Benefit Concert to Kick Off Peekskill's Festa Italiana

To start off Peekskill's Annual Italian Festival, a benefit concert will take place Thursday at the Paramount Theater, starring Michael Amante, a famous Italian Tenor.

To kick off Peekskill's Annual "Festa Italiana," The Paramount Center for the Arts will be filled with Italian spirit when Michael Amante headlines the benefit show for Assumption Church and School in Peekskill. 

"I sought after Italian performers, that goes with the whole mission that we have and Michael Amante was available," said Frank Cimino director of the festival.

"He's one of the few tenors in the United States that is highly regarded and has been in a number of shows," he added.  

Known as "The People's Tenor," Amante has been recognized by world famous Luciano Pavarotti, referred to as "King of the High C." Pavarotti has crowned Amante "Prince of the High C," for his ability to hit one of the highest notes of a tenor’s range. 

Amante's debut, self-titled album, "Michael Amante", topped Billboard Magazine's 2002 Charts at #1 for Top Midline Classical Artist, and #5 for Top Midline Classical Album.

He also released albums in 2003 and 2004, his most recent album entitled "Ready for More," was released on Sept. 7, 2007. Amante was also nominated for an Emmy after his PBS Television Special.   

In addition to headlining the show on Thurday night, along with MC Goumba Johnny, Amante will also appear on the Festa Italiana outdoor stage on Sunday, August 14 to join other celebrity judges for the final round of judging in the "Tomato Sauce Wars." 

"He reflects Italian culture," Cimino said. 

The festival is set up to resemble Little Italy's San Gennaro Festival in Manhattan.

This benefit concert and festival is not only supporting Italian heritage and culture but proceeds will be going to Assumption Church and School on 131 Union Ave. in Peekskill. 

"They're in badly need of funds," said Cimino. "The School can't turn people away so they make accommodations, but that creates deficits in their budget."  

Cimino thought that considering that the festival is celebrating the Catholic holiday of The Assumption, it would be fitting to support a school and church with the same name.

The show is on Thursday Aug. 11, and starts at 8 p.m. Tickets range from $40-$85. 

For more information about the benefit concert please call the Paramount Center for the Arts at 914-739-2333 or visit http://www.paramountcenter.org/. 

For information about the Festa Italiana, please visit at www.peekskillfestival.com

Thom Pernice August 09, 2011 at 09:20 PM
Good Luck! Looks like another very successful event. Great Job so far.
Frank Cimino August 09, 2011 at 10:03 PM
Thanks Thom. How about next year we call it : 2 weeks of a Jazzy Italian Festival?
Frank Cimino August 11, 2011 at 06:24 AM
Hey Thom, doesnt seem like anyone else reads the Patch?


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