on the song and its delivery. Modern pop singers tend to be loud, glitzy, and with a lot of movement around on stage. That’s not IL Volo’s style. They enjoy that disappearing leap into the dark at the end of each show, but that’s about it for flash.

GG engages how he can. He is the most prolific of the three with posting selfies on social media. He enjoys posing and finding the best angle for the photo. He enjoys shopping and being well-dressed. The guy is young but becoming sophisticated before our eyes. In many ways, he is a throwback to a more suave type of performer, the like not seen today. Besides, the crooning music isn’t meant for listeners to watch him, it’s made for couples to watch each other. This is music for lovers. GG’s smooth as silk voice in the background can get that champagne cork popped in no time.

IL Volo “Sanremo Exclusive Edition”, new fans of the trio might want to add this to their collection. It’s gorgeous, fresh, and very Italian. As with most musical artists, to know who they are, simply listen. IL Volo are new, traditional and classical all at once. They are Italian artists singing in the bel canto style.

As written by Frances Ann Wychorski

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Fans can find “Sanremo Exclusive Edition” from their PBS TV Station. I’ve included a link to the WGBH Boston webpage. I have not found it for sale separately but would advise fans be on the lookout through sources such as Amazon or Ebay.

For more information about IL Volo and their music, click on the link to their updated webpage. IL Volo Music

Photo Credits to IL Volo, Piero Barone, Ignazio Boschetto and Gianluca Ginoble Instagram Accounts

IL Volo “Sanremo Exclusive Edition” @2015 Sony Music Entertainment USA Latin LLC

IL Volo at the Wang Theater Boston ~ February 2016

IV fabulousIL Volo are coming to the Wang Theater, Boston MA February 10, 2016 at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets may be purchased from Ticketmaster, Wang Theater web page, the box office on Tremont Street or by calling 800-982-2787.

On August 8, IL Volo posted the US Concert Tour 2016 for North America on their Facebook page with two stops in New England. #‎IlVoloUStour2016‬

  • On February 10, 2016 – CITI Performing Arts Center – Wang Theatre on Tremont Street, Boston MA
  • On February 12, 2016 – Toyota Oakdale Theatre, Wallingford CT

IL Volo have been performing and recording for six years. The Italian bel canto trio of Piero Barone, Ignazio Boschetto and Gianluca Ginoble, won the prestigious Sanremo Music Festival 2015 with their presentation of “Grande Amore” (Great Love).

IL Volo came together as a trio after appearing on the popular Italian TV program, Ti Lascio Una Canzone (Leave You a Song). The musical variety show brings on talented children between the ages of 7 and 15 to perform popular and contemporary Italian songs. The producer thought their voices might blend well together and the teenage group was formed.

IL Volo have paid their dues on lengthy tours in North, South and Central America. IL Volo have recorded four television specials with the Public Broadcasting Service and toured as special guest artists with Barbra Streisand in 2012.

In 2014, they won the Latin Billboard Award, Best Group of the year in Latin Pop Albums category. The video, “Grande Amore”, has topped almost 40 million views. IL Volo are managed by Michele Torpedine of MT Opera and Blues, Bologna Italy.


 

Cyber Tip: Buyers can put in a combination of theater name+City/State into Google to reach the theater site directly. Read carefully to be sure it is the correct web page. Buyers can find the box office number or information on how to buy a ticket from the theater web page.

Buyers need to be careful when purchasing tickets on line. A Google search for, tickets+Il Volo+Boston, will bring up two or three ticket sellers first. Be careful of what you are buying. These are ticket brokers and may include a hefty service fee. The site may also be bogus. There is a huckster out there waiting to take advantage of you. Always use a credit card for purchases. In the event of a problem, the credit card representatives will work with you to resolve a dispute.

Keep Calm and Love IL Volo

Romance Is Back! ~ San Remo Grand Amore ~ IL Volo

Romance is back in style! IL Volo, recently released their new EP, Sanremo Grande Amore. The Italian trio of Piero Barone, Ignazio Boschetto and Gianluca Ginoble, won the prestigious Sanremo Music Festival 2015 with their presentation of “Grande Amore” (Great Love). The festival is a popular singing contest held annually in Italy. A previously unreleased song is presented by each performer. Each song is sung twice by the contestants with a winner selected by a combination of judging and popular vote. The winners go on, as representatives of their country, to compete in the Eurovision Song Contest in Vienna, Austria in May. Every Italian musical artist, in their heart, want to perform and win at Sanremo. The Got ITecstatic leap by Piero when the name IL Volo, was announced as victorious, demonstrates the joy of this moment in their career as IL Volo. “Grand Amore”, is the title track by Francesco Bioccia and Ciro Esposito. IL Volo also cover five songs on the EP from previous Sanremo Music Festivals including: “Ancora” (Once Again), “Vacanze Romane” (Roman Holiday), “Canzone per Te” (Song for You), “Piove” (Rain), “Romantica” (Romantic) and “L’Immensita” (Immensity).

