Michael Amante is affectionately known as the “People’s Tenor.” He has been crowned the “Prince of High C’s” for his remarkable ability to hit and sustain with ease, one of the highest notes of a tenor’s voice. With Michael’s long history of singing popular Rock and Gospel music, coupled with extensive classical Bel-Canto training, he is able to sing even higher with a strength and mastery rarely heard anywhere in the world. Being able to produce these notes consistently within the context of a moving line and in conjunction with a beautiful sound, requires not only talent, but skilled use of technique.
The most prolific tenor of all time, Luciano Pavarotti, the “King of High C’s,” once described the feeling this way: “Excited and happy, but with a strong undercurrent of fear. The moment I actually hit the note, I almost lose consciousness. A physical, animal sensation seizes me. Then I regain control.” Amante experiences this thrilling sensation as well.
Michael Amante’s artistry drew his highest praise from none other than Luciano Pavarotti, who recognized his unique talent after he first experienced Michael’s vocal prowess. Pavarotti suggested but one name to perform in his stead for an international audience: Michael Amante.
Joining the ranks of high-class commentators was opera legend Franco Corelli, with whom Michael trained and who was lavish in his praise, saying that Michael was “one of the greatest voices I’d ever heard.” Legendary vocal superstar Tony Bennett will “guarantee you” that Michael Amante is “the next Mario Lanza,” further commenting during Amante’s performance: “That’s the most beautiful singing I’ve heard in years!” Regis Philbin (Live with Regis & Kelly) said: “We know there are “the three tenors but actually there are 4—Michael Amante—the 4th Tenor.”
Countless newspaper reviews and features have described the effect of his golden-throated outpourings in glowing terms: a New York Times reporter, for example, described Amante as exhibiting “both the voice and charisma of a crossover star”.
With a combination of suave all American good looks, romantic charm and emotionally charged singing, Michael has wowed audiences everywhere , including PBS Television for which he received an Emmy Nomination. Apart from his thrilling High C’s, Michael’s signature is versatility. From the Phantom’s Music of the Night to Puccini’s La Bohéme, it’s all on his playlist. The “People’s Tenor” immediately makes an intimate connection with his fans and the people flocking to his concerts. He found some of his earliest fans in Italy a few years ago singing Italian operatic arias and popular Neapolitan songs for an informal collection of priests within the Vatican. He has a stockpile of laudatory compliments. These days he’s accumulating an Everest-like mountain of bonafide raves from the sort of well-pedigreed sources guaranteed to induce envy in fellow artists.
On stage, Michael exhibits the rare talent common to singers who bring grandeur to their material: he inhabits a song, as surely as a gifted stage or screen actor becomes a character, giving it a life of its own. In fact, working with the respected stage and film star Tony LoBianco, Michael has developed into a credible thespian with roles ranging from the stage incarnations of Danny Zuko in Grease, Tony in West Side Story, alternating roles of both Jesus and Judas in Jesus Christ Superstar, to opera leading men as Rodolfo in Puccini’s La bohéme, B.F. Pinkerton in Puccini’s Madama Butterfly, and Turiddu in Mascagni’s Cavaleria Rusticana.
So an Amante concert audience gets more than Michael—it really gets Rodolfo; it really gets Tony; it really gets Danny Zuko—as the artist makes his assured, electrifying way through a repertoire of Broadway and Opera numbers. A Michael Amante concert is an experience unto itself.
Once past this Olympian conglomerate of praise makers; once accustomed to the offhand brilliance Amante can produce with his four-octave vocal range and multilingual abilities (English, Italian, Spanish, French, German, Latin and Polish); once cognizant of his versatility as a vocalist who is equally at home and powerfully persuasive in Classical Opera, Pop rock, Gospel, Jazz and Broadway styles; it may be that listeners are responding less to technical virtuosity than to the near-palpable soul emerging from Michael’s every sung note. Something in his emotionally riveting delivery, in his complete immersion in a song’s text, underscores a philosophy that clearly informs his art: as he puts it, “Love must be a vital part of who we are and how we view life. It colors our world view, and it is the greatest of the gifts we receive and the most precious gift we can give those around us.” These are not mere words to Amante; they reflect a deeply held passion for and belief in the power of the human voice to affect listeners on a fundamental level.
