Only in Hollywood

[Only IN Hollywood] Il Volo hopes to perform in the Philippines someday

Ruben V. Nepales
[Only IN Hollywood] Il Volo hopes to perform in the Philippines someday

Il Volo

'We share the same feelings, same emotions, we sing on stage, we travel all the time together,' says Gianluca Ginoble

“We are going to be in Venice because Maestro Vittorio Storaro chose us to be a part of his video, Your Love, which is a tribute to Maestro Ennio Morricone,” Il Volo’s Ignazio Boschetto told us in a video conversation a few days before we left LA to also attend, by coincidence, the Venice Film Festival.

Il Volo, the Italian operatic pop trio of which Ignazio is a member along with Piero Barone and Gianluca Ginoble, was excited to be chosen by Vittorio to sing Ennio Morricone’s Your Love, from the film, Once Upon a Time in the West, in the legendary cinematographer’s new short film.

The veteran DP Vittorio won three Oscars, including one for Francis Ford Coppola’s masterpiece, Apocalypse Now, which he and the director shot in the Philippines.

The new short, dedicated by Vittorio to the master composer, Ennio, who passed away in 2020, will premiere at the fourth edition of Filming Italy Best Movie Award on the occasion of the 78th Venice Film Festival.

“It was amazing working with Maestro Vittorio Storaro, remembering all the most beautiful moments that he spent with the Maestro Morricone,” enthused Ignazio, one of the two tenors (the other is Piero) in the trio. Gianluca is the lone baritone. “It is our dream. The three of us will be on the red carpet with Vittorio Storaro.”

The group has its own projects – an album and a PBS show – to honor the late Ennio who wrote more than 400 scores for film and TV. One of their tribute pieces to the prolific composer is their version of his The Ecstasy of Gold, which the Italian musician composed for the soundtrack of Sergio Leone’s The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.

“Our dream is to see The Ecstasy of Gold performed at the Academy Awards,” admitted Gianluca.

Piero added, “We would like to say thanks to Maestro Morricone’s wife, Señora Maria, because she approved this project and the lyrics of The Ecstasy of Gold and other songs.”

“Without her support, we couldn’t do this project. Andrea Morricone, the son, wrote the lyrics in English.”

Asked about their bearded look, Gianluca, 26, quipped with a laugh, “Because we are Italian and we want to look older. We are young.”

Ignazio, turning 27 in October, added, “The reason why I have a beard is because otherwise, I look like a kid who is 13 years old.” Piero is 28.

Told that they have quite a following in the Philippines and that there was even an online petition by some fans for Il Volo to perform in Manila, Piero replied, “That is nice to hear because we have never been to the Philippines. But we are young. We have time to go there, really discover the country and meet the Philippine people.”

The guys met as participants on an Italian TV show.

Ignazio recounted, “We were three solo singers. We didn’t know each other until then. On the fourth episode of this talent show for young people, the producer of this program decided to put our three voices together. And so, that was how Il Volo was born.”

The trio went on to release hit albums and well-received concerts around the world.

Il Volo (from left); Gianluca Ginoble, Ignazio Boschetto and Piero Barone
Il Volo

Back to their musical tribute to Ennio who was also an orchestrator, conductor and trumpeter, Piero explained, “The idea to do an Ennio Morricone concert and tribute first came up in a meeting because we all admired Maestro Morricone for a long time.”

Gianluca shared, “And the family is supporting this project. We knew it would be a challenge to perform some of the compositions. We can probably say that it’s the best album that we recorded in our career.” The album, Il Volo Tribute to Ennio Morricone, comes out on November 5.

Gianluca also said, “We spent all these months listening to his work with the orchestra. With our producer, we chose which songs we should include in the show and the album.”

“We hope our audience and people who enjoy it will listen to the album. We hope we did a good job. The album takes the listeners on a journey through emotions and beautifully retraces the heart and musical genius of the legendary Morricone.”

“We want to thank the family because it’s amazing to have the support of the entire Morricone family.”

On what music meant to the Il Volo members when they were young, Ignazio answered, “Journalists ask us, how did you find music? I think that music found us. It’s really tough to explain and I am saying this in the humblest way possible.”

“I never thought I would be a singer, I just sang because I love to sing and I love to listen to music, make music, sing and play instruments.”

“Everything about music makes me feel better. This is the way we grew up, with this idea, with this respect for music.”

Piero, for his part, said, “Music, for us, is oxygen. And we make music to live. We are three very lucky guys because we are living our life doing what we really love and what we were born for.”

Gianluca agreed: “As you know, it’s been 12 years. We grew up together. We are like three brothers. We share the same feelings, same emotions, we sing on stage, we travel all the time together. Three voices and one soul.”

As for the key to their success and harmony as a group, Piero commented, “The key is that there is no leader. There is no front man. I feel we have three leaders with the same goal. Being on stage and sharing our emotions.”

Gianluca shared, “It’s like a love story. When you love someone, you first have to love yourself.  And you try to do your best to avoid fights at the same time.”

“In a smart way, you have to handle the situation because you know that we share the same passion.”

Piero stressed, “The key is respect for each other.”

As for how they sang and toured across the globe for over a decade without fighting, Piero laughed as he said, “In 12 years, we have never punched each other in the face, So we hope that will never happen (laughs).

Ignazio looked at Piero and joked, “I just kick him in the ass but it’s okay (laughs).”

With the coronavirus pandemic curtailing their tours, Piero promised, “We will be back on tour in March. We start in Canada, Toronto.”

Ignazio enthused, “We can’t wait to be back in the Radio City Music Hall.”

Gianluca added: “And in LA, we will perform at the Microsoft Theater.

Looking ahead, Piero said, “I hope we see Il Volo still together in 50 years and always sharing our music. We hope we will never lose this passion that we have for the music.” –

Ruben V. Nepales

Based in Los Angeles, Ruben V. Nepales is an award-winning journalist whose honors include prizes from the National Arts & Entertainment Journalism Awards, a US-wide competition, and the Southern California Journalism Awards, presented by the Los Angeles Press Club.