Left to Right: Gianluca, Ignazio, Hopeful Romantic, Me, Piero
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Saturday, September 24, 2011
Italian Boy Band Il Volo Brings the Classics to Borgata
Three boy singers, who didn't know each other - Piero Barone, Ignazio Boschetto and Gianluca Ginoble - entered a televised music competition in their native Italy in 2009.
Even though Ginoble won the competition, the trio as a whole benefitted from each member's fateful decision to compete.
The three vocalists were chosen to sing the Neapolitan standard "O Sole Mio" on the TV show. After the competition, they continued to perform together and eventually became Il Volo, which means The Flight.
"We started this program like three single singers. The producer of this program, the force of this program, decided to put our voices together, and from there, was born Il Volo," said Barone during a phone interview Monday from Italy. "I never thought I would find two beautiful guys like Ignazio and Gianluca because we started this career like three normal friends. We are like three normal brothers."
Il Volo's self-titled debut, released in April in this country, made it to No. 1 on the U.S. classical albums chart. The group starts its first North American tour with a sold-out show tonight in the Music Box at the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa.
The group has experienced a charmed existence from the beginning.
Its debut CD was co-produced by Humberto Gatica, who previously worked with Andrea Bocelli and Josh Groban. It was recorded in Rome, at the famed Abbey Road Studios in London and in Los Angeles. Barone made his first visit to this country when recording his group's CD last year.
"We love New York. We love all of the country of America, but my favorite is Los Angeles," said Barone.
Il Volo's CD first not only hit No.1 on the classical albums chart. It also reached No. 10 on the overall Billboard 200 chart. Part of the reason for the CD's success is the vocal trio recorded three of the 12 tracks in English, including "Smile," with music by Charlie Chaplin.
"We decided to produce songs in English because this an international project to go in America, because we are not stopping in Italy. Our project is for all the world," Barone said. "We have to sing in Spanish, Italian and English. We love to sing in English."
The Spanish version of "Il Volo" hit No. 1 on the Latin Pop Albums Chart. The trio also were nominated for two Latin Grammy Awards.
Il Volo's instant popularity is partly due to its performance of "O Sole Mio" on the May 19 edition of "American Idol," when the program was down to its final three contestants.
It also doesn't hurt that Barone, 18, and Boschetto and Ginoble, both 16, range from handsome to cute, which attracts girls.
"I thought before we started our careers that people over 30 years old would like our music, but right now, I can say the young generation, the girls, love this music because I never imagined that the girls would be out in the rain with umbrellas screaming for us when we went to Mexico," Barone said. "You can tell from YouTube and Facebook."