Monday, October 10, 2011

Il Volo sparks memories of my Sicilian grandfather

Il Volo has to come to Boca Raton or Hard Rock Live to do a show in the new year. The Italian trio of teen tenors performed at The Fillmore in Miami Beach Oct. 6. and tears flooded down my face as the group sang their first notes. The last time I heard many of their classic Italian love songs such as “‘O Sole Mio” and “Granada,” my late grandfather Leonardo Magazzolo was singing these songs to me. But getting to see Piero Barone, 17, Ignazio Boschetto, 17, and Gianluca Ginoble, 16, sing flawless renditions of these songs brought me a sense of peace and hope. Barone happens to come from the same town in Sicily as my grandpa--Agrigento.
The Fillmore was was filled with the vivacious spirit and sound of Italy and I no longer weep for the future of music--not after hearing Il Volo live. Their crescendoing harmonies and impressive, sinewy tones go right through your cells and hit you at the very core of your being. Il Volo has a Christmas album coming out at the end of November and I was thrilled to speak with Boschetto a couple days before his South Florida show.

As you tour across America, what has been the reaction from fans?
“We thought our album was for [people] over 30, but when we started to sing on American Idol and Jay Leno and in concerts, all the teenagers liked this kind of music. It’s incredible. We are so happy that we are doing our goal of bringing this kind of music to the young generation.”
Did you grow up listening to Luciano Pavarotti?
“Piero always listened to Pavarotti and Elvis Presley. I really love rock music. I love AC/DC and Aerosmith. We really listen to every kind of music. I love Lady Gaga.”
What’s your favorite song to perform live?
“For me, it was a challenge to sing "Hasta el Final." It’s a really beautiful but difficult song. You have to take a big breath. It was a challenge, but it’s gonna be great. We love each song.”
How did IlVolo come together?
“We met on an Italian TV show. We didn’t know each other before. We met there, and the producer of this program decided to put our voices together. And from that, Il Volo was born. After this program, we shot a concert with Universal, and after, we did American Idol and released our album. Now, we hope to go around the world.”
As far as traditional Italian music goes, do you have a favorite song?
“Since we are Italian, we have to bring our old Italian traditional songs. But we sing live in Italian, Spanish and English, and I think traditional Italian songs are for having fun. It’s an important part of our concert.”
What’s your favorite Italian food?
“My mother worked for many years in a pizzeria. I was born in Bologna. But when we moved in Sicily, my mother opened a pizzeria, and now, the owner is my sister. So when I am at home, I always eat pizza.”

For more on Il Volo, check out