Detroit welcomes Il Volo to the Fox Theatre Thursday
You could say they're coming home.
Il Volo, the Italian operatic-pop trio of Gianluca Ginoble, Piero Barone and Ignazio Boschetto -- they'll perform at Detroit's Fox Theatre Thursday -- taped their first of six PBS specials at the Detroit Opera House in 2011.
So the city's always held a special place in the young men's hearts. And ever since, Detroit Public TV has handled production of all their specials.
In recognition of the trio's unique connection to the Motor City, the offices of both Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan are issuing congratulatory proclamations, which will be presented backstage before Thursday's performance.
"Il Volo is bringing their 10th-anniversary concert to the Detroit audience," said Barbara Vitali, their road and personal manager, who's been with them every step of the way. "They're celebrating 10 years together. Can you imagine?"
The fact that Ginoble, Barone and Boschetto are just in their mid-20s underlines how young the trio was when they were discovered on Italian TV by Vitali's boss, Michele Torpedine, the talent manager who also launched the career of superstar tenor Andrea Bocelli.
"They were just individual singers at a TV talent show," she added, "but the director decided to put them together a bit like the Three Tenors. They were 13, 14 and 15 at the time. My boss was captured by their performance, and decided he needed to do something with them."
Il Volo's repertoire includes operatic arias, Neapolitan song standards and the occasional American classic, including Frank Sinatra's "My Way." They've been nominated for two Latin Grammys, toured with Barbra Streisand, performed with Plácido Domingo, and just sold out Radio City Music Hall in New York last week.
Praising Il Volo, which means "the flight," the New York Times has lauded their "unlikely mixture of Andrea Bocelli and the Jonas Brothers."
And Il Volo is tickled pink, reportedly, to be back in Detroit.
"We love the city because we know that it’s had troubled years, but is rebuilding and recreating with a new spirit," said Vitali. "We are proud to be a small part of that."
The pace of change in Detroit has startled her.
"We were here last August," Vitali said, "and I barely recognized the city. Everything is building up and new."
Fox Theatre, 2211 Woodward, Detroit
7:30 p.m. Thurs., Feb. 13
Tickets: $25-$69.50 (plus fees)