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America's Tenor Michael Amante

Michael Amante has sung for the Pope, wowed the exclusive "in crowd" at the legendary Rao’s restaurant in New York City, and his debut CD brought his boyhood idol Frank Sinatra’s producer, Charles Koppelman, out of retirement.

Michael Amante is Mario Lanza and Jon Bon Jovi rolled into one – carrying the mantle of classic Italian music with a rock star’s charisma. Regis Philbin, who first saw Michael at Rao's and introduces the special with Don Rickles, praises him as "the fourth tenor." This young man is singing the songs his parents’ generation fell in love to – and audiences of all generations are falling in love with him.

Michael is a past scholarship recipient from NIAF (National Italian American Foundation), and he is a winner of the Italian Charities' Christopher Columbus Award, the Lione de San Marco Award for opera, Il Cuore di Carabinieri and the Sergio Franchi Foundation Award.

This Special airs nationally sometime in August, and repeats in some markets in September- December. It is stricly local station option. Unfortunately, therefore all are advised to check local listings for airdates and times, or call your local station.

A preliminary list is located at www.wliw.org/productions

A VHS of the concert with bonus tracks not broadcast is available as a "thank you" gift from local PBS stations for a pledge of support.

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Michael Amante is the American tenor who can sing it all. Whether he is commanding the vocal volleys of Puccini’s "Nessun Dorma" or melting the tender phrases of "O Sole Mio," Amante rewrites the book on anybody’s idea of what a tenor can be. Now the charismatic tenor hailed by Tony Bennett as "the next Mario Lanza" interprets favorite Italian songs, from Neapolitan classics to beloved arias, as well as Broadway hits and pop standards, in his first concert special for public television, MICHAEL AMANTE.

Movie-star handsome, Michael Amante combines an operatic tenor’s debonair, old-world finesse with the sheer adrenaline rush he discovered as a teenager, when his soaring tenor voice wowed audiences as the front man for rock bands.

In MICHAEL AMANTE, this second-generation Italian-American meets the standard he set for himself as a young boy – to sweep an audience off their feet the way his father’s lilting tenor voice romanced his mother.

The song list for MICHAEL AMANTE reflects the influence of Amante’s upbringing in an Italian-American, music-making household – operatic arias from Rigoletto, Turandot and La Boheme; Broadway favorites including "If Ever I Would Leave You" from Camelot; popular Italian songs such as "O Sole Mio," "Mama" and "Non Ti Scordar Di Me;" and the signature songs of his musical mentors – Mario Lanza’s "Be My Love" and Frank Sinatra’s "All the Way." MICHAEL AMANTE also introduces a soaring new love song, "Ho Bisogno D’Amore (I Have a Need for Love)," that showcases the all-American exuberance, Italian passion, and sheer beauty of Amante’s singing.

"WLIW is proud to continue public television’s tradition of introducing new voices to new audiences – Andrea Bocelli, Sarah Brightman, The Irish Tenors, and now, ‘America’s Tenor,’ Michael Amante," said Terrel Cass, president and general manager of producing station WLIW New York.

MICHAEL AMANTE features performances recorded at New York City’s famed Rao’s restaurant and Amante’s sold-out November 2000 concert at the Tilles Center for the Performing Arts, for the 12th Annual Gala Benefit for Special Olympics, featuring the Nassau Pops Symphony Orchestra with Louis Panacciulli conducting.

The special also takes viewers behind the scenes of this rising star’s debut album recorded with the Canadian Opera Company Orchestra, produced by the legendary Phil Ramone and Charles Koppelman (in retirement since Frank Sinatra’s "Duets" album).

Michael Amante’s career has taken him from the clubby confines of New York City’s Algonquin Hotel to St. Patrick’s Cathedral to the Sands in Atlantic City to Shea Stadium (where he sings the national anthem for the New York Mets), into the opera house and musical theater, where he has sung leading roles in La Boheme and Madame Butterfly, as well as West Side Story, Grease and Jesus Christ Superstar. Amante’s debut recording for Medalist Entertainment was released June 2001. Michael Amante was first introduced to public television viewers in WLIW New York’s THE ITALIAN PASSION FOR LIFE.

Produced by WLIW New York in association with Medalist Entertainment and Grosso-Jacobson Communications Corporation. Executive Producer: Roy Hammond; Producer: Roman Brygider; Directors: George Veras and Roman Brygider.

Publicity contact: Susan Soberman, Senior Publicist, WLIW New York.
Ph: 212/974-2121, ext. 3032; Email: Susan_Soberman@wliw.pbs.org

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SONG LIST – Broadcast Version
Be My Love
If Ever I Would Leave You (Camelot)
Che Gelida Manina (La Boheme)
Core ’ngrato
O Sole Mio
All the Way
Maria (West Side Story)
La Donna E Mobile (Rigoletto)
Non Ti Scordar Me
Mama
Ho Bisogno D’Amore (I Have a Need for Love)
Nessun Dorma (Turnadot)



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