Growing up in New York, he did a nearly identical impression of Lou Gramm, the lead singer of the hit band Foreigner and Steve Walsh from Kansas. He quickly established himself in biker bars up
and down the New York State Throughway where it was technically illegal to perform, but his taste in popular music was voracious. In his early 20s, the choir director in an upstate New York church put him on to the legendary Swedish tenor Jussi Björling in a recording of the plaintive aria “Una furtiva lagrima” from Donizetti’s masterpiece L’Elisir D’Amore, and it hit Michael like a bolt from the blue. Singing this song would be the best way yet to fare well with the ladies.” Quickly, he put together a surefire portfolio of Italian arias that showed his killer high notes to advantage.
Since his title role performance a production of Oliver at age 6, he has been delighting audiences from all walks of life with the effortless, unabashed power of his voice and a style of singing that is classy but not harshly classical. The music that Michael explores ranges from Italian Bel Canto to a huge Broadway belt: Songs such as Recondita armonia from Puccini’s Tosca, and Maria from Bernstein’s West Side Story, are delivered with the passion of love in full flower. And This Is My Beloved, from Kismet, is another gem in Broadway’s unabashed romantic vein. Everyone knows Vesti la giubba from Leoncavallo’s I Pagliacci, which climaxes in heart-broken anguish “Ridi, Pagliaccio”! Michael’s beautifully sung rendition minus the bitter, maniacal laughter so traditional on the stage-delivers all the requisite drama; but for sheer visceral thrills, the rousing “Di quella pira,” from Verdi’s sizzling melodrama Il Trovatore, would be hard to top. Michael currently studies with Mark Oswald, who is regarded by the Metropolitan Opera as one of its leading voice teachers, with fourteen Met soloists under his tutelage. Mark spent thirteen seasons at the Met singing hundreds of principal roles.
Michael’s main showcases for the past decade have been private events for clients ranging from presidents (including Gerald Ford on his 91st birthday, George H.W. Bush, and Bill Clinton) to a myriad of A-list celebrities at world famous New York eateries and Las Vegas casinos. “Sooner or later, everyone who is anyone heard me,” from Sophia Loren, Isabella Rossellini, Julia Roberts to Billy Crystal, Denzel Washington and Sidney Pointier.
On one night of impromptu entertaining, mega producer Charles Koppelman came up to Amante and said with cigar in hand, “Let’s make a record” and so started a recording career. On the larger scale, Michael has sung to capacity crowds of 80,000 at Giant Stadium for season opening Giants’ games as well as when the Madrid soccer team played Rome. Offering something for everyone, he brought down the house with Granada and Nessun dorma, the aria that achieved worldwide cult status when Pavarotti’s recording was played in Rome at the 1990 FIFA World Cup. He is also known as “the Voice of the Mets” singing opening and playoff games at the former Shea Stadium and the new Citi-Field for sold-out events.
Michael Amante is a true patriot. He is the son of a decorated World War II Army Air Corps veteran who flew nearly 100 combat missions. It was from his father that Michael would learn his love of classical composers as well as a strong sense of pride in his American heritage. One of his recent projects is a patriotic album titled Amante Salutes America. All proceeds from the sale of the album are donated to the nation’s disabled veterans, whose personal sacrifices protect the freedom we enjoy as Americans. “I’m behind our troops 100 percent,” Michael says. “Growing up, I heard many war stories from my father. He and his buddies were doing a hard job. Their lives were on the line. But they did what needed to be done, and they did it with dedication and integrity. That example inspires me every day….I love music… and I love my country.”