Awarded Prestigious Grant for Second Tour of Poland


Contact: Carmela Altamura
Tel: 201-863-8724 (winter)

Altamura Center for the Arts

4000 Bergenline Avenue
Union City, NJ 07087 – or –
404 Winter Clove Road
Round Top, NY 12473
t: 201-863-8724 (winter) e:

Altamura Center Awarded Prestigious Grant for Summer Music Festival and Second Tour of Poland

Union City, New Jersey. January 18 – For the fourth successive year, the Altamura Center for the Arts and its home company, Inter-Cities Performing Arts, Inc., will receive a grant from the Agnes Varis Charitable Trust. The trust was established to support Varis’ passion for women’s rights, the underprivileged, and the arts, especially opera. Funds will benefit the Altamura Center’s Summer Music Festival as well as help to support winners and finalists of Inter-Cities’ Altamura/Caruso International Voice Competition on a forthcoming tour of Poland.

The 2016 Altamura Center Summer Music Festival will present three highly-appealing programs. On the roster will be “Heroes and Heroines” — Verdi’s famous operatic arias; “Mozart’s Women” — arias from operas the composer dedicated to his beloved wife, Costanza; and ”Latin Embrace: Tango, Anyone?” — a solo program of Latin American music performed by Argentine pianist, Rosa Antonelli. John Sigerson will conduct the Inter-Cities Chamber Ensemble. Detailed information about the Summer Festival will be available in the spring.

With help from an earlier Varis Trust grant, Inter-Cities presented young musicians and the first-prize winner of the Altamura Competition in programs that took place in Rome and Naples in the fall of 2015. The second part of that tour included highly successful concerts in Katowice, Bytom, and Krakow, Poland.

Carmela Altamura, founder of Inter-Cities, said, “Polish audiences were simply thrilled at the level of talent we brought to their homeland, and we with theirs. Leaders there have invited us back for a repeat performance, and two cities have been added to the 2016 tour: Chorzow and Zabrze, Poland.”

The Altamura Center and Inter-Cities’ mission is to promote and present the arts in the spirit of bringing together all cultures and nations. Mrs. Altamura said, “It seems nearly-pre-ordained that we would receive a grant from the Agnes Varis Trust because her artistic vision and ours are so closely aligned.” She went on to say, “There is a plaque in New York’s Central Park, dedicated to Varis, reflecting our twin philosophies. On it is a quote from Pericles: “What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone, but what is woven into the lives of others. “

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Dear Center Supporter,

2015 is going to be an EXCITING year here at the Altamura Center.. Our calendar is  already filled with a wonderful and diverse selection of performances…

  • APRIL 26th: Fundraiser for Center at Brandywine Restaurant 2-6
  • MAY 3rd: Mandolins & Celebrated Melodies Alla Napoletana
  • JULY 26th: Spain alla Rossini
  • AUGUST 23rd: “Il Matrimonio Segreto” (The Clandestine Marriage) Fully staged hilarious comedy opera orchestra directed by Francesco Santelli
  • SEPTEMBER 5th: “Lovers & Others” short play by Joe Bologna & Renee Taylor



This year we are offering a  SERIES PACKAGE for those wanting to attend all of the performances and save some money as well.

Each performance is held on a SUNDAY and includes a catered meal provided by local restaurants.

Book the ENTIRE SERIES  ( 4 performances)at one time and receive a 10% discount off the total amount.

If you are group of 10 or more, receive a 10% discount as well for the total amount. (PLEASE MAKE SURE TO LIST ALL NAMES BELOW)

Please place an  “X” next to the performance(s) you would like to attend. .and mail the bottom part back  completely  filled in.

Make your check payable to The Inter Cities Performing Arts Inc. and mail to :

Inter Cities Performing Arts Inc., 4000 Bergenline Avenue, Union City NJ 07087




____ May 3rd          Mandolins & Celebrated Melodies Alla Napoletana

___ June 28th          ALL THAT JAZZ (variety of Jazz performances)

___July 26th           “SPAIN alla ROSSINI “ and “LOVERS & OTHER STRANGERS”

___August 23rd      “IL MATRIMONIO SEGRETO” (The Clandestine Marriage) Comedy

___September 5th       “Lovers & Other Strangers”



NUMBER OF PEOPLE________ PHONE #___________________

EMAIL_______________________________________________ ( for confirmation)


For questions or more information please call  518-622-0070



As we come to the end of another year, we leave behind unexpected endings and look forward to unimagined beginnings . Due to the challenging times, one can easily fall into discouragement. But around the corner there is always the unexpected– Divine Providence. Many of you insisted that we should forge ahead, but with a leaner budjet and programs that could appeal to a wider range of tastes. The two experiments, October 5th with Broadway Dinner Theatre and Christmas Around the World, proved to be successful.
As suggested,we have created a list of programs which should appeal to all tastes, classical and popular. Thus we ask that you reach out to all with an invitation to join us. Once they come, we are sure they will return because nowhere can excellence presented in a pleasing environment be found at such friendly prices.

