Il Volo – A Captivating Trio Of Endearing Voices

By Kaye Cloutman

I will never forget the first time I saw this trio – my jaw dropped and my eyes welled in tears. If you have a teenager in the house, you’ll understand why this heaven-sent group I’m about to introduce is such a refreshing blessing. Let’s face it – our pop radio stations are bombarding us with songs which focus on “me, myself and I” – add to that an extra dollop of angst and sex to go along with their respective lyrics and music videos. And did I mention the highly synthesized voices, most of which sound robotic? What happened to real instruments? And real voices? And what’s with all the repetitive words or syllable? They sound like a broken record! Listen carefully to what they’re really singing about, you’ll be shocked.

Back in the day, I had a trove of delightful music collected from my parents. The Three Tenors were my grandma’s favorite as well and very recently, I got turned on to the music of Andrea Bocelli. If you saw that episode on Ally McBeal where Ally dates Josh Groban to the prom, you’ll understand why and be able to relate to my goose-bump-moment. There is something about Italian music that joyously pierces my heart and soul in the most beautiful ways. Their passion and romanticism is unmistakable and brings out a certain tender sensation every time I get a chance to listen to one. This was the kind of music I grew up hearing and I couldn’t help but be transported to my childhood a bit when I listened to Il Volo.

This three fresh-faced teenagers, Piero Barone (17), Ignazio Boschetto (16), and Gianluca Ginoble (16), first appeared on the popular Italian talent show “Ti Lascio Una Canzone” and dazzled television viewers with their flawless rendition of the Neapolitan standard “O Sole Mio.” The boys, who won the competition easily, decided their group needed a name. “Il Volo,” meaning “flight,” was chosen to signify the feeling that these three young tenors were about to spread their wings and fly.

It wasn’t long before Il Volo’s managers — Michele Torpedine (who has looked after the careers of Andrea Bocelli and Italian rock star Zucchero) and world renowned singer/producer Tony Renis — landed a worldwide recording contract for the trio with Universal Music Group which released Il Volo’s self-titled debut album in Italy November 2010. The album is already certified platinum in their home country and will see a worldwide release this year. Anyone who saw them perform at CBS’ “The Talk” will know why I am enthralled with their voices. In addition, Il Volo became the first Italian artists to sign with Geffen Records here in the United States, where their album will also be released very soon.

Piero, Ignazio, and Gianluca recorded Il Volo in Los Angeles and Rome, as well as at London’s famed Abbey Road Studios with Renis and veteran producer Humberto Gatica (Andrea Bocelli, Josh Groban, and Celine Dion). The album is a stellar showcase for these three young singers’ astonishing vocal talent and interpretive gifts as they take on a range of both new and traditional, classically influenced pop songs.

IL VOLO’s 12 tracks include both classic and new compositions: their version of “O Sole Mio,” “Il Mondo,” “E Più Ti Penso” (a medley of Ennio Morricone songs from the soundtracks to Once Upon a Time in America and Malena), “El Reloj” (a brand-new song sung in Spanish), “Smile” (written by Charlie Chaplin for his film Modern Times and later popularized by Nat King Cole), “Notte Stellata/The Swan” (from the well-known musical theme composed by French composer Camille Saint-Saëns), “La Luna Hizo Esto” and “Painfully Beautiful” (both written specially for IL VOLO by multi-platinum songwriter Diane Warren), “Per Te” (written by multiple Grammy Award-winning songwriter/producer Walter Afanasieff), “This Time” (a new song written by Michelle Lewis) and “Un Amore Così Grande” (a classic from the late ’70s Italian music tradition).

The release of IL VOLO is just the beginning of what is sure to be an exciting adventure for Gianluca (who hails from Abruzzo), Ignazio (born in Bologna), and Piero (who is from Agrigento, Sicily). In February 2010, legendary producer Quincy Jones invited the boys to represent Italy by singing on the charity single “We Are The World: 25 for Haiti,” where they impressed such superstars as Celine Dion, Barbra Streisand, and Josh Groban during the recording session. A few days later, the group returned to Italy to perform during the 60th annual Sanremo Music Festival, a prestigious event attended by such luminaries as Queen Rania of Jordan and popular TV host Antonella Clerici.

