It takes more than a little budella to take on the repertoire of The Three Tenors -- especially for singers who are in their early twenties. But the three members of Il Volo rise to the challenge on Notte Magica -- A Tribute To The Three Tenors. Today, Il Volo's take on The Three Tenors' rendition of the Frank Sinatra-popularized standard "My Way" is premiering below.
"We wanted to remember that magical [Three Tenors concert] in Rome 26 years ago [released as a live album in 1990] and let people live that night again," the group's Piero Barone tells Billboard. But, he adds, "We wanted to just remember the Three Tenors. We didn't want to imitate them."
The Three Tenors -- Jose Carreras, Luciano Pavarotti and Placido Domingo, the latter of whom guests as a performer and conductor on Notte Magica -- were an integral part of the Il Volo members' musical backgrounds. "We used to listen to this kind of music and watch some of the videos from the past," recalls Ignazio Boschetto. Groupmate Gianluca Ginoble, meanwhile, explains that, "A lot of people love that [Three Tenors] concert, and also people from our age because this kind of music will never die. That's why we want to bring it to the young generation. The Three Tenors sung by three young Italian men, that makes it special. It makes it different."
Notte Magica -- staged July 1 in Florence and due out on CD and home video on Sept. 30 -- was also a different experience for two-thirds of Il Volo. While Barone has a keen interest in opera, Boschetto and Ginoble are less experienced in the form and fell out for lessons, learning the assorted arias and classical pieces that are part of the repertoire, in addition to English language songs such as "Tonight" from West Side Story.
"We used to take lessons, but not like this," Boschetto says. "For this project we had to study opera. It was not easy. It's easy to sing pop music. It's not easy to sing this music." They did, of course, have a bit of help in the form of a master, Domingo, who had previously recorded with Il Volo in 2012 and split conducting duties with maestro Marcello Rota during the concert.
"This time it was different because we performed opera, aria, and all the classical songs," Ginoble says. "But thanks to him everything was easier because he helped us to be relaxed and not nervous. And singing by his side, with him conducting 'Nessun Dorma' in front of those thousands of people in Florence was something unforgettable." Barone adds that, "We didn't have a lot of time to spend with him, but it's a friendship. We have a very strong relationship. We know the family, we know his son. And we learn so much from his passion for the music. He's like a warrior."
Il Volo will promote Notte Magica through the December holidays, including an extensive PBS campaign. The group is already mapping out its 2017 plans as well, including a world tour -- three Italian dates are already announced for May -- and a new studio album to follow 2015's L'amore si muove.
"Il Volo started with 'O sole mio.' We are an operatic pop group. We don't want to change our music but maybe we can try everything," Ginoble says. "We are open-minded, but of course we have to make music that we like. We love this (Notte Magica) project. This probably is the most beautiful project we have done."