By Laura Medina
The Pre-Concert Interview inside Santa Monica Place Conference Room, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CfQJo7IhHB4&feature=youtu.be
Serenading this scribe, harmoniously singing “Let It Snow,” as Piero Barone, Ignazio Boschetto, and Gianluca Ginoble, of the operatic pop trio, Il Volo ("the flight" in Italian) walk in for their pre-concert interview before appearing and singing in front of screaming, joyous fans at HGTV's Christmas Celebration at the Santa Monica Place Mall.
Il Volo are on a very important and essential mall-centric tour of the U.S. (it is the malls that first introduce them to the American shopping public, tweens, and teens who are, now, their hottest and faithful fans), just completing their Los Angeles holiday blitz, performing for fans and holiday shoppers at the Christmas Tree Lighting for both The Grove in the Mid-Wilshire District then wrapping it up…with a bow of a performance…at Santa Monica Place Mall’s HGTV Christmas Celebration this past recent Saturday night.
In this rare interview, leading up to their Saturday night concert for Santa Monica Place’s HGTV Christmas Celebration, Piero, Ignazio, and Gianluca tell this scribe how important Southern California was important to them in launching their singing careers; how important their American fans are, what they want to do in-between appearances and performances in Los Angeles, and what they want for Christmas.
As a triumvirate, they added on in the conversation, in unisonous, when one is at lost for words, one or two of the trio, fills in with words and expressions that best convey their answers.
“How you feel about celebrating Christmas?”
Ignazio, “It is always a pleasure to celebrate Christmas in the U.S.A….because in America, the people feel better (Piero and Gianluca chiming in) more than the Italians.”
Gianluca, “Love is the greatest thing in the world.”
Ignazio, “We really spending time here, Christmas, here in the U.S.A.”
“How you all feel about celebrating Christmas one month early in Santa Monica?”
Gianluca, “We’ve spent the last three years…We’ve spent last year singing at the Rockefeller Center, the tree lighting. Yeah, we performed at The Grove three days ago. Now, we are here to perform. People told us there are a lot of fans waiting for us so, we can’t wait to perform.”
“Did you all expect this many American fans waiting for you for Christmas?”
Piero, “Yes, we love our American fans. They are so sweet; and they are all ages, they are like kids, moms, and grandmas; and this is what we love about our music. We have, like, three generations.”
“What do you all want to do during this holiday season?”
Ignazio, “You know, we are planning to shopping a little bit for our family; and (knocking on wood) you know, just enjoying L.A. in how beautiful it is.”
“What do you all want for Christmas when you all get back home?”
Gianluca, “Christmas is here. (joking) No.
Ignazio, “Just staying home with family.”
Gianluca, “It’s our wish.”
Piero, “And, what we wish is that all the people, all over the world, are gonna enjoy Christmas with our new album, “Buono Natale.” This is our new album.”
Gianluca, (quickly jumping in) “This is our new album (holding it up )” “Buon Natale. I hope you enjoy our music ; and yes, “Buon Natale,” and “Happy New Year.”
Piero, “Happy Holidays.”
This Scribe, “Oh, Thank You.”
Thirty minutes later, Il Volo charge through the crowd in Santa Monica Place's Center Court.
Just before hitting the stage, they serenaded and kissed a waiting a girl in a wheelchair (smart lass) for her "Make-A-Wish."
What could be best described as a Second Coming of "Beatle Mania" but an early twenty-first century, Italian pop-operatic version, Il Volo graciously sang a mix of Classic American Christmas Pop Classics and Italian Pop Classics to a frenetic, screaming crowd of, surprisingly (but not to Il Volo) mostly tweens and teens girls going hot and bothered over two tenors and one baritone Italian Milleniums.
Like Ignazio commented earlier in the interview, they feel more love and adoration from their American fans than they do in their home land of Italy.
Towards the finale and returning "the love" to their American fans, they lifted a girl out of the crowd then serenade her, hoisted her up on their shoulders then kissed her before lifting and returning her back into her mom's arms. What a moment for this kid!