IL Volo have been performing and recording for six years. They came together as a trio after appearing on the popular Italian TV program, Ti Lascio Una Canzone (Leave You a Song). The musical variety show brings on talented children between the ages of 7 and 15 to perform well-known Italian songs. The producer thought their voices might blend well together and the teenage group was formed. They have paid their dues on lengthy tours in North, South and Central America. IL Volo have recorded three television specials with the Public Broadcasting Service and toured as special guest artists with Barbra Streisand in 2012. In 2014, they won the Latin Billboard Award, Best Group of the year in Latin Pop Albums category. The video, “Grande Amore”, has topped 20 million views. IL Volo are managed by Michele Torpedine of MT Opera and Blues, Bologna Italy.

Artists

The blend of their three voices brings a harmonic artistry seldom found in today’s popular music. IL Volo are cross over artists bringing back bel canto, an Italian phrase meaning beautiful singing, to popular music. IL Volo are known for flawless artistic performances, and glamorous, sophistication on stage. The music on this new EP is for lovers – beautiful, satisfying and impossible to resist.

Gianluca Ginoble has a sexy, purring light baritone that caresses the ear and tickles the toes with its vocal range. He has perfect pitch and a gentle vibrato that can lull a baby to sleep, wake up the moon and draw out a lovers sigh with his silky, crooning style. Ignazio Boschetto sings with a flexible, lyric tenor that is just starting to find its way into the blues. He gets grit in his voice and brings an emotional throb of sadness. Piero Barone sings with the power and passion of a dramatic tenor. He has timbre, rich and complex as Nero d’Avola wine from his native Sicily. This recording has him finding the gentle side of his vocal range, his sighs and lovelorn whispers stir the emotions in subtle ways. There are several harmonic moments when his vocal note matched the pitch, tone and note of the musical instrument. The blend of one with the other filled the ear and is unusual to hear in pop music, but this is classical pop.

Music

With the exception of “Grand Amore”, a tightly, ticking suspenseful song that is performed with controlled energy and sexiness by the trio, the other songs are well known to the Italian audience. The EP has been released in Italy and available by mail order in the United States from Amazon or Barnes & Noble. The entire EP is sung in Italian. But, don’t let this prevent a sale. The listener does not need to understand Italian to appreciate Sanremo Grand Amore. For the US market, this recording is a sensual delight and sure to soften even the most jaded heart.

A musical performance should move the listener into a mood. The theme of sensual seduction flows throughout Sanremo Grand Amore. Music purists who prefer a minimum of production will enjoy much of this EP. IL Volo are at their finest with the least amount of music accompaniment. The songs “Canzone per Te”, “Vacanze Romane” and “Romantica” are acoustic arrangements and allow the voice to be the focal point of the song. The pace of “Romantica” invites dancers to the floor. A song is a poem set to a melody. The image of sweethearts walking on the shore came quickly, with the cool, crunch of sand under foot. The sun is rising, it’s been a long, luscious night. It’s the perfect moment to be in love. The lyrics of “Tu Sei Romantica” are written by Robertino Loreti, “You are the music which inspires the soul. You are my corner of paradise, here on the Earth. And I am next to you, I have come back to live. I will tell you, I will trust you my dreams. Because you are romantic.” Ah Perfetta! IL Volo at their best.

il-voloPiero, Gianluca and Ignazio have crafted a unique approach to song. There is no leader. Each will sing a solo, become a duo and then a trio, finding what the song and words need for expression. Each singer knows the others strength and weaves a compelling, emotional state of enchantment. The songs are sumptuous compositions that have stood the test of time. These songs were just waiting for IL Volo to come along and record them for a new generation of romantics. Ladies will feel as if her hand has been kissed by a Romeo who won’t leave in the morning. Men will be moved to reflect on the ways of love, how it is expressed and where it can take the heart. Relax and feel your sensual side come alive with Sanremo Grand Amore.

IL Volo San Remo Grande Amore
Produced by: Celso Valli and Michele Torpedine
Sony Music Ent. Italy
Release date: February 20, 2015

Written by Frances Ann Wy

@2015FrancesAnnWy