The 25-year-old baritone Gianluca Ginoble knows full well that opera and classical music are mostly known courtesy artists from older generations, whether the late Luciano Pavarotti or longtime star Andrea Bocelli. But Il Volo, which features Ginoble along with 20-somethings Piero Barone and Ignazio Boschetto, are working to change that.
“Our goal is to always reach as many people as possible,” he says after a recent sold-out concert at New York’s Radio City Music Hall. “We’re very proud to be not only Italians, but one of the only younger artists to sing operatic pop music. At our ages, this is what we want to do: bring it to the younger generation. So it’s been beautiful to see venues full of both young people and adults.”
It’s a mission that continues this year, with the group touring both the United States and Europe in celebration of its 10-year anniversary of making music together. It’s a multi-city and multi-country jaunt that includes a stop on March 3 at San Diego’s Copley Symphony Hall.
“We’ve been to San Diego many, many times,” Ginoble says. “Southern California is our favorite place in the States.”
In fact, it was in Los Angeles where Il Volo, then teenagers, lived and recorded the vocals for their 2010 self-titled debut album, moving from Italy and acclimating themselves to American culture for the first time.
“We spent a year in California when we began, both recording songs and to improve our English,” Ginoble says of their early days. “I think we grew up in Southern California as both people and artists, and also got to work with a lot of important people whether (the record label executive who signed them) Jimmy Iovine or (legendary producer and fan of the trio) Quincy Jones.”
In the intervening years, Il Volo became a rarity in the insular world of the Italian charts, which rarely produce global artists. The trio bucked the trend, from becoming the only Italians to ever sign with Iovine’s Geffen/Interscope record label, as well as stand-outs on the Eurovision Song Contest in 2015. They came in third in the gargantuan talent series before an audience of 200 million people.
Since then, a global fanbase has been been taken by the act, first marketed as a teenage version of another famed operatic trio, The Three Tenors (of which the aforementioned Pavarotti was a member, alongside José Carreras and Plácido Domingo) and subsequently coming into their own as adults.

Vocally, Ginoble was especially influenced by many singers, including Frank Sinatra. Along with Italian standards like “O Sole Mio” and “Nessun dorma,” Sinatra’s trademark “My Way” is a staple of their tour.
“He had a voice like a baritone but also sang melodic songs,” Ginoble says of Sinatra. “All of the tenors sing ‘My Way’ because it just sounds very classical. It’s an honor to be part of this incredible repertoire to follow the steps of those singers we used to listen to when we were kids.”
When they’re not at home in Italy (Ginoble resides near Rome in Abruzzo, while Boschetto and Barone live in the north of the country near Milan), the singer says he’s proudest of spreading Italian culture worldwide. Along with global tours, the bulk of their past six albums (including last year’s “Musica”), vaulted to the top of charts around the world.
“This is what people love about Italy: pasta, pizza and opera,” he says with a laugh. “Italy’s famous around the world for opera, and for me, sometimes it’s hard to explain and believe. When I’m on stage and I see all the screaming people, I think back to when I was a kid. I’d dream of being a singer and traveling all around the world. Right now, I’m living that dream.”
When: 7:30 p.m. Tuesday
Where: Jacobs Music Center’s Copley Symphony Hall, 750 B St., downtown San Diego
Tickets: $65-$150
Online: ticketmaster.com
LeDonne is a freelance writer.
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