A glimpse of what lies ahead: 2015

  • A fund raiser for the Center offered by Brandy Wine Restaurant, of Windham, New York, some time in late April, date to be announced.
  • Mandolins and Celebrated Melodies Alla Napoletana, May 3rd
  • And All That JAZZ!! June 28th
  • Spain alla Rossini, July 26th
  • The Clandestine Marriage, “Il Matrimonio Segreto” by D. Cimarosa, a fully staged hillarious comedy opera with orchestra directed by Francesco Santelli, August 23rd
  • A short play, Strangers and Other Lovers, by Joe Bologna and Renee Taylor, August 29th

As for myself, at the invitation of Simonetta Tancredi, pianist/opera coach of La Scala, on May 7-14, I will be giving a Master Classe in Rome, Italy. On October 22 to 25, 2015, we will produce the 14th International Altamura/Caruso Voice Competition , at Christ and St. Stephens Concert Hall, New York City. (All are invited) Though two hours away, the discovery and validation of new voices is most exciting. (Vans can be provided for those who wish to attend.)

2015 competition winners in concert in Rome, A CONCERT FOR WORLD PEACE

  • Winners in concert in Venice
  • Winners in concert in Krakow, Poland

Attractive travel packages are available upon request

You may inquire at getting a subscription of all performances at 10% discount

Let us know if you wish to volunteer. You are needed and appreciated. 10% discount is offered to volunteers. For preferred seating, please reserve early.


4000 Bergenline Ave 404 Winter Clove Road Union City, NJ 07087 Round Top, NY 12473 201-863-8724

A donation to help us prepare for the programs that lie ahead is greatly appreciated. `NYS – 222372 NJ – 222 879 137

A Special Thank You !

The Agnes Varis Foundation, to our volunteers, audience, and many generous friends.





The Altamura Center will be printing a Journal that will be handed out at each performance throughout the ENTIRE 2015 Season.

A journal ad is a wonderful way to advertise your business, show your support for The Altamura Center, the performing arts, or to wish someone well. And it is seen by a very wide audience.

Ad sizes are listed below… Please check off the size ad you would like to purchase. Make your check payable to: INTER CITIES PERFORMING ARTS , 4000 Bergenline Avenue, Union City NJ 07087

PLEASE INCLUDE: Ad copy, business card (camera ready) or picture.

_____ $200.                  1/8 page

_____ $350.         ¼ page  AND 1 FREE ticket to a performance of your choice

_____$600.          ½ page AND 2 FREE tickets to a performance of your choice

_____$1000.      Full Page and 4 FREE tickets to a performance(s) of your choice

Your donation is tax deductible and a receipt will be provided for all monies/checks received.

Please show your support for this wonderful GEM that we have right here in our own backyard.


For more information please call

 M.A. Tarpinian

 Event Director   518-610-3332


ROUND TOP- The Altamura Center for the Arts, located on Winter Clove Road, has been a treasure trove of exciting and dynamic performances these past 15 years. And 2015 is no exception.

     The Center was founded by world renowned opera soprano, and her husband Leonard Altamura in 2000, with the purpose of promoting understanding among world people through the study of music. Throughout the years the Center has played host to such performers as actress Celeste Holm, Roger Malouf(Director & Conductor at The Metropolitan Opera), Camille Coppola (co-founder New Rochelle Opera), Kwang Kyu Lee ( Bass-Baritone), and many more.

     The 2015 line up of performances is a diverse offering of the performing arts at its best. From Jazz to Opera to Broadway the Center is always looking to appeal to a wide variety of musical tastes.

The Season kicks off on April 26th  with a fundraiser being held for Center at Brandywine Restaurant from 2-6pm. Featured performers from this year will be on hand to perform a few selections as a taste of what to expect from the Center this year. Seating will be limited.

