Entries by Dror Navaro


In 1988, two philanthropists, soprano Carmela Altamura and attorney Leonard Altamura,
founded the Altamura/Caruso International Voice Competition. Created for singers on the
threshold of an international career, the competition functions under the umbrella of its
parent non-profit, Inter-Cities Performing Arts, Inc. The competition immediately
established itself by instituting the then-unheard-of policy of abolishing age requirements.
Aware that existing limits did not allow for the late-maturing, dramatic voice, and by
careful scrutiny of more mature applicants’ achievements, the founders decided to trust
their instincts by opening the door of opportunity to more mature as well as to younger
singers. This policy paid off in unexpected dividends.
Competition winners Angela Brown, soprano, Audrey Stottler, soprano, and Kim
Josephson, baritone, went on to sing title roles at the Metropolitan Opera, La Scala, and
New York City Opera, while Heather Myers, contralto, Eugenie Grunewald, mezzo
soprano, Anna Shafajinskaya, soprano, and Lawrence Harris, baritone, performed title
roles at the Vienna Staatsoper, Berlin State Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Houston Grand
Opera, San Francisco Opera, and other major opera houses of the world.
Another competition innovation included behind-screen auditions, following the age- and
colorblind policies of major world orchestras. Regarded as an innovative new step at the
time, this practice was soon adopted by other prestigious voice competitions throughout
the world. The Altamura Competition has taken place in Italy, Gibraltar, New Jersey, New
York, and Canada.