Not every day is there a festive atmosphere and people dancing in the seats of the Italian Senate.
However, there was an exception this Sunday when a special Christmas concert featuring Italian award-winning trio Il Volo was given. President Giorgio Napolitano of the Italian Republic, as well as the presidents of the Italian Senate and Camera, were in attendance and seen visibly enjoying the festivities.
The trio, made up of Piero Barone, Ignazio Boschetto, and Gianluca Ginoble, performed during the 18th Christmas concert at the Italian Senate in Rome and was accompanied by the Orchestra Regionale Filarmonia Veneta directed by Italian conductor Diego Bass.
Il Volo is an international phenomenon founded and managed by the long-time manager of Andrea Bocelli. The group’s toured worldwide, won top international awards, and performed with the greatest of the greats, including Placido Domingo and Barbra Streisand.
A little after noon Sunday, following the singing of the Italian National Anthem, not only did the trio perform Christmas classics like `O Holy Night’,` Silent Night,’ and ‘Ave Maria,’ but also “O Sole Mio,’ ‘Torna a Surriento,’ as well as others.
Moreover, the young artists entertained those present with support from the ‘Small Choir of the White Hands’ of Rome, made up of children with disabilities. They, with their white gloves, performed some of the songs energetically in sign language.
Saturday afternoon, more than 250 children from the suburbs of Rome and Naples attended a preview of the Christmas Concert with the opportunity to meet all the artists. The artists performed for free and the proceeds from the ticket sales were, as always, donated to charity.
In the first exclusive interview they had with ZENIT this summer, the group shared about the roles their Catholic faith and families have played in their international success, and what inspires their beautiful sound.
In a second exclusive interview with the group this weekend in Palazzo Madama, Il Volo shared about why this event touched their hearts, what’s ahead for the group, and their upcoming participation at the famous Italian concert of San Remo.
In addition, they spoke on why it’s an especially special Christmas for them, and shared their Christmas greetings for ZENIT’s readers.
ZENIT: What is the significance of this event?
Piero: It was a very important event because Christmas is the most important season for all Italians and for the whole world.
Gianluca: It’s the most wonderful time of the year.
Piero: So, to sing here, at the Senate in Palazzo Madama is not something that happens every day. Last year we held a concert at Assisi. This year, we did this one with all the presidents – Boldrini [of Italian Camera], Grasso [of Italian Senate], and Napolitano, president of the Italian Republic. It was very exciting, as were all those in the past.
ZENIT: How did you feel when the children were asking you to stop and sign autographs?
Ignazio: It was a great feeling also because honestly, it is the first time that it has happened in Italy, no? … It was incredible to see such little children asking for autographs and a photograph. Therefore, it means that in some way our music also reaches the very young. So we are happy.
Gianluca: You know that it’s completely different than the United States. So, it is lovely to see that children are also our fans here in Italy. It’s wonderful.
ZENIT: Was it special for you to be here in Italy, so close to Christmas?
Piero: Yes, we are always abroad, but this year we are more present in the Italian market and in Italian television channels. So we try to have the persons see who we really are.
ZENIT: Are there any holiday wishes you would like to extend to our readers?
Piero: The wish to spend Christmas together, with the whole family; all parents, mother and father, who are the persons who really love us.
Gianluca: For one who is always abroad, we say: spend time with your families.
ZENIT: Let’s talk about San Remo.
Piero: This year we will take part in the San Remo Festival in the ‘Big’ Category. (There are two categories of participants at San Remo. One is the young, or first time participants. The other is the ‘big’ participants, i.e. those older, more accomplished.) It is very exciting because, for Italians, San Remo is the most important music and singing event during the year.
It is the most prestigious stage we have in Italy. I must tell you that, to be there, on the San Remo stage, is very exciting. However, more than excitement, it will be a very great responsibility.
ZENIT: Have you already sung at San Remo?
Piero: Yes, yes, we sang on the stage of the Ariston Theater of San Remo. We were born five years ago with the piece “Ti Lascio una Canzone” [“I Leave You a Song”]. And now, after five years, we will return to the stage where we were born. It will be emotion after emotion, day after day.
ZENIT: Is there a change with your label? Could you explain the significance of this?
Piero: We have changed our recording house. First we were with Universal, and now we are with Sony — new year, new family, new persons. We will not change our music, style of music, absolutely not, because we are Il Volo, that’s that. However, there will be many surprises. You will see that our new album will come out at the same time as a world tour.
ZENIT: Could you elaborate a bit on your upcoming tours?
Piero: We will go on “tours” as soon as the album comes out. So, this year we won’t be bored; we will be very busy, but it’s better like that.
ZENIT: Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Ignazio: Thank you very much. Ti vogliamo tanto bene.[Original Text: Italian] [Translation by ZENIT]
On ZENIT’s Web page:
ZENIT’s Exclusive Interview With Il Volo This Summer: http://www.zenit.org/en/articles/il-volo-award-winning-trio-taking-world-by-storm-speaks-to-zenit-on-faith-family-francis
On the Net:
Official Il Volo Site: www.ilvolomusic.com