May 3rd will showcase Mandolins & Celebrated Melodies Alla Napoletana; June 28th: ALL THAT JAZZ; July 26th: Spain alla Rossini; August 23rd: “Il Matrimonio Segreto” (The Clandestine Marriage) A fully staged hilarious comedy opera orchestra directed by Francesco Santelli. Rounding out the 2015 Season on August 29th “LOVERS & OTHER STRANGERS” by well known actors and writers husband and wife team Joe Bologna & Renee Taylor. 


     This year the Center is offering a Series Package. For those wanting to attend all the performances, and for groups of 10 or more, a 10% discount will be offered on the total. Bus groups are also welcome. All performances are accompanied by a delicious buffet luncheon provided by local restaurants.

     With six acres of beautiful grounds and the Catskill Mountains as its backdrop, The Altamura Center is also available for Weddings, Private Events, Conferences, Worskhops, Faires, Festivals, Concerts and parties.  A cottage on site offers Bed & Breakfast amenities and sleeps 4 to 6 people comfortably.

     2015 will see the Center expanding its repertoire and services to encompass an even wider  demographic. Potential performances in addition to the Series are still in the works and will be announced as they are finalized.

     For more information about the Center, please visit our website @ or like us on Facebook.

     For information about attending the Fundraiser, purchase performance tickets, or to book the Center for an event please contact M.A. Tarpinian, Event Director @ 518-610-33332.

Fundraising Letter January 2015

January 2015

Dear Friends and Supporters of Inter-Cities,

Good health and happiness to you all in the coming year!

2015 is rich with plans and events, and we want to share some of them with you. Two events are very much worth noting: First, on October 25, 2015 in New York City, we are holding the 14th Altamura/Caruso International Voice Competition. This segues into the second event – performances in Venice, Rome and southern Poland of Peruvian composer, Alejandro Allauca’s, beautiful Missa Andina with the 2015 Altamura Competition winners as soloists. This magnificent work for piano, organ, choir and vocal soloists, has already been performed in Milan, Spain, Peru and the United States.

Discussions are under way to perform the Missa Andina also at the Vatican.

It is worth noting that Inter-Cities, our company under whose umbrella the Altamura/Caruso Competition takes place, has always steadfastly adhered to our founding principles of social justice and reverence for life. We support deserving, young talented musicians who reflect these values in their careers. Read on, because this has particular significance.

As many of you know, Auschwitz is located near Krakow, and 2015 marks the 70th anniversary of its liberation. On the occasion of Poland’s Independence and the American Veterans’ Day, and with our founding principles firmly in mind, we can think of nothing more appropriate than to perform Maestro Allauca’s Missa Andina there. Our program, “In Remembrance, Never Again,” will be dedicated to the memory of those who perished there so many years ago. We feel humbled to be able to present some of the world’s finest musical talents, joined by our recent competition winners, for this momentous performance.

As always, supporting and launching the careers of deserving young musicians from around the world is costly. We’ve been very fortunate to have been awarded a considerable grant from the Agnes Varis Foundation. But to provide opportunities for young singers while participating in a once-in-a-lifetime event such as this, we need further financial resources to help us cover transportation and housing costs, musicians’ fees, hall rentals, and so much more.

Our European tour is of tremendous importance, affording valuable experience and exposure for our young winners. All those who have signed on to help will receive grateful acknowledgement in our programs. Further, we hope you will gain satisfaction in knowing that, while supporting young deserving talent, we are also imparting the values of tolerance, compassion, dignity, reverence for life – and doing what is right. We can think of no project that more adequately, more powerfully, more beautifully addresses these principles than Maestro Allauca’s Missa Andina.

We hope you will join us in adding your name to those who are contributing to this noble cause and occasion. Know that every dollar you contribute will support deserving young musicians while helping to make the world the place we want it to be.

With our deepest thanks,

Leonard and Carmela Altamura
Inter-Cities Performing Arts, Inc.
4000 Bergenline Avenue
Union City, New Jersey 07087

T: 201-863-8724
E: or



2015-Competition_Page_1 2015-Competition_Page_3

New York; Rome; VATICAN; KATOWICE; Krakow

Inter-Cities Performing Arts, Inc.

presents the

International Voice Competition  2015

First Prize ad memoriam licia albanese, 1909 – 2014


$30,000 Cash Grants + Performances in us and abroad

Winners in Concerts:  Rome, Venice, Krakow also in  in 2016


Carmela Altamura, president, founder/director, ICPA, Inc.