They may be young, but Il Volo’s mission is clear: “We want to share our love for this music with people all over the world, including kids our own age.” That – they say “would be our dream come true.” We are more than honored to get up close and personal with these rising stars. Check out our interview with this brilliant trifecta below.

Our Exclusive Interview with Il Volo

(L-R) The Young Tenors of Il Volo – Ignazio Boschetto, Gianluca Ginoble and Piero Barone

Briefly, please tell us about how you got started singing?

Ignazio: I started singing at the age of 3, I was singing at home for fun as most children do, and took part in the school choir. Then my family and I moved to Sicily and there I started singing with a teacher.

Piero: I started singing when I was a child- I used to sing songs on my grandfathers lap.

Gianluca: I started singing when I was a child, in the square of my village.

How does it feel to be compared to the great tenors?

Ignazio: To be compared to the Three Tenors is a big honor for sure, even if our repertoire is not operatic.

Piero: I feel very proud to be compared to these great artists, but with that comes a lot of responsibility and a strong commitment.

Gianluca: It is a great honor, we hope to follow and have their same successful careers!

At your young ages, it seems a little surprising that this would be your preferred choice of music. Why did you not choose to go contemporary pop? And how has this type of music affected your life?

Ignazio: Since childhood I knew which my favorite kind of music was. I listen to all kinds of music, except heavy metal. When I was a child I really loved Andrea Bocelli, now I listen to blues, jazz, pop and opera as well.

Piero: We chose this kind of music because it suits our voices. This type of music really affected us- even though we listen to all kinds of music.

Gianluca: It is not is a choice, it’s just the way we sing, we cannot sing Hip-Hop or Rap, our kind of voice complements this type of music.

What does Il Volo symbolize to all of you?

Ignazio: I always compare IL VOLO to an airplane, I think that to take off you have to push the engine to the maximum and every component of the plane is fundamental to take off, to fly and to land, so I think that IL VOLO has all the right components to do this trip, or this is what I hope!

Piero: To me “IL VOLO” symbolizes the beginning of a career.

Gianluca: IL VOLO for me symbolizes the beginning of my career, it’s a dream come true, because that’s what I wanted to do since childhood.

Who would like to sing with in the future?

Ignazio: I would really love to sing with Celine Dion.

Piero: I like to sing in the future with Celine Dion, Lara Fabian and all the great artists of world music.

Gianluca: I would like to sing with Michael Buble, Josh Groban and Andrea Bocelli.

Who is your biggest inspiration?

Ignazio: I think that the inspiration for every pop lyric artist has been Luciano Pavarotti, now I think Bocelli is.

Piero: My biggest inspiration is our group “IL VOLO “.

Gianluca: I am inspired by the great crooners like Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett and Andrea Bocelli.

What role does your family play in your career right now? How supportive are they of your profession and what are the challenges you’re facing so far?

Ignazio: Family is truly important and I really miss them when I’m forced to stay far from home.

Piero: My family plays a major role because they give me support and strength, and support us as a whole.

Gianluca: The role of my family is vital for my career, and it is always a constant presence by my side.

Name one thing you can’t live without?

Ignazio: Oxygen (smiles)

Piero: I could never live without music.

Gianluca: I could not live without music; it has been my passion since I was a kid.

What song will you most likely sing to a girl whom you’ve fallen in love with?

Gianluca: If I had to dedicate a song to a girl I’d choose “E più ti penso” which is on our cd.

What advice would you give your fans to fulfill their dreams?

Ignazio: Mine is actually a direct message to the parents: please help your children reach their goals to make their dreams come true.

Piero: To make a dream come true you need luck to find the right people, much desire, passion and above all honesty with oneself, to understand your limitations and learn to overcome them.

Gianluca: Never give up, always believe in your abilities, always position yourself and never stop dreaming, because sooner or later you may realize that dream!

Get to know Il Volo

Watch their debut song “O Sole Mio”

Buy their cd!