Our interview with Il Volo
Success, talent and tenacity, the three tenors Gianluca Ginoble, Piero Barone and Ignazio Boschetto tell us how they managed to bring Italian bel canto to the world
They perform songs popular all over the world, from the traditional classic Italian and international repertoire, but with a visually modern take on them: young men in sneakers, singing their heart out to Nessun dorma and ‘O sole mio!
The life of Gianluca Ginoble, 28 years old, Piero Barone 30, and Ignazio Boschetto 29, changed radically in 2009, the day they took part in a TV show for talented children. They started off as aspiring soloists and then teamed up to become Il Volo, an atypical boy band that was able to achieve extraordinary success abroad: they were the first Italian artists who signed up with a major American record label, Geffen. The heirs to the Three Tenors (Placido Domingo, José Carreras and Luciano Pavarotti) and Andrea Bocelli, the key to their success is operatic pop, the secret weapon is their always polite and cheerful attitude. They never need to be ‘over the top’ to attract attention. Their schedule is relentless: signing sessions, interviews, photo shoots and concerts. Being on tour means travelling the world for four to five months at a time.
Their first album, Il Volo (2010), was awarded the Platinum certification and made it to the Top Ten on the USA Billboard. In 2010, they were also the only Italian artists invited by Quincy Jones to the recording of We Are The World for Haiti, alongside 80 international stars, including Céline Dion, Bono, Lady Gaga, Carlos Santana and Natalie Cole. They did a memorable tour of twelve concerts with Barbra Streisand across America and Canada (2012), which preceded the recording duets of their second album We Are Love (2012) with Placido Domingo and Eros Ramazzotti. In 2013, the tickets for their first concert at New York’s Radio City Music Hall sold out in a few days, as further evidence that Il Volo was considered to be the rising star of the popera genre. In 2021, they were the stars of an epic concert at the Millennium Amphitheatre during Expo 2020 Dubai, on the occasion of the Italian Creativity event, which marked the comeback of the Italian trio to the Arab Emirates after five years since their first performance at the Globe Soccer Awards.
How did you develop a passion for music?
Our passion for music was born in a very natural, nearly instinctive way, and we were lucky enough to be understood and guided towards a pathway of study and training from the outset.
What is the trio’s DNA and what does bringing operatic music to a larger audience mean?
The trio’s DNA is based on our awareness of the singleness of each individual voice and our ability in harmonizing them into one.
Your careers have been an endless world tour so far. Can you recall some unforgettable concerts?
Each concert has its own unique story, each concert is unforgettable. However, among the most significant events that marked our careers is definitely the tour with the legendary Barbra Streisand and the song we sang together on the occasion of the Nobel Peace Prize.
What does it take to get where you are now?
A lot of dedication, discipline and, above all, never lose the passion and faith.
What is music for Il Volo?
The highest expression of our soul.
Barbara Streisand, Lady Gaga, Beyoncé, Sharon Stone, Tom Cruise, Placido Domingo are only some of the extraordinary people you met.
Each of them gave and taught us a lot of things. Thanks to their great personality and skill, we were able to realise how important it is to stay true to one’s identity.
What Italian values do you feel you share when you’re performing on international stages and representing Italy across the world?
The huge artistic repertoire we have allows us to give life to works and words of the past whose expressive force never ceases to amaze the audience beyond all language barriers.
Your performed at the Millennium Amphitheatre during the Expo 2020 Dubai, what was that event like?
It was a great opportunity for us to be invited to perform at such a great event as the Expo 2020 Dubai.
As a new top destination in the world, what attracts you to Dubai and what are your unforgettable places and experiences in Dubai?
We are attracted to the great quantity and quality of international events that every year Dubai offers its residents and international visitors, in addition to its enterprising ability to attract attention to its many cultural and tourist offerings.
A melodic tour of your career through five iconic songs?
The songs that we always sing at our concerts and which represent a constant for us:
Il Mondo, Nessun Dorma, O’ sole mio, Grande Amore and Granada.
Your traditional good luck ritual before every concert?
We have been performing the same ritual for 14 years: the three of us gather in the backstage right before the concert, we hold our hands tight and go on stage like a football team ready to take the field and give its best.
Ignazio, Piero, Gianluca, the adjectives that best describe each of your personalities?
Ignazio: sunny and creative.
Piero: determined and generous.
Gianluca: romantic and precise.
Your favorite rock bands?
Piero: Guns N’ Roses.
You are ready to leave on a new tour to South America. Any plans for when you’re back in Italy?
As soon as we’re back home, we’ll return to the recording studio to work on new music.