Piero Barone is what you might call a phenomenon. Whoever watches one of his performances, his solos in particular, will have no doubts about his future in music, even if he chooses going for lyrical music or stays in pop-lyric featuring the group to which he belongs. This is our Piero, a member of Il Volo along with Ignazio Boschetto – both tenors – and Gianluca Ginoble – baritone.
Piero was born in the town of Naro, Sicily, southern Italy, an Agrigento province, on June 24, 1993. His Father, Gaetano Barone, is a mechanic and his mother, Eleonora Ognibene, housewife. He has an older brother named Francesco (or Francis) who is studying Philosophy at the University of Bologna, and a younger sister, Mariagrazia. Piero grew up in a musical environment until at age of 5, his maternal grandfather, Pietro Ognibene, discovered his talent. Piero, on an interview in 2010, said that his grandfather, a blind musician, had written a song in Sicilian, and when asked him to sing it, was amazed with his voice. That same day, helped by a friend, Mr Ognibene recorded Piero singing Un Amore Così Grande. In a recent interview, Mr. Ognibene revealed that all the people became marveled with Piero’s voice and used to put him on the table and ask him to sing. Then the family helped him to cultivate his gift and his grandfather Pietro collaborated by paying piano lessons for six years.
Piero began performing at school and in the local church choir, plus he used to make some money as wedding singer. In 2009, during the talent show Ti Lascio Una Canzone the host asked him details about these performances at weddings, as what songs he used to sing, or the length of this performances; Piero answered fully and well and, when Antonella Clerici asked him whether he attended the best part – the party after the ceremony – he replied: – The best part was when they paid me 🙂 That money, result of this early work, was used to continue paying for his musical formation.
Just as Gianluca and Ignazio, Piero had early participations on several competitions and music festivals with great performances. He is considered a Spinto Tenor – a tenor that easily reaches high notes, whose voice has the shades of a baritone but with a tenor range. His vocal power is a highlight on the Il Volo’s performances, his ability to achieve and sustain the notes and follow variations in the melody without the need to resume breathing.
In 2005, with only 12 years old, Piero participated and won the Festival Canoro Città di Vallelunga, singing Un Amore Così Grande, a song that will always be associated to great moments of his career. To develop his natural talent, Piero studied singing with maestro Marisa Bonfiglio – founder and director of the Coro di voci bianche Piccoli Cantori di Santa Cecilia and Maestro of the Associazione filarmonica Santa Cecilia. Moreover, until 2009, Piero attended classes at the Scuola di Canto Arcadia of Angela Maniglia, however, he remained in contact and had participated in many events of the school, which until today continues forming talents in Sicily.
In August 2008, Piero won the Festival Bruna Bennardo in Favara, Sicily.
In 2009, during the Ti Lascio Una Canzone, he shared the popular preference with two other candidates – Ignazio Boschetto and Gianluca Ginoble – with whom he would form the group Il Volo soon after. In an interview in 2010, he said that participating in the talent show on RAI 1 was a remarkable experience in his life, considering the daily learning and the opportunity to develop and showcase their talent. He had great performances on every episode and actually won the 4th episode of the show, one more time with Un Amore Così Grande. On that same episode, he sang along with Gianluca and Ignazio for the first time O’ Sole Mio, that became the milestone on Il Volo’s career.
Since 2009 his career has been altogether with Il Volo, although he has been able to record some solo performances. In Sicily, around Christmas of 2012, he recorded a special video of the song “Where do I begin”, on which, in addition to singing, he plays four different musical instruments. Piero has expressed several times his desire to sing opera in the future. He always says that he must study hard for this and he’s truth to his word by studying with Maestro Sergio Bertocchi in Bologna.
Piero loves the color red and his red glasses have become his trademark. The red Prada glasses seems to be the favorite of both, Piero and the fans. Piero enjoys changing models and colors of the glasses and, for a long time, he used to carry them in a red bag. He has said that his collection has more than 40 pairs of glasses. Many of his interactions on the social networks has to do with the glasses, when a new model comes out or when some fan wear his glasses on the photos.
Another thing he loves are sport cars. In 2013 he bought a Mini Cooper and, before that, he used to record some scenes behind the wheel of his A112 Abarth in Naro.
Piero loves Italian food, but is allergic to certain foods such as garlic, onion and pork. He is lactose intolerant, too. He mentioned that about three hours before the concert he eats his favorite dish: pasta, prepared mainly by his father. During the tour of 2013 he photographed his father cooking for him and shared on social networks.
On the leg he has a tattoo with the initials of the names of family members. Piero likes to dance and we often can see him near the water for sports or relax.
Among his favorite artists we can find a very eclectic group. But some are always mentioned, like Luciano Pavarotti and Placido Domingo.
Ignazio and Gianluca have said that he is the craziest of the group but, at the same time, a professional, serious and perfectionist, who likes to do things properly. They have even called him the stubborn one.
Piero Barone is a young man who cultivates his spirituality. Practicing Catholic, when is in Sicily, never misses Sunday mass in his parish of St. Erasmus in Naro, and is preparing for the sacrament of Confirmation (April, 2014). On February 12, 2014, Il Volo was received by Pope Francis at the hearing, and it was touching to see the emotion of Piero Barone.
More about Piero on Piero Barone – Trivia
Piero is a beautiful, healthy, cheerful, sensitive and charismatic young man. Owner of a rare talent: a clean and powerful voice and an exciting and breathtaking interpretation. We could add several other adjectives, as we observe his attitudes, his values, his gentleness and humility. Piero is admirable on all aspects.
:: Author: Suzana Gutierrez (marirussu) , from the original in Portuguese.
:: Research: All About Il Volo Team
:: Published on June 24, 2014. Updated (fotos) on November 16, 2015.
:: Credits on the pictures
:: This is a dynamic text that will be updated whenever Piero allow us and as we can organise events prior to 2009 🙂
:: References: linked to the text, where it is possible.
:: For an amazing Il Volo experience read their book: Il Volo – un’avventura straordinaria. (Ed Rizzoli)