The trio of opera singers known as Il Volo came together in 2009 on the Italian reality television show Ti lascio una canzone. Piero Barone, Ignazio Boschetto and Gianluca Ginoble were chosen to sing the classic "O sole mio" and have been together ever since settling on the name "Il Volo," which means "The Flight."
The performed onstage at American Idol, then landed a guest spot with Barbra Streisand on her world tour. The group sang with her on songs such as "Smile" and "Make My Gardens Grow," and performed its own hits as well.
Recently, the trio released Il Volo Takes Flight on PBS, CD and DVD to give audiences a taste of the live show.
On a recent trip to Chicago, the group talked music with Windy City Times and signed the latest copies of We Are Love for the fans.
Windy City Times: Hi, guys. You are from different parts of Italy but were formed on a reality show?
Gianluca Ginoble: Yes; an Italian TV show put us together. Our first song was "O sole mio" and it turned out to be our first single in the United States. We sang it on American Idol as their special guest. We have performed it for Ellen DeGeneres also.
Piero Barone: We made a DVD in Detroit of our live show recently"We Are Love."
Windy City Times: Whose idea was it to make a One Direction cover song?
Ignazio Boschetto: The song "Little Things?" We thought, with our label, company, producers and managementall wanted us to do something different.
Piero Barone: Some people say what we sing is only opera, but it is not just opera. We sing classical songs in a fresh way and pop sings in a classic way. That is Il Volo. One Direction is the biggest pop group in the world right now. We really liked their song "Little Things" and hope their fans like this version. We saw that Perez Hilton on Twitter stated that people needed to hear our version because we did a great job with it.
Ignazio Boschetto: We did a version of "Beautiful Day" by U2 also. They are the biggest pop songs on our new album. We also have "Maria" from West Side Story and "Can You Feel the Love Tonight?'
Gianluca Ginoble: "Angel" and "Surrender."
Ignazio Boschetto: Then we have the most classical song on the album, called "Il canto." We did it with Placido Domingo and decided to dedicate it to Luciano Pavarotti.
Windy City Times: Are you all into musicals and why did you pick West Side Story?
Gianluca Ginoble: We have always loved musicals.
Windy City Times: I was at the Barbra Streisand show at the United Center. How was it touring with her?
Piero Barone: It was an amazing experience that we won't forget for the rest of our lives. She was like a teacher for us, like an aunt. She had a lot of advice. The best advice was to be humble, never forget where you come from, and to study.
Gianluca Ginoble: This the advice that all of the big artists have given to us.
Ignazio Boschetto: It is the secret to reach fame is work hard and stay humble.
Windy City Times: Do you think Barbra has done that? I don't know how humble she is these days...
Gianluca Ginoble: No, but she is very professionaleven for sound check. The sound check was at 2:00 and she was there at 1:59.
Piero Barone: I don't know if she is a diva but with us I don't think so. She is great and a legend.
Ignazio Boschetto: She was very nice.
Windy City Times: What are all of the languages you speak?
Gianluca Ginoble: We speak Spanish, English and Italian.
Windy City Times: You sing in French?
Piero Barone: We sang a song in French and one in German, too.
Windy City Times: You are coming back to Chicago to perform here, I heard.
Gianluca Ginoble: Yes, the third time at The Chicago Theatre. Starting in August we are starting a United States tour. We take two days off, then start the Latin America tour.
Windy City Times: Is there anyone you would want to collaborate with but haven't?
Ignazio Boschetto: Bono from U2 would be a dream.
Piero Barone: We could sing "Beautiful Day" with him!
Catch Il Volo at The Chicago Theatre, 175 N. State St., on Sept. 4. Visit www.thechicagotheatre.com for tickets.