Simonetta Tancredi, finals judge, former pianist/opera coach, Teatro Alla Scala

Lewis Ehlers, finals judge, Lombardo & Associates, New York

Roger Malouf, finals judge, Metropolitan Opera

Krzysztof Biernacki, professor of voice and opera, University of North Florida

Maria Pellegrini, soprano, Metropolitan Opera

Maria Knapik, internationally-awarded soprano

Katherine Montgomery, musicologist and critic

Leonarda Priori, founder, Chelsea Opera, New York City

Requirements and Application:  See Altocanto on You Tube   Fax:  201-866-3566   Tel:  201-863-8724


Deadline: OCTOBER 5, 2015

Preliminaries:  October 22/23, 2015, 10 to 5 pm

Audition site:  122 West 69th St., New York City


Please read carefully


From its establishment in 1988, the bi-annual Altamura/Caruso International Voice Competition abolished age limits.  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 open the door of opportunity to more mature as well as younger singers.   Much consideration will be given to all applicants’ achievements within the last five years of his/her career.


  1. Applicants must email a RESUME and a HEAD SHOT PHOTO, as attachments, to:

Please Note:  The head shot should be a high resolution (300 dpi minimum) photo, preferably in jpg format. The dimensions of the photo should be at least 5″ x 7″.  High resolution photos are necessary for print publications.  Low resolution photos are acceptable ONLY if they have large dimensions (e.g. at least 20″x 30″). Please note: DO NOT use a photo taken from a website or taken with a cell phone and converted to 300 dpi.  It will not print properly.  If you are not capable of doing this yourself, please ask for technical assistance from someone who is able to help you.  Please be sure that your photo jpg is labeled with your NAME and VOICE CLASSIFICATION.

  1. Applicants must include a $100 FEE (check or money order only) made payable to: Inter-Cities Performing Arts, Inc.

Address to:

Mrs. Carmela Altamura
Inter-Cities Performing Arts, Inc.
4000 Bergenline Avenue
Union City, NJ 07087



  1. Be prepared to sing FIVE arias in the original key and language. One aria will be chosen by the contestant and a second aria by the jury.  Aria with cabaletta must be presented in its entirety.
  2. Be prepared to sing ONE work from the Art Song literature.
  3. Include ONE ARIA by Mozart, in the original key and language


  • Applicants must be prepared to sing a full recital upon 24-hour notice.
  • Finalists will be recorded and videotaped for YouTube. By applying to this competition, participants agree to be recorded and videotaped for YouTube and other media.
  • Finalists must be present at the stage rehearsal, which will be announced following the preliminaries.
  • You may bring your own pianist. If you need a pianist, please let us know in advance and one will be provided for you.



About This Competition:   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 a radical 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 City, upstate New York, and Canada.

State of N.J.I.D. 222-879-137/000      NY State:  F.I.D., # 222372



Enjoy a performance of enchanting opera arias with singers, orchestra, and dancers in traditional Venetian masks and 18th century costumes! performed by the winners of the Altamura/Caruso International Voice Competition.
Musica in Maschera is an entertaining concert performance, combining the art of melodrama and the mysterious and enchanted world of Venetian masks. The musicians and singers are chosen from the best Italian ensembles.
The extraordinary elegance of the dancers’ movements, the beauty of the music, and the atmosphere of the wonderful baroque Scuola Grande dei Carmini in the heart of Venice make this an unforgettable evening.

Altamura Center for Arts & Cultures – Short Video

The Altamura Center for Arts and Cultures, based in scenic Round Top, NY in the Catskill Mountains, offers a variety of music and theater programs during the summer and fall and hosts the annual Summer Institute – “Encounters with the Masters” during which master teachers hand down to and share their experience, knowledge and traditions with aspiring singers. The distinguished list of teachers who have participated includes: the late actress Celeste Holmes, opera stars Licia Albanese, Jerome Hines, Giovanna Canetti, Maria Bertolino, Virginia Zeani and the American icon maestro Anton Coppola.



Contact: Carmela Altamura
518-622-0070 or 201-863-8724
Altamura Center for the Arts
404 Winter Clove Road
Round Top, NY 12473
t: 518-622-0070 e:



Round Top, New York. September 18 – On Sunday, October 5 at 4 p.m., the Altamura Center will play host to the famous Harris Family, along with The Good Times Band from Windham, as they perform in the “Change of Foliage” dinner theater program. Happy hour and dancing will begin at 4 p.m., followed by a buffet dinner and performance at 5 p.m.

Audiences know Lawrence Harris as an operatic baritone whose performances have won accolades worldwide. What many might not know is that Harris was a former NFL linebacker for the Houston Oilers. Stranger things have happened, but one has to admit his is a career path more unusual than most. On Sunday, Harris will tap in to his extensive repertoire to sing solo, duo, and in various other combinations with his talented family. On the program will be songs by the Italian composer, Paolo Tosti, which Harris and his wife, the pianist Renee Guerrero, recorded for their recently released CD, Romanze

Joining the couple will be their children, 17-year-old Sydney and 14-year-old Quintin, in selections from “The Sound of Music,” “Kiss Me Kate,” “Annie Get Your Gun,” and a Neapolitan art song by beloved opera composer, Gaetano Donizetti.

When Lawrence Harris embarked upon his dramatic career change, he was summoned to a study program at the Metropolitan Opera. He and Guerrero, who received their early training in Texas, moved to the New York Metropolitan area. Harris has since appeared in over 30 leading roles in opera houses worldwide. The New York Times music critic, Bernard Holland, wrote that

Lawrence Harris is gifted with “a major voice” and that “he established himself overnight as an important Verdi baritone.”



Harris has appeared in many of the world’s most prestigious concert venues such a Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center, and has performed for heads of state from four continents. A winner of both the First Prize and Audience Award in the Altamura/Caruso International Voice Competition, he has appeared on CNN, ESPN, CBC/Radio-Canada, and in other media outlets.

Upon arriving in New York, pianist Renee Guerrero earned her master’s degree and professional studies certificate in piano performance from the Manhattan School of Music, where she was invited to teach in both the college and preparatory divisions. She made her New York debut with the Yamaha Young Artists Showcase and has since performed at Carnegie Hall, Weill Hall, Merkin Hall and CAMI Hall.

As a collaborative artist, Guerrero has performed with the Bronx Opera, New Rochelle Opera, VoiceExperience with Sherrill Milnes, the Altamura Arts Festival, and the Manhattan School of Music’s ArtReach. She is on the piano faculty at the Westchester Conservatory of Music and, last summer, joined the faculty of the Narnia Festival in Terni, Italy. In addition to accompanying family members, Guerrero will perform the solo version of the much-loved Rhapsody in Blue by George Gershwin on the October 5 program.

17-year-old singer and actress, Sydney Harris, made her professional debut at 8 as a child chorister in Opera North’s production of Tosca, and has since appeared with professional companies such as the Bronx Opera, Opera Company of Brooklyn, New Rochelle Opera and the New York City Opera Children’s Chorus. She made her solo debut in Pergolesi’s comic opera, La Serva Padrona, and has also appeared in The Wizard of Oz, Annie Get Your Gun, and Yeast Nation.

This past summer Sydney attended the Bel Canto Institute in Florence, Italy. She is the
founder/director of The Salt Club (Society for Artistic & Literary Teens) as well as the Teen

Acting Intensive at HB Studios. In the fall of 2014, she will perform in The Mermaid’s Legs at
The Tank in New York City.

Quintin Harris, 14, made his stage debut as the Lord High Drummer Boy in Gilbert & Sullivan’s Gondoliers with Opera North. He has since appeared in community and professional productions such as Annie Get Your Gun, Oliver, Willy Wonka, and Yeast Nation. As a member of the Hudson River Children’s Chorus, he performed in a live televised concert with Susan Boyle on The Today Show. At age 9, Quintin sang the role of Gherardino in Puccini’s opera, Gianni Schicchi, under the baton of world-famous conductor, Anton Coppola, at the Altamura Festival.

This past summer, Quintin was selected to join the Teen Summer Institute at The Wooster Group, and this fall he will join the Teen Acting Intensive at HB Studios. He will also appear in the upcoming production of The Mermaid’s Legs at The Tank in New York City.

The Good Times Band, a popular Windham-based duo, has appeared for organizations such as the Greene County Council of the Arts, and for countless events throughout New York State. They’ve also performed in conjunction with artists such as Lex Grey and with groups such as Dram, the Irish rock band. They will grace the Altamura Center stage during the cocktail hour.

With plans to close the Altamura Center at summer’s end, co-founder/director Carmela Altamura, said that the response from many area patrons and audience members had been so overwhelming, that she and her husband, co-founder Leonard Altamura, had decided to remain open for the time being. “We have been deeply touched by the response, and we felt it was only fair to our audiences that we continue to offer our programs,” Mrs. Altamura said. “It is a labor of love, and we have wonderful offerings on board for October and November.”

Altamura Center for the Arts
404 Winter Clove Road
Round Top, NY 12473
T: 518-622-0070 or 201-863-8724 Contact Us
Tickets: $35 per person (wine and beer